Executive Director

Oregon Bravo Youth Orchestras - Portland, Oregon

Job Category: Administration (other)

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $85000 - $100000

About Our Organization

Music as a Catalyst for Social Justice

Oregon BRAVO was founded in 2013 as a response to inequities in music education in the Portland Metro Area. BRAVO is one of over 100 organizations in the United States, inspired by El Sistema, an international musical social justice movement founded in Venezuela in 1975.

The BRAVO music program transforms the lives of underserved youth through a variety of music curricula such as creative composition, conducting, orchestra, and bucket band. We cultivate collaboration, promote self-confidence, and create a community where children thrive. The BRAVO community is rich in cultural heritage. The diverse backgrounds and narratives of its members weave a vibrant, multicultural tapestry. There are 18 languages spoken among our students and families.

Job Summary

BRAVO’s Growth

In 2013 BRAVO started a program for second and third graders at Rosa Parks Elementary School. Today, in partnership with Portland Public Schools, BRAVO operates music programs at six schools in the Roosevelt High School cluster. As our student musician population has aged, our program has grown, addressing the need for uninterrupted music education.

BRAVO’s near-term growth goals are to serve every school in the Roosevelt cluster. Our next Executive Director will collaborate with the Board and staff to determine our future trajectory.


Executive Leadership at BRAVO requires the following:

  • Deep belief and demonstrated experience in the transformative power of music in people’s lives.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in recognizing, understanding, and navigating the inequities in our current educational systems in ways that improve equity and meaningful inclusion for underserved students.
  • Exemplary communication skills including public speaking and writing.
  • Skills and demonstrated experience as a leader in building and maintaining productive professional relationships characterized by ethical, honest, and effective communication.
  • Ability and demonstrated experience in implementing effective visionary leadership within an organization with integrity, stakeholder involvement, community collaboration, and accountability.
  • Deep understanding and experience in how the structure and process of education can foster, or inhibit, a child’s creativity, wisdom, and spirit.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how issues related to a child or family’s race, ethnicity, color, national origin, socio-economic class, perception of disabilities, and/or other areas of implicit bias in the larger culture can shape, distort and ultimately render educational processes ineffective and destructive.
  • Commitment and demonstrated experience in working with all community stakeholders to advance social justice through programming.
  • Advanced degree in education, nonprofit management, or other related field of study or commensurate experience.
  • Demonstrated experience leading a department, program, or organization through growth and transition, resulting in a unified team, improved systems, and the ability to better serve constituents.
  • Experience managing a racially and culturally diverse staff, creating an environment where space is made for multiple perspectives.
  • Ability to create an environment where staff are encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work.

Job Qualifications & Requirements

Below is a list of desired skills, abilities, and experience.

Student Retention and Success

  • A demonstrated understanding of the factors that lead to student retention and success in underserved communities.
  • A mastery of cultural competency resulting in the formation of trusting relationships with BRAVO staff, students, and families. 
  • Demonstrated ability to connect and strategize with parents/guardians.
  • Comfortable visiting students’ homes at the family’s convenience.
  • Provide leadership, guidance, and support in the staff’s development of cultural competency.
  • Ability to build authentic relationships with students making them feel seen, heard, and valued.

Family Engagement

  • Experience building successful family engagement in marginalized communities where teachers and parents work together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of students.

Leadership & Team Management

  • Demonstrated experience of inclusive leadership (seeking out and considering different views and perspectives) with awareness of your own biases, for better decision making.
  • A commitment to encourage learning among staff and Board, advocating for the time and resources necessary for meaningful personal and professional growth as it relates to the mission of BRAVO and BRAVO’s solidarity statement.
  • Experience facilitating meetings that foster communication and collaboration to achieve program and organizational goals and outcomes.
  • The ability to collaboratively lead the organization through change as needed to better serve the students, families, and the communities of North Portland.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead to consensus or make decisions in the absence of consensus, considering a variety of perspectives, opinions, and pathways, and to communicate the potential impact of those decisions.

Organizational Strategy

  • Experience creating an inclusive process in order to update BRAVO's strategic plan, mission, vision, and values.  
  • Provide leadership to the board and staff in translating strategic planning priorities into work plans and act as the conduit for Board and staff. communication, reporting progress, roadblocks, and outcomes.
  • A commitment to working closely with the Board President, staff, and committee chairs to foster productive and strategic board meetings.

Collaborative Partnerships

  • Demonstrated experience developing and maintaining mutually supportive relationships with partner organizations. BRAVO currently has relationships with community-based organizations, arts organizations, businesses, schools, government organizations, and funders.
  • regional, and local forums with peer organizations.
  • Ability to attend and effectively represent BRAVO at local, regional, and national events and forums.
  • Commitment to seek out and maintain collaborative relationships with Portland Public Schools and their staff.

Program Evaluation and Outcomes

  • Demonstrated ability to collaboratively develop, implement, and expand BRAVO’s evaluation processes in collaboration with the Evaluation Committee and the evaluation consultant.
  • Ability to provide leadership to the artistic staff in developing evaluation and growth models for teachers around pedagogy, including cultural competency, classroom management, curriculum building, and progress evaluation.

Financial Planning and Management

  • Demonstrated experience managing complex organizational, program or department budgets.
  • Ability to prepare and monitor the annual organizational budget, forecasting variances in expenses and revenue, and course-correcting as necessary, with the support of the Board Treasurer and the Financial Manager.
  • Experience with nonprofit financial management or the ability and commitment to quickly learn nonprofit accounting best practices.


  • Demonstrated experience and comfort with acting as the face of an organization, large team, or program. The Executive Director will accompany members of the Board and staff to key meetings with funders to secure the resources necessary to achieve BRAVO’s mission. 
  • Demonstrated experience with or interest in fundraising.

Additional Details


  • 100% employer covered medical and dental for the employee with the option of adding family members at the employee’s own cost, deducted through payroll
  • 40 hours of sick time per year
  • 10 paid days off per year
  • 11 paid holidays per year
  • Three month sabbatical after 7 years of full-time employment
  • The Board of Directors is currently working on instituting a retirement plan

Work Environment

BRAVO’s wheelchair accessible office is located at 8191 N Lombard Street, #114, Portland, OR 97203. BRAVO adheres to the Governor’s guidelines as related to COVID-19.

Must have the ability to travel efficiently throughout North Portland and the Portland Metro Area.

Requires some work on weekends and evenings.

Other Information

Black Lives Matter. BRAVO and has made the following statement and commitment to stand with their community.

BRAVO stands in solidarity with the Black community in North Portland
and Black communities everywhere. Black lives matter.
The safety of our children and their families matter.

BRAVO honors those who have been murdered including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop and countless others.

Through this painful time for our students, families, and city, we remain committed to social change and to sustaining a community where children can thrive.
We encourage our students to participate in their communities in alignment with their values, talents, passions, and abilities.

We stand for our students and their families. We stand for Black and Brown people.
We stand for justice.

How to Apply

Application Instructions

Please submit your chronological resume, cover letter, answer to the application question and attach them in an email to lara@rosecityphilanthropy.com.

Application Question

Please include your answer in your application documents.

The successful candidate for the BRAVO Executive Director position needs to provide leadership to the organization in keeping the promise of BRAVO’s solidarity statement to our children, and their families and communities. Using the job description for this position, please list at least five responsibilities of the Executive Director that you see as directly related to fulfilling this promise and explain the connections you see. In each case, please describe how your past leadership experience has prepared you to carry out these responsibilities for BRAVO.