Manager, Innovation

The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 21

Position description

The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) is seeking a Manager to lead cross-functional work across the Innovation team. The Innovation team multiplies the impact of RF initiatives and identifies new frontiers to position RF for the future. The team does this in three ways. The first is to advance data products as breakthrough solutions for RF’s portfolio of programmatic work and high priority partnership opportunities. The second is to advance explorations and high-impact innovation projects in the New Frontiers portfolio designed to address important problems we see on our horizon. The third is to design and execute convenings and networks in service of RF’s programmatic portfolio and as independent levers to help realize our mission. This includes realizing even more impact from our Bellagio Center, a fellowship program, and an active and engaged network of thought leaders advancing knowledge and taking action on issues critical to RF’s work.  

The overall purpose of this role is to support the Managing Director and senior leaders on the Innovation team by managing strategy design, execution, and associated operational processes. This is a generalist role that will work across the Innovation team portfolio to both support linkages across the team and between the team and the foundation, as well as provide targeted support to shape strategies and operational plans for emerging areas of work.   

Principal Duties and Responsibilities  

Strategic Alignment & Execution   

  • Manage alignment and integration across the innovation team. This includes identifying connection opportunities and facilitating and managing collaborative projects, especially those that integrate New Frontiers and Convenings & Networks. Specific responsibilities may include facilitation of cross team working groups, information synthesis, strategy shaping, research, grantmaking, and internal and external partnership building.  
  • Design and manage processes to shape new frontier opportunities for advancement pathways including further RF investment, partnership with other stakeholders, and/or knowledge capture and dissemination.  
  • Design, coordinate, and manage the execution processes for RF’s signature convenings, which are co-hosted high-profile convenings that advance RF’s impact and influence. This includes coordination across several internal and external stakeholders including the President’s Office, initiative teams, communications, and leading external partners; it also includes holding the portfolio view of our signature convenings and securing and managing appropriate external support to design and execute the convenings.   

Operational Process Management    

  • Manage the Innovation Team’s preparation and involvement with company-wide processes. This includes the Business Process Review (the Foundation’s core management review of team scorecards); quarterly strategy reviews; and budgeting and grant pipeline management.  
  • Manage the Innovation Team’s internal processes, including all-team meeting agendas and other engagements that drive alignment, shared knowledge, and learning.   
  • Develop and manage the team’s CRM system and serve as a point of contact for many relationships.  
  • Manage special projects (e.g., development of impact metrics).   

Internal & External Partnerships    

  • Manage and coordinate engagement processes between the Innovation team and other teams within the Foundation to ensure coordination and alignment.  
  • Support the SVP, under the direction of the MD, Innovation, to advance external partnerships and other special projects.   




Education, Experience and Skills   

  • Minimum five years leading fast-paced, strategic projects in a relevant setting, such as strategy units in companies, governments, or large non-profits; project-based professional service firms; or rapid growth start-ups.  
  • Experience in strategy and management consulting, the philanthropic sector, grant-making, partnerships.  
  • Expertise in process design and management, organizational transformation, and systems management.  
  • Experience working at the innovative frontier of a field, preferably related to social impact, innovation, networks.  
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification/experience demonstrating the ability to learn quickly and work in a disciplined way to produce high quality knowledge products.   

Project Management: Ability to work-backwards from set goals and understand critical path dependencies, establish and manage different workstreams, draw from a diverse set of tools and approaches to manage progress and mitigate risks, and adapt when circumstances change.  

  • Execution: A strong sense of urgency and the ability to work with multiple stakeholders to drive towards milestones. Stays focused on priorities in the midst of many competing demands. Able to quickly develop “plan B” when original plans hit roadblocks.   
  • Strategy: Strategic mindset with ability to identify and prioritize what’s important in any project, demonstrates innovative and creative approaches to work, ability to organize chaos into coherent plan.   
  • Communication: Able to translate complex topics into simple language. Can participate appropriately in executive settings and tailor briefs to a range of internal clients. Can represent the Foundation in a wide range of settings.  
  • Leadership: An entrepreneurial sense of ownership over individual work and a sense of accountability to ensure the entire team succeeds. Comfortable with ambiguity and can move forward in the midst of changing circumstances.  
  • Teamwork: Flexible in playing whatever role is necessary for team success. Demonstrate inclusiveness in encouraging participation from everyone to generate the best ideas and results. Can leverage the entire team – reports, peers, and managers – to achieve results.   
  • Entrepreneurship: Proactive in crafting new ideas and creatively solving problems. Able to creatively secure and mobilize the resources required for a project’s success.   

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on