Director, U.S. Program Data
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.
The TeamThe foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) works to ensure that people navigating U.S. education systems and job markets can develop the knowledge, skills, and agency needed to thrive in their communities such that race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status are no longer predictors of educational attainment and economic mobility and security. Our mission is to work with partners to:
1. Generate insights by using data, research, and evidence to illuminate inequities in education, workforce, and social systems and evaluate potential solutions;
2. Accelerate innovation of digitally enabled solutions and high-impact practices and supports that help educators and community leaders eliminate disparities;
3. Strengthen capacity of institutions, intermediaries, and leaders to implement these solutions, practices, and supports in their contexts to further test and prove their effectiveness and impact;
4. Improve enabling conditions, including data infrastructure, policy, and funding, so that proven solutions, practices, and supports can scale to ensure equitable outcomes; and
5. Engage partners to ensure that community voices, student voices, and other key stakeholder voices are included, heard, and incorporated into our work.
Our mission reflects our belief in the power of evidence, data, technology, and innovation as essential and high-potential inputs to support educators and system leaders to deliver equitable impact for students and communities. USP works on five goals:
1. Increased kindergarten readiness and school and life success;
2. Increased academic and socio-emotional outcomes for K-12 students, with a focus on mathematics, to ensure they are on track for high-school graduation and college preparedness;
3. Increased successful transitions for K-12 students between high school and postsecondary systems;
4. Increased completions of quality, affordable postsecondary credentials that offer value through economic mobility and security; and
5. Increased outcomes for adults experiencing poverty with regards to economic success, power and autonomy, and being valued in their communities.
6. For additional information about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, please visit https://www.gatesfoundation.org/.
Please be aware the the foundation is partnering with Spencer Stuart on this key leadership hire. If you wish to submit an application or nomintate someone, please email: .
The Director, U.S. Program Data (Director) leads the team’s overall strategy to advance the state of education data, focused on demand, access, governance, and use to support stakeholders and decision makers in the education-to-workforce (E-W) continuum – including the Foundation’s broader U.S. program, teams, and strategies. You will develop and lead an addition to the core strategy that identifies a limited set of big bets that leverage modern technology and have the potential to enhance current systems and be breakthrough in the E-W data ecosystem for learners, educators, and administrators, and to inform policy.
The Director will oversee a high-performing team and create an environment of optimism, collaboration, rigor, innovation, and inclusion, both internally at the foundation and externally across the field. The Director will represent the U.S. Program Data team internally to foundation staff and leadership, as well as externally to grantees, partners, and the public. This leader will serve as a key member of the U.S. Program leadership team and will contribute to advancing the foundation’s mission and improving its impact and functioning through use of voice and leadership.
EXAMPLES OF Recent Investments & IMPACT
- Equitable Value Explorer (EVE): This innovative diagnostic tool allows institutional leaders, researchers, and policymakers to explore the economic value that colleges and universities deliver to students.
- Democratizing our Data Challenge: A $5 million+ initiative designed to generate novel, scalable, state-led data products to improve public policy and programs across the education-to-workforce continuum. Funding nine projects in its first round, the challenge includes new data linkage and dashboards adding data on non-completers and students with non-degree credentials to the Multi-State Postsecondary Report; creating a “Return on Credential Investment” prototype for Indiana youth, unemployed, and transitioning workers to improve their career pathways opportunities; and expanding access to the Unemployment-to-Reemployment portal to additional states, including Wisconsin.
- Georgetown's Massive Data Institute deployment of Privacy-Enhancing Technologies to safely expand use of student data reflects an R&D investment focused on unlocking the data ecosystem for use by, and for, the learner.
- Examples of state exemplar efforts include the Washington’s Education Research and Data Center’s (ERDC) launch of a P20W Data System Study to evaluate their 16-year-old data system. As ERDC considers new data infrastructure, they launched the latest Earning for Graduates Dashboard, which displays earnings of students who have received certificates or degrees from public colleges, universities, and apprenticeship programs in Washington, and were subsequently employed in Washington.
Strategy Thinking and Execution
- Core Data Portfolio: Lead the core data strategy focused on demand, access, governance, and use to support stakeholders and decision makers in the education-to-workforce (E-W) continuum to answer essential questions for continuous improvement of education and economic mobility systems. Key areas of accountability are:
- improve access to expanded postsecondary student outcomes data to enable use for improving college enrollment and completion and supporting linkages of E-W data across states to expand access to and use of post-college earnings data;
- support states to modernize comprehensive P20W data systems to support the creation of an exemplar P20W data system by 1) using a holistic ecosystem approach 2) creating proof points for modernization of specific components of P20W data ecosystems in select states; and
- support and scale the Value Data Framework based on the Postsecondary Value Commission report by working with postsecondary institutional leaders and policymakers to create policy and programs that increase equitable post-college outcomes.
This includes the internal service function that supports USP strategies on E-W data needs with the aim of improving the quality, access, and use of E-W data and related data systems in order to enable and create public goods for data that benefit the field on key data needs with an emphasis on national, multi-state, and state longitudinal data systems to support research and generation of rigorous evidence that will illuminate the efficacy of educational interventions to improve student outcomes, and inform practice and policy as appropriate. USP strategies include Early Learning, K12 Education, Postsecondary Education, Pathways, Economic Mobility and Opportunity, and the Washington State Initiative.
- Innovation Data Portfolio: Develop and lead an addition to the core data strategy that incorporates a limited set of big bets that leverage modern technology and have the potential to enhance current systems and be breakthrough in the E-W data ecosystem for learners, educators, and administrators, and to inform policy. These bets may include how to leverage artificial intelligence, synthetic and/or augmented data sets, semantic web structure, innovative privacy enhancing technologies, and other groundbreaking innovations can come together that could lead to step-function advances in quality, access, and use of E-W data. Examples of components of this “out-of-the-box” thinking might include:
- how Semantic Web technologies like RDF, OWL, and SPARQL can help to organize and categorize education data, making it easier to access and analyze;
- how augmented data sets could help educators create a more comprehensive and longitudinal picture of student progress and learning outcomes to more effectively support students; and
- how privacy-enhancing technologies such as differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, and secure multi-party computation can help schools protect sensitive education-to-workforce data while still allowing it to be used for analysis, insights, and action.
- Leadership and Management: Lead a team to structure, manage, and deliver high-return, measurable progress against the strategy through alignment, strong execution, and measurable metrics and dashboards to assess performance and execution towards intended outcomes and impact.
- Lead, manage, empower, and develop a team of experts. Build and enable a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture that encourages open dialogue, alignment, and action; one that enables the team to do their best work by having a service orientation to develop and manage strong relationships and partnerships with internal colleagues and external public and private sector partners to craft and implement strategies that make measurable progress.
- Lead collaborative processes and provide content expertise and analytic capability to support the scoping, defining, and managing of cross-cutting data strategies and associated investment portfolios across the division.
Collaborating and Influencing
- Serve as a member of the USP Leadership Team to engage, contribute, and ultimately ensure that the division is optimized for impact programmatically, culturally, and operationally.
- Collaborate and engage with colleagues across the division and the foundation, including the CEO and Co-Chairs, to strengthen the USP Data Strategy, the U.S. Program, the foundation, and our work in the field. Engage with external stakeholders, including other funders, to maximize impact and achievement of strategic objectives.
- Develop and sustain an effective partnership and engagement, where appropriate, with the foundation’s Global Policy & Advocacy North American team to inform state policy, advocacy, and communications work that stay aligned with foundation priorities.
- Build a clear vision for success for the U.S. Program Data strategy that is well understood and communicated, internally and externally.
- Create strong relationships and generate trust and confidence with internal stakeholders and external partners within the first 12 months of tenure.
- Ensure continued momentum on the core data strategy, particularly as it serves other strategies in the U.S. Program, and create an ambitious, bold, compelling, and plausible strategy for the innovation data portfolio that is ultimately approved and executed.
- Demonstrate inclusive leadership practices, with consistent investment in the growth and development of people.
- Effectively navigate ambiguity and change, particularly in areas of overlap across teams within the USP.
Demonstrated ability to lead people and teams to effectively achieve clear, yet complex goals and objectives. Has demonstrated competencies and skills related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including identifying, recognizing, and valuing different perspectives, skills and talents in service of our mission and ability to cultivate an inclusive and high-performance environment.
Educational data expertise
Subject matter expertise on preschool to grade 20 to workforce (P20W) data, including but not limited to the availability, coverage, definitions, and use cases for key sources. A strong desire to improve P20W data quality, access, and use with demonstrated knowledge of related data issues, including key research, policies, and debates in the field. An understanding of the complexity and challenges with education-to-workforce data, and knowledge of how different communities and collaborators engage with data, incorporating any community competencies into the work.
Demonstrated experience in or ability to lead innovation that balances practicality with cutting-edge/ innovative ideas such as semantic web technologies like RDF, OWL, and SPARQL, augmented data sets, privacy-enhancing technologies, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and insights.
Demonstrated Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
Diversity, equity, and inclusiveness is a core priority for our internal organization as well as for our work. Knowledge of how different communities and collaborators engage with data, and the ability to incorporate diverse community expertise and competencies into the work is essential.
Undergraduate degree required; advanced degree preferred.
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
- Demonstrates strong strategic agility and analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, with an ability to balance disciplined execution against strategic priorities with the flexibility to pursue opportunities that emerge as the related sector evolves.
- Prioritizes and manages large amounts of information to achieve results in a fast-paced environment.
- Synthesizes and extracts meaning from complex bodies of work and effectively communicates key takeaways for diverse audiences.
Collaborating and Influencing
- Negotiates and mediates complex relationships in a matrixed environment, including an ability to reconcile multiple diverse viewpoints and often to negotiate across internal partners.
- Capably works with a variety of local, state, and federal/national entities and public and private sector grantees and partners.
- Effectively uses informal influence and non-positional leadership to accomplish work, demonstrating the ability to build trust and serve as a team player who motivates and educates other team members and understands the value of interpersonal relationship-building.
- Facilitates, manages, and summarizes divergent points of view to advance the thinking of the group.
- Brings together and inspires team members with diverse backgrounds, approaches, and beliefs to pursue a coherent long-term direction and collaborates with the team on how to achieve it.
- Delegates objectives with clear and explicit intent to a team with high technical acumen, allowing the freedom to be creative in devising strategies.
- Demonstrates commitment to and the ability to implement best practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Sets up practices to reinforce independent and open communication among team members and other groups within the foundation that contribute to the work of the team.
- Holds people accountable for their commitments, providing clarity and assisting when barriers arise; maintains the team’s focus on results, integrity, and impact.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.
If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.
We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.