Institute for Educational Advancement


Institute for Educational Advancement
Pasadena, CA
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The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is a national nonprofit dedicated to the intellectual, creative, and personal growth of our nation’s gifted and high-potential youth.  Central to the mission of IEA is a commitment to the development of the whole child through engaging educational experiences that promote optimal challenge, mentorship, exploration of ideas, and recognition of personal potential.  IEA seeks to connect like-minded individuals through dynamic and engaging year-round programming and supports a diverse community that creates a sense of belonging and affirmation. 

Since its founding in 1998, IEA has believed that every child deserves access to the most appropriate educational opportunities and individual support they need to thrive and pursue their full intellectual and personal potential. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading organizations supporting the needs of gifted youth, IEA provides a robust array of services and has supported over 11,600 students nationwide since its inception. The organization is focused on transforming the lives of advanced learners by identifying and serving intellectually curious and creative thinkers of all backgrounds in a safe learning environment.

IEA’s approach is based on the knowledge that an optimal match is the ideal learning method for the gifted student. IEA believes that, in order to fully actualize their abilities, highly able students require strong academic and personal development programs provided by skilled educators, administrators, and professionals.  IEA is not limited to one approach to learning, but seeks the best strategy for each individual student, school, or school district.  Valuing the person above the test score, IEA is committed to the whole child, inspiring students to grow and find balance among all five aspects of self: intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical.  IEA balances the need for academic success with other tools, including teaching children what it means to be gifted to ensure they thrive in all aspects of life and grow into their best and most realized selves.

IEA programs and services include:


Year-round enrichment classes that promote exploration and application of knowledge. Courses provide compelling content and appropriate challenges taught at a flexible pace with small classes by highly qualified instructors.

Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship

One of the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarships for highly gifted youth nationwide. Scholars receive a four-year scholarship to an optimally matched high school program, as well as individualized support and a network of like-minded peers.

Yunasa Summer Camp

Led by eminent experts in the field of gifted youth, Yunasa is a fun summer camp experience held in Colorado and Michigan. Camp includes traditional camp activities and workshops to assist advanced learners in understanding the unique joys and challenges they face.

Gifted Support Group

Group meetings, webinars and talks led by experts in the field of gifted education aimed at supporting and educating families of advanced learners.

Gifted Resource Center

A searchable database of hundreds of resources nationwide such as scholarships, tutoring, schools and more.

For more information about IEA, please visit


After more than 25 years of service, Co-Founder and President of IEA, Elizabeth Jones will transition from her role as President to Senior Advisor starting later this year. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading organizations for gifted and talented youth, IEA is well-positioned to benefit from a strategic, impact-oriented and mission-driven leader as its next President to shepherd and grow the organization through the next 25+ years of serving the community of gifted students who seek to understand their intellectual and creative gifts.

Through a collaborative approach with the Board of Directors, staff and partners, the President will help shape IEA’s future and lead the organization toward achievement of its mission and the following goals:

  • Serve as a catalyst for identifying and implementing the best practices for teaching highly able youth;
  • Advance public knowledge and understanding of the need to enable and nurture society’s most able-minded students;
  • Support the needs of highly able youth by training teachers, informing parents, and identifying and soliciting the participation of mentors for exceptionally gifted students;
  • Create partnerships with individuals, foundations, nonprofit organizations; businesses, and universities to support the development of highly able students who will advance society as a whole;
  • Encourage each gifted student to pursue his or her full intellectual and personal potential and develop respect for individual differences; and
  • Take a leadership role in policymaking for gifted youth throughout the nation.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President oversees the 15-member full-time staff, numerous seasonal staff, an annual operating budget of approximately $2 million, and a $6 million scholarship program budget. In addition to serving as the primary spokesperson and advocate on behalf of IEA and the children and families it serves, the President is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, strategic goals, and fund development/financial objectives, helping to sustain and expand upon IEA’s legacy of service. 

The President supervises and empowers the organization’s staff and assists the Board in fulfilling its governance functions, ensuring that the Board, staff, and key stakeholders are working to achieve a common vision and purpose. While providing visionary and inspirational leadership and ensuring the financial health of the organization, the President leads long-range planning, board relations, staff development, fund development, external relations, and provides programmatic planning and oversight. As such, the President must be a compelling and motivating presence for the IEA staff, Board, children and families served, as well as for external stakeholders such as individual donors, institutional funders, and community partners.   

Specific duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to: 

Program Strategy & Leadership 

  • In partnership with the Board, staff and IEA community, lead the development and fulfillment of the organization’s strategic direction, consistent with its vision, mission and culture.
  • Ensure that IEA’s programs and services meet the operational and shared strategic goals of the organization. Work with staff and Board to assess current services and programs and provide thought leadership to continuously improve their delivery and impact. 

Fund Development 

  • In partnership with the development staff, create and fulfill the annual development plan and effective strategies to ensure growth in organizational fundraising and increased financial sustainability. 
  • Provide thought leadership and support to build and enhance a diverse range of funding sources. 
  • Leverage contacts and resources to expand the donor/resource base. 
  • Participate in the year-round identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors through meaningful and individualized contact. 

Management & Staff Development 

  • Strengthen effective organizational structure and work closely with leadership to attract, hire, and retain a diverse and talented staff.   
  • Help to create and foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment with a positive and supportive team culture that values collaboration, cohesion, staff well-being, transparent communication, integrity, ethics, and values. 

Financial Oversight & Administration 

  • In partnership with the Board of Directors, maintain primary accountability for the financial integrity and viability of the organization including overseeing fiscal management and developing budgets; monitoring appropriate financial compliance, reporting, and auditing; and providing the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets, and other property. 
  • Devise and implement effective strategies for financial stability and growth. 
  • Oversee operations, including human resources, facilities, technology, equipment, and risk management. 

Board Relations  

  • Facilitate and promote timely Board communication, including reporting on the organization’s operations, fiscal health, and strategic and operational issues. 
  • Support the Board in fulfilling its governance function. 
  • Promote an environment that is conducive to transparency, good governance, and productive Board work. 
  • Work with Board Nominations Committee to identify Board candidates to further diversify membership and expand the Board’s collective commitment to meeting the needs of the IEA community. 

External Relations & Communications 

  • Ensure that IEA is consistently presented with a strong, positive image by serving as a spokesperson for the organization, clearly articulating its mission, vision, programs, services, and impact on the children and families served. 


Competitive candidates will bring a track record of excellence in positions of increasing responsibility, ideally within a nonprofit organization recognized for its work on behalf of gifted children. Individuals with experience in K-12 education, informal education, academia, public policy, associations, or other educational organizations who demonstrate an understanding of the work of IEA combined with a compelling commitment to the organization’s mission and programs are encouraged to apply.

In addition to demonstrated leadership abilities, competencies in the following areas are expected: 

  • Strategy and programmatic development
  • Culture building and change management
  • Talent development
  • Community engagement
  • Communications and advocacy
  • Fundraising and donor cultivation
  • Board development
  • Financial management 

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be a visionary and inspiring leader.
  • Possess exceptional communication and relationship-building skills, and the ability to connect with diverse internal and external stakeholders to the organization.
  • Convey a personal passion for serving gifted children and their families.
  • Exhibit empathy, humility, compassion, integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, and fairness.
  • Bring demonstrated experience with and a strong commitment to applying an equity lens to their work and a track record of centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access as organizational values.
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of IEA’s work and the ability to effectively communicate its vision and impact to broad audiences.
  • Foster collaboration, trust, and transparent communication through an open and empowering leadership style.
  • Inspire and mentor teams, combining a strategic perspective with effective execution of day-to-day priorities.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, financial acumen, organizational skills, and logical priority-setting abilities.

An advanced degree and/or studies related to education are strongly preferred. However, candidates bringing demonstrated expertise in gifted education or a successful track record serving in a leadership position of an organization similar to IEA will also be considered.


The annual salary range for this position is $250,000 to $300,000 plus benefits. Relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable.

IEA staff are currently working on a hybrid in-person/remote schedule. The Executive Director is expected to be based in the greater Los Angeles area and have a regular in-person presence in the office.


IEA is an advocate for all gifted students.  Giftedness occurs in every culture and every ethnic and social group, and IEA participants are diverse.  IEA is committed to ensuring that all gifted youth, regardless of cultural background, ethnicity, national origin, race, faith, ideology, income, educational background, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation have the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.

As an organization, IEA celebrates differences.  IEA teaches tolerance, respect and acceptance for all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or background.  IEA hopes to inspire change in our nation by modeling integrity, respect and understanding.  IEA strives to offer a welcoming space for conversation and healing, a space where uniqueness is honored, and discrimination and violence are never tolerated.

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