Senior Program Manager

Position: Senior Program Manager, System Reform
Location: Ahmedabad (Gandhinagar)

Founded in 2012, Central Square Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic foundation working with the vision of ensuring quality school education for all children in India. We are driven by our mission to transform the school education system with a focus on improving the learning outcomes of children, especially from low-income communities.

We believe that effective foundational learning is essential for better learning outcomes of all children in school. Development of foundational literacy and numeracy skills by Class 3 can help children progress to higher levels of learning which is an essential building block for creating equal access to opportunities needed for leading a better life.

In order to achieve this, we partner with individuals and social impact organizations to bring innovative solutions in education, as well as work with the government to drive systemic impact. We also collaborate with the ecosystem to leverage knowledge and create proven tools around critical issues such as early learning, technology in education, classroom instruction methods and governance.

Position Summary:

Our State projects are aimed at working with the Education Department on top-down, large-scale, systemic reform projects with the goal of improving student learning outcomes. When we engage with a State, we conduct a thorough diagnostic exercise to identify and prioritize the critical interventions necessary for improving the quality of education. Our team supports the State on design and implementation of these interventions, while also strengthening governance and other key enablers that are critical for reform. These interventions can focus on academics and pedagogy, while also improving key enablers, improving the administration and governance structures, and making the Education system more accountable to outcomes and performance.

We have partnered with the Education Department of Gujarat on a long-term engagement for system reform and have set up a team in Ahmedabad. The team leads the diagnostic, design and implementation phase of key reform initiatives in partnership with the State Government. The Senior Program Manager, State Transformation would be based in Ahmedabad, lead the relationship with the State and manage the CSF staff members in Ahmedabad.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead the planning and design of all activities required for the diagnostic, analyze the findings and design the roadmap in collaboration with Education Department.
  • Support the State Government and members of the Education Department to design, implement, monitor and track the initiatives planned under the roadmap.
  • Prepare strategic roadmaps and implementation plans with goals and milestones.
  • Set-up project management processes and guidelines and ensure that all activities are driving towards the defined goals.
  • Create internal alignment between different interventions
  • Coordinate with external stakeholders (NGOs, experts, other States). Facilitate conversations, setup and manage partnerships to leverage the best support for the State government
  • The team will work closely with the senior bureaucrats at the State level and members of the Education Department. The team will be assisted by CSF’s issue teams, other partners in our network and national/ international experts and advisors.

Required Qualifications, Skills and Abilities:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in relevant fields, including management, economics, or public policy
  • 8 to 10 years of work experience with managerial responsibilities, demonstrating superb project delivery and team leadership
  • Experience in growing and managing team members
  • Excellent problem-solving and strategic thinking skills, ability to analyze complex qualitative and quantitative data, craft possible solutions and recommend actions
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills (ability to communicate complex ideas in a meaningful way), ability to manage projects and lead teams
  • Ability to build and maintain positive and collaborative relationships both within and outside the organization
  • Ability to work independently and proactively, without support staff and with little supervision
  • Strong planning and organizational skills, and an ability to be able to set priorities, plan timelines and meet deadlines
  • Prior exposure to either education sector, public sector, development sector, or consulting is desirable.

Desired Qualities:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Operating style suited to working in a small-organization setting, where teamwork and resourcefulness are highly valued
  • Excellent leadership skills, including ability to manage multiple projects at a time


Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy pay scales and will depend upon the candidate’s experience levels.


Interested candidates can click on the Application Form and fill the required details in the form.