Director, Evaluation and Organizational Learning


POSITION TITLE:         Director, Evaluation and Organizational Learning

THE FOUNDATION:      The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness)

The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.  Guided by its mission, the Foundation pursues the following goals through its grantmaking: 

  • to address the particular health needs of traditionally underserved populations, including low income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas; 
  • to support and strengthen nonprofit organizations that seek to improve the health of underserved populations;
  • to recognize and encourage leaders who are working to increase health and wellness with their communities; and
  • to inform policymakers and opinion leaders about important wellness and health care issues.

Promoting Equity, Advocacy and Access

The Foundation’s work is grounded in the social determinants of health research that states that where people live and work, their race and ethnicity, and their income can impact their health and wellness.  It is the Foundation’s desire to help “level the playing field” so that everyone has access to good-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods and quality health care services.

Advancing Wellness Grants Program

In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation’s Advancing Wellness grants program includes four grantmaking portfolios: 

Since its founding, Cal Wellness has awarded over 7,690 grants totaling more than $912 million.  The Foundation has an annual operating budget of $11.4 million, assets (as of December 31, 2014) of $941 million and a staff of 43 employees.  It is one of the state’s largest private foundations.  The Foundation is headquartered in Woodland Hills and has a small satellite office in downtown San Francisco.  Cal Wellness is governed by an eight member board of directors. 

To learn more about the Foundation, please visit the website at

ROLE SUMMARY: This position relies on strong analytical, strategic, collaboration, and leadership skills as well as an understanding of how to build a learning organization that embraces continuous improvement. The Director supports organizational learning and plays a leadership role in knowledge generation and synthesis. Evaluation and learning will inform planning and decision-making across the Foundation.

LOCATION: The Director, Evaluation and Organization Learning will work at The California Wellness Foundation’s headquarters offices in Woodland Hills, California or in downtown San Francisco.  (Note:  Planning is underway to relocate both offices in 2017 to locations yet to be determined.)

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS: The Director, Evaluation and Organizational Learning reports to the Vice President of Programs, Fatima Angeles, and must create strong working partnerships with CEO, and Executive Management Committee (EMC) overseeing Human Resources, Finance and Operations and Public Affairs. 


A Bachelor’s Degree and 10+ years related full-time professional work experience or a combination of equivalent experience and training is required. Experience managing staff or teams are preferred. A Master’s Degree is highly preferred. The Director will have a mastery of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods and a demonstrated ability to create and implement new learning and evaluation approaches.   Must be skilled in a range of efforts that elevates learning, guides action and creates impact.   

CANDIDATE BACKGROUND: The ideal candidate understands the Foundation’s learning and evaluation activities and drives ongoing improvement across the Foundation.  The Director will collaborate with, seek guidance and input from and create relationships with Foundation leadership, Program Directors and other Foundation staff.                                   

The Director will contribute to a culture of shared learning that increases the Foundation’s impact and advances the Foundation’s mission, goals and strategies.

The Director of Evaluation and Organizational Learning will shape the long-term evaluation and learning direction and develop appropriate evaluation and learning methodologies to meet the Foundation’s needs. The director will regularly consult with staff to identify opportunities to advance our strategies, enhance our grantmaking practices, and strengthen our impact. 

The successful candidate will possess the following:

  • The position will interface with Foundation staff and Board of Directors, and with the broad community of Foundation grantees and stakeholders.  It requires an individual with excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Flexibility, creativity and the ability to contribute at both strategic and tactical levels. 
  • Excellent strategic and critical thinking skills and the ability to take a broad perspective in the analysis and evaluation of information. 
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills with high attention to detail, accuracy, protocol and deadlines.
  • Excellent writing ability that is clear, concise and analytic in style. 
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and diplomacy skills including solid presentation and facilitation skills, with the ability to interact with and mobilize a wide and diverse population. 
  • Strong coaching and mentoring skills.
  • Must possess understanding of the grantmaking process and work collaboratively with the Foundation’s leadership team to create and implement a learning agenda for staff.


POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES: The Director, Evaluation and Organizational Learning leads Cal Wellness’s evaluation, learning and knowledge management agenda to assess the impact of its work and to assist in planning and refining the Foundation’s strategies. The Director is a “hands-on” leader who will be able to work across all departments of the Foundation. He/she will manage all grantmaking program evaluation, performance measurement and data management and analysis for the assessment of existing grantmaking programs used at the Foundation in a manner consistent with its mission, values and guiding principles. The Director will manage the Project Manager for Evaluation and Organizational Learning. Together the Director and the Project Manager will develop, implement and assess the Foundation’s evaluation and organizational learning efforts. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Provide expertise and guidance for evaluation, measurement and other program-related assessment activities, with a goal of understanding the effectiveness of our grantmaking and other activities, demonstrating the impact of promising approaches, and informing program decision making.
  • Implement and refine our evaluation framework and associated processes to integrate new Foundation activities and promising new assessment techniques as needed.
  • Work with Foundation leadership and key staff members to inform an annual planning process, which includes gathering data from across the Foundation, assessing progress to date, analysis of current context and opportunities, and identification of annual priorities.
  • In consultation with the Vice President for Programs, program directors, and other key staff, develop and implement a learning agenda for Foundation staff, with a focus on best practices in grantmaking, and keeping current on key issues in our fields of work.
  • Develop and implement a learning agenda for the staff as a whole, with a focus on developments in California and innovations in the social sector.
  • Contribute to a culture of learning, inquiry, experimentation, understanding of and tolerance for risk, and a commitment to learning from failures.
  • Collaborate with program and communications staff to synthesize lessons and findings of evaluations and other relevant assessments for sharing with the field.
  • Inform all assessment and programmatic activities by staying current on emerging practices in planning, impact assessment, and learning, including new ways to assess prototyping and piloting work.
  • Conduct research to build and support use of systems for evaluation data collection and analysis.  Facilitate organizational wide use of data management and reporting systems.
  • Ensure that all systems for evaluation data collection, management and feedback meet the Foundation’s needs.
  • Encourage staff to work at the highest standards of robust evaluation and cultivate a spirit and climate of robust evaluation.
  • Manage the development and administration of data collection instruments used across organization.
  • Serves as liaison between the Foundation grantees, grantseekers, other Foundations and other external constituents.


COMPENSATION: Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience.  The Foundation's benefit package is inclusive of medical, dental, vision, life, short and long term disability coverage and offers flexible spending and 401(k) plans.  A positive work environment that supports work-life balance is provided.


The California Wellness Foundation strongly supports equal employment opportunity for all applicants regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.

Working Conditions:

  • General office environment.
  • Use of general office equipment and programs.

Physical Demands:

  • May sit or stand for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to keyboard and mouse for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to carry, push, pull, reach, or lift materials and/or supplies weighing up to 10 pounds.
  • May stoop, kneel, reach, and bend during routine work.
  • Hearing and vision within normal ranges for computer work.

If interested and qualified, please email resume as a WORD document attachment to:

Gail Watts
The California Wellness Foundation
6320 Canoga Ave, #1700
Woodland Hills Ca 91367
Tel:  (818)702-1932