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Managing Director, Program Influence and Campaigns

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.

Today the Foundation is focused on securing the fundamentals of human well-being — health, food, power, and jobs — to ensure every family experiences dignity and opportunity in our rapidly urbanizing world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not.

The Foundation’s Global Policy and Advocacy team is comprised of the regional offices in Asia and Africa, the convenings/Bellagio Center team, and the policy, communications, partnerships, and program influence and campaigns functions. As a strategy and service unit, the team operates with four primary aims: setting the table for action-oriented convenings and consensus in support of global goals; shaping the conversation around food, health, power and jobs, and building optimism for solving problems that will improve life for the world’s poorest through compelling story-telling and impact-focused narratives; building allies for our program teams and their work by creating, nurturing and extending networks that will help Rockefeller Foundation investments and ideas travel farther and make an impact faster. Finally, the team aims to partner for impact, forging alliances, shared funding vehicles, and advocacy strategies that amplify our reach, influence, and impact.

With an endowment north of $4 billion and a staff of approximately 200, the Rockefeller Foundation directs more than $200 million in grant funding annually. For more information about the staff and the Rockefeller Foundation, visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.

The Opportunity

The Managing Director, Program Influence and Campaigns (“Managing Director, PIC”) serves as a key member of the Global Policy and Advocacy (“GPA”) team reporting to the Vice President, Global Policy and Advocacy.

Based in New York at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Managing Director, PIC oversees the development and execution of program influence and campaigns for the Foundation’s core areas of focus — Food, Power, Jobs, Health, Data & Tech, and Innovative Finance.

This leader provides expert strategic advice and service, to design and launch program influence strategies and campaigns that advance the goals of each initiative, working closely with the Foundation’s Initiatives leaders and with other team members across GPA. Additionally, this leader and their team help architect and collaborate on campaigns and advocacy as part of the organization’s global philanthropic agenda or in response to world events. Finally, the MD, PIC works closely with the MD, Partnerships, Initiative leads, and the Vice President of GPA, to manage and build relationships with external partners who join in these efforts.

Core responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop strategic, topical, and creative influence and campaign plans with initiative teams that are integrated into and feed the overarching impact goals of wider initiative strategies. Recommend and advise on communications and advocacy grants, contracts, and consulting arrangements for initiative teams and oversee a program communications and campaigns budget;
  • Select and manage relationships with firms (communications, public affairs, creative, etc.) through grants and contracts in order to advance the Foundation’s initiatives;
  • Conceive of, plan, and implement influence, and advocacy strategies and campaigns in collaboration with GPA colleagues;
  • Work with and support managing directors across the initiative, innovation and innovative finance teams on their thought leadership development;
  • Represent the Foundation externally to advance thought leadership around the Foundation’s key focus areas;
  • Coordinate with other GPA units (communications, policy, convening, partnerships) to ensure multi-platform approach to campaign strategy development and execution, and to serve as a “one stop GPA shop” for program and initiative leads;
  • Work with the VP, GPA, and other senior leaders on the GPA team including a Senior Speechwriter, and the MD, Communications to make sure that both program and institutional messaging are complementary and harmonized;
  • Provide strategic influence, campaigns, and communications support and counsel to Foundation initiative teams, interfacing with other GPA units;
  • Provide support and counsel to grantees;
  • Oversee the development, research, and writing of briefings for media events;
  • Write or assign writing of press releases, talking points, blog posts, and other material related to program partnerships, milestones, or others news;
  • Staff or assign staffing for media interviews and events;
  • Supervise two Associate Directors, and coordinate with Managing Director of Communications on management of any shared personnel; and
  • Coordinate or lead media training where needed.


Candidate Profile

You are right for this role if:

  • You are excited by the opportunity to work with a world class team that is focused on creating measurable social change.
  • You are eager to work with and serve as a thought partner to leading global development experts on how to make their work go farther and faster.
  • You are mission-driven, entrepreneurial and believe in the power of a comprehensive and integrated strategy to amplify and deliver on the Foundation’s ability to serve its beneficiaries with the greatest possible impact.
  • You have accountability for, and take ownership of, both strategy and execution.
  • You have a sense of urgency commensurate with the speed of today’s news cycles and policy changes.
  • You are equally comfortable advising senior levels of management as you are guiding and collaborating across all levels of an institution.
  • You are at ease navigating between all sectors – nonprofit, government and corporate – in the United States or globally.
  • You are 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 around the world.


The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal skills, qualities and characteristics:

Strategic and Creative Leadership

The MD, PIC thinks strategically, analyzes critically, and translates ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable programs and plans. S/he possesses the ability to see opportunities and design innovative approaches backed by strong analysis and planning. S/he brings a strong sense for messaging, themes and techniques that resonate with the media and the public. S/he has the capacity to thrive in a high-paced environment and will bring knowledge in the Foundation’s areas of focus. S/he is ambitious, embraces the Foundation’s strategic focus and approaches new ideas with a ‘can-do’ attitude. S/he possesses the ability to evaluate risks and opportunities, using analytical and strong problem-solving skills to manage complexities with ease and creatively overcome obstacles to achieve goals.

Leading and Executing for Results

The MD, PIC possesses the curiosity and drive to stay ahead of trends in the communications field and stays apprised of global nonprofit and public sector trends and research in order to identify new and unique opportunities to serve the Foundation’s mission. The MD, PIC executes for results with a high degree of leadership, responsiveness and motivation. S/he conceptualizes and analyzes solutions and problems in a proactive, constructive and creative manner. S/he fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability across departments along with the ability to effectively multi-task. S/he is experienced at working in a client services setting and skilled at project management and deadline management. S/he brings a proven track record in managing complex plans, projects, budgets and deadlines that require coordination across multiple stakeholders.

Ambassadorship, Partnership & Relationship-Building

The MD, PIC understands the importance of professional representation of the Foundation both internally and externally. S/he has exceptional communication, listening and written skills. S/he is flexible, energetic, poised and confident, and accomplished at communicating and influencing both inside and outside the organization. S/he is a media savvy communicator who brings passion for the Foundation’s mission as a spokesperson. S/he exemplifies leadership and inspires trust and confidence across a diverse range of stakeholders. The MD, PIC is an interpersonal relationship builder with the desire and interest to build strategic partnerships on behalf of the organization. S/he is highly articulate and a deft communicator, able to quickly establish rapport and cultivate relationships across all levels of the organization. S/he embraces the culture of the Foundation while also fostering best-in-class practices. S/he fosters trust and collaboration among their own team members and across the entire GPA team. S/he is politically astute and attuned with a sophisticated personal presence.

Passion for the Mission

The MD, PIC has a sincere passion for the mission of the Rockefeller Foundation, especially as it moves into this new chapter. S/he will bring an understanding of the mission and will be deeply committed to the Foundation’s reach and impact. S/he has sound, mature judgment and takes pride in succeeding at the highest levels. S/he demonstrate inclusiveness, collaboration, respect and has broad organizational interests. It is imperative that s/he treats others with respect, inspires others through the excellence of their work and interactions with others and stays true to the values of the Foundation. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Policy, International Studies or a related field is required. A Master’s degree would be desirable.

At least 15 years communications, advocacy, or campaign experience is required. Experience with international organizations working on global development issues would be considered a plus.

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Koya Leadership Partners has been retained for this search. Koya is a national executive search firm that exclusively leads mission-driven searches. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

To make recommendations or express interest in this role, please email Anne McCarthy and Alison Ranney at RockefellerFoundation@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and 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.