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Internal Application: Senior Director, Education, Humanitarian Programs

International Social Impact | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Sesame Workshop is seeking an experienced Senior Director, Education, Humanitarian Programs. His/her work will focus on Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian initiatives, supporting programming for children and caregivers in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) and Bangladesh. The position is based in New York, NY, with travel to the Middle East and Bangladesh as needed. The Senior Director, Education will be responsible for designing and managing all education-related activities for a large-scale early childhood development program that leverages the power of play-based learning to achieve measurable outcomes for children.

The right candidate will have a proven track record developing nuanced and well-researched educational frameworks targeting both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, and creating and reviewing multimedia educational content against specified learning objectives. 

Responsibilities Include:

Content Leadership

  • Develop and execute content strategy and intervention design for humanitarian initiatives, working collaboratively with Sesame Workshop project teams (project management, production, content research) and external partners
  • Lead the alignment of curricula and content with intended project outcomes, working closely with the Content Research Department to support iterative project improvements
  • Manage a team to develop and drive education strategy, including content, program design, project direction, and new project development responsibilities
  • Lead and oversee the development of workshop training, facilitation, and intervention guides, and plan and deliver workshops and trainings, in partnership with the program team and partners
  • Serve as the focal point for in-country internal and external partners and stakeholders

Program Direction

  • Plan, implement, and track educational interventions in humanitarian settings that are informed by Sesame Workshop experience, desk research, and needs assessment data, collaborating with Sesame teams and partners
  • Monitor program activities, in collaboration with implementing partners and research team, to ensure that education interventions are implemented according to program design
  • Recruit and manage education consultants, defining their scope of work, managing quality of deliverables, and serving as their liaison with Sesame Workshop, implementing partners, and research teams
  • Design and oversee implementation of annual content advisory workshops
  • Lead response and course-correction for educational content challenges that emerge through formative research and monitoring, applying collaborative, flexible, and practical thinking

External Representation

  • Elevate the profile of Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian work through strategic engagement with external stakeholders
  • Help to strategically select and participate in senior forums in ECD, humanitarian response, and other relevant areas
  • Represent Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian programs at external events such as conferences, stakeholder meetings, and conference calls



  • 10+ years of professional experience in designing and delivering early childhood education programs, parenting programs, and/or related services in low-resource, emergency, and post-emergency settings
  • Doctoral degree in International Education, International Development, or related field; or Master’s degree with significant corresponding professional experience
  • Professional experience working with refugee and displaced populations
  • Deep understanding of the humanitarian sector, particularly early childhood development and/or child protection
  • Deep knowledge of the research and evidence base for ECD and education in emergencies
  • Demonstrated ability to work in highly matrixed project team with a sense of urgency
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage teams and partners
  • Excellent organizational skills, including keen attention to detail and the ability to manage time effectively, track and follow-up on various tasks, and multi-task
  • Excellent communication and relationship management skills
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Office, file transfer and sharing technology, and web-based communication and call tools
  • Willingness to travel to and work in low-resource settings (up to 25%)
  • Ability to work effectively in multi-cultural settings, including respect for and interest in leveraging varied approaches to ECD and education


  • Experience in broadcasting and/or media production
  • Experience working in humanitarian settings (experience in Syria response region or Rohingya response region a plus)
  • Familiarity with InDesign and/or Adobe Illustrator
  • Knowledge of one or more foreign languages

Program Information

Sesame Workshop has been awarded a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation to support a new early childhood development initiative for millions of children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian refugee crises. The 5-year program will leverage the power of learning through play, providing communities affected by refugee crises access to vital early learning opportunities. Together with BRAC and the IRC, we will reach displaced and host community children and their caregivers in Bangladesh and the Syrian response region through direct services and mass media programming. The program will also include robust research and advocacy components aimed at identifying best practices for play-based learning in humanitarian response and encouraging sustainable investment in early childhood development.