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Learning and Strategy Manager

ABOUT US:

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation that invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. At the heart of our vision for the future are three core commitments: fostering more effective governance in the United States, modernizing our election and campaign finance systems, and strengthening our media and the public square to help people understand and participate in the democratic process. To date, we have committed more than $70 million in support of a healthy democracy. Out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values, Democracy Fund was established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. Incubated inside Omidyar Network, the Democracy Fund launched as an independent foundation in 2014 and is based in Washington, D.C. More information about the Democracy Fund and our sister 501c4 organization Democracy Fund Voice may be found at www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.

POSITION SUMMARY:

Democracy Fund is seeking a Manager of Learning and Strategy to support the foundation in becoming a best-in-class learning organization that consistently learns from evidence and experience, including failures and successes. As part of the Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning (SIL) team, the Manager will support an ongoing learning cycle that involves (a) seeking to understand our democracy as a complex social system, (b) helping to develop strategies for engaging that system, and (c) learning from evidence, including research, evaluations, and reporting, so that we can engage more effectively over time.

The Manager will work with the Democracy Fund’s program teams to design and implement coordinated and comprehensive learning processes at multiple levels (team, organization, board, and field). Internally, the Manager will manage the development and implementation of pathways for learning to be integrated into existing organizational processes, and for learnings to be actively incorporated into strategic decision-making. Externally, the Manager will engage with researchers, peers, practitioners, and field experts to stay abreast of and apply best practices, and seek venues for sharing and learning with the field.

The Manager will report to the Director of Evaluation and Learning and have a dotted line relationship to the Vice President of Strategy and Program.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Ongoing Learning Processes:  Foster a vibrant learning culture at the foundation, supporting staff members in learning from evidence, their work, each other and the field. Build capacity for, implement, and manage ongoing processes, systems, and structures for learning and adaptation. Design and facilitate learning meetings, retreats, and portfolio learning conversations. Collaborate with Program and Communications teams to ensure consistent and thoughtful communication of learnings externally.
  • Knowledge Management: Contribute to the development of knowledge management systems and processes that codify, store, and manage results and learning, such that these can be easily be deployed to strengthen ongoing work.
  • Organizational Culture: Collaborate with the People/Operations team to grow the learning culture within the organization through formal trainings and events as well as embody the core values of the Democracy Fund, especially learning and collaboration.
  • Board Communication: Contribute content to reports and other materials about the Fund’s learning and progress for its board of directors.
  • Strategy Support: Provide support on strategy exploration and development to the VP for Strategy and Program. This will include both organizational level strategy (e.g. Healthy Democracy Framework) and program and initiative-level strategy and planning. Support Program teams in understanding the context of their work and assessing emerging trends in their fields and ensure key insights and lessons learned are actively integrated into strategy adjustments.
  • Evaluation Support: Provide support to the Director of Evaluation and Learning on creating and implementing Results Frameworks and associated monitoring, evaluation, and research workstreams, such that evaluation data is meaningfully integrated into strategy.
  • Networks and Research: Develop networks and collaborations within The Omidyar Group and across the philanthropic, evaluation, and organizational development/learning fields and related research in the field. Explore, support, and apply relevant research at the organization. Present at major conferences.
  • Grantee Learning and Grantmaking Support: Streamline and implement grantee learning processes, including metrics and other data collection, and provide technical and capacity building support as needed to grantees around learning. Support others in the organization on grantmaking tasks as required.
  • Team: Contribute to a collaborative internal team and develop strong networks among peers within Omidyar Group and the larger field. Actively work to support the success of other staff members, not only within the Strategy, Impact and Learning division, but of the entire Democracy Fund team, and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • An advanced degree in the social sciences and at least 5-7 years of work experience working in the areas of organizational learning, strategy development and evaluation
  • Deep sense of curiosity and demonstrated interest in learning, distilling lessons and turning them into action
  • Experience working with organizations or institutions that work on democracy-related issues preferred
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills
  • High tolerance for ambiguity, and ability to adapt to changing priorities, strategic frameworks, and definitions of success
  • Understanding of systems thinking and complexity science
  • Experience facilitating participatory and collaborative, learning-oriented events
  • Must be logical and structured in thinking and have excellent problem-solving ability
  • Strong, self-directed project management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong and supportive team player
  • Clear and concise written and verbal communication skills
  • Recognized innovator and organizational change agent
  • Commitment to learn and grow in a workplace that values diversity of multiple dimensions
  • Ability to travel periodically for project work
  • Willingness to live in the Washington DC area is required.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. No calls please.

The Democracy Fund is committed to a diverse workplace, seeking voices and expertise from people from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The Democracy Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer, where we encourage candidates of all ages, color, ethnic background, country of origin, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.

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