Associate Counsel, Innovative Finance (RF)

Position Summary

The Associate Counsel, Innovative Finance reports to the General Counsel, and has responsibility for the provision of a range of legal services to the Foundation, focused on supporting Innovative Finance programmatic work, the Investments Office, and as part of a small team of attorneys on overall corporate legal and compliance matters.   


Background on Innovative Finance Portfolio

The Rockefeller Foundation is a leading philanthropic institution in the Innovative Finance sector. The Foundation’s Innovative Finance work is centered on providing grants and program-related investments (debt, equity and guarantees) to incubate the next generation of financial mechanisms that can mobilize large scale private capital against the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, the Innovative Finance team actively supports the Foundation’s program teams (i.e. health, power, food, jobs and cities) in designing and implementing finance-oriented interventions that help achieve the Foundation’s overall programmatic priorities.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide legal assistance to the Foundation’s Innovative Finance team for program-related investment transactions that support the Foundation’s charitable goals, including helping to structure transactions, conduct due diligence, and prepare and negotiate debt and equity investment documents and guarantees, and supervising outside counsel with respect to these matters as required; these transactions pilot the application of innovative financing techniques and mechanisms, such as pay for performance vehicles, fund structuring and project financing;
  • Reviewing and structuring Innovative Finance grants and other program-related work for compliance with laws and regulations governing the Foundation as a tax-exempt private foundation;
  • Conducting legal due diligence on Innovative Finance grantees, investees and external partners;  
  • Reviewing documentation and supervising outside counsel on legal matters relating to endowment investments;
  • Reviewing (and in appropriate cases negotiating) contracts entered into by the Foundation with outside service providers and strategic partners;
  • Monitoring compliance of the Innovative Finance work with a range of laws, regulations and policies governing Foundation operations, particularly with respect to securities, fundraising, intellectual property, data privacy, and external communications, and conducting staff training in these areas as needed;
  • Serving as secretary of the internal Program-Related Investments Committee;
  • Conducting legal research as needed;
  • Providing other legal services as requested by the General Counsel.




  • Extremely strong legal reasoning, analytic and drafting skills
  • Exceptionally solid judgment and complete discretion and integrity
  • Professional discipline, and a rigorous approach to the practice of law
  • Ability to make sound risk judgments, working with colleagues to find an appropriate solution to enable programmatic work to move forward
  • Pleasant, diplomatic disposition, sense of humor, ability to adapt, and collaborative working style


  • Communication:  Excellent interpersonal abilities; good listening skills; writing and verbal skills; assertiveness in presenting ideas
  • Decision-Making:  Ability to evaluate and advise on risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; takes initiative and drives for results; able to prioritize and follow through
  • Execution:  Strong project management and creative problem-solving skills; meets deadlines; sense of urgency and responsibility; ability to multi-task and work under pressure; detail oriented; careful drafter
  • Integration:  Accesses functional and substantive expertise organizationally; demonstrates inclusiveness, collaboration
  • Leadership:  Thinks innovatively and creatively; displays strong negotiation skills
  • Partnership and Relationship Building:  Professional representation of the Foundation, interpersonal abilities, intercultural knowledge and appreciation
  • Strategic Ability:   Anticipates future opportunities and consequences, demonstrates innovative approach to work, ability to organize competing interests into coherent plan

Education, Training and Experience

  • Law degree
  • Admission in good standing to the Bar in New York State
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of law practice, with a background in general corporate and transactional practice, including structuring, drafting and negotiation of domestic and cross-border finance transactions.  Experience with impact investing, tax-exempt organizations, tax rules applicable to private foundations, and intellectual property issues is preferred.
  • Significant experience drafting and negotiating complex financing documents
  • Significant experience working on complex cross-border financing transactions



The Rockefeller Foundation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.  The Foundation provides a very generous package of benefits.


How To Apply

Please submit in confidence a resume through the Foundation’s Website application:

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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