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Request for Proposals: CEO Search Firm

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Search Partner


E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (“ELH”) was founded in 2004 and has a program based on nationally recognized best practices for advancing student achievement. E.L. Haynes’ mission is that every E.L. Haynes student – of every race, socioeconomic status, home language, and ability – prepares to thrive in college, career, and life. Together, we create a more just and kind world. We currently serve grades Pre-K through 12 with approximately 1,200 students and more than 220 staff members.

In Spring 2019, E.L. Haynes underwent a strategic planning process that helped to identify our plans for the next five years. Given the challenges with the COVID pandemic and the need to prioritize supporting our students, families, and staff through those years, the E.L. Haynes Board extended the goals and milestones of the strategic plan through the 2026-2027 school year. E.L. Haynes CEO Hilary Darilek announced that she will step down as CEO at the end of the 2024-2025 school year, and the next CEO will lead through the strategic plan and chart the path for the future together with the E.L. Haynes community.

The CEO will lead the organization to focus on academics, talent, and organizational development. As outlined in the strategic plan, we are leaning into our PK3 to 12th grade superpower as we align learning across our three campuses, creating an exceptional place to work so that our staff are empowered to succeed in service of our mission, and we are building a sustainable organization – one that brings all three schools onto one property and offers more elementary school seats to DC families. The CEO is responsible for leading all aspects of the E.L. Haynes community – supporting the Board of Trustees, raising critical resources to enable innovative learning and growth of successful programs, managing the school’s annual budget (more than $38 million), and leading the Executive and Core Leadership Teams to achieve annual goals aligned to the strategic plan. The CEO reports to the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees.

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School is accepting proposals for a vendor/consultant to lead and support the recruitment and selection process, in partnership with the current Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Talent Officer, and the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees. Specifically, E.L. Haynes seeks a vendor to support the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees through the process, design and finalize the candidate profile and job description, design and lead a process to create a pool of potential candidates, lead the interview and screening process, and support the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees to ultimately select a candidate by spring 2025. The primary point of contact for the selected vendor will be the Board Chair for the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees.

2. RFP Process and Instructions

2.1 Schedule and Deadlines

The proposal submission, review, and evaluation process for will take place according to the following schedule:

RFP Released June 7, 2024

Responses Due June 28, 2024

Anticipated Service Start Date August 2024 

2.2 Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be received by ELH before 5:00 pm on June 28, 2024. Proposals received later than the date and time specified may not be considered. Proposals will be accepted by email only. Please clearly mark your submissions with “ELH Executive Search” in the email subject line, and include the response as a PDF, submitted to Questions may only be submitted in writing to, and responses will be shared with all interested applicants. 

2.3 Evaluation of Proposals

An evaluation committee will review all timely, complete proposals submitted via email and make a recommendation for contract awards to the ELH Board of Trustees or its designee. ELH will evaluate proposals from qualified vendors using the following criteria:

  • Qualifications;
  • Background;
  • Personnel/Experience;
  • References; and
  • Price for Services.

The committee will review all proposals received and a few finalists may be selected. These finalists may be invited to an interview. 

ELH reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, to waive technicalities, and to make any and all purchases to the best interest and advantage of ELH. ELH may award contracts to one or multiple companies in order to fulfill the needs of the school.

2.4 Contract Period

The proposed initial contract period is August 2024 – June 2025. 

3. Required Executive Search Firm Vendor Proposal Content and Structure

3.1 Bid Structure

Proposals should address each discrete aspect of the Scope of Work (“SOW”) and clearly indicate the total cost for the project.

3.2 Firm Profile/Cover Letter

Please complete the Vendor Profile in Appendix A and submit a brief cover letter that states interest in the project with the signature and contact information of the duly authorized representative.

3.3 Engagement Plan

The proposed engagement plan should address:

  • The vendor’s philosophy and approach to executive recruitment and selection;
  • The anticipated timeline, including specific details on each phase of the recruitment and selection process, and potential deliverables;
  • The expected roles and responsibilities of the recruitment partners (i.e., the vendor, CEO, Board of Trustees, Board selection committee);
  • The vendor’s experience with recruitment and selection, and any unique qualifications;
  • The estimated budget for provision of services under the contract detailed by activity;
  • A list of references for prior executive selection processes (if applicable); and,
  • An implementation plan that ensures no disruption of service and/or support for the services included in the SOW.

4. Scope of Work

The process may include some or all of the following, and is not limited to: 

Needs Assessment

Conduct the first stage of the search process to get better acquainted with the priorities and needs of key stakeholders including board members, senior leaders, staff, and E.L. Haynes community members. This may include  conversations with these stakeholders about their values and priorities as well as a review of materials related to E.L. Haynes mission, core values, and current strategic plan. From this information, develop an ideal candidate profile, key criteria, position competencies, and job description.

Proactive Recruitment

Design and execute against the detailed recruitment plan developed with E.L. Haynes input. Circulate the opportunity to high-potential candidates based on the criteria while conducting cold calls and personalized email outreach to high potential leads. 

Candidate Screening

Once the recruitment campaign has introduced quality applicants, manage all the candidates flow from an applicant tracking system including screening resumes, conducting initial cultivation calls, leveraging recorded video interviewing technology, and leading detailed phone interviews with candidates before passing them onto the E.L. Haynes Board of Trustees Selection Committee. 

Placement Support

Support the diligence process for potential candidates by sharing best-practice based materials, project management for onsite and/or virtual interview processes, and facilitating hiring committee interviews and debrief conversations.

Click here to do download the RFP, which includes the required Vendor Profile.

Help us create a more just and kind world.