Strategy Officer, Innovation and Discovery


Lumina Foundation Position Summary


Job Title: Strategy Officer, Innovation and Discovery


Department: Innovation and Discovery


Reports to: Strategy Director, Innovation and Discovery


FLSA Status: Exempt


Location: Washington, DC. Employees spend two working days in the office each week.


Compensation: $95,920-$108,000 (final offer commensurate with experience)


Benefits: Include, but are not limited to Health Insurance (medical, dental, and vision), 6% employer match for 401(k), Pension, Vacation and Sick Time, Paid Leave, 100% Employer Paid Group Life, Long-term Disability and Commuter Benefits.




The Strategy Officer, Innovation and Discovery, works with the Director and senior leadership to explore new issue areas and ways of working to inform both current and future strategy at Lumina. Promoting postsecondary access and attainment and centering racial equity and justice remain core to Lumina’s identity – and, through Innovation and Discovery (I&D), we are developing new work on the societal benefits of increased attainment to respond to the question, ‘education for what?’ I&D provides dedicated organizational capacity in three areas:


  1. Monitor the broader societal, economic, and political context for our work and identify for leadership potential disruptions and systemic risks that may affect Lumina’s ability to achieve its mission or to deliver on strategic priorities.


  1. Incubate new ideas and solutions to risks prioritized by leadership, including through early-stage strategy development to include grantmaking and other forms of investment, partner support, thought leadership, and network development.


  1. Launch the most promising incubated ideas to other portfolios at Lumina and to others outside Lumina when they reach an appropriate level of relevance and maturity.


The I&D team works closely with colleagues across the Foundation to identify and implement innovative ideas that bridge our current strategic work and our possible future directions.


The Officer must be highly adaptable and willing to take risks and learn along the way, including developing expertise in new areas that emerge as priorities for the Foundation. Ideally, the Officer will have interest and experience related to democracy, community building, and/or climate and sustainability. The Officer should also have baseline knowledge of the current higher education landscape and efforts to promote credential attainment.


At Lumina, how we approach the work is as important as what we accomplish. Candor, collaboration, and connection are the organization’s core values and everyone at Lumina strives to live these values through their words and actions.


The Role


Commitment to Racial Justice and Equity · Advance Lumina’s commitment to ending systemic racism and barriers to learning beyond high school for Black, Latino, and Native American individuals


  • Identify opportunities for I&D to promote racial and ethnic diversity in hiring, contracting, grantmaking, inclusive decision-making, and achieving fair and just outcomes.


  • Effectively communicate Lumina’s commitment to racial equity to internal and external partners.


Portfolio Design and Management


  • Manage an assigned portfolio of grants and contracts through the lifecycle, encouraging relationships and collaboration among partners and communicating lessons learned to internal and external audiences.


  • Collaborate with the Director on ways to support, enhance, or pivot in strategy.


  • Leverage existing relationships and cultivate new partnerships to inform I&D portfolio development.


  • Research and increase awareness of key issues and players in the field to assess how the portfolio can be enhanced.


Integration and Collaboration


  • Serve as a key internal resource for sharing insights from I&D’s work, including building out a plan for knowledge sharing, writing memos and developing presentations, participating in briefings for leadership, and connecting with colleagues through formal and informal channels.


  • Collaborate in an intentional and forward-thinking way with colleagues across the organization to maximize the impact of the Foundation’s resources.


  • Identify opportunities to bridge I&D efforts with priorities of other Lumina portfolios and external partners.


  • Consistently engage the Director for feedback, guidance, and alignment.


External Representative and Thought Leadership


  • Represent Lumina in various external settings, occasionally through speaking opportunities, and share highlights and opportunities identified during those events with the Director and other colleagues.


  • Clearly articulate and champion I&D efforts to internal and external stakeholders.


  • Contribute to op-eds, reports, talking points, and other written pieces that advance the Foundation’s strategic efforts related to I&D.


  • Collaborate with internal and external partners to plan and execute convenings, meetings, and conferences of I&D partners and other key stakeholders.


Strategy Analysis and Synthesis


  • Analyze and synthesize information across various sources and share insights with the Director and executive team members.


  • Use critical thinking skills to extract key lessons from past and current work to shape and inform future work.


  • Convey Lumina’s key messages clearly and compellingly and provide feedback to colleagues on linking I&D with other Foundation priorities.


Education and Experience


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent mix of experience and expertise.


  • At least three (3) years of experience, preferably in the areas of higher education, democracy, community building, climate/sustainability, nonprofit, public, or philanthropic sectors.


  • Knowledge of the current higher education landscape and efforts to promote credential attainment.


  • Demonstrated success in influencing, affecting, and implementing change, or some other mix of relevant skills and experience is preferred.


Skills, Competencies, and Characteristics


  • Ability to learn quickly and connect learning to ongoing conversations related to the assigned body of work.


  • Ability to demonstrate how best to use the Foundation’s resources to ensure the policies and practices envisioned in the current Strategic Plan align with Lumina’s learning and credentialing principles.


  • Ability to make decisions in concert with others without complete information and thrive in an outcomes-oriented, continuously evolving work environment where thinking beyond the curve is encouraged.


  • Project management skills with demonstrated ability to execute, follow through on commitments, set priorities, and manage time and resources well.


  • Experience with diverse networks that support efforts to produce systemic change.


  • Strong verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate accurately, effectively, and in ways appropriate to different audiences.


  • Strong writing skills, with the ability to synthesize different sources of information and help connect the Foundation’s work to broader societal issues.


  • Ability to manage internal and external constituents, projects, and budgets.


  • Analytical, problem-solving, and research abilities and an ability to coordinate with researchers and program evaluators.


  • Capable of applying adaptive problem-solving skills in response to unforeseen challenges and new assignments.


  • Flexibility to manage changing and multiple requests.


  • Ability to work collegially and diplomatically across the organization and audience groups, with an ability to listen and resolve conflicts.


  • Sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.


  • Ability to use technology effectively, including Microsoft Office 365 products such as Excel, Outlook, Word, and Teams, as well as the Fluxx grants and contracts database.


Work Environment and Physical Demands


  • Work is performed in an office environment, mostly sedentary.


  • Extensive use of various forms of technology.


  • Travels 10-20%, including overnight stays.


This Position Summary is only a summary of the typical job functions, not an exhaustive list of all possible responsibilities, and may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.


To apply to this position, please submit your resume and a cover letter indicating your interest in the position to Human Resources via email at [email protected]. Please use the subject- Strategy Officer, Innovation and Discovery_ FirstNameLastName.






Click here for more information or to apply. To apply to this position, please submit your resume and a cover letter indicating your interest in the position to Human Resources via email at [email protected]. Please use the subject- Strategy Officer, Innovation and Discovery_ FirstNameLastName.

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  • Kevin Perez
    published this page in Job Board 2023-08-04 16:43:44 -0400