Director of Equitable Systems Design

The Future Company
  • Location
    Remote Possible, New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 19

Position description

The National Innovation Service (NIS) partners with governments across the country to engage in systems-level transformations. We do this by creating collaborative coalitions between communities, public sector partners, and other relevant stakeholders to redesign systems with those most impacted at the center of decision-making processes. Our work is to build new systems that produce equitable outcomes.

Our team draws on a variety of disciplines and experiences to deliver this work, privileging direct experience of the problems we address and merging practices from service design, policy analysis, systems thinking, community organizing, and change management. We develop strategies and roadmaps for transformation and also remain committed partners throughout implementation. As we establish and test pathways forward with our partners, we are working to advance equity-based policy and legislation at the local, state, and national levels, as well as the development of new products and services. 

NIS was officially incorporated in February 2019. Our first partnership was with King County and the City of Seattle in Fall 2018. For more details, click here. We’re seeking leaders with an all-hands-on-deck mentality to build our team from the ground up. 


NIS is supported by The Future Company, a startup studio based in New York City.



We strive to attract and develop individuals who reflect a broad spectrum of diversity, including (but by no means limited to) racial, ethnic, gender identity, and socioeconomic dimensions. We believe that inclusion of diverse perspectives is essential to achieving long-term, systemic change. We explicitly seek applications from those who self-identify as coming from historically marginalized populations to enrich and elevate our equity-centered approach to problem-solving.


The Director of  Equitable Systems Design will design and manage NIS’ community engagement processes while developing and maintaining key relationships with stakeholders. They are a systems designer and/or thinker who, preferably, has a social science and public policy background. Because NIS is in its founding stage, each member of the team will also be expected to seek out revenue opportunities and build out strong high-level, high-visibility relationships.

We encourage you to apply if you believe your skills and experience align with the role described below, as there are many different backgrounds, industries, and lived experiences—including, but not limited to, experiences of economic insecurity, housing instability and homelessness, and mental health challenges—that give rise to ideal candidates. 

As our Director of  Equitable Systems Design, you will be accountable for…

Research Design

  • Designing and leading stakeholder engagement and community-based research processes to build a shared understanding of the needs and perspectives of customers, frontline staff, and marginalized communities in each of our partner communities.
  • Crafting and facilitating community workshops and stakeholder interviews, while supporting the creation of media assets to document our work.
  • Developing strong relationships with key community leaders and groups to meaningfully engage them in our work.
  • Managing complicated political landscapes with multiple stakeholders. 
  • Building and maintaining an up-to-date understanding of multiple sectors of work including, public health, health systems, homelessness, systems design, information technology, and other critical areas of domestic or foreign policy as they emerge. 
  • Developing and running multi-stakeholder system transformation processes across the country with the goal of creating systems of governance and program delivery structures that are more equitable and better support historically-marginalized populations.


Strong candidates may...

  • Come from public policy or the social science backgrounds.
  • Have experience managing stakeholder relationships and working directly with municipalities and civic leadership.
  • Have significant experience in community organizing, community engagement, activism. 
  • Have experience developing methodologies in research, design and/or data analysis and implementing them on the ground.


We're looking for someone who…

  • Community Systems Design: Ability to scope and manage community processes, and the can seamlessly embed in a community and establish relationships, and the adaptability to contextualize understanding. 
  • Ethnographic Research & Facilitation: Has a background or professional experience doing ethnographic research (focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc.), and has a strong familiarity with multiple research methods and tools.
  • Diplomacy: Is able to manage interactions with a number of big personalities. Is diplomatic and clear, as well as be able to build trust and strong relationships.
  • Equity: Is deeply fluent in equity concepts and language, understands their own privilege and power, and is able to bring equity impact analysis to life in the context of their tasks.
  • Flexibility: Approaches work with a spirit of “yes” and pushes through obstacles and ambiguity, adapting quickly to changing situations while effectively juggling shifting priorities that are characteristic of early-stage startups.
  • Team Development: Understands that NIS is a new organization, and sees their job as building the team and supporting its growth, anticipating scaling problems and course-correcting when needed.
  • 100% Follow-through: Cares deeply about getting results, stays on top of all specific tasks/follow-up items, and consistently meets deadlines.



This role requires the willingness and ability to travel up to 30-50%, dependent on project work, to conduct meetings with leaders in the space, represent NIS, and lead project teams as needed.

Salary for this position is competitive. Additionally, we offer a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental, vision, and generous Paid Time Off.

We look forward to having our Director of  Equitable Systems Design join us by March 2019.

Application instructions

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