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Director, Program Influence

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking an experienced Director, Program Influence, to join the Global Policy & Advocacy team.

The Director, Program Influence serves as an integral member of the Communications and Program Influence team within the Global Policy & Advocacy team in New York. This individual will work directly with program teams to develop influence strategies that combine expertise in communications, campaigns, and strategy across the Foundation’s core focus areas – Health, Food, Power, Jobs, Innovative Finance and Data & Tech.

The Director will develop strategies for influence and communications for half of the program portfolio. This leader will provide strategic counsel and execution support, to design and launch program influence strategies and campaigns that advance the goals of each program, working closely with the Foundation’s program leaders and with other team members across GPA, as well as communications grantees and partners.

Location: New York, NY

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute strategic influence, communications and campaign plans with program teams that are integrated into and feed the overarching impact goals of wider program strategies.
  • Recommend and advise on communications and advocacy grants, contracts, and consulting arrangements for program teams and manage related communications and campaign budgets.
  • Contribute to the selection and management of firms (communications, public affairs, creative, etc.) through grants and contracts to advance the program initiatives.
  • Coordinate with other GPA units (policy, convenings, partnerships) to ensure multi-platform approach to campaign strategy development and execution.
  • Collaborate closely with program leads and teams, and provide counsel on milestones, announcements and ongoing thought leadership.
  • Write and edit core materials including messaging, press releases, talking points, blog posts, and other material related to program milestones, or other news.
  • Oversee and contribute to the development, research, and writing of briefings for media opportunities and events.
  • Arrange and staff media interviews and speaking engagements and prepare spokespeople in advance.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in communications and influence work, with preference for experience with a global organization.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience developing and executing integrated media programs across paid, earned and owned channels.
  • Deep experience writing for communications, including online materials, op-eds, press releases, etc.
  • Experience working in a matrixed environment with multiple teams and multiple interests.
  • A bachelor’s degree; Master’s preferred.
  • Proven track record in managing complex plans and deadlines.
  • Superb interpersonal skills and professional presence.
  • An ability to think strategically, analyze critically, and translate ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable programs and plans.
  • At ease navigating between all sectors – nonprofit, government and corporate – in the United States or globally.
  • Ability and experience managing projects, staff, consultancies, and budgets.
  • Highly organized with the ability to multi-task with a strong work ethic.
  • Experience in handling and reacting to sensitive information.
  • Moderate travel required.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Strategic Ability: Ability to see opportunities, design innovative and creative approaches backed by strong analysis and planning. Strong sense for messaging, themes and techniques that resonate with key influence audiences including government, business, and media.
  • Execution: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability, and the ability to effectively multi-task. Ability to manage staff and contractors to ensure timely, high-quality work product. A sense of urgency commensurate with the speed of today’s news cycles and policy changes.
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Strong professional representation of the Foundation, interpersonal relationship abilities, intercultural knowledge and appreciation, strategic partnership building.
  • Decision-Making: Ability to evaluate risks and opportunities, using analytical and strong problem-solving skills.
  • Integration: Ability to demonstrate inclusiveness, collaboration, respect and broad organizational interests.
  • Communication: Strong interpersonal and communication abilities; exceptional listening, written and verbal skills. Equally comfortable advising senior levels of management as you are guiding and collaborating across all levels of an institution.
  • Mission-Driven: A thoughtful leader who manages and inspires people and works with integrity, always with a focus on The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.


Russell Reynolds has been retained for this search.

To make recommendations or express interest in this role, please email RockFoundProgram@russellreynolds.com.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.