Senior Manager, Operations

National University


In 2014 National University launched the Sanford Education Center (SEC), with a mission to create positive societal change by training educators to deliver inspirational programs and serve worldwide needs and developing effective nonprofit leaders. The center is comprised of three major initiatives:

  • Harmony SEL:the largest of our three programs, Harmony is a social and emotional learning program for pre-K-6 grade students designed to foster communication, connection, and community both in and outside the classroom and develop young people into compassionate and caring adults.
  • Inspire Teaching & Learning: our mission is to empower educators with research-based knowledge and classroom-tested tools and practices, so they can inspire students to achieve academic and social success. Inspire offers more than 70 free, on-demand courses to support teacher training in the areas of social and emotional learning and inspirational instruction in the pre-K-12 classroom.
  • Fundraising Academy:we prepare nonprofits and their fundraisers for greater, measurable impact by providing learning opportunities designed to enhance their cause, their communities, and the world. Through peer-to-peer instruction, our participants develop time-tested, relationship-building skills they can apply to their organizations now and in the future.


National University is breaking barriers in education. As a growing network of nonprofit educational institutions, we’re united in our mission to build a better future for our 41,000 students and more than 3,300 employees. Along with our 190+ career-relevant degree programs and innovative four-week course structure, we also provide meaningful support services designed to help our students succeed in the classroom, at work, at home, and beyond.

SEC is an extremely unique organization within National University – we see ourselves as an entrepreneurial start-up business thriving within a large academic institution. Since our launch, we have helped over 24,000 classrooms nationwide to develop strategies that benefit children socially, emotionally, and educationally. The COVID pandemic has increased our mission’s urgency, accelerating our rate of innovation and transition to a fully digital platform.

This position reports to SEC’s Senior Director, Richie Ressel. A former educator and nonprofit founder, Richie joined National University in 2018 and has served as the Director of Harmony SEL and Inspire Teaching & Learning, helping to promote social and emotional learning and inspirational teaching practices worldwide. Richie now serves as the Sr. Director of the Innovation Center for Harmony, Inspire, and the Fundraising Academy. A lifelong learner, Richie is now completing his Doctorate in Organizational Innovation at National University.


  • Salary – $100,000-$107,000
  • Medical, dental, vision, life, AD&D, and disability insurance
  • 403(b) retirement plan with an employer match
  • Tuition waiver
  • PTO: 10 paid days off, 96 hours paid sick leave, 11 paid holidays plus winter recess
  • Flexible spending accounts and health saving accounts
  • Emotional and mental health benefits


This hybrid role will work at least 1-2 days per week from National University’s new corporate headquarters located at 9980 Carroll Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA 92131.


This new role will oversee Sanford Education Center’s (SEC) business operations and organizational effectiveness, similar to a COO position in a larger organization. They will serve as the central hub of the department, improving communication, expediting projects, and bringing people together. They will manage two to four direct reports. Working across almost every part of the organization, the Senior Manager will focus on two strategic areas:

  1. Leveraging technology to improve everything we do.
  2. Optimizing business operations and workflows to support our expansion AND create a workplace environment where we can all be at our best.

Priority areas for the Senior Manager over the initial 12 months include:

  • Operations:take a hard look at our organization, mapping our operations to conduct an assessment/inventory of our current capabilities. Where are we now, and where do we need to be to achieve our growth plans?
  • Project Management:triage requests and initiatives to ensure work stays on schedule and nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Technology:lead the rollout of our new Amplify project management platform.
  • Training:oversee the adoption of the new system, ensuring it is user-friendly and effective in supporting staff with their individual responsibilities.
  • Compliance:codify our systems, procedures, and processes for training, consistency, and compliance purposes: how do we run our business better?
  • Data and reporting:review our current systems and procedures – are they adequate to meet the needs of our senior leadership?

The Senior Manager will be a highly visible role within SEC, helping us perform at our best by identifying opportunities for sustainable growth and innovation. They will serve as a thought partner and sounding board to senior leadership and play a significant role in strategic planning for a rapidly growing organization.


Technology Management

  • Oversee the implementation of new technology systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM) systems. Ensure seamless integration with existing systems and collaborate with cross-functional teams to facilitate a smooth transition.
  • Support a comprehensive technology strategy aligned with the overall operational objectives of the organization. Identify opportunities to leverage technology to improve operational efficiency, streamline processes, and enhance productivity.
  • Utilize data analytics tools and techniques to extract meaningful insights from operational data. Generate reports and dashboards to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide actionable recommendations to enhance operational processes and decision-making.

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of shared services through improvements to each function (HR, IT, Finance) as well as coordination and communication between functions.
  • Provide timely advice on matters related to fundraising, tax and insurance questions, and business structure and growth.

Financial Management

  • Provide support in developing and managing the annual operational budget.
  • Oversee monthly and quarterly assessments and forecasts of the organization’s financial performance, including short and long-term financial and managerial reporting.
  • Manage day-to-day processing of accounts receivables and payables using QuickBooks.
  • Reconcile monthly activity, generate year-end reports, fulfill tax-related requirements and expense reports, and manage contracts and reimbursement requests.
  • Administer payroll, employee benefits, and organizational insurance.
  • Ensure that accounting requests are resolved and communicated in a timely manner to internal and external parties.


  • Strong organization and prioritization skills with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously and with a keen eye for detail; highly proactive; motivated, with a positive personality and excellent follow-through.
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and a diverse workplace.
  • Flexible, adaptive, and enjoys working in a fast, fluid startup environment.
  • Tech savvy with experience managing/rolling out technology platforms and initiatives.
  • Experience in operations management, project management, and implementing best practices for organizational effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with budget development, financial reporting, and oversight.
  • Hands-on experience and proven results managing staff groups and major projects or initiatives.
  • Experience in K-12 or youth development organizations would be very helpful. 



All employees and new hires are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 unless otherwise exempted.


Shira Jacobs, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101