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Position Opening - MN STEM Ecosystem Founding Director

Position Summary: The Southeast Service Cooperative, with its Minnesota STEM Ecosystem partners, is hiring a Founding Director for the MN STEM Ecosystem. The Founding Director will be responsible for three primary objectives in their first 18 months: 1) Create a statewide map that outlines STEM Ecosystem and STEM pathways efforts, opportunity and stakeholders by region; 2) Develop a vision and roadmap for a statewide network of regional STEM hubs; and 3) Lead resource development and planning to sustain the MN STEM Ecosystems Director position and regional system.  

Initiative Summary: The number of STEM jobs is expected to grow at a faster rate than the rate of non-STEM jobs over the next decade, both in Minnesota and in the U.S. as a whole (MN Compass, Wilder Foundation).  In addition, women and Black, Indigenous and other People of Color are underrepresented in STEM fields. The goal of a Minnesota STEM Ecosystem is to close the STEM opportunity gap among Minnesota K-16 students and increase the number of young people, especially women and underrepresented young People of Color, choosing and entering STEM fields. Development of a MN STEM Ecosystem is a concept of the Minnesota STEM Funders Network, a community of stakeholders advancing the importance of STEM across education, nonformal learning, and workforce development sectors.  Visioning and launch partners for the MN STEM Ecosystem also includes Greater Twin Cities United Way, Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota Department of Education, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Southeast Service Cooperative. The Director position will be responsible for broadening engagement to additional stakeholders and partners.  

The MN STEM Ecosystem will leverage existing regional STEM “hub” and STEM pathway efforts across the state to expand STEM Ecosystem efforts to additional regions of the state.  The Founding Director position will be housed at The Southeast Service Cooperative, home of STEM Forward, in order to encourage coordination and expansion.  The position can work virtually and does not need to reside in the Rochester area.  The MN STEM Ecosystem will serve as the central “connection hub” for regional coordination efforts in order to ensure statewide impact.  Strategies include: 

  • Increasing collaboration across public and private STEM sectors and stakeholder groups; 
  • Coordinating and leveraging regional leadership that ensures excellence in STEM education, afterschool and summer learning, and workforce development;  
  • Build awareness and excitement for STEM and public appreciation of its importance to Minnesota’s future; and 
  • Advance policy and systems alignment solutions that improve STEM pathways, coordination, and learning.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Lead development of and finalize MN STEM Ecosystem mission, vision and values through a collaborative process with stakeholders and advance a viable model for statewide coordination and collaboration (e.g. regional STEM hubs/coordinating bodies); 
  • Set and build buy-in for a collective strategic direction for a MN STEM Ecosystem;  
  • Build, foster, and maintain positive and action-oriented relationships with key stakeholders statewide that advance Ecosystem goals (e.g. leaders in business, healthcare, higher education, K-12 education, out-of-school learning and STEM nonprofits, workforce development, state agencies); 
  • Provide staff coordination of, engage, and further develop a MN STEM Ecosystem Steering Committee or Leadership Group and plan and facilitate other partnership and stakeholder meetings;
  • Set and manage budget that aligns with MN STEM Ecosystem goals and lead fundraising to support the MN STEM Ecosystem;
  • Create and keep an updated statewide map that outlines STEM Ecosystem and STEM pathways efforts, opportunities and stakeholders by region;
  • Develop, coordinate and/or lead technical assistance, training, and other supports for regional leaders building regional STEM hubs; 
  • Identify policy misalignments and conduct and communicate policy analysis and recommendations;
  • Lead issue education and communication efforts that elevate the importance of STEM education, pathways and coordination;
  • Coordinate advocacy for policies that align with MN STEM Ecosystem goals;
  • Develop and execute evaluation of network activities towards goals and outcomes. 

Priority Characteristics: 

  • Commitment to and passion for building an equitable STEM ecosystem that addresses disparities  
  • Ability to inspire action toward shared goals among diverse stakeholder groups
  • Ability to build and sustain varied and complex relationships across many partners and ability to identify shared self-interests across partners
  • Knowledge and commitment for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and how it applies to STEM awareness, education and career opportunities 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Strong commitment to and passion for STEM education
  • Networks and relationships across educational, corporate, and philanthropic partners engaged/interested in STEM 
  • Personal and professional integrity
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, creative, and innovative

Priority Qualifications and Experience: 

  • At least 3 years of senior/director-level management or intermediary experience 
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate and nurture collaborative and partnered efforts
  • Demonstrated ability to build cross-sector partnerships and lead systems building efforts
  • Experience launching new initiatives and building them to sustainability
  • Knowledge of STEM education, STEM-related programming and STEM-related initiatives and efforts

Preferred Qualification and Experience: 

  • Working in STEM education, out-of-school learning, outreach and/or managing STEM-related programs  
  • Experience in organizational management with the ability to manage and develop high-performance teams, set, and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget 
  • Experience working with committees and/or a board of directors with the ability to cultivate existing committee/board member relationships 
  • Strong communications and public relations experience 
  • Experience with budget development and fundraising
  • Experience in public policy and/or advocacy 
  • Preferred experience designing and managing data-driven program evaluation 
  • College with advanced degree (e.g., MBA, MSW, MS, MPP, or another relevant field) 

Salary: Compensation package will include salary and benefits, including health coverage and retirement savings. A base salary of $80,000+ is anticipated, commensurate with experience.

Southeast Service Cooperative is located in Rochester, MN but this position may work virtually, and it is not required that the Director reside in the Rochester area. Ability to engage in occasional travel around the state and to attend statewide convenings is required. This is an ongoing position with the first 18-months of salary secured and a goal to continue the position upon successful fundraising efforts. 

Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and cover letter by February 10, 2023 to Amy Grover, Associate Director, Southeast Service Cooperative, at  SSC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Learn more at