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Executive Director, Software Development

at The College Board | Reston Office (Reston, VA) | View all jobs

The College Board, the national educational organization, is conducting a search for an Executive Director, Software Development for our IT department. This position is based in our Reston, Virginia office.

Named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative education companies, the College Board is a mission-focused organization. This job requires a strong focus on improving educational opportunities and outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged students, in the context of a competitive business environment.

The Executive Director will lead several teams (~ 60 people) that support the College Board programs and business units. The currently supported programs and business units are: Advanced Placement, College Readiness Assessments and Marketing.

He/She is accountable for the successful delivery of the Information Technology component of large, complex product initiatives. The candidate brings a range and depth of agile development, technical, business domain, leadership and people management skills, to successfully lead all aspects of large scale, technology-oriented, and software development. He/She has strong working experience with all levels of executive leadership.  

What you’ll do

  • Manages teams and oversees all activities ensuring alignment with departmental and business-wide vision, strategies and goals.
  • Recruits and retains highly talented team members ensuring clear role definition, active involvement in recruitment, and growth and development of team members to successfully deliver on priorities and goals.
  • May performs other duties and assignments as delegated by the VP of Business Delivery, or the College Board.
  • Builds, leads, and provides oversight for multiple teams responsible for developing and implementing solutions and systems
  • Leverages a range of agile development, technical, business domain, leadership and people management, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills in the execution of his/her duties and responsibilities
  • Integrates critical business information from the program and product owners and business units into technology solutions
  • Collaborates with program and product owners, business unit, IT and operational stakeholders and raises blockers/impediments to leadership, as appropriate
  • Demonstrates strong ability to collaborate with others to solve problems with agreed upon solutions that best meets both short and long-term needs and business objectives
  • Manages a staff consisting of poly-skilled technical staff (architects, scrum masters, developers, etc.) and collaborates with key program and product owners to set priorities and goals
  • Manages budget, schedule, quality, cost, and resources for systems and solutions
  • Develops and drives incremental quality and agility into the organization as it relates to assigned delivery portfolio, makes recommendations on implementation plans, identifies and manages delivery blockers
  • Grows College Board institutional knowledge and education domain knowledge over time in order to drive a business-oriented perspective for his/her Information Technology teams
  • Develops and implements processes to drive continuous improvement with focus on incremental quality and agility in the organization
  • Develops deep expertise and stays current on supported program products and services, roadmaps, policies, messaging, and constituent needs and concerns
  • Builds strategic roadmaps that prioritize and advance supported programs and business unit strategies and goals, effectively manages change and risk, and optimizes relationships with key internal and external constituent groups
  • Works closely with Program staff and other departments to understand new developments
  • Identifies bottlenecks, pain points, cost drivers, and other limits to delivery
  • Experiments, iterates, fails fast, and learns, injecting learnings along the way
  • Articulates dependencies and accounts for them; unblocks delays and barriers and raises the need for support/assistance to leaderships when necessary.
  • Serves as the main point of contact between the team and leadership.
  • Accountable for the development and measurement of product KPIs and deriving key insights from them
  • Identifies inefficiencies in processes (or other areas of inefficiencies) and proposes improvement/streamlining plans to improve efficiency, quality and or costs without compromising the product
  • Collaborates regularly with internal partners and other business stakeholders around goals.
  • Possess the ability to communicate in a persuasive manner at the Sr. Executive and CxO level to influence decisions and outcomes.
  • Collaborates extensively and regularly with program owners and product owners, IT, and business unit leadership at the Director, Executive Director, and VP level. Manages ongoing positive relationships with program and product owners and business stakeholders. Coordinates efforts across various programs and the College Board value chain.

 About you

  • The successful candidate will be a discrete leader, high-energy, agile-minded, strategic, proactive, a critical thinker, a direct and balanced communicator, highly organized and committed to the College Board’s vision and competencies
  • BS degree in Business, Computer Science or related field/equivalent experience
  • Direct experience growing DevOps teams and in Agile delivery
  • Minimum of 10 years work experience required
  • Mission-driven; passionate about the College Board and related constituencies
  • Good sense of self and strong personal presence
  • Management / mentorship of staff experience required
  • Creatively solve problems for which the answers aren’t always obvious
  • Facilitation and negotiation, has worked strategically and collaboratively across departments/ business units
  • Effective team player with strong emotional intelligence – self-awareness, confidence, ability to manage conflict, and empathy
  • Ability to effectively respond to questions and issues – i.e., effective in communicating complex concepts to diverse audiences at all levels in the organization
  • Ability to understand and assess new technologies, and their potential applicability to business needs in an efficient, effective manner
  • Demonstrated competency in strategic thinking and leadership with strong abilities in relationship management
  • Ability to manage stakeholders’ expectations and facilitate status and working sessions with disparate groups of College Board personnel

More about you

  • Very strong analytical, written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong collaborator with excellent facilitation skills
  • Decisive, yet capable of working within a framework of collaboration
  • Capable of understanding a broad range of viewpoints and attaining consensus
  • Must be driven, persuasive, personable and accessible
  • Understanding and proficiency in the education industry a plus.
  • Effective public presenter and advocate
  • Detail-oriented in all aspects of product capability, user satisfaction and competitive advantage
  • Strong understanding of finance and building a business case
  • Ability to function under the direction of multiple departments and executive sponsors
  • Experience building large Cloud solutions following an agile process.


We offer our employees an outstanding benefits package which includes 4 weeks of paid time off, a generous retirement savings plan, tuition reimbursement and ongoing professional development and training.


Our mission is to clear a path for all students to own their future.

The College Board is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The College Board participates in E-Verify, a service of DHS and SSA, where required. Please understand that only qualified applicants will be contacted.