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catalyst:ed network of education professionals

Our Summer Selection cycle will open on May 29, 2018. If you are interested in applying, please sign up below and we will notify you via email once it opens.

Catalyst:Ed was founded on the premise that we can catalyze impact and improve outcomes for all young people by leveraging the best education expertise to solve the most pressing challenges. We have had the privilege of getting to know over 470 outstanding education leaders and subject matter experts who form our expert network. Each of them brings deep expertise vital to the effectiveness and dynamism of our education ecosystem and a strong desire to live a life of purpose and impact. We’ve watched in awe as they’ve rolled up their sleeves and helped schools, schools systems, nonprofits and grantmakers complete critical projects and address major challenges. And we’ve deepened our resolve to identify the best and most diverse talent in education and amplify their impact so we can together help our educators, families and kids. Learn more about our model and impact here.


Questions about our model? Please review our FAQs page here. You may also email us at with any additional questions.

selection criteria

What we look for: 

  • A deep commitment to working in education and serving all students, especially students from low-income families.
  • Strong expertise in one or more areas relevant to K-12 education (here is a non-exhaustive list of project areas where clients reach out to us for support).
  • Track records of success at high-performing organizations.
  • Alignment with our values.

How we define core expertise: We encourage applicants to reflect on the areas in which they have developed true mastery. Here are some questions to help you identify areas of core expertise:

  • Experience: Have I worked on this domain area for a significant length of time (we look for at least two years of experience in the area) and ideally in multiple contexts?
  • Growth: Have I made my mistakes and learned from them? Am I driven to continuously learn and improve in this area?
  • Impact: Can I point to evidence of the impact that I've had through my work in this area? 
  • Applicability of learnings: Will I be able to apply my learnings from one context to another context? 
  • Comfort: Am I confident in my knowledge and expertise so that I can guide others, ask questions and encourage calculated risk-taking?

Here's a rule of thumb: For any given area, a "yes" to all or most of these questions indicates that you've identified an area of core expertise. If you've answered "yes" to only some of the questions, then you've likely identified an area of emerging expertise. We're interested in learning about both, but we encourage you to differentiate between them during the application process!

Our commitment to diversity: We believe that diversity leads to better - more creative and more robust - solutions and are committed to building a network of experts that is reflective of the diversity of our nation and the students we serve. Our expert network is steadily becoming more diverse - 50% of the experts who joined our network in our last two selection cycles were people of color and 60% were women.

Know someone who would be a good fit for the Catalyst:Ed network? Refer them here, and we'll let them know when the selection cycle opens.


Application PROCESS

  • Online application: Use the application form to tell us about your skills and experiences and how they have equipped you to serve students.
  • Interview: Schedule a video interview with a Catalyst:Ed team member.
  • Professional references: Provide contact details of three references who know you professionally and can speak to your skills and capabilities. Catalyst:Ed connects with references by phone and email - these conversations help us pinpoint your expertise, understand the contexts that you thrive in and determine whether you're a good fit for our network.
  • Notification: If you're selected, you'll receive an email welcoming you into the network.


Application deadline: Our Summer Selection cycle will open on May 29 and close on June 28. If you are interested in applying during our next cycle, please sign up above and we will notify you via email once it opens.

Policies regarding firms: Project Directors/Partners at consulting firms may apply as the expert on behalf of their firm. If selected, we expect the Project Director/Partner to serve in a lead role on any projects matched through Catalyst:Ed. More than one expert from a firm can apply to the network.

informational Webinar

Catalyst:Ed hosted an informational webinar for education professionals interested in applying to our network earlier this year. This recording gives you an introduction to our team, our mission and our expert network application process. The webinar is relatively short (~30 minutes) with an additional Q&A session at the end of about 15 minutes.

Questions? Please email us at if you need assistance.