Project Management Officer - Learning and Enrichment
- Job posted by The Wallace Foundation
5 Penn Plaza
Background: The Wallace Foundation – an independent, national, New York-based philanthropy with $1.5 billion in assets – traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association.
The Wallace Foundation seeks to improve learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and foster the vitality of the arts for everyone. The foundation has an unusual approach: in each of our focus areas – Arts, Education Leadership, and Learning and Enrichment – we seek to identify, and help answer, one or more significant questions whose answers are not known but which, if known, could help propel progress more broadly. Accordingly, they work with a small number of grant recipients both to help them test new ideas and generate improvements for those they serve, and to generate evidence and insights that, when shared broadly, can improve policy and practice in an entire field.
This “Wallace Approach” is reflected in the way the foundation develops its strategies and designs its initiatives. They begin by attempting to understand the context of the fields in which they work in order to identify the right unanswered questions to address. They then simultaneously fund programmatic work in the field by organizations—including technical assistance and peer learning communities—and research that studies the process and results of their efforts in order to generate improvements and insights that can benefit both the people served by the grant recipients and the field. The public reports emanating from this work support our strategy of catalyzing broad impact, acting as a source of credible, useful lessons to be disseminated to key audiences.
The Wallace Approach is carried out in an interdisciplinary team-based structure. Their three disciplines are program, communications, and research. In each discipline, they seek employees who are both highly skilled in their professions and able to work collaboratively across disciplines to capture the synergy of diverse experience and ways of thinking. Wallace employees need to be able to work collaboratively, think analytically and communicate clearly. They value the flexibility to adapt to change, a desire to learn, and the ability to work productively both on one’s own and with colleagues inside and outside the foundation.
For more information on The Wallace Foundation and to see examples of their work, please visit http://www.wallacefoundation.org
Position: The Learning and Enrichment interdisciplinary team is focused on its Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI). This six-year initiative has been designed to learn whether and how students in grades K-6 will benefit if urban schools and their out-of-school time partners work together to foster children’s social and emotional learning. The partners will address both the content taught to students and the environment, or school climate, in which it is taught. Over time, Learning and Enrichment plans to develop the capacity to design and implement multiple initiatives simultaneously. As with all Wallace initiatives, PSELI has dual goals: direct benefits for the participating students, schools and communities, and the development of research-based lessons for the field that can contribute new knowledge and improve educational practice more broadly.
Reporting to the Director of Learning and Enrichment and using Wallace’s interdisciplinary team approach, the Project Management Officer (“PMO”) contributes to the success of the Learning and Enrichment initiatives by leading the development and management of the systems and processes that ensure operational integration of the multiple strands of work across program, communications and research. The PMO will interface with all aspects of the initiative and must demonstrate the capability to build relationships of trust, candor and transparency both internally and externally, a collaborative approach that leads to shared problem resolution, and contribute to an environment where progress and success is recognized and built on.
- Lead the development and integration of the overall framework and supporting systems and processes to operationally integrate the multiple strands of complex work for PSELI.
- Lead the development of a master planning and implementation schedule which incorporates all the deliverables for PSELI. The schedule will reflect the perspectives of grantees and other partners, and sensitivity to “on-the-ground” conditions, particularly in the schools.
- Manage the regular review of the schedule in implementation team meetings, as well as an easy and timely process to update the schedule, and an approach that allows for discussion and resolution of problems as they arise.
- Contribute to strategy and implementation discussions in the interdisciplinary team and unit.
- Recognizing that data collection is a foundational component of PSELI and requires smooth interaction of both program and research teams, manage the relationships with partners to ensure high-quality data collection, including the schedule, guidelines, supporting processes, and communications to facilitate data collection.
- Ensure data-sharing agreements are in place; track and support timely completion and data submission in collaboration with Program Officers.
- Ensure clear communications within the team and with grantees to support them in their work and as learning partners.
- Develop the annual grantee communications calendar which details content for key “milestone” communications to grantees, and incorporate into the overall master schedule.
- Working with the team, lead the process for the development, editorial review and publication of recurring initiative-level communications, such as the PSELI weekly e-newsletter.
- Develop and facilitate a process to solicit timely feedback from grantees about resources that will support them in planning and implementing their Wallace grant. Based on the input from grantees, work with the team to develop tools, templates, protocols, guidelines and associated materials that are responsive to this input.
- Work with the interdisciplinary team to design, implement and manage the process to identify topics/issues/deliverables for discussion.Manage the development of the agenda for implementation team meetings. Prepare and distribute meeting notes to ensure shared understanding and required follow-through. As needed, prepare materials and schedule After Action Reviews (AAR) at various stages of initiative implementation to capture learning to apply going forward.
- 6 – 10 years of relevant experience applying exceptional project management skills and proven success with improving, integrating and maintaining complex operational systems across distinct organizational units in an interdisciplinary team and with a wide range of external partners. Experience working with large urban school districts and/or youth development organizations serving communities with high needs is preferred.
- Commitment to a collaborative approach that leads to open communications and shared problem resolution in an interdisciplinary team structure.
- Demonstrated capacity to build internal and external relationships of trust, candor, and transparency.
- Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to anticipate issues before they arise.
- Experience working on complex projects with a large social science research component is helpful.
- Detail-oriented with the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment; resilient, flexible and patient.
- Outstanding communication skills - listening, writing, speaking – as well as proficiency in facilitation and building consensus.
- Excellent conceptual and analytical thinking skills, as well as financial analysis and budgeting.
- Proficiency in project management online tools and applications and the Microsoft Office suite.
The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workplace where differing perspectives are a source of strength. People of color are encouraged to apply.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
To Apply: The Wallace Foundation has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, COO
Elly Kirschner, Director of Healthcare and Advocacy
Harris Rand Lusk
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168
Please put Wallace Foundation in the subject line of your emailed application