Organization: The Rockefeller Foundation

Location: New York, NY

Express Interest

About The Rockefeller Foundation:

Promoting the Well-Being of Humanity throughout the World

For over 100 years, the Rockefeller Foundation has brought people together to solve the world’s most challenging problems and promote the well-being of humanity. This produced a legacy of results – from the Green Revolution to the yellow fever vaccine to the field of impact investing – that truly changed the world, and that humbles and inspires us today.

Right now, we live at a pivotal moment in human history. Too many people at home and abroad are anxious about their future, while even more are still living in abject poverty. Yet at the same time, humanity’s capacity to tackle tough challenges is greater than ever. Data scientists, technologists and innovative financiers are combining great ideas with moral purpose to improve the lives of others like never before.

It is unacceptable that in a world capable of so much, there are still so many who have so little. That’s why, under the leadership of its new President Dr. Rajiv Shah, who took office in 2017, the Rockefeller Foundation is fighting to secure the fundamentals of human well-being – health, food, energy, jobs – so they are within reach for everyone, everywhere in the world.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s approach is grounded in what they have seen work over more than a century: It is inspired by science. It is rigorous about data. It is focused on real human results. And it understands philanthropy’s role is to bring together and empower others – because no one can do this alone.

The Rockefeller Foundation believes that everyone should have access to the opportunities our world has to offer. Being a part of the Rockefeller Foundation gives each person on the team the chance to work together to transform smart ideas into real human results.

With an endowment north of $4 billion and a staff of approximately 200, the Rockefeller Foundation directs more than $200 million in grant funding annually.

The Policy, Partnerships and Communications department has 32 global staff and is directly responsible for a significant portion of the annual grant budget for the Foundation.

For more information about the staff and the Rockefeller Foundation, visit

The Opportunity:

This new role, Vice President Policy, Partnerships and Communications reports directly to the President of the Foundation and will be one of Dr. Shah’s senior-most advisors and partners.

This is a unique, newly imagined role that intersects with all the Foundation’s key programs and functions, providing vision and a forward-looking strategy that integrates policy, networks, communications and other influence channels.

The Vice President will advise the President and other senior leaders across the organization on external leverage opportunities for the Foundation, key programs and other critical and related initiatives.

Key peers to the Vice President include the Chief Operating Officer, Programmatic leadership, the General Counsel and the Chief of Staff, who will collaborate with the Vice President on strategic policy and influence priorities for the President.

The Vice President will build and lead an expanded team responsible for directly engaging relevant external partners, stakeholders and audiences through public affairs, strategic partnerships and opportunities, government relations and community involvement.

In addition to providing executive level vision and strategy for the Foundation’s integrated communications strategies, the Vice President will have oversight for the development and implementation of the Foundation’s grant funded strategic opportunities portfolio.

The Vice President’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Program Influence

  • Developing an integrated campaign-like influence strategy to support the goals of the Foundation’s key programs – directly for certain programs and in a consultative role for others. Where staff and accountability for influence efforts reside primarily within the programs, the VP will have a dotted line relationship with those staff members and work to guarantee coordination, peer-to-peer learnings and represent the Foundation’s broader brand and perspective.


  • Developing a policy operation to augment and support policy goals of initiative and innovation teams.

Bellagio Center & Foundation Fellows

  • Working closely with the COO, oversee the programmatic elements of the unique Bellagio Center, the 50-acre property located at the heart of Lake Como in Northern Italy.
  • Overseeing the Foundation Fellows, including the identification and recruitment of Fellows, as well as support during their tenure.
  • Designing and developing the Rockefeller Global Network; creating relationships with key experts across designated fields and designing convening’s and learning platforms to develop break through ideas and needed dialogue in furtherance of the Foundation’s mission and programs.

Partnerships & Opportunities

  • Building and managing relationships with the top Foundation strategic partners from private, public and philanthropic organizations.

Asia and Africa Regions

  • Managing the Foundation’s regional offices, currently in Thailand and Kenya, with a particular emphasis on strategic and representational goals.

Communications and Marketing

  • Creating and communicating the Foundation’s core narrative and brand through all external communications.
  • Serving as the voice of the Foundation brand and broad external affairs goals and needs in all key internal discussions, regardless of the specific issue at hand.
  • Overseeing all Executive Communications, including speech writing, media relations, and event design, including support of the Foundation’s President.
  • Managing the Foundation’s social media platforms, developing Foundation level social and digital media content, and supporting the digital and social efforts of Foundation initiatives.
  • Managing the Foundation level earned media efforts.
  • Acting as a spokesperson, when appropriate, for the Foundation with key media and in the public.

The Vice President will have 7 direct reports including the Communications Director; Managing Director, Influence; Managing Director, Bellagio NY & Global Networks; Managing Director, Africa Region; Director, Asia Region; Director, Opportunities & Partnerships; and Managing Director, Policy.

The Vice President oversees the budget and all operational aspects for the department, including the selection and management of outside communications vendors and consultants.

Candidate Profile:

You are right for this role if you are excited by the opportunity to build out and manage a world class team that is focused on creating measurable social change.

You are mission-driven and entrepreneurial and believe in the power of a comprehensive and integrated strategy to amplify and deliver on the Foundation’s ability to serve its beneficiaries with the greatest possible impact.

You have accountability for, and take ownership of, both strategy and execution.

You have a sense of urgency commensurate with the speed of today’s news cycles and policy changes.

You are equally comfortable advising the most senior levels of management as you are guiding and collaborating across all levels of the Foundation.

You are at ease navigating between all sectors – the nonprofit, government and corporate – whether in the United States or globally.

You are a thoughtful leader who manages people and works with integrity, always with a focus on the Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal skills, qualities and characteristics:

Thought Leadership and Partnership

As the Rockefeller Foundation enters into this new chapter, the Vice President will serve as a thought partner and senior advisor to the leadership team as well as Dr. Shah specifically. S/he will have the capacity to thrive in a high-paced environment and will have substantive knowledge in the Foundation’s areas of focus. S/he is ambitious, embraces the Foundation’s strategic focus and approaches new ideas with a ‘can-do’ attitude. The Vice President is a big picture thinker who can successfully lead implementation efforts. S/he will inspire the team to develop and accomplish big strategic goals.

Communication, Influence and Policy Expertise

The Vice President has an understanding of how to advance policy and social change by creating highly effective, integrated communication strategies. With a clear sense of ownership, accountability and urgency, the Vice President has a strong sense for messaging, themes and techniques that resonate with a wide range of constituencies. S/he has demonstrated experience in setting and implementing innovative marketing and communications strategies in complex organizations and is capable of integrating disparate elements into a cohesive whole. S/he is analytical and data-driven, able to conceptualize and analyze both problems and solutions and identify key metrics that will help the Rockefeller Foundation work towards its strategic objectives.

An Experienced Leader and Manager of People

The Vice President is an executive with strong staff and operational management experience. S/he will bring experience building and leading high performing teams with outstanding professionalism and by mentoring and guiding team members’ in their growth and development. The Vice President possesses the ability to inspire a staff with a diverse set of skills, provide a productive work environment and professional growth opportunities that result an esprit de corps. S/he will apply best-in-class management practices, workload allocation, the ability to meet tight deadlines and most importantly, ensuring that their team and its overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals.

Ambassador for the Rockefeller Foundation

The Vice President will be comfortable serving as an “Ambassador” for the Foundation. S/he will become fluent in sharing the mission and vision with the outside world and helping to expand the Foundation’s reach more broadly. S/he will have the ability to leverage strategic relationships towards development of resources for new or existing initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Vice President will have excellent interpersonal relationship abilities and intercultural knowledge and appreciation. S/he exemplifies leadership and inspires trust and confidence across a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders. The Vice President is flexible, energetic, positive, creative and accomplished at communicating and influencing both inside and outside the organization. S/he is a media savvy communicator who brings passion for the Foundation’s mission as a spokesperson. S/he is politically astute and attuned with a sophisticated personal presence. S/he has exceptional listening, written and oral skills.

Passion for the Mission

The Vice President has a sincere passion for the mission of the Rockefeller Foundation, especially as it moves into this new chapter. S/he will bring an understanding of the mission and will be deeply committed to the Foundation’s reach and impact. S/he has sound, mature judgment and takes pride in succeeding at the highest levels. S/he demonstrate inclusiveness, collaboration, respect and has broad organizational interests. It is imperative that s/he treats others with respect and always stays true to the values of the Foundation. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Leadership Partners has been retained for this search. Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

To make recommendations or express interest in this role please email Alison Ranney, Molly Brennan and Alexandra Corvin at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.