Chief of Learning Insights and Research

Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S. LEAP launched the country’s most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tool to measure personalized learning practice in the classroom.

Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with 140 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact in the K-12 space by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.


The mission of LEAP Innovations is to transform education nationwide into a uniquely personal experience, designed to prepare, empower and inspire all learners to ignite their unlimited potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and EdTech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.

LEAP is defining and articulating teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning on student achievement. Similarly, from the EdTech side, LEAP aims to help EdTech companies utilize its research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.

LEAP has built a scaffold trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.


The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, unique pathway that is tailored to a student’s needs, strengths,
interests and limitless ambitions.

Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:

Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.

National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.

For additional information about LEAP, please visit:

The Chief of Learning Insights and Research is a new role for LEAP. It has been established with the mandate to balance a near-term need for actionable insights that impact program design with the requirement to conduct long-term research supporting the effectiveness of LEAP’s programming.

This individual will develop and execute on a disciplined agenda for LEAP while overseeing secure data collection processes and the creation of new data instruments (both qualitative and quantitative). He or she will steward and support a team of approximately ten internal staff, as well as consultants and research partners, in their effort to produce high quality, rigorous research constructs – including efficacy, measurement and instrumentation and early-state/exploratory research – that aim to determine the impact of personalized learning practices and tools on student outcomes and drive insights for organizational growth.

The individual in this role will be asked to quickly (within six months) demonstrate the ability to effectively prioritize data analytics and research needs across the organization, in alignment with LEAP’s five-year strategic plan. Qualified candidates must bring a depth of experience in both education research and data science to effectively leverage LEAP’s extensive qualitative and quantitative data sets.

LEAP will also rely on the Chief of Learning Insights and Research to engage in business development activities, including cultivating relationships with existing and potential new partners. He or she will be asked to provide thought leadership as well as evidence around the impact and efficacy of LEAP programs as an effective ambassador for the organization with prospective partners, donors and other leaders in the field. It will be critical for the Chief of Learning Insights and Research to be capable of translating LEAP’s fundamental research findings into an impact narrative that resonates for national discourse and elevates LEAP’s narrative for education policy and practice.

Preference for Chicago, but LEAP can be flexible, if necessary, for an ideal candidate.

Chief Executive Officer


  • Demonstrate nimble thought-leadership to drive and communicate an innovative learning agenda in support of LEAP’s five-year plan;
  • Fine-tune and execute an overall integrated research strategy centered on measuring the impact of the LEAP Learning Framework;
  • Manage a team of approximately ten and the corresponding operating budget, including a sophisticated advisory board and potential research / learning science partnerships;
  • Establish clearly articulated goals and timely deliverables and accountabilities within the learning insights and research team including regular reporting of milestones internally and for external partners/stakeholders;
  • Promulgate a clear insight and the translation of learning science and research findings to actionable student-centered practices and school environments by communicating broadly within LEAP in support of its ongoing work across all functional areas;
  • Advise on and negotiate data sharing agreements with school districts, EdTech companies, charter management organizations, and state departments of education;
  • Lead business development activities, including cultivating relationships with existing and potential new partners, and managing and writing proposals;


The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment where expectations are high for quality and goal achievement within aggressive timeframes. He/she will have the following:


  • Master’s Degree in education research, data science, statistics, economics, or public policy, with a strong focus on quantitative evaluation;
  • Minimum five (5) years of education evaluation or other social science research experience;
  • Demonstrated experience managing and developing a diverse team of analysts and research scientist;
  • Knowledge of existing educational research and resources, including key trends;
  • Demonstrated experience using K-12 education data sets for research purposes;
  • Excellent analytic and problem-solving skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to take a thoughtful and data-driven approach to addressing challenges;
  • Passion for education and social impact;
  • Demonstrated project management skills;
  • Demonstrated comfort with ambiguity;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with cross-functional teams and drive work collaboratively;


  • PhD in education research, data science, statistics, or related field;
  • A minimum of five (5) years working in higher education and three (3) years in corporate sector in a research and development management role;
  • Experience using Chicago Public School data set for research purposes;
  • Experience working in a startup environment;
  • Experience presenting at professional conferences;
  • Experience writing and publishing White Papers.

A competitive compensation package will be designed to attract a superior candidate.

Note: The preceding Position Description represents our best understanding of the needs of the client at the initiation of this project. It is likely that the client will reconfigure the ultimate responsibilities of the target position with respect to the successful candidate’s background and abilities and/or evolving business conditions. The final title and duties of this position will be determined during ensuing discussions and research.

As the search progresses, submission of information concerning professional experience and educational background will be required of potential candidates. The search consultant will assess the suitability of each potential candidate using this information, which must include a complete history of employment experience (names of employers, dates of employment, relevant assignments and accomplishments), educational qualifications (including institutions attended and dates/details of degrees attained), and any other facts that are pertinent to the position. The consideration of individuals for the position will be curtailed if they fail to provide full and truthful written and verbal disclosure of their histories.

Application: Phone inquiries are not accepted. Email your cover letter and resume to to apply. Please include the position name in the subject line of your email.