Director, Insights

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 JFFLabs’s Insights Practice:

With the pace of change in how people learn and work accelerating, education and workforce systems and institutions are under enormous pressure to keep up with, and adapt to, this rapidly evolving landscape. Yet too many education and workforce decision-makers lack the resources and time to navigate and leverage a growing ecosystem of innovation to benefit their constituents.

Innovators, on the other hand, need to more deeply understand the challenges and opportunities facing these traditional systems, so they can design responsive and equitable solutions and gather proof that what they’re doing works.

Both of these groups of leaders need rapid insights and market-driven, human-centered intelligence on innovations that represent huge leaps forward in support for learning and work, or enable new career paths in and of themselves.

Through our flagship market analyses, such as scans of immersive learning, career navigation, and employee experience technologies and platforms, and growing Insights practice, we aspire to grow the market for workforce and education innovations for everyone, helping investors, visionary customers, and the education and workforce field spot possibilities, shape strategy, and drive economic mobility at scale.

The goals for our work are ambitious. The team environment is creative, impact-oriented, generative, and highly-collaborative. We are builders and innovators, driving progress in a start-up environment. You’ll play an important role in this environment as we build something from the ground level, helping to shape our team’s culture and work in direct and indirect ways.

About the position:

The Director, Insights will help develop, deliver, and lead a new JFFLabs market intelligence and thought leadership practice focusing on how innovative technologies, program and business models, and other solutions are shaping the future of work and learning.

This position calls for a visionary, agile, curious leader driven to both deeply understand the dynamics of complex market landscapes and to tell stories that help clarify those landscapes for others, all for the benefit of populations not typically served by leading-edge solutions. This person will be a thought leader and engaging communicator across media channels, adept at guiding people and projects to success and excited to continually seek out new opportunities to grow and strengthen our work and impact. This role will report to the Deputy Director, Labs X.

What you'll do: 

Research, Analysis, and Publication:

  • Oversee and conduct mixed-method market research, and other primary and secondary analysis, into wide-ranging and complex landscapes of technologies, companies, program models, institutions, and other topics related to education and work.
  • Build understanding of relevant markets and players, identify trends and areas of opportunity for investors, visionary customers, entrepreneurs, and the wider field.
  • Oversee and conduct due diligence into companies and organizations being considered for potential features in JFFLabs thought leadership projects.
  • Lead the development of highly-compelling original thought leadership products across multiple formats and platforms – e.g. market analyses, case studies, briefs, frameworks, tools/resources, articles, blog posts, social media, multimedia, etc. – that tell clear stories, drive awareness across diverse audiences, and motivate action.

Program Excellence:

  • Collaborate with team leadership to set a vision and overall direction for our Insights practice.
  • Contribute to ongoing partner engagement and business development, including outreach and communications to funders, grantees, and other stakeholders, and development of business development proposals and collateral.
  • Understand, adapt, recommend, and adopt best practices in research and storytelling projects in the context of mission-driven organizations, including process improvement recommendations to drive efficiency and effectiveness of our research and analysis process as well as organizational learning.

Project and Team Leadership

  • Directly oversee 1 other team member, providing direct feedback, thought partnership, and performance management to support their success. Supervise the work of project team members assigned from across the organization.
  • Help our growing team develop and refine our strategy to deliver impact at scale, contributing to team strategic planning, operations, impact measurement/data reporting, and cross-team collaboration.
  • Manage a variety of internal- and external-facing projects, including creating work plans, managing workflows and keeping project teams on track towards their goals.
  • Engage with and influence internal and external stakeholders, including executives, academics, and industry experts, and stay abreast of developments in the field to surface insights for clients and the team.

Who you are: 

  • You have 8+ years of relevant experience in researching and making sense of market landscapes, including their recent innovations and technology ecosystems, such as in journalism; market, venture investing, academic, or product research; consulting; or other relevant fields, ideally with exposure to a mix of non-profit, private, and public sector stakeholders.
  • You have a passion for helping learners and workers advance and for leveling the playing field to create economic opportunity for all. You have worked on or have a strong interest in issues of economic advancement, education reform, and/or workforce development.
  • You are a natural writer and communicator, with a clear, engaging style and the ability to surface compelling, novel insights from vast amounts of information, and distill complex ideas into clear, actionable takeaways across a variety of audiences.
  • You have demonstrated skill in developing content for multiple formats and platforms, producing high-quality deliverables with close attention to detail.
  • You bring a high standard of excellence to your work, including curiosity and empathy; you are thoughtful, proactive, adaptive, and highly responsive with communications and information-sharing.
  • You have experience managing direct reports and/or small teams, and can use your informal authority to get things done well in a matrixed work environment.
  • 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 15%, on occasion for conferences or team meetings.  (The frequency will vary according to mix of projects. 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 Alex Swartsel, outlining how your skills, experience, and interests meet the qualifications of the position.

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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Experience Level

Mid Level

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