Jass Stewart has earned a reputation for being a strategic thinker, a consensus builder, and a hands-on manager who knows how to get ideas, products, and policy to market.
Throughout his career, he has launched major public policy initiatives in association with national education and media campaigns, provided strategic training to community groups to build their on-the-ground leadership capacity, and engaged hundreds of institutions in the critical work of diversifying their constituent base. In addition, Jass has raised over $19 million from the private and public sector as an entrepreneur and a nonprofit executive.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
- More than 17 years’ management experience in organizational leadership and relationship building with political, business, community, and education leaders.
- Extensive background in private-sector, government, and foundation fundraising, directly securing $4.3 million and key contributor in the attainment of $14.6 million.
- A highly organized, hands-on manager, able to quickly assess needs and provide tools to meet challenges, improve learning, and enhance performance.
- A strategic thinker, succinct communicator, and consensus builder with strong skills in public speaking, facilitating, research, negotiating, writing, client services, and product development.
- Skilled with project management, office, digital production/editing, and HR software, including Smartsheet, AceProject, Excel, Final Cut Pro, PowerPoint, SalesForce, SharePoint, Word, Workday.
M.B.A. in Human Resources Management, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA (expected October 2017)
SENIOR FELLOW, MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Cambridge, MA
M.Ed., Boston University, School of Education, Boston, MA
B.S., Boston University, College of Communication, Boston, MA
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, Business and Management Magnet High School, Dallas, TX
PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Malden, ma
SENIOR STRATEGIST, PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING AND ENGAGEMENT (2017-pres); SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF (2016); SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE SR. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER (2013-2015); CONSULTING PROJECT DIRECTOR (2013-2014)
Work closely with the commissioner and the state's leadership team for K-12 education as a member of senior staff. Primary responsibilities include communication strategy, community outreach, and program management for the development, implementation, and understanding of statewide learning standards, curriculum and instruction, and student assessments.
- Participate in decision-making at the highest level of state government.
- Developed and currently lead agency’s first-ever concerted communication effort, including goals, outcomes, strategies, staffing, and budget.
- Developed and began execution of plan within a 3-month period.
- Funded $1.6 million initiative through cost sharing and consolidation across agency units, requiring no new dollars.
- Key successes to date: First revamp of agency’s website since the 1990s; launch of statewide “Leading the Nation” public awareness campaign; implementation of cloud-based communication platform; development of new online staff photo directory.
- Developed and implemented strategic plans across business units, impacting teaching, learning, and testing for 365 school districts and more than 1 million students.
City of Brockton, MA
CITY COUNCILOR AT LARGE
Actively represented the diverse interests of nearly 100,000 residents and oversaw a $350-million budget to ensure the efficient and cost effective delivery of services through the filing of legislation; the enactment of orders, ordinances, and resolutions; and by analyzing appropriations and loan orders.
- Introduced and successfully passed major legislative and public-policy reforms and initiatives:
- Pushed through first-ever anti-nepotism policy to ensure every resident has a fair shot at a city job, despite entrenched opposition.
- Lobbied for the divestment of local taxpayer dollars from big banks because of the foreclosure crisis, reinvesting more than $170 million a year in community banks.
- Spearheaded first-ever American trade mission to Cape Verde, West Africa, securing more than $26 million in contracts for local businesses.
- Led effort to make city government more transparent and accessible by placing online all city meetings with agendas, ordinances, and recreational calendars.
- Directed all aspects of progressive, grassroots political campaigns, including robust messaging, fundraising, voter outreach, technology, and GOTV efforts.
JASS STEWART CONSULTING, BROCKTON, MA
Develop integrated business and communications solutions for mission-driven organizations, including the strategic analysis, integration, and execution of high-impact business and marketing plans. Recent clients include:
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Project managed key components of the $250-million, Race to the Top portfolio of high-priority educational initiatives across multiple business units.
- Year Up (Boston): Created information architecture and interactive metrics application to track, measure, and report “leading indicators” for key organizational and Human Resources goals.
- City Year (Boston): Developed and built startup infrastructure for organization’s first-ever talent acquisition strategic plan, which included talent data analyses, strategic sourcing, onboarding and talent retention, and technology investments.
- United Way of Greater Plymouth County (Brockton): Developed, branded, and executed citywide public awareness campaign to improve attendance for at-risk students.
Jobs for the Future (JFF), Boston, MA
Planned, developed, managed, and increased the impact of JFF’s messages, products, and events with media, policymakers, and other opinion leaders. JFF is a national research and advocacy organization focused on educational and economic opportunity for American families and businesses.
- Initiated aggressive departmental “turnaround” effort to meet the demands of the organization’s more robust communications goals:
- Conducted gap and SWOT analyses and developed 5-year communications strategy and annual operational plans, emphasizing new “go deep vs. wide” outreach approach.
- Increased department budget and strategic spending from $1 million to $4 million through organization-wide communications cost analysis and consolidation.
- Aligned work functions to new communications strategy, creating new PR, Creative, and Performance units, increasing staffing by 50%, and moving IT operation out of department.
- Improved internal view of department with 61% of staff observing “significant improvement” in performance and enhanced JFF’s public visibility through a 42% increase in media mentions.
- Stewarded, refined, and expanded existing communications activities as restructuring took place, and helped to set overall organizational goals and policies as executive team member.
Big Picture Learning, Providence, RI
Served as chief national facilitator in leading education reform and leadership development in 15 cities across the country. Big Picture is an education advocacy and school-startup organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Identified and vetted sites for new school development throughout the US and worked directly with mayors, superintendents, and community leaders in St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Camden, NJ to create 3 and support the growth of 5 small alternative public schools in urban neighborhoods.
- Wrote, negotiated, and secured a $250,000 school-district contract to develop an elementary, middle, and high school in St. Louis, MO, the first K-12 system of district public schools for the organization.
- Developed national staffing and board leadership development strategies for Big Picture’s network of 47 public schools in 15 states.
ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE
EDUCATION CONSULTANT, Diploma Plus (Boston): Started four small high schools in Indianapolis area; revamped school startup process for organization.
FOUNDER AND CHIEF CLIENT OFFICER, Invent Media (Brockton): Developed and led solid business strategy for social marketing and technology firm serving mission-driven organizations.
SENIOR DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, MANAGER, ASSISTANT MANAGER, PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR, Blackside Film and Television Productions (Boston): Led the growth of company’s Marketing, Outreach, and New Media department.
1998, 1994, 1993
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, Boston University: Designed and taught graduate-level course on educational media and technology and two summer courses on television and film production.
RESEARCHER, WGBH Educational Foundation (Boston): Conducted primary and secondary research for national PBS television programs in development.
Current: Signature Healthcare Business Council. Past: Artists for Humanity, Big Brothers, Black Men’s Health Alliance, Brockton Boys and Girls Club, Brockton Community Schools, Brockton Neighbors United, Brockton Cable Board, BU Alumni Association, Center for Science Exploration, Crime Watch, Citizen’s Police/Trial Court Academies, Mass-Care, Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Committee, Mayor’s After-School Taskforce.
Africa: Cape Verde, Ghana. Asia: Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. Caribbean: Bahamas, Haiti, Puerto Rico. Europe: Spain, United Kingdom. Latin America: Mexico. North America: Canada, United States (33 states).