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Director, Program Strategy & Performance

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking an experienced Director, Program Strategy & Performance to join the Organizational Performance team.

The Organizational Performance team works with staff, grantees and partners to advance the Foundation’s mission by helping to close the gap between actual and desired results. The team collaborates to set strategies and plans, measure and evaluate progress toward impact, and enable evidence-informed adaptation and continuous improvement. The team anchors the Foundation’s core management approach, strategic reviews, and measurement strategies for learning, accountability and creating an evidence base, and special projects to address critical performance issues. Working across programmatic and operational groups, the Organizational Performance team helps brings the Foundation’s full capabilities to bear in delivering its work so the institution directs resources toward their best use.

The Director, Program Strategy & Performance is an integral part of the Foundation’s Organizational Performance function, responsible for anchoring the full learning and adaptive management cycle for 2-3 select initiatives – from designing and supporting programmatic strategy and measurement work to building systems and processes to enable informed course correction throughout implementation. At later stages of programs’ lifecycles, the Director, Program Strategy and Performance supports internal sense-making around programmatic data on results and manages right-sized independent evaluative activities such as rapid assessments and learning syntheses. This role works in close partnership with initiative leads and teams to achieve their goals, and to ensure the Foundation is a results-driven institution. To promote uptake and influence of data and evidence, the Director ensures that it is timely, of high quality, and communicated in ways that are relevant and compelling to internal and external audiences at all levels – including the Foundation’s senior leadership, Board of Trustees, program leadership, communications team, grantees and partners.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Program Strategic Design & Measurement: Provide design support on strategic development and planning and equip teams to generate data, insights and evidence about their progress and impact throughout all stages of the initiative lifecycle (40%).

  • Provide input into ongoing program strategy development by facilitating of theory of change discussions, surfacing critical choices, hypotheses and assumptions, and identifying learning questions. Make thinking visible, ask tough questions, and bring the evidence base to bear.
  • Identify and analyze data necessary for strategic choice-making and assessment of tradeoffs, including related to impact goals, and qualitative and quantitative metrics.
  • Identify high-impact opportunities to support programmatic planning and measurement, and flexibly and effectively respond to those opportunities. Conduct site visits and other monitoring activities as needed.
  • Champion institutional standards for effective strategic planning and robust, right-sized measurement across our programmatic work.

Learning & Adaptive Management: Improve performance and close the learning loop by making data and evidence on successes, challenges and implications for the future discussable and actionable (40%).

  • Support ongoing reflection, sense-making, and learning from the work to inform potential shifts in strategy when necessary. Bring data and evidence to bear on strategic conversations. Champion a culture of transparency, candor and evidence-informed decision making.
  • Align program strategy and measurement with institutional systems for performance reporting and management, including Business Plan Review (BPR), Quarterly Reviews, and Board checkpoints.
  • Create tools and venues that enable learning and improve performance across programs and at the institutional level.
  • Project manage right-sized independent evaluations, in collaboration with the team measurement expert, to assess the effectiveness, scalability, influence and/or impact of the Foundation’s programmatic work.
  • Represent the Foundation at external events.

Special Strategy & Learning Projects: Provide strategy and analytical support for key projects to improve performance of the Foundation’s programs or operations (20%).

  • Partner with and lead teams to develop tools and processes that support continual improvement.

Supervision Exercised
The Director will help scope and support hiring and onboarding of new team members as needed (i.e. contribute to candidate screening, interview processes, etc.). This role does not include supervising other permanent staff, though may include managing or co-managing temporary staff such as interns.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • Advanced degree, preferably in a field that required multi-disciplinary thinking.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ of progressive professional leadership in strategic planning and management of complex projects or at an institutional level.
  • Knowledge of and deep experience with a range of strategic planning as well as measurement and learning tools and approaches.
  • Experience in a consultative and/or senior advisory capacity.
  • Experience developing, managing and implementing multi-party projects with defined objectives and deliverables, including programmatic monitoring and evaluation of results.
  • Experience working in global organizations and /or contexts.
  • High level of professional excellence, including demonstrated experience collaborating with diverse teams and stakeholders, advanced writing and communication skills, and experience working in dynamic or ambiguous contexts and organizations.
  • High proficiency to work, communicate, and write in English is required, with fluency in other languages an asset.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Strategic Thinking and Analytical Abilities: Ability to dissect complex challenges, understand root causes and develop creative yet sound approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Execution: Strong project management skills, adherence to deadlines, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task and work with diverse colleagues across teams.
  • Consultative and Advisory Skills: Experience working in a consultative or advisory role; demonstrated success managing partners or internal teams and ability to achieve impact through others.
  • Leadership: Possesses the highest professional integrity with comfortable delivering tough messages, providing objective perspectives, and framing important choices.
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Strong representation of the Organizational Performance team within the Foundation, effective relationship management with colleagues at all levels (peers, junior and senior staff), intercultural knowledge, strategic partnership building for greater impact.
  • Decision-Making: Ability to evaluate risks and opportunities, using analytical and strong problem-solving skills. Ability to usher others through an effective decision-making process.
  • Integration: Ability to identify where complementary skillsets are needed and to pull in those capabilities from within the team and across the organization. Demonstrates inclusiveness, collaboration and respect for all stakeholders, and represents broad organizational interests.
  • Communication: Interpersonal communication abilities internally and externally; exceptional listening skills, excellent written and oral skills in English. Experience with development of materials for an executive-level audience.

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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

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