The Opportunity:  

In the United States, only 25% of high-achieving students from low-income communities apply to the nation's most selective colleges and universities. At EMERGE, we believe that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. Grounded in this belief, EMERGE empowers and prepares high-performing students from underserved communities to attend and graduate from selective colleges & universities across the nation.  

EMERGE is embarking on a five-year strategic growth plan in August 2022 and it is a particularly exciting time to join the EMERGE team! By 2027, we project to serve over 2,000 college students and we will have over 1500 EMERGE alumni. The Managing Director of Alumni and College Success will play a pivotal leadership role in defining and advancing the vision, strategy and program model for college students and alumni through collaboration with program leaders and driving the priorities for their team.

Ideal candidates are expert program leaders who have deep experience managing and supporting teams and leading program development. They balance the drive for innovation with continuous improvement and are seasoned people managers who lead through empowering, collaboration, clear decision making, and inspiration.  

Estimated Start Date: August 1, 2022 

Reports To: Vice President of Program 

Salary Range: $95,000 - $120,000 

The Role:

Set the Vision, Strategy and Priorities for College and Alumni Success

  • Set the vision and strategy for the scope of the college and alumni program model. The MD will be responsible for defining what we do and why, how we define our impact and defining innovative ways to support and engage college students and alumni
  • Set annual priorities for the College and Alumni function using quantitative and qualitative data to drive decision making  
  • Create strategic plans for self and team that are aligned with achieving EMERGE’s program vision and outcomes 
  • Consistently assess outcomes and impact of the model, and redirect self and team when necessary. The MD will be responsible for ensuring progress towards the EMERGE alumni vision

Serve as a key member of the Program Leadership Team

  • Serve as the decision-maker for functional areas, integrating results from research, frontline learnings and practices, feedback from program delivery team members and college and alumni data
  • Serve as a key member of the program leadership team, providing insight informed by college and alumni function to drive program decisions 
  • Collaborate with MD College Access, MD Program Assets, and EMERGE Houston ISD Director to drive cross-functional priorities that intentionally align college success and alumni findings to college access philosophies, practices, strategies, tools and resources.

Lead a High-Performing Team 

  • Inspire and engage direct reports on key organizational strategic priorities   
  • Ensure direct reports are supported and empowered to effectively prioritize, make decisions, and manage their workstreams and teams to results  
  • Annually assess and update High Impact Responsibilities & Behaviors for each team member, and ensure that tri-annual performance meetings are completed to support the development of each team member 
  • Effectively manage direct reports to ensure financial resources are stewarded appropriately and expenses fall within the approved annual budget 
  • Manage overall team dynamic by leading through the lens of equity to ensure an inclusive and effective team culture  

EMERGE Partnership Management and Brand Ambassador 

  • Collaborate with the MD of Program Assets to consistently assess, improve and cultivate new college partnerships that support the goals of the college program
  • Manage the team to execute on the partnership deliverables and cultivation goals
  • Collaborate with program leadership team to define and lead strategies that will elevate the EMERGE brand within the college access and success space 
  • Collaborate with MD of Development on key alumni engagement initiatives
  • Create and lead a plan for self and team to intentionally engage in national college access spaces through network building and thought leadership (NACAC, NCAN, Jack Kent Cooke, etc) 

The Person:

Entrepreneurial Ability

  • Ability to identify gaps and opportunities, set a vision and create aligned goals
  • Ability to make a plan for self and for team, and to drive action
  • Ability to think outside of the box and create innovative solutions to drive change and increase results
  • Ability to take risks and maximize resources effectively to drive action

Strategic Thinker & Problem Solver 

  • Ability to ask the right questions, foresee and address challenges and opportunities within the program model, and actively seek resources to create solutions
  • Strong understanding of data and ability to analyze outcomes in order to drive strategic thought processes 
  • Ability to listen from the ground up and move insights and ideas shared from program team and students into action 

Functional Team Leader 

  • Displays a sense of ownership and responsibility of key metrics and functional focus areas, including being strong at decision making, communicating those decisions and being seen as a content expert who is able to share important data/information  
  • Actively develops systems, policies and procedures to create long term change  
  • Sees the big picture, sets a vision and creates milestones for team to achieve goals   
  • Prioritizes daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly actions for self and team to meet annual goals; delegates actions appropriately across team 

Relationship Builder 

  • Understands the power of building relationships with the EMERGE team and external stakeholders in order to build credibility, improve collaboration and drive program outcomes  
  • Builds trust with their team and the broader team to foster a collaborative culture, engage in healthy conflict and discussion, and produce stronger outcomes as a result  
  • Motivates and empowers the team to drive towards a common goal; celebrates wins and fosters an attitude of gratitude  
  • Engages with direct reports and broader team in coaching and feedback conversations; facilitates development of team   
  • Spends time growing their network and knows when to engage stakeholders during the problem-solving process 

Strong Communicator 

  • Communicates proactively and effectively to ensure alignment up, down and across the organization  
  • Seeks input from the right sources ahead of major decisions or changes being rolled out by the program team; provides or seeks clarity when unclear or in disagreement  
  • Proactively communicates decisions and “need to know” information to the direct team and the broader team 

 Resource Maximizer 

  • Thinks strategically about how organizational funds are being spent; understands area budget and cost drivers well enough to create budget and reallocate as needed throughout the year  
  • Thinks critical about major spending decisions to ensure organizational funds are being used wisely and understands the return on investment prior to spending; ensure team is also working to maximize resources   

Ideal Candidate will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree is highly preferred; Master’s Degree is a plus 
  • Passion for EMERGE’s mission; Alignment and belief in EMERGE’s core values 
  • Minimum of 5 years of work experience related to college access and/or success, program design/implementation or team management
  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience managing a team (required) 
  • Experience cultivating teams with clear direction and inspiration (required) 
  • Skilled in leading initiatives that balance innovation with continuous improvement (required) 
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data (required) 
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills (required) 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite + Google Suite (highly preferred) 

Who we are: 

At EMERGE, we live by our Core Values:  

  • Equity grounds us  
  • Diversity defines us  
  • Talent mobilizes us  
  • Meaningful relationships fuel us  
  • Results distinguish us  

Founded in 2010, EMERGE is a developmental, college-access organization changing the life trajectories of hundreds of students across the Houston area. Since its inception, EMERGE has grown from serving 14 students across four high schools, to serving over 1,600 high school students across five school districts. We also serve over 1,400 college scholars at over 100 selective colleges and universities across the country.  

The EMERGE nonprofit is a partner to EMERGE Houston ISD, EMERGE Spring Branch ISD, EMERGE Spring ISD, EMERGE Aldine ISD, and EMERGE Klein ISD.  

As the EMERGE’s impact has grown, our nonprofit team has grown to over 30 staff members. The staff includes our College Access Team, College Success Team, Program Assets Team, Finance, Operations & HR team, and Development Team. You will be joining an energetic, passionate team of individuals working to propel Houston’s top talent upwards and onwards.  

What we offer:


At EMERGE, we aim to enact our core value of “equity grounds us” within our compensation practices to ensure a competitive and equitable salary & benefits package for all employees.

To determine salary; we consider each candidate’s relevant experience, growth potential, and responsibilities within the role, as well equity across similar roles within the organization. The salary range for this role is $95,000-$120,000.

Our salary bands are established to accommodate growth within the role and varied experience levels at the point of hire. Based on historical data, we anticipate most candidates will begin their time at EMERGE at the lower end of the salary band. Yearly increases are based on the impact and scale of the role, along with external market factors.

Health Benefits

EMERGE offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage. EMERGE also provides short-term and long-term disability insurance, along with life Insurance.

Retirement Planning

Eligible employees may participate in EMERGE’S 403(b) plan. EMERGE will match 100% of eligible contributions up to 3 percent of your gross earned salary.

Paid Time Off

Eligible employees have access to 27 Paid Time Off days for the year upon their first day of employment. EMERGE is closed for 18 holidays.

Professional Development

Eligible employees are awarded a $500/year stipend for role relevant professional development opportunities as well as access to internal EMERGE development tracks as they are offered.

Priority Application Deadline: Sunday, June 19th

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, although submission before the priority deadline is highly encouraged.