Organization: Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Location: Washington, DC

Express Interest

About the Meyer Foundation:

The Meyer Foundation invests in solutions that build an equitable Washington region in which economically vulnerable people thrive. The Foundation envisions a just, connected, and inclusive Greater Washington* community in which systemic racism and its consequences no longer exist. Over the past 75 years, building on the legacy of its founders Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer, the Foundation has been a leader in the Washington region, making philanthropic investments with a deep focus and expertise in non-profit capacity building.

As the Foundation assesses the current socioeconomic climate of the Greater Washington region and inequities that have long persisted in many communities, it recognizes that new strategies and ideas that more directly challenge the status quo are necessary. The Foundation is identifying ways to leverage all its assets—including capacity building, communications, convening power, and collective action—to tackle the root causes of longstanding inequity—namely, structural and systemic racism. The Meyer Foundation acknowledges that there are significant, interrelated challenges facing many residents in the region, and envisions solutions that go beyond the traditional bounds of philanthropy.

The Meyer Foundation focuses its efforts on the core programmatic goals of achieving racial equity in housing, jobs, education, and asset-building in the Greater Washington region. The Foundation’s work to examine and confront racism is evolving and will continue to take place at the programmatic level and throughout the organization as each aspect of the Foundation is explored for opportunities to achieve racial equity.

Under the leadership of President and CEO Nicky Goren, the Foundation seeks to identify leaders who can develop and implement solutions with racial justice and equity expertise and who can help lead the foundation through this time of change.

In 2016, the Meyer Foundation awarded nearly $7.2M across the Greater Washington region. Looking ahead, the Foundation will explore opportunities to more intentionally address the systems, practices, and norms that perpetuate poverty and systemic racism.

With a full staff of 18 people, all based in the Dupont Circle office, the Foundation is working to build a close-knit team culture. Each member of the Meyer Foundation team is committed to the work because of their dedication to addressing the community issues most pertinent to the Greater Washington region. The Foundation upholds its commitment to the professional and personal development of each person on staff and to valuing work/life balance for team members.

For more information about the Meyer Foundation, please visit meyerfoundation.org.

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* Greater Washington, DC region defined by the Foundation as: Washington, DC; Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties, Virginia; the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, Virginia

The Opportunity:

The Meyer Foundation is excited to create a new role for a Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity (“Senior Director”), who will partner closely with the Foundation President and CEO during a period of change for the Foundation. The Senior Director will work with the full staff to integrate racial equity and justice into all areas of the Foundation’s work, with specific responsibility for ensuring that the Foundation adheres to its strategy and maintains effective internal and external communications.

The Senior Director will serve as the primary internal resource on racial justice and equity, bringing expertise and fluency in this area. Such proficiency will support the entire staff and Board of the Foundation as they continue to build competency on these issues, and will contribute to the strengthening of the Foundation’s strategy, practices, communications, and policies.

Reporting to the Foundation President and CEO, the Senior Director will work in close collaboration with colleagues on the Senior Leadership Team, including the Vice President, Finance and Operations, the Senior Director for Programs, and the Vice President, Program and Community.

The Senior Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Creating and translating mission, vision, and strategy through implementation and evaluation to ensure alignment with the strategic plan
  • Infuse knowledge and best practices related to racial equity across the Foundation in all programming, communications, internal culture-building, staff development, and business operations
  • Serve as an active member of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Act as a close advisor and thought partner to the President and CEO
  • Develop and execute internal team-building and culture-building activities
  • Oversee internal and external organizational communications, including management of the Communications Manager and external vendors
  • Manage cross-organizational teams working on time-limited projects (e.g. developing a staff retreat or coordinating a community documentary-screening and conversation) and other special projects as needed

Candidate Profile:

This unique role requires a combination of skills grounded in organizational development, strategic communications, and knowledge management, in addition to fluency and expertise in racial equity concepts and practices. Ideal candidates will be natural problem-solvers in the workplace and will be able to engage comfortably with all staff to lead by influence rather than authority.

Desired qualifications include the following:

Skills and Experiences

  • Deep knowledge with formal training in racial justice and equity and experience applying racial equity practices to organizational development and programs
  • Track record of effectively developing and implementing strategic plans that support a bold mission within a small-to-medium organization
  • Strong project management skills; ability to drive simultaneous, complex projects to measurable success and to align with the organizational strategy
  • Experience managing and carrying out a strategic communications plan
  • Experience using quantitative and qualitative data/information to both tell a story and evaluate success with varied audiences
  • History of developing staff through coaching, facilitation, and team-building; previous work in leading organizational culture change
  • Experience and familiarity working with organizations in transition; comfort navigating multifaceted organizational development needs
  • At least five years of senior management experience
  • Connections in/understanding of the Greater Washington region is preferred, but not necessary

Personal Characteristics and Values

  • Proven ability to listen, discern challenges, and identify solutions; seeks and values a range of viewpoints but is also comfortable making a final decision
  • Partnership approach and ability to effectively work with different workstyles
  • A consensus-builder and collaborator; ability to interact with empathy and a sense of humor
  • Deep passion for and commitment to honest and candid conversations and self-reflection about race, racial justice, and social class
  • Extremely high capacity to manage one’s own emotions and to identify the emotions of others in order to support staff; ability to facilitate challenging and courageous conversations about race/racism and other topics
  • Creative, energetic, and optimistic approach to work and leadership
  • An analytical thinker who can develop and apply strategy using a thoughtful and inclusive approach
  • Enthusiasm for organizational change and patience to serve as a leader in the change process
  • Interest in contributing to a workplace that prizes optimistic spirit and fun

Compensation:

The Meyer Foundation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.

Contact:

Molly Brennan and Melissa Madzel of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume and a compelling cover letter here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Meyer Foundation deeply values and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of underrepresented backgrounds, including race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. In that spirit, the Meyer Foundation strongly encourages and welcomes applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ applicants, and others that will contribute to staff diversity.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit www.koyapartners.com.