WIDA Executive Director

  • Full Time
  • Madison

Website University of Wisconsin

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Category: Research
  • Employment Type: Onsite
  • Employment Type: Staff-Full Time
  • Application Period Opens: Jun 5 2024 at 1:45 PM CDT
  • Apply By: Sep 6 2024 at 11:55 PM CDT

Job Summary:

The Executive Director will join WIDA following many years of growth and will sustain the organization’s excellence through a significant transition in leadership. Since its founding, WIDA has expanded and improved its comprehensive system of assessments and instructional support for educators of multilingual learners and has grown from three to 150 employees with annual revenues of $90 million. The WIDA Consortium has grown from three to 40+ member states, territories, and federal agencies. WIDA carries considerable name recognition and is positioned to play a meaningful role in influencing state and federal multilingual education policy through its Executive Director.

The Executive Director will lead WIDA’s senior management team and serve as the organization’s leading spokesperson to the global assessment community as well as WIDA’s member states. In addition, the Executive Director will promote high-functioning decision-making, purposeful collaboration, strategic planning, and project prioritization and will help build a culture of trust, equity, and inclusion across the organization.


Provides overall scientific leadership, strategic planning, oversight of finances, and day-to-day management of all aspects of a formal university interdisciplinary research center/institute. Reports to Provost, Vice Chancellor, Dean, or other institutional leadership position.

  • 5% Provides leadership and vision for a research environment that accommodates a diverse range of activities related to the mission of the center/institute
  • 15% Creates a scientific climate that fosters creativity, collaboration, and productivity in research, and ensures the scientific success of the center/institute
  • 15% Maintains knowledge of significant developments in scientific fields relevant to the research mission of the center/institute
  • 15% Represents the center/institute in national and international domains
  • 20% Identifies, develops, and directs all center/institute activities to maximize efficiencies and align operations with overall strategy and mission
  • 10% Develops and audits the unit budget in accordance with established rules and regulations
  • 20% Exercises supervisory authority, including hiring, transferring, suspending, promoting, managing conduct and performance, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, and/or approving hours worked of at least 2.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees

Institutional Statement on Diversity:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Diversity and Inclusion


Master’s Degree
The successful candidate will hold a master’s degree, preferably in education, linguistics, business, or a related field. Candidates with a Ph.D. or Ed.D are strongly encouraged to apply.


– At least 7 years of management experience effectively leading a performance- and mission-based organization; ability to cite specific examples of having developed and operationalized organizational strategies that align with mission;
– Excellence in organizational management and demonstrated ability to coach staff; manage and develop high-performance teams; and manage a complex budget;
– Excellent professional judgment managing change and conflict resolution;
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; elevated level of skill managing communication strategies with stakeholders, particularly in making complex topics external-facing and accessible;
– Demonstrated commitment to and experience with equity, diversity, and inclusion;
– Leadership experience in the field of PreK-12 domestic education;
– Knowledge about/experience with national education policy and implications for multilingual learner education, language development, language proficiency assessments, and teacher professional development;
– Knowledge of and experience making strategic decisions for large-scale education-related assessment development and delivery systems;
– Experience analyzing current research and industry trends to improve organizational products and practices;
– Experience leading major product releases and enhancements;
– A willingness to engage in and deepen knowledge of WIDA’s Social Justice value;
– Multilingual or bilingual/biliterate.

Work Type:

Full Time: 100%

It is anticipated this position requires work be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location.

Appointment Type, Duration:



Minimum $225,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
Depending on Qualifications
This position offers a comprehensive benefits package, including generous paid time off, competitively priced health/dental/vision/life insurance, tax-advantaged savings accounts, and participation in the nationally recognized Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) pension fund. For a summary of benefits, please see: https://hr.wisc.edu/benefits/  https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/download/fasl.pdf.

Additional Information:

What is WIDA? For over 20 years, WIDA has provided a trusted, comprehensive approach to supporting, teaching, and assessing multilingual learners. We are an educational services organization that advances language development and academic achievement for multilingual children in early childhood and grades K-12. In short, we provide educators around the world with high-quality language standards, assessments, professional learning, and research. We are proud to be a part of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) within UW-Madison’s nationally ranked School of Education. Visit https://wida.wisc.edu/about/careers and watch our Introduction to WIDA video to see why WIDA is an incredible place to work!

WIDA values linguistic and cultural diversity both as an end and a means for success in the field of education. As such, we strongly encourage applications from a diverse pool of candidates. For more information on WIDA’s Mission and Values, please visit https://wida.wisc.edu/about/mission-history.

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), established in 1964, is one of the first, most productive, and largest university-based education research and development centers in the world. WCER’s researchers and staff work to make teaching and learning as effective as possible for all ages and all people. WCER’s mission is to improve educational outcomes for diverse student populations, impact education practice positively and foster collaborations among academic disciplines and practitioners. To this end, our center helps scholars and practitioners develop, submit, conduct, and share grant-funded education research.

WCER’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison and The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). Individual differences and group diversity inspire creative and equitable outcomes. WCER actively affirms values and seeks to increase diversity in our everyday interactions, practices, and policies.

For more information and news about our center, please go to https://wcer.wisc.edu/.

How to Apply:

Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be sent in strict confidence to:

Jeff Kessner, Partner
Diana Carmona, Senior Associate Isaacson, Miller


Kelly Krahenbuhl
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1. See RELAY_SERVICE for further information.

Official Title:

Research Center Director(RE105)



Employment Class:


Job Number:


The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, including but not limited to, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, or status as a protected veteran and other bases as defined by federal regulations and UW System policies. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. For more information regarding applicant and employee rights and to view federal and state required postings, click here

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request at the following website: https://employeedisabilities.wisc.edu/disability-accommodation-information-for-applicants/

Employment may require a criminal background check. It may also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.

To apply for this job please visit jobs.wisc.edu.

Atlas Counseling
DCHS - Foster

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This