SRI International: Director, Center for Education Research & Innovation

SRI International is a nonprofit, independent research institute serving government, philanthropy, and industry to create and evaluate high-value and innovative solutions to some of the world’s most important problems in education, technology, the environment, safety, and health. SRI Education, a research division of SRI International, conducts research and provides technical assistance that reduces barriers and optimizes outcomes for students of all ages and backgrounds. We work with partners to improve teaching practices, curricula and assessment, education policies, and ultimately, student learning. Our rigorous research, product development, mixed-methods evaluations and technical assistance projects embed our deep content knowledge and methodological expertise to benefit teaching and learning, often for learners who are traditionally underserved.

For more than 40 years, SRI Education has been at the forefront of research and evaluation of education policies, programs, and interventions. Our 160 researchers are leaders in the research areas of STEM and computer science, digital learning and technology policy, literacy and language arts education, teaching quality, school reform, behavior, supporting students with disabilities, and early learning. Complementing our content expertise are diverse research methods in areas impact evaluations, implementation and cost studies, large-scale survey administration, learning analytics, and assessment design and validation. We often combine our expertise to develop new products and services, and to enhance stakeholder capacity to use data and evidence-based strategies to benefit learners. Our work environment is fast-paced, intellectually stimulating, driven by the desire to produce high-quality and high-impact work, and very collaborative.

SRI’s Center for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) is seeking a dynamic leader to complement our leadership team and contribute to the long-term success of our research and support programs. The new director will have responsibilities in four key areas:

  • Business and client development
  • Talent development
  • Strategic planning
  • Efficient, effective and equity-oriented business operations

CERI’s new leader will contribute to the vision, strategic direction, and oversight for CERI’s educational research program, providing leadership for our efforts to maximize students’ access to and success in high-quality learning experiences, and to strengthen partnerships with schools and districts across the country, and with business partners.

Position Overview:

Reporting to Dr. Shari Golan, President, SRI Education, the new Director of the Center for Education Research & Innovation (CERI) will be responsible for managing and growing an ongoing portfolio of education research, development and evaluation projects. They will function as a co-leader of the group, providing vision, business strategy and business development expertise, and bringing operational strength to manage the budget and personnel for a group with approximately $25M in gross revenue, and personnel management for a 70-person staff. The Center is organized around four program areas: STEM & Computer Science, Digital Learning & Technology Policy, Teaching Quality & School Reform, and College & Career Pathways. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Business and client development
    • Drive ongoing business development that leads to interesting and impactful new projects, especially in the area of STEM & CS
    • Collaborating, with program area leaders, to make strategic decisions about proposal and marketing investments
    • Work with SRI federal and commercial BD staff to present CERI’s qualifications at business development meetings/venues
    • Lead/co-lead the development of multiple proposals and support other proposal efforts across the Center that build our business and demonstrate our capabilities
    • Manage and deliver high-quality grant/contract deliverables with on-time and as intended purpose of the client

  • Talent development
    • Attract new talent to enhance CERI’s research, development, evaluation, and technical assistance capabilities
    • Support and mentor researchers who will be the next generation of leaders, with an emphasis on growing staff from within
    • Support, inspire and invigorate teams to succeed by helping them overcome technical, business process and client-related challenges
    • Provide effective leadership to the Center and the Division to support and inspire advanced capabilities, collaboration within and across centers, and the morale of our staff

  • Strategic planning and research leadership
    • Provide leadership for and regularly update annual strategic plans to enhance alignment of CERI’s research focus and capabilities with current and future market trends, facilitating CERI/SRI Education growth and success
    • Provide thought leadership in business development and project management that enhances SRI Education’s reputation and success in the marketplace
    • Support visibility of SRI Education through journal publications and conference presentations
    • Leverage relevant content and technical expertise to provide leadership on complex and high-visibility project
    • Network to strengthen relationships with schools and districts, and business partners

  • Efficient, effective and equity-oriented business operations
    • Develop and manage annual budgets to achieve bookings and revenue targets
    • Provide leadership for CERI’s quality assurance and control processes to ensure we are providing high-quality products and services on-budget and on-time.
    • Lead and contribute to updating CERI and the education divisions’ processes to consider the perspective of all voices in decision making, make decisions about staffing more transparent, and increase diversity among staff.


  • A demonstrable track record (15+ years) of success in the field of Education research, including a history of business development and leadership of high visibility and complex projects
  • Passion and commitment to organizational diversity and equity
  • A strong disciplinary background in a STEM or computer science education research and a commitment to enhancing interdisciplinary STEM education
  • Strong reputation and connections in the field with potential clients and partners
  • Track record as a Principal Investigator for diverse funders such as NSF, IES, foundations and commercial clients
  • Demonstrated track record leading successful proposals and helping others to strengthen their proposals
  • Track record of accomplishment, and demonstrable success in leadership, strategic thinking, and management of large teams
  • Track record of effectively leading a complex array of initiatives and leveraging strengths across multiple teams and resources
  • Demonstrated track record supporting researchers’ career growth through mentoring
  • Excellent project management skills, including developing and managing budgets, workplans
  • Analytic and decisive decision maker with the ability to prioritize and communicate key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals
  • Open to feedback and continuous improvement, embracing a growth mindset
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet tight deadlines

Preferred qualifications

  • Research focus on broadening participation and success in STEM disciplines for students from diverse economic, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds
  • Content expertise focused on effective teaching and learning (learning sciences) in classrooms and/or informal learning settings that can inform research and development as well as evaluation studies

As an equal opportunity employer, SRI International is committed to a diverse workforce. We are a welcoming place for everyone, and we do our best to make sure all people feel supported and connected at work.

For more information please contact:
Ari Ayares, Vice President- Insight Executive Search