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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Position Announcement: Director, Inclusive Economies (Economic Opportunity and Assets)


The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic and creative leader and strategist for this newly created senior management position, directing one of the seven thematic areas that will define our programming. Reporting to one of the three Program Vice Presidents, the Director will be responsible for overseeing the two lines of work that will define this thematic area, supported by a team of grant makers and a program investment officer. Additionally, the Director will be responsible for managing key support staff (program associates, financial analyst, program assistants and department coordinator) who are based in this thematic area.

The Foundation’s overall aim is to disrupt the drivers of inequality via seven (7) mutually reinforcing thematic areas of programming: Civic Engagement and Government; Creativity and Free Expression; Equitable Development; Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice; Inclusive Economies; Internet Freedom; and Youth Opportunity and Learning. Inclusive Economies will work through government, business, and civil society to help create economies that are fair, accountable, and provide broadly shared prosperity and opportunity. The foundation has defined these seven areas through an intensive strategic planning process, now giving directors and their teams significant room to shape specific programming priorities and approaches (See “What’s next for the Ford Foundation”).

Specifically the two lines of work the Director will be responsible for are: Quality Work and Economic Security and Impact Investing. (See “Our Approach Inclusive Economies”). Illustratively, the Foundation’s most recent work in this area includes enhancing job quality in rapidly changing labor markets, improving and accelerating financial inclusion, promoting rural livelihoods through inclusive value chains tied to leading global companies, piloting and scaling innovative forms of social protection, promoting “high-road” business practices and models, making impact investments, and advancing the practice of impact investment.

The Director will be responsible for targeted collaboration with and among the other six (6) Thematic Area Directors. Their teams will pursue and integrate a variety of creative, but rigorous approaches to achieving impact, from research and policy advocacy to demonstrations (creating “proof points”), cultivating transformative learning and innovation networks, building implementer capacity, deploying capital as impact investment, building awareness and constituencies for change, and working to directly advise key decision makers in the public, private and nongovernmental sectors.

The Director will also work in concert with the Foundation’s Representatives, who manage our 10 overseas offices across Asia, Africa and Latin America. The work is both domestic and global, and our work outside the U.S. is focused on the global South.


• Help refine and advance the strategic goals and global outcomes for Inclusive Economies and work with teams across the world to develop specific approaches for achieving social change objectives. Among internal partners, collaborate, in particular, with other Thematic Area Directors working to advance change worldwide.

• Ensure that strategic and operational objectives are aligned with the Foundation’s overall thematic goals and region-specific priorities.

• Approve and oversee the alignment of grants worldwide to thematic area strategy, consulting with Representatives and supervising VPs on overseas grant making.

• Incorporate the Foundation’s commitment to strengthening mission-critical institutions into an integrated strategy that achieves the specific objectives of the Inclusive Economies thematic area.

• Develop and oversee evaluation and learning plans for Inclusive Economies lines of work, with support from the Strategy and Learning office and colleagues worldwide.

• Continuously review the overall strategy, revising the strategy as needed based on learning from the grant monitoring and evaluation processes and other sources of evidence, and respond to new challenges and opportunities. Partner with other thematic area directors and the Strategy and Learning office to ensure cross learning.

• Lead regular strategy reviews with Program VPs.

• Partner with regional Representatives on regional strategy and alignment.

• Provide thought partnership to the Program VPs and President on the effective deployment of discretionary funds managed by them to (a) advance innovation and cross-theme priorities and (b) play a “search light” function for the field.

• Direct line management of grant makers (program officers) and the program investment officer who runs the Program-Related Investment Fund, in addition to program associates, program assistants and department coordinators.

• Serve as an exceptional manager of team leads and team performance, set annual performance objectives for team leads, and provide timely feedback, coaching and mentoring for performance and career development.

• Manage all aspects of U.S. and global program and operations, including budgets and all human resources needs (e.g. travel, consulting needs, and hiring and promotion).

• Promote a collaborative working environment within the team and across teams that maximizes the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills of staff that contribute to the development of the Inclusive economies strategy.

• Serve as ambassador of work internally and externally, a relationship builder, connector, and source of leverage.

• Represent the foundation and its work to all potential partners – the government, media, private sector, academia, and philanthropy – through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews.

• Help develop and lead external communications strategies to advance the goals of the Inclusive Economies strategy and the Foundation as a whole.

• Assist in developing strategies for disseminating the impact of the Inclusive Economies work, both within and beyond the foundation.

• As appropriate, lead planning and execution of strategic convenings to advance the objectives of the Inclusive Economies strategy.


• At least 10 years of professional experience working on issues related to economic growth and development, the role of business in society, employment, wealth and poverty, and income security or other social protection systems.

• Knowledge and application of globalization, governance and public policy, cross-sector partnerships, advocacy and research, and systems thinking and development approaches to advancing solutions to important societal problems.

• Advanced graduate degree in economics or another behavioral science, public policy, political economy, management, planning, law, or other relevant fields. A strong foundation in economics is strongly preferred.

• Significant strategy development and management expertise with knowledge and experience in applying evaluation methods and metrics.

• Highly skilled experienced people manager in a global and matrixed context.

• Experience working with a range of individuals in civil society, government and the private sector in the U.S. and globally.

• Familiarity with the use of information and communications technologies to promote social justice.

• Demonstrated experience working effectively as team leader and as part of a team, with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and a high degree of emotional intelligence.

• Excellent analytical, oral presentation and writing skills.

• Fluency in written and spoken English essential and fluency in a second language preferred.

• Familiarity with economic and social development issues globally. Varied overseas work experience, along with working knowledge of U.S. history and domestic challenges, is strongly preferred. Working knowledge of philanthropy helpful.


• Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness and diversity
• Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
• Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
• Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

Location: New York, NY

Salary: is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.

Deadline to apply: Until filled.

To apply: Please visit http://www.fordfoundation.org/careers/

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

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