More information about CEI may be found at: www.evaluationinnovation.org.
This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Alejandra Villa of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter outlining their interest and qualifications and their resume via NPAG’s website.
Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) is an equal-opportunity employer. We believe every employee has the right to work in an environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination. Consistent with applicable laws, CEI makes all decisions involving any aspect of the employment relationship without regard to race, color, sex, creed, religion, age, marital status, national origin, citizenship, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other status or characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law (“Protected Characteristics”). Discrimination and/or harassment based on any of those factors are inconsistent with our philosophy of doing business and will not be tolerated. This policy of non-discrimination applies to all aspects of recruiting and employment, including compensation, benefits, advancement, transfers, and reductions in force.
A NOTE ON THE SEARCH PROCESS
The search process will be steered by a committee of CEI Staff and Board members (the Search Committee) and conducted by NPAG. NPAG and the Search Committee will review candidate submissions and conduct interviews. Candidates can generally expect the following:
- Strict confidentiality regarding participation in the search process
- Search Committee and NPAG will review candidate submissions, and NPAG will conduct screening calls with candidates (December 2023 – February 2024)
- Search Committee will select candidates for first-round interviews (February 2024)
- Search Committee will conduct first-round interviews (February – March 2024)
- Finalist Interviews with Staff and Board (April 2024)
- Offer Extended (Spring 2024)
- Start Date (late Spring 2024)
At a pivotal moment of change with the transitions of its Co-Executive Directors Julia Coffman and Dr. Chera Reid, CEI now invites applications and nominations for its next Executive Director.
The Executive Director will lead an interdisciplinary staff, in partnership with a growing board and strategic partners, to continue to build and strengthen CEI’s critical role in helping to position evaluation and learning in philanthropy to advance racial equity and social justice.
At a time of transition, CEI is now poised to engage a new leader to create space and provide thought leadership and research to support philanthropy leaders in shifting their work toward the transformation of learning and evaluation for advancing racial equity and justice. The new leader will engage with the following opportunities and challenges:
- Vision & Leadership. Partner with the Board and staff to provide critical thought leadership to the field of philanthropy that lifts up, synthesizes, and disseminates best practices, lessons learned, and new strategies to advance equity-centered and trust-based practices in learning and evaluation. Continue evolving CEI as a space for learning and evaluation practitioners in philanthropy to gather, learn, and grow together.
- Sector Leadership and Collaboration. Represent CEI externally and serve as an ambassador, thought leader, and collaborator within the broader philanthropic community and the field of philanthropy serving organizations. Serve as a go-to resource and space for equity-driven learning and evaluation for a broad range of philanthropic and evaluation-centered organizations.
- Organizational Management. Strengthen organizational muscle and processes that promote transparency, collaborative decision-making and continuous learning, effective prioritization, and organizational excellence in execution, all in the context of an inclusive, respectful, values-driven culture. Drive effective functioning and integration across teams and roles, ensuring consistent communication, translation of vision to action steps, and systems to assess progress against objectives.
- Business Model & Development. Grow and diversify CEI’s funding base through new and innovative partnerships and build robust, trusting relationships with key funders. Explore new strategies for refining CEI’s business model.
- Team & Culture. Inspire, lead, and manage a diverse and talented team of professionals in a virtual environment and further its culture of connectivity, inclusion, shared values, enthusiasm for the work, and high performance. Provide high-level leadership, mentorship, and support to project teams and steward key relationships and partnerships, ensuring strategic alignment, expectation-setting, and clarity of process in client engagements.
- Board Development & Engagement. Partner with the Board to build board capacity to support CEI’s next era of work and growth.
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Vision & Strategy Leadership
- Commitment to CEI’s mission and a leadership style that embraces CEI’s organizational values.
- Demonstrated thought partnership and field leadership in strategy, learning, and evaluation, including within the philanthropic sector, consulting, academia, and/or think tanks, with a focus on racial equity and social justice.
- Advanced degree in social or behavioral science, evaluation, public policy, or related degree or equivalent experience.
- 8+ years of applied research and evaluation experience, ideally including consulting and/or foundation learning and evaluation. Possesses a deep understanding of research, evaluation, and strategy development's role in promoting learning and impact in philanthropy. Fluency in evaluation and learning methods with the ability to communicate complex methodology and facilitate learning across a wide audience is critical. Expertise in complexity, systems change, advocacy and organizing, power building, and strategic learning.
- Strong convening and facilitation skills and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; ability to establish trust with diverse stakeholders. A leadership style that encourages practitioners, organizations, and field partners to expand their thinking or consider new approaches.
- Demonstrated connections and established networking across the philanthropic sector, including with established practitioners as well as emerging leaders.
- Have a demonstrated commitment to advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and the courage to elevate sensitive conversations that recognize and address organizational and field power dynamics.
- Comfortable with theory building.
Organizational & Team Leadership
- Be an experienced team leader and manager with the ability to move people toward a shared vision; have a proven ability to create management structures that support team processes and decision-making. Interest in fostering a joyful and supportive team culture.
- Ability to assess and identify organizational obstacles, devise strategies to guide growth, and foster a culture that provides staff opportunities to learn continuously and grow professionally.
- Demonstrated ability to align vision, strategy, and execution with a clear, compelling, and transparent communication style.
- Collaborative style that embraces shared leadership and a commitment to a people-centered approach to the work, both within the organization and with clients and partners.
- Demonstrated success in identifying and leading new partnership opportunities and experience building deep networks of partners, leading teams in drafting proposals and budgets, crafting compelling project cases, and stewarding relationships.
Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) envisions a new era of philanthropy that encourages new approaches to the way the sector works, and provides changemakers the space and resources to imagine and create better futures. Since its founding in 2009, CEI has operated in the strategic space between philanthropy-serving organizations and evaluation firms that work with philanthropy. Similar to philanthropy-serving organizations, CEI serves a group of foundations that have characteristics in common through coordinating the Evaluation Roundtable, a network of learning and evaluation leaders from 130 foundations in the US and Canada. Similar to evaluation firms, CEI’s project-based consulting work with foundations grounds its field-building work in practice and allows them to apply concepts in meaningful contexts to advance philanthropic practice on strategy, learning, and evaluation efforts. Through partnerships with philanthropic organizations, like-minded field-builders, and impacted communities, CEI helps build the skills and power of philanthropic professionals and community leaders to collectively pursue a just, multiracial democracy and society.
CEI seeks to operate in agreement with the Equitable Evaluation Framework™ (EEF) and is allied with others who are working to shift the evaluation paradigm in the social sector so that evaluation becomes a tool for equity. CEI challenges learning and evaluation leaders—both within foundations and those supporting foundations from the outside—to adopt practices that advance racial justice and create an equitable future.
CEI’S EMERGING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CEI began as a fiscally sponsored project in 2009 and transitioned to an independent 501(c)3 organization in late 2022. As part of that process, CEI’s leaders invited two initial Board of Director members to work with staff and external consultants in support of CEI’s leadership transition.
The starting salary for the Executive Director role is $300,000. CEI offers a robust benefits package, including platinum-level health insurance, a 401(k) plan, generous paid time off, life and disability insurance fully covered by the organization, Flexible Spending Accounts, and support for professional development. Employees also receive a MacBook Pro and a home office setup stipend.
CEI is a fully remote organization with travel expectations for specific projects and conferences, team building, one in-person Board meeting per year, and other necessary in-person meetings (about 10 trips total yearly).