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Talent Development Secondary Seeks Chief Business Development Officer


ORGANIZATION: Talent Development Secondary at Tides Center
POSITION: Chief Business Development Officer
LOCATION: Flexible


Talent Development Secondary (TDS) at the Tides Center is an evidence-based school improvement model for grades six through twelve. Founded in 1997, TDS is based on research from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools. TDS is noted for implementing whole school improvement models and frameworks, including early warning indicators systems based on student attendance, behavior, and core course performance. TDS was a lead partner for the Diplomas Now i3 grant, with City Year and Communities in Schools, which demonstrated that off-track sixth and ninth graders can be put back on track to graduation at statistically higher rates than comparable control schools. TDS has partnered with hundreds of low performing and high poverty urban, suburban and rural schools and has established a strong body of research showing a positive impact for schools implementing its model, including increases in attendance, behavior, course performance, and graduation rates. TDS works with both schools and districts to enhance organizational structures, develop staff, and integrate student supports. By partnering with districts and schools, TDS builds customized approaches for teacher teams, intervention curricula with embedded support, and tiered student support systems.

For more information on the TDS model see


TDS is transitioning out of Johns Hopkins University into an independent nonprofit, currently being incubated at the Tides Center. This increased autonomy and flexibility will enable TDS to leverage a new organizational structure and approach to better partner with districts, states, and schools to meet their needs. The Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) is a newly created position within TDS. The CBDO will be responsible for generating, securing, and renewing contracts with high needs districts and schools in 19 target states. Reporting directly to the Executive Director of TDS, the CBDO will be a senior member of the management team, working closely with the Chief Program Officer, two regional directors, and the field managers.

In the first year, the Chief Business Development Officer will be expected to:

  • Internalize the operations and history of TDS, including the evidence base undergirding its impact, and effectively represent the program to external audiences;
  • Cultivate new and existing relationships to secure 5-7 new school improvement contracts ranging anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million each over 3-4 years;
  • Refine the organization’s business plan, ensuring its strategy for partnership, funding, and pricing will lead to long-term sustainability; and
  • Organize and develop tools and training materials to ensure all external-facing members of the TDS team are able to support business development.

The CBDO will not immediately have staff reporting to her/him, but will have the opportunity to grow the team over time. This position can be based out of a home office anywhere in the United States and requires 25% travel (approximately four trips a month). The TDS team also comes together 2-3 times a year in Baltimore for leadership retreats.

The opportunity is particularly compelling because the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 specifically earmarks funds for evidence-based school improvement models for the bottom 5% of schools in each state. With years of evidence to support the efficacy of its programs, TDS is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this new funding and increase its scale and impact. The CBDO will drive the growth of TDS as it improves educational outcomes for tens of thousands of our nation’s most vulnerable children.


Partnership Building and Business Development

  • Set vision and strategy for business development at TDS, including goals and benchmarks for actions such as, meetings held and contracts generated, etc.;
  • Become intimately familiar with the TDS history and model, evidence base, processes, and products so that s/he can effectively and compellingly represent the organization to state and district leaders;
  • Understand current and identify future target markets;
  • Understand and update, as needed, the TDS cost structure, the TDS cost calculator, and value proposition in order to effectively negotiate new contacts;
  • Co-create plans that will help districts and states meet their own strategic objectives while aligning with ESSA requirements and TDS growth objectives;
  • Leverage knowledge and relationships within the philanthropic community (both nationally and locally) to explore cost sharing agreements with states and districts when appropriate; and
  • Collaborate with TDS staff members to deploy their knowledge and strengths strategically in the business development process.

Systems and Strategies

  • Better organize, develop, and monitor new tracking and project management systems within TDS’ new Salesforce IT platform;
  • Organize and develop a toolkit of resources for TDS staff to use in business development and provide training and support to TDS staff on their role in business development;
  • Work with Tides staff in setting up and aligning systems for TDS operations and independence by FY 20;
  • Recruit and supervise new business development team members as resources allow.



  • Mission aligned: Operates with a deep and driving commitment to educational equity, particularly as it relates to its disproportionate effects on our most challenged schools and our most vulnerable learners;
  • Influencer: May represent the interests of TDS, as well as one’s own individual interests, when dealing with matters of personnel, school integration, and overall managerial and leadership issues. Has the ability to direct his or her workload as needed and provides supervision and guidance in setting the workload of others;
  • Dynamic and galvanizing presence – schools, districts, and states are inundated with vendors on a weekly basis. The CBDO must stand out in the crowd as someone with whom these stakeholders want to meet and explore collaboration;
  • Strategic thinker and decision-maker: On a regular and continuous basis, exercises judgment when dealing with the needs of both TDS and participating districts and schools. Routinely spends time making decisions around leadership, managerial, and personnel issues. Ultimately assumes responsibility for decisions, consequences, and results;
  • Skilled Communicator: Exchanges non-routine, sometimes technically specialized information using tact and persuasion as appropriate. Superior oral and written communication skills are required. Communicates on a regular basis with both internal and external contacts, partners and stakeholders. Capable of connecting with senior educational executives at both the state and local level in ways that generate credibility, interest, and business for the organization’s mission; and
  • Entrepreneur and team player: Thrives in a start-up environment. Collaborates with colleagues to seek innovative solutions. Is willing to learn from others and to share his/her knowledge of business development.


  • A minimum of ten years of professional work experience with a track record of driving strategy and/or growth in senior roles that would provide a strong understanding of how schools, districts and states operate;
  • Demonstrated success developing partnerships and/or business development in the education sector; ideally in a national or regional role;
  • Familiarity with SalesForce or other business development software systems;
  • Experience developing internal systems and process for supporting business development;
  • Experience working successfully with peers and leading cross-functional efforts in a lateral and matrix management structure; and
  • Bachelor’s Degree (BA, BS) in Business, Management, public administration or other applicable discipline; Master’s Degree in School/Public/Business Administration preferred;

To Apply

Please submit a resume: