Credential Engine seeks an innovative and entrepreneurial Executive Director who aspires to create credential transparency, reveal the credential marketplace, increase credential literacy, and empower everyone to make informed decisions about credentials and their value.
Launched publicly in December 2017, Credential Engine is tasked with bringing clarity, understanding, and connectivity to the vast and complex credential marketplace through the use of technology, partnerships, policy, and markets. Credential Engine provides a suite of technical services and tools to support its mission, and is building partnerships to extend its capabilities.
As of 2019, Credential Engine has identified over 730,000 unique credentials offered across postsecondary educational institutions, massive open online course providers, nonacademic organizations, and secondary schools. To make sense of the data held by each unique credential, Credential Engine developed and maintains the first and only common language to describe credential information (the CTDL), and a related language to describe competencies (CTDL-ASN). These languages provide the backbone of the organization’s work, as they allow for both humans and machines to have a direct way to universally communicate and compare credentials and competencies of all types on over 400 unique data points. The Credential Registry serves as the cloud-based repository where up-to-date credential and competency information is housed, and the organization maintains a beta open-source application, Credential Finder, to serve as a public-facing window into the Registry. As the Registry captures more of the credential and competency landscape, it will enhance the utility of the information provided on Credential Finder.
Credential Engine tackles some of the education and training industry’s most pressing issues around documentation, recognition, transferability, and portability of learning. Currently, 15 states are formally working with Credential Engine to make credentials and competencies more transparent. Credential Engine also engages closely with federal, state, and regional leadership, education and training systems and leaders, market players, and various initiatives and organizations. Through these and other partnerships, Credential Engine helps strategically connect the work of education and training providers of all types, the vast landscape of credentials, and related data regarding jobs, pathways, labor market outcomes, and more.
Currently governed by an 8-member (with 15 total seats) Board of Directors, and informed by five advisory groups, Credential Engine boasts a 10-person team and has a proposed budget for 2020 of $3M. Over the past two years, Credential Engine has received significant philanthropic investments, securing support from major donors including Lumina, Walmart, Microsoft, Google and JP Morgan Chase. As more agencies learn about Credential Engine’s work and understand its value to the market, Credential Engine will leverage these opportunities and continue its history of successful fundraising and develop markets to become self-sustaining.
In the past two years, Credential Engine has built its internal team and has had notable accomplishments, namely:
Hosting, maintaining, and overseeing the development of the only common descriptive languages for credentials in the world. Structured as open source, linked data schema, these languages create pathways and navigation around employment and earnings outcomes.
Leading a communications and positioning effort in November 2019 with the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and EDUCAUSE to unify state support for credential transparency, and create a set of resources with the goal of introducing institutions to practical ways to act on “credential transparency.”
Growing state partnerships to implement the use of the descriptive languages and technical tools to transform their approaches to data and information in order to improve the marketplace for students, workers, employers, educators, etc.
Serving as a core member of a major Navy project to transform the acquisition of training based on understanding the competencies of credentials and their alignment with authoritative requirements of engineered systems.
Leading the launch of a collaborative to advance state policy development and implementation, with six major national advocacy and subject matter expert organizations: National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Education Commission of the States, Data Quality Campaign, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and Council of Chief State School Officers.
Partnering with National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, and American Hotel and Lodging Association on a National Retail and Hospitality Credentials Initiative.
Publishing the 2nd Edition of the “Counting Credentials” report which inventories the number and type of credentials in the United States.
The Board is looking for an Executive Director who understands how credentials affect the workplace and education domains, and who will seize opportunities to grow the organization.
The new ED will advance the following priorities identified by the Board and staff, which include:
Defining Credential Engine’s purpose as a solution to economic and labor market challenges impacting the country clearly to the public.
Ensuring that all types of stakeholders embrace credential transparency and understand the value of credentials in diverse credential ecosystems.
Achieving meaningful scale by increasing the number of credentials and partners involved in the Credential Registry.
Promoting credential transparency as a hot topic in the marketplace.
Continuing successful fundraising while also developing and implementing a business development strategy to ensure self-sufficiency.
Continuing board recruitment and development, filling the open seats with strategic leaders to carry the organization through the next phase of its growth.
Expanding the number of state partnerships with a strong focus on publishing, use, and policy implementation to ensure enduring commitment to transparency.
Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Building upon the organization’s strong foundation (e.g., funding, reputation etc.) and positioning the Credential Engine for continued growth.
Helping to set a vision for the next phase of the organization’s growth, and working collectively with the staff, Board and partners to implement the vision.
Implementing a business development strategy that leads to the organization being self-sustaining, while fostering strong partnerships and transparency; crafting a strategic fundraising strategy that includes deepening relationships with existing funders, and building relationships with new funders.
Fostering relationships with a wide and diverse range of partners, including federal, state, and international government, state K-12 agencies, higher education and workforce agencies, institutions, foundations, corporations, complementary initiatives, and actual potential users of the data.
Serving as Credential Engine’s chief public spokesperson to the media and the general public; overseeing strategic communications planning efforts.
Overseeing all financial systems and ensuring fiscal accountability and integrity.
Leading Credential Engine’s technology team to enhance the Registry and Credential Finder; contributing to Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL).
Maintaining a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff; creating an environment for mentoring staff.
Supporting board development efforts and strengthening board engagement to ensure that the Board of Directors is a diverse body that effectively governs organizational affairs and understands the condition of the organization.
Shaping, influencing, and supporting implementation of policy at all levels and across all sectors including colleges and universities, individual institutions, and state and federal government.
Skills and Attributes
The ideal candidate will understand and continue a commitment to Credential Engine’s mission. They will bring strong communications, policy, leadership and partnership skills and a tech-savviness to drive Credential Engine’s mission. They will ideally have both a sense of urgency, but also patience. The ED will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to Credential Engine, including, but not limited to:
An understanding of the market-driven skills needed across the US workforce.
A strong fundraiser with proven results in raising funds from local and national funders, and major donors.
Entrepreneurial spirit; track record of strategic innovation and creativity.
Demonstrated ability to align a bold vision with related strategies and action plan.
Well-honed business acumen, proven experience with fiscal management, and the ability to create a sustainable business plan.
Policy experience at the federal and/or state level a significant plus.
A successful track record aligning multiple stakeholders (both internal and external) around a common vision and related strategies.
Proven capacity to convene, collaborate, and partner with state institutions and stakeholders to enact needed change in public policy.
Demonstrated ability to support a Board of Directors in its governance role, fostering its ongoing development, and engaging its members in strategy and evaluation of the organization’s impact.
Exceptional writing and verbal communication skills.
Familiarity with new technologies and databases.
Stellar leadership and organizational management skills, and the ability to foster an outcomes-driven team and a culture of feedback.
Ability to attract and maintain a strong and diverse staff, experience supervising and mentoring experienced personnel.
Credential Engine provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, pregnancy or recent childbirth or related medical condition, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, the use of a guide or support animal because of blindness, deafness or physical handicap of any individual, citizenship, veteran or military status, genetic information, marital status, familial status, domestic or sexual violence victim status, possession of a GED instead of a high school diploma, or any other protected characteristic under applicable federal, state or local laws.
About Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group
On behalf of Credential Engine, Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is working with the Board of Directors to advance the search. Founded in 1984 and recently merged with Marcum, Raffa is, and always has been, a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for nonprofits and socially conscious companies like Credential Engine. Learn more about our work at http://marcumllp.com/industries/nonprofit-social-sector.
Raffa, Marcum’s Nonprofit and Social Sector Group is working with the
Board of Directors to advance the search. Founded in 1984 and recently merged with Marcum,
Raffa is, and always has been, a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for
nonprofits and socially conscious companies.