Director, Big Blur Implementation

JFF - Remote - Full time

About JFF:

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all.

About the  position:

In 2021, JFF released The Big Blur (https://www.jff.org/resources/the-big-blur-an-argument-for-erasing-the-boundaries-between-high-school-college-and-careers-and-creating-one-new-system-that-works-for-everyone/), a white paper that called for a radical reimagining of public systems and policies that promote new configurations of structures, supports, and funding for grades 11-14-to-career. JFF’s work to advance the ideas in this paper are contributing to the growth of a national movement toward embracing a 11-14 and college in high school model, and a shift in mindsets about public responsibility and a multiplicity of pathways that support youth and young adults to attain postsecondary education and training that prepares them to enter and progress in strong careers.

JFF is looking for a Director with a commitment to closing equity gaps and creating and scaling innovative pathways and models for workers and learners to support our growing portfolio of work supporting a bold reimagining of education to career systems. The Director will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of JFF’s Big Blur Implementation plan—including building and supporting a team of JFF subject matter experts from across JFF programmatic and policy teams—partner and relationship management, fundraising efforts, cultivating and overseeing insights and thought leadership, and ensure that JFF’s Blur-related projects have an integrated and aligned strategy for impact. In this role, you will oversee multiple work streams concurrently, develop processes and reporting mechanisms that drive team accountability, keep key stakeholders aware of milestones, and build and maintain relationships with external leaders, including policymakers and funders.

The ideal candidate will have an entrepreneurial, agile mindset, a passion for working on a wide variety of projects, and a demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional teams and support systems change. This person will be a strategic thought partner to senior JFF leaders, JFF partners, funders, and others in the field while connecting dots internally at JFF to bring the best across JFF teams to our current and future partnerships. The ideal candidate should understand the landscape—best practices and challenges—of education to career systems, innovative learning and training approaches, and credentials available to students.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who gets energized by implementing new bodies of work and who can exercise their systems-building capabilities by working collaboratively with others to develop new systems and processes.

What you will do:

Program and Project Management

  • Oversee, manage, and coordinate multiple workstreams and staff across projects
  • Partner with project staff to define project objectives, resource requirements, timing, and deliverables in support of JFF’s Blur-related project goals
  • Develop, manage, and communicate project expectations, updates, and milestones (i.e., status and progress reports, roadblocks/contingency plans, post-mortems, etc.) to key stakeholders and ensure projects and deliverables are moving toward established goals and objectives
  • Manage and mitigate risks to ensure projects are on track and driving toward meaningful impact
  • Develop operational and impact plans for future work based on learnings over time
  • Facilitate and support staff collaboration within and across bodies of work
  • Lead relationship management for projects and initiatives internally and externally

Strategic Relationship Management, Partnership Cultivation, and Fundraising

  • Collaborate with JFF leaders to develop strategy and proposals that advance the college and career pathways field in general, and the ideas in The Big Blur specifically
  • Shape and shepherd a coherent strategy to deepen and expand a body of work on the Big Blur, including cultivating and maintaining strategic relationships with key stakeholders, partners, funders, state-level leaders, and policymakers
  • Identify and secure new fundraising opportunities and lead the cultivation and execution of new partnerships to support innovative pilot programs
  • Collaborate with initiative contributors and senior leaders to build a cross-sector big-tent strategy including funders, K-12, postsecondary, employers, tech startups, etc. to better understand all the players aligned with our ambition and how we are building upon and being additive and accelerating impact vs. competing with existing efforts
  • Collaborate with various units across JFF to shape and implement bodies of work that support JFF strategic goals/mission and respond to and influence developments in the field
  • Lead the design and facilitation of a ‘knowledge network’ to build and coalesce around common systems and policy change agenda

Research and Thought Leadership

  • Oversee, in partnership with JFF communications team, the development of a communications strategy to deepen and expand the impact of the work and influence the mindset of stakeholders
  • Identify, prioritize, and represent JFF at high level public forums and contribute to JFF’s thought leadership in relevant domains through publications, blogs, and other media
  • Represent JFF and Big Blur ideas—policies and practices—at events and external engagement opportunities (i.e., meetings, panels, presentations)
  • Synthesize insights and patterns from engagements to identify and cultivate novel solutions and innovations into practice

Who you are:

  • You have at least 10 years of professional experience leading teams and content expertise in designing, launching, and scaling work rooted in closing equity gaps and driving systemic change in education to career pathways; You feel confident representing and leading conversations on behalf of JFF as a thought leader on these topics
  • You understand the current landscape and connection (and disconnection) between high school, higher education, and workforce systems
  • You are energized by and are a champion of The Big Blur
  • You bring experience with developing relationships and funding for new bodies of work through partnership development and fundraising
  • You have demonstrated competency in senior management responsibilities, including strategic planning, leadership, financial stewardship, and organizational teamwork
  • You are an expert relationship builder and manager with strong influencing and collaboration skills, consistently working in support of mission attainment and growth
  • You are skilled at motivating and influencing diverse stakeholders and building strong relationships with—and advising—senior-level systems leaders and funders
  • You bring structure to environments with evolving processes and are comfortable working in an environment that can be ambiguous, with rapidly changing priorities
  • You have experience leading projects, particularly around implementing new bodies of work
  • You are a systems builder, able to identify areas for growth and capable of working collaboratively with others to develop new systems and processes
  • You have excellent communication skills – both written and spoken – and can translate complex ideas into accessible and compelling messaging for a wide range of audiences
  • You possess high energy and passion for JFF’s mission and the ability to apply JFF’s core values to all areas of your work
  • You model inclusive leadership, working effectively with colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, and building and stewarding an organizational culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • You build positive, effective, collaborative cultures and teams wherever you work.
  • You are a curious and adaptive learner, with a willingness to take in new information, perspectives, and data to inform your work
  • You demonstrate a growth mindset and a desire to continuously improve in your work
  • You are able and willing to travel up to 30%. (Note: JFF requires Covid vaccination for all work-related travel.) 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at JFF:

JFF is committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. JFF fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.  As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, JFF strongly encourages people impacted by the criminal legal system to apply.

To apply:

As part of your application, please include your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, addressed to Kyle Hartung, Associate Vice President outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position.  We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed and candidates will receive updates on their candidacy on a rolling basis as well.

Positions at JFF are not eligible for employer-visa sponsorship or open to F-1 student visa holders.

All JFF employees are required to be fully up to date on their vaccinations against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption has been requested and a reasonable accommodation approved.

JFF offers a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and skills. 

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Role

Customer Implementation / Customer Success

Experience Level

Mid Level

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