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Director, Strategic Engagements


About JFF:

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For more than 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. JFF focuses on three interconnected strategies for impact on people, places, and systems. Join us as we build a future that works.

About the position:

The Director, Strategic Engagements is a new position that provides bold leadership for JFF’s external engagements and convenings. In particular, this hire will lead JFF Horizons [1], our annual national summit bringing together thousands of trailblazers from the private, public, and nonprofit spheres to design radical new solutions to today’s unprecedented challenges and lay the foundation for transforming education and workforce systems together to build an equitable economic recovery. Through JFF Horizons and other convenings sponsored by JFF’s Executive Office, this hire will play a critical role in setting the agenda of our work. This is an exciting opportunity to partner directly with cross-sectoral leaders and shape our national approach to transforming education and workforce systems to build an equitable economy.

This role will oversee all facets of Horizons’ strategy, content development, and operational execution, as well as lead and coordinate other strategic convenings. The Director will report into JFF’s Chief of Staff and will operate with significant autonomy to lead a cross-functional team across JFF events, marketing, and other programmatic teams to develop and deliver high-quality convenings, including an impactful Horizons program.

JFF’s convenings engage our diverse network of the nation’s most prominent cross-sector leaders around real-time challenges at the intersection of education and workforce development. A successful Director of Strategic Engagements will necessitate leadership that demonstrates a mix of deep content matter expertise in education and workforce development coupled with strong project management experience. The Director will bring a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and see JFF’s convenings as an opportunity to elevate the ways DEI intersect with JFF’s mission and the impact it hopes to achieve in the field. The Director must be comfortable responding to dynamic logistical and substantive shifts (e.g., virtual environments, political shifts). The working environment is impact-oriented and highly collaborative.

What you'll do:

  • Develop and Lead Strategic Convenings: Provide leadership to leverage JFF’s strategic convening power, aligning with organizational priorities. Identify opportunities to assemble diverse and high-impact engagements, large and small.
  • Horizons Convening Strategy and Execution: Oversee the strategic approach for Horizons in close coordination with the CEO and JFF leadership team, and ensure that JFF Horizons and related programming are implemented successfully:
  • Content Development & Design: Develop themes, topics, and sessions for Horizons ensuring that all content and programmatic elements of Horizons are reflective of JFF’s strategic direction and commitment to DEI—and are executed as planned, leveraging JFF’s deep bench of programmatic experts.
  • Marketing & Communications: Conceive of, develop, and direct the production of highly compelling original collateral in support of event programming, in coordination with the JFF MarComm team.
  • Fundraising and Sponsorships: Secure resources to ensure the success of Horizons through fundraising and sponsorship opportunities. With primary responsibility for Horizons fundraising, conceive of and implement creative sponsorship strategy, including developing proposals, and leading the recruitment and cultivation of sponsors toward annual revenue goals, in partnership with other colleagues and teams across JFF.
  • Oversee the Horizons budget: Provide operational management of the Horizons budget, ensuring a strategic and sound resource allocation and execution within budget.
  • Other duties as necessary

Who you are:

  • You have a passion for helping workers advance and for leveling the playing field to create economic opportunity for all.
  • You bring deep content knowledge in issues of economic advancement, education reform, and/or workforce development.
  • You have 7+ years of professional experience in a combination of project management, fund raising, large-scale convening management, and/or other areas that require managing multiple, competing priorities against fixed deadlines.
  • You model inclusive leadership, working effectively with diverse staff, and stewarding an organizational culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an ability to apply JFF’s core values [2] to all areas of your work.
  • You are adept at influencing and motivating others to drive work forward even in the absence of formal authority. You have demonstrated the ability to create trust through your thought leadership and build authentic partnerships.
  • You have experience managing a budget and fundraising, ideally working closely with philanthropies and companies to align their investment strategies to initiative objectives.
  • You have excellent communication skills, including the ability to persuasively and efficiently build and deliver presentations for senior executives.
  • You excel at working both in and across teams and independently.

  1. https://www.jff.org/horizons/
  2. https://www.jff.org/about/


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