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Impact Assessment and Learning Officer

Los Angeles or San Francisco

About the Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s vision is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $2.09 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2020 with more than $3 billion in assets and provided $109 million in grants. We have about 60 staff across our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. The Irvine Foundation is committed, internally and externally, to the values of accountability, curiosity, empathy, equity, nimbleness, partnership, and transparency.

Position Summary

The James Irvine Foundation seeks a strategic, curious, and highly collaborative evaluation and learning professional to serve as Impact Assessment and Learning Officer. Guided by the Foundation’s Impact Assessment and Learning Framework and working across different teams the new IA&L Officer will help support evaluation and strategic learning efforts for the entire Foundation to inform grantee, staff, and board insights and decision-making. This is a great opportunity for an experienced learning, evaluation, and research professional to assist in strengthening strategic and comprehensive impact efforts as the Foundation grows its staff and programmatic portfolios.

Irvine’s programmatic efforts are focused on three major, multi-year initiatives: Better Careers, Fair Work, and Priority Communities with additional initiatives on the way. Since the Foundation is ever-evolving, adjusting for social relevance and policy shifts in both its current initiatives as well as piloting new ones, investments in program development, implementation, and learning are highly integrated. With a significant expansion of staff and programming on the way, there is a corresponding opportunity to bring new capacity to the Impact Assessment and Learning team. IA&L at Irvine supports assessment and learning efforts to guide strategy and enhance impact; advance accountability and transparently about what the Foundation is doing and learning as well as how that learning is being applied; and, where relevant, share experiences that others can leverage. We seek to ensure that evaluation is done equitably, in service of equity, and with those we seek to serve at the center of our work.

The IA&L Officer will report to the the Director of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kim Ammann Howard, but work closely and collaboratively with other IA&L team members, especially the Senior IA&L Officer, program and communication staff, and Foundation leadership, and will be a critical source of evaluation expertise and implementation support. The Officer will also play an important role in helping to administer, synthesize, and disseminate information and learning, especially around community and grantee listening efforts, staff engagement processes, and institutional assessment activities, such as the Grantee Perception Report and the Staff Engagement Survey.

Ideal candidates will have a strong understanding of organizational and systems-level change management and evaluative practices that drive learning and reflection. They will also bring at least five (5) years of experience in applied social science activities, preferably including philanthropic contexts. Compelling candidates for this position must be highly motivated, capable of self-directed work, detail-oriented and able to work collaboratively across teams and departments. Incumbents must exhibit a keen sense of responsibility and enjoy working with multiple demands, shifting priorities, and ongoing change. While experience with multiple types of evaluation and learning efforts is important, formal education in evaluation or experience as a professional evaluator is not required. Candidates must have experience managing and facilitating projects that involve collaborative efforts; proficiency in developing learning agendas, materials, and other products to support learning and adaptation; and experience working with an explicit focus on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.

Previous experience working in a complex organization is highly desired, as is the ability to hold space for others, understand multi-directional power flow, and experience working in collaboration with diverse individuals and teams. The successful candidate will be a strong relationship builder with excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. Strong verbal and written communications skills are absolute musts. Most importantly, a personal and professional commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusiveness is vital to advancing the work, including the understanding of how one’s own identity and lived experiences inform their work.

The Impact Assessment and Learning Officer

The IA&L Officer will work closely with all IA&L team members to support the Foundation’s assessment and learning activities, including contributing to a culture of shared learning that increases staff, grantees, and partner impact, and supports ongoing improvement and adaptation. This position is new and is part of expanding IA&L capacity at the Foundation. The Officer will be part of the IA&L team and report to the Director of IA&L. The IA&L Officer will play a key role in the management of IA&L activities, including coordinating with IA&L team members and other Foundation staff. This will involve collaborating with, seeking guidance and input from, and creating relationships of trust across Foundation staff.

Core Responsibilities

  • Support listening efforts, measurement, data collection, and feedback systems that support strategy, grantmaking, and ongoing learning and adaptation
  • Provide input on evaluation methodologies, including equitable evaluation design and culturally-responsive data collection and analysis
  • Oversee day-to-day activities and projects of the IA&L team
  • Contribute to technical support for research and evaluation projects, including development and review of RFPs, identification and selection of consultants, and feedback on design, tools, and products such as surveys and data visualization resources
  • Synthesize complex, diverse sets of information to help develop clear and actionable knowledge products for Foundation staff and board
  • Assist in planning, facilitation, and documentation of internal reflection and learning events
  • Inform assessment, programmatic, and learning activities by researching, synthesizing, and presenting best practices and innovations in the field
  • Support efforts to build the IA&L capacity of Irvine’s staff and grantees (e.g., through group training, outside workshops, identifying and curating key resources)
  • Collaborate with program and communications staff to synthesize lessons and findings of evaluations and other relevant assessments for sharing with the field
  • Actively identify and facilitate opportunities for learning and improving the Foundation’s work within assigned projects

Desired Qualifications and Experiences

  • While this role requires the abilities often associated with people with bachelor’s and, sometimes, master’s degrees, the totality of candidate’s academic, professional, and lived experiences will be taken into account, including equivalent work experience in a related field, such as social science, nonprofit strategy, organizational development, capacity-building, public policy, etc.
  • At least five years of demonstrated hands-on experience supporting the design and implementation of evaluation, research, and learning efforts that utilize a wide range of approaches and methodologies
  • Experience working in or with a variety of types of nonprofits and/or foundations on program, policy and/or community change efforts
  • Strong technical skills in data collection, synthesis and analysis
  • Experience, comfort, and flexibility to apply different learning approaches and take on a variety of roles (e.g., managing a team, being a coach, upfront role, and behind-the-scenes support), depending on needs, time frames, and resources
  • Strong interpersonal, facilitation, and group process skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with individuals and teams representing different interests and needs
  • Strong project management and organizational skills, self-directed with excellent follow through and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Good judgment with a high degree of attention to detail and accuracy;
  • Excellent written and oral communication, including the ability to distill and explain complex concepts
  • A personal style characterized by humility, flexibility, self-awareness, accessibility, curiosity, a sense of humor, and the ability to work with grace under pressure
  • Excellent computer skills, including intermediary proficiency in PowerPoint and Excel, and the ability to learn and use web-based platforms and databases

Compensation is set by the hiring manager and human resources, dependent on the experience of new IA&L Officer, but the base annual salary for this role will start at an initial target of $143,000. The James Irvine Foundation offers a competitive benefits package, including comprehensive medical and retirement options, a summary of which can be found here. While many Foundation staff continue to work remotely through COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, there will be a shift to a hybrid in-person/remote work arrangement at both the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices when it is deemed safe to do so. At this point, all Foundation staff will be required to be fully vaccinated with one of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

How to Apply

Talent Citizen, a national executive search and consulting firm focused on the pursuit of positive social impact with equity at its center, is partnering with the Irvine Foundation on this search. President Tracy Welsh and Senior Associate Eva Kotilinek are leading this engagement. Additional questions and nominations should be directed to Eva (eva@talentcitizen.com).

Interested parties should please send an updated resume, cover letter, and how you learned of the position to IF-IAL@talentcitizen.com.

Position Details

Reports to: Director of Impact Assessment and Learning

Status: Exempt

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled