The Strategic Learning & Impact team works with Foundation staff, grantees, and partners to set clear strategies, measure progress toward impact, and enable adaptation based on insights and lessons learned. As such, the team designs and facilitates the Foundation’s efforts to proactively measure, assess, learn, and share insights from its work.
The Senior Associate, Strategic Learning & Impact plays a critical role in supporting the full strategic learning cycle within and across initiatives at the Foundation, from strategy development to measurement and evaluation to learning and adaptation. Working in close partnership with program and Strategic Learning & Impact team members, the Senior Associate will contribute to improving how the Foundation assesses its work and builds a culture of shared learning. They will assist in strengthening our strategic learning muscle across the Foundation to ensure evidence and insights are understood and applied—harnessing successes, learning from mistakes and refining strategies where needed. To support the Foundation’s approach to evidence-based decision making, the Senior Associate will be responsible for making complex information readily accessible to decision makers through the development of best-in-class internal systems, rapid feedback loops, distillation of insights, etc. The work will be fast paced, often ambiguous, and spread across multiple, diverse projects and teams simultaneously.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
Program/Initiative Strategy: Support strategy development and adaptation throughout the initiative lifecycle
- Partner closely with Strategic Learning & Impact team members to provide input into ongoing strategy development by facilitating of theory of change discussions, surfacing assumptions, making thinking visible, asking tough questions, and bringing the evidence base to bear.
- Propose key strategic topics in need of refinement or review and analyze data necessary for strategic choice-making, assessment of tradeoffs, and the selection and benchmarking of key indicators and metrics.
- Identify, onboard and project manage external consultants, when relevant, to bring additional capabilities needed to develop concrete and compelling strategies approved by RF leadership and the Board.
Measurement and Evaluation: Support the design and execution of fit-for-purpose assessments that continuously inform and improve the Foundation’s programmatic work
- Provide technical input to help teams generate timely data to inform their work, including development of evaluation and strategic learning questions, design and implementation of data collection processes, and synthesis of findings to best serve learning needs.
- Manage competitive processes to identify third party evaluation and learning partners, and coordinate those engagements
- Assist in the generation and dissemination of high-quality knowledge products for teams, RF leadership, the Board, grantees, co-investors, and other key stakeholders.
- Support grantees and program officers, as needed, in the development of right-sized measurement and evaluation plans that address critical questions and drive quality improvement.
Strategic Learning: Manage and support strategic learning processes that enable shared learning and adaptation within and across teams, grantees, and partners
- Synthesize complex data into timely insights needed to inform strategic decision making. Surface key lessons from previous and current initiatives to inform ongoing reflection, sense-making, and learning from the work.
- Support a culture of shared learning, inquiry, experimentation, transparency, candor, commitment to learning from failures, and evidence-informed decision making.
- Align evaluation and strategic learning workstreams with institutional systems for performance reporting and management, including regular leadership reviews and Board checkpoints
- Collaborate with relevant program, Legal, and Communications staff, as well as grantees and other external partners, as appropriate, to translate findings into materials that support shared learning internally as well as externally
Strategic Learning & Impact function:
- Support the development and improvement of internal systems and processes to better enable shared learning, reflection, strategy improvement, and knowledge management
- Identify opportunities and coordinate continuous efforts to improve data accuracy and quality, including projects to strengthen how the Foundation collects, stores, and uses data
- Keep abreast of strategic learning and evaluation trends and emerging approaches, such as equitable evaluation, systems thinking, lean data methods, facilitation techniques, etc.
This role is supervised by the Director, Strategic Learning & Impact.
Education, Experience, and Skills
- Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred in relevant subjects such as international development, international relations, public policy, public health, education, economics or similar areas.
- At least 3-5 years of experience in strategy development, strategic planning, measurement and evaluation, and/or strategic learning in the philanthropic, not-for-profit, and/or private sectors
- Strong track record in analyzing, synthesizing, visualizing, and communicating complex information (both quantitative and qualitative) in a pragmatic and compelling manner to a wide range of audiences.
- Strong technical skills in a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, and in all aspects of the evaluation lifecycle: design, implementation, and use of results. Appreciation for how to promote both rigor and relevance in support of strategic learning.
- Experience applying an equity lens or conducting equity-oriented analyses a plus.
- Content expertise in one or more of the Foundation’s areas of programmatic work including public health, energy, climate, food systems and nutrition, innovative finance, and economic opportunity
- Comfort working across programmatic domains and in bringing strategic thinking, evaluation skills, and a learning orientation to bear in multiple content areas.
- High tolerance for ambiguity and ability to thrive in an environment of growth and change.
- Passion for learning, problem solving, distilling lessons and turning them into action.
- Excellent prioritization and time management skills with demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload in a fast-paced environment.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with actors and organizations across a variety of sectors (public, private, philanthropic, not-for-profit).
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills; high proficiency to work, communicate, and write in English is required, with fluency in other languages an asset.
- Proficiency in Excel, PowerPoint, Monday, Mural, and data visualization software preferred.
Qualifications and Competencies
- Communication: Excellent interpersonal abilities; good listening skills; writing and verbal skills; assertiveness in presenting ideas. Clarity in written and oral presentations
- Analysis: Ability to identify and solve complex problems based on available information
- Decision-Making: Ability to evaluate risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; takes initiative and strives for results; able to prioritize
- Execution: Strong project management skills; meets deadlines; sense of urgency and responsibility; ability to multi-task and work under pressure; detail oriented and anticipatory nature
- Integration: Accesses functional and substantive expertise organizationally; demonstrate inclusiveness, collaboration
- Leadership: Ability to think innovatively and creatively; negotiation skills; demonstrates accountability
- Partnership and Relationship Building: Mature professional representation of the Foundation, interpersonal abilities, intercultural knowledge and appreciation, strategic partnership building
- Strategic Ability: Anticipates future opportunities and consequences, demonstrates innovative approach to work, ability to organize chaos into coherent plan
The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to offer a competitive compensation and benefits package that includes: comprehensive health insurance coverage, generous retirement savings plan with employer match and contributions, vacation and personal leave, safe and sick leave, summer hours, flexible work arrangements, tuition reimbursement and student loan repayments, an Employee Assistance Program, backup childcare and family support services, life and disability insurance, legal and identity theft services, paid family leave, semi-annual volunteering opportunity and gift matching program, and much more.
As an organization, we focus on six values to advance our culture and to continue our success. We are dedicated to being Transparent, Optimistic, Accountable, Collaborative, Trusted and Equitable. We operate from a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in everything that we do. It’s not only the right thing to do – we couldn’t make an impact without the diverse perspectives and experiences of our team members. We expect all employees at the Foundation to contribute by developing their unique perspective and talent, and to challenge conventional wisdom through evidence and reason, and by amplifying marginalized voices.
The Rockefeller Foundation is committed 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.
The Rockefeller Foundation
New York, NY 10018