Program Manager for Stanford Impact Labs

Job description

Program Manager for Stanford Impact Labs🔍School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, California, United States📁Administration📅Feb 18, 2021 Post Date📅88509 Requisition #OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT

The world’s biggest social problems are complex, multi-faceted, and stubborn. No academic center, company, or organization can solve issues like economic inequality or pandemic response alone. We need leaders with different skills and experiences to come together to create fresh insights, evidence, and action to make progress.

Stanford Impact Labs invests in highly-motivated teams of researchers and practitioners from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. These teams—impact labs—work together on social problems they choose and where practical progress is possible. With our support, they can rapidly develop, test, and scale new solutions to social problems that affect millions of people worldwide.

Our approach builds on what works in the life sciences and engineering to turn academic discovery into medical advances and new technologies people use: significant investment in research and development, and close partnership with academics and leaders outside the university. It’s time to support the social sciences the same way. With financial capital, professional support, and training, we can catalyze problem-focused research and partnerships to generate new insights and solutions to persistent social problems. In doing so, we can make social science work for society.

A New Focus on Equity: One way that Stanford Impact Labs is working to achieve this mission and vision is through a new initiative called Local Impact Labs. The COVID-19 pandemic has cost lives and jobs in our communities and exacerbated inequalities across Silicon Valley. The biggest impacts have been borne by essential workers in hospitals, schools, grocery stores, and small businesses. Both health and economic effects have been worse in communities of color and among undocumented residents. Local leaders in government, community organizations, philanthropy, and colleges and universities have agreed to build new partnerships and make financial investments to respond and build a better future.

Our Local Impact Labs initiative is one key component of a new, multi-year partnership led by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), working with Stanford Impact Labs (SIL), the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (, and Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV). The Program Manager is an integral member of the SIL team who will be responsible for designing and managing the Local Impact Labs program, with high-level exposure to faculty, community members, funders, and our nonprofit and government partners.


Reporting to the Innovations Lead, and alongside the team at large, the Program Manager will work in partnership with SIL and SVCF staff to implement all elements of the Local Impact Labs program and support key operational activities of the larger partnership, effectively engaging all necessary stakeholders to support success throughout the process.

The Program Manager’s core responsibilities include process design and implementation, project management, relationship management, and communication.

Process design & implementation:

  • Lead the process for identifying and selecting Local Impact Labs that pair leading faculty and research teams from a range of local academic institutions with partnership grantees, government leaders and local nonprofits to generate evidence on new solutions to improve equity in the partnership’s priority areas.
  • Provide recommendations to the partnership’s advisory committee (25+ leaders from government, nonprofit, philanthropy, community organizations, and private funders) for Local Impact Lab grantees. This includes managing a portfolio of relationships with local nonprofits and organizations, understanding the community’s most urgent equity needs, and requesting proposals from scholars and practitioners to meet those needs. The Program Manager will then run a robust grantee evaluation process, engaging subject matter experts, reviewing proposals, interviewing teams, conducting due diligence, and facilitating a final selection process to recommend a set of labs for funding (approximately $500k-$1m grants over 2-3 years).
Project management:

  • Manage the Local Impact Labs program that pairs leading faculty and research teams from a number of local academic institutions with partnership grantees, government leaders, and local nonprofits to apply research and evidence to issues of equity.
  • Plan, budget, oversee, and document all aspects of Local Impact Labs, including the design, development, and implementation of: requests for proposals, grantee selection and funding, match-making faculty with practitioners, lab oversight, and research insight implementation oversight
  • Develop a detailed work plan for the multi-year Local Impact Labs initiative: define project tasks and activities; plan, schedule, and implement project timelines and action plans
  • Work closely with Local Impact Lab team members (Principal Investigators, Project Managers, and practitioner partners) to track their 2-3-year research and implementation progress and project deliverables (i.e., work plans, commitment devices). Our goal is to directly support the Labs’ scholar-practitioner teams to help them foster meaningful partnerships, navigate operational challenges, implement and apply research insights to equity issues, and scale and sustain the solutions they identify.
  • Support Local Impact Labs in troubleshooting and resolving issues as necessary. This will include consulting with internal and external experts and will require the ability to navigate ambiguity, quickly learn new subject matter, manage relationships and interact with a broad set of experts, public and community stakeholders.
  • Report back to the SIL team with Local Impact Labs’ progress, escalate risks or concerns, and make recommendations for their second tranches of funding in Year 2.
Communication and external engagement:

  • Represent Stanford Impact Labs in the partnership’s operational team meetings and with external audiences.
  • Build, manage, and maintain relationships with a broad set of stakeholders including the partnership’s operations team; staff and faculty from other local academic institutions (ex: San Jose State, Santa Clara University, Foothill College, De Anza College, and more); and local government, nonprofit, and community leaders.
  • Identify opportunities to advance policy and advocacy efforts relevant to Local Impact Labs’ roles and execute supporting activities, such as facilitating conversations with community leaders and partners.
  • Share progress and insights from the Local Impact Labs and the partnership in meetings, public events, on the Stanford Impact Labs website, and with the media.

The ideal candidate possesses a passion for making meaningful, sustainable change in Silicon Valley and is ready to work in an openly collaborative work environment. We want to work with delivery leaders who have robust client-facing experience in public sector contexts or direct experience implementing programs through public service.

Profiles for a successful candidate for Program Manager would likely have the following skill sets or background: a) professionals with a strong background in government, philanthropy, or NGOs; b) management consultants with public sector consulting experience; c) specialists who have worked on issues such as housing, financial stability, workforce development, climate change, public transportation, etc.; d) experienced digital product managers who have implemented IT projects or worked in startup environments.

The candidate must also demonstrate the ability to:

    Build successful relationships – with experience of building trust-based relationships and partnerships to deliver shared goals
  • Display sound political and technical judgment that helps build momentum, enable change and overcome barriers to success
  • Participate in problem solving – have a track record of analyzing complex problems, extracting insight from data, identifying and structuring key issues, and simplifying the approach to solving them
  • Take full ownership over multiple work streams, demonstrating comfort amid ambiguity, proactivity, dependability and excellent work ethic
  • Provide challenge and effective feedback – have strong influencing and negotiating skills and excellent at giving constructive feedback; empower Labs and team by providing the right balance between challenge and support
  • Work well in a team – have a track record of team working and leadership, especially drawn from across organizations with different cultures
  • Design and write high-quality presentations and reports – produce clear, concise and compelling narratives through a combination of expert prose, use of data, graphics and exceptionally engaging story-telling; able to coach others in producing high quality work
  • Think logically to sequence and plan delivery of strategy with pace, optimism and urgency
  • Facilitate and communicate effectively – can lead interactive workshops with stakeholders and deliver high quality training sessions to groups of trainees
  • Navigate and achieve change in the public or nonprofit sector – have knowledge or experience of operating in a political environment and driving reforms through public sector decision-making processes
  • Demonstrate flexibility and comfort with change – have the ability to quickly pivot based on programmatic needs; accept and integrate feedback with a growth mindset

Stanford Impact Labs is seeking a Program Manager. The Program Manager will work under general supervision of the Innovation Lead and must possess and demonstrate a positive outlook on continuous process improvement efforts while maintaining a team-based and customer-focused mindset. It is critical that this position exhibit the abilities to practice sound judgment and decision-making, effective written & oral communication, strong attention to detail and respectful relationship management. This position must also exhibit a strong desire to continuously learn new and unfamiliar business topics, policies and procedures as they relate to program management – the ability to translate this information into operational successes will be critical.

If you believe that this opportunity is a match for your knowledge, skills and abilities, we encourage you to apply. Thank you for considering employment opportunities with the School of Humanities and Sciences.

In this role, you will:

    Lead the planning and operations for programs or functions that have significant business, regulatory and/or technical challenges requiring subject matter expertise.
  • Evaluate programs or functions, policies and procedures. Identify issues, and develop alternative solutions which may include changes to programs, policies and procedures.
  • Review and analyze trends to advise and develop recommendations to achieve or modify the goals of the program or function.
  • Represent the program or function within the department, unit or school by committing resources and provide information and/or training. Represent the program or function at the university level and/or to external/internal stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Manage and contribute e to the development of outreach strategy that may include relationship development, communications and compliance.
  • May develop and/or oversee budgets; manage finances including monitoring, analyzing, forecasting, and reporting.
  • Assess training needs and may develop associated training.
  • May direct and/or supervise staff.
To be successful in this role, you will bring:

Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience. Bachelor’s Degree and/or Master’s Degree preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

    Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, manage shifting priorities, and handle numerous time-sensitive projects with multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to accomplish goals working through formal and informal channels, with diplomacy and tactfulness.
  • Demonstrated creativity, problem solving, critical analysis, initiative, judgment and, decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and meet budget goals.
  • Demonstrated solid planning and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong relevant subject matter knowledge.
  • Ability to direct the work of others, for jobs requiring supervision.
In addition, preferred requirements and Personal Skills/Attributes include:


  • 3+ years of full-time work experience in program or project management, government, consulting, public policy, nonprofit, philanthropy and/or related fields
  • Knowledge of and experience with project management techniques and tools
  • Experience in community outreach and/or engagement
  • Superlative written, visual, and oral communication skills
  • Advanced ability in key competencies: critical thinking and problem-solving skills, planning and organizing, delegation, and decision-making
  • Experience working on collaborative teams with diverse expertise
  • Experience with fundraising and funder relationship management preferred
  • Expertise in the areas of financial security, affordable housing, and workforce development preferred
  • Appreciation for the value of research; someone who brings a social science mindset to the work
  • Passion for Stanford Impact Lab’s mission of the real-world implementation of research insights through research-practice partnerships
Personal Skills/Attributes:

  • Energetic self-starter who inspires others to their best work
  • Understanding of governments, nonprofits, and/or academia
  • Problem-solver and change agent
  • Highly ethical and trustworthy
  • Articulate and an excellent, proactive communicator
  • Innovative and flexible
  • Attention to detail and excellence
  • Experienced in dealing with senior leadership
  • Able to bring together public, private and nonprofit organizations
  • Collaborative and team focused
  • Ability to tell stories through writing and oral communication
  • Ability to navigate an ambiguous environment with excitement and enthusiasm
  • Excitement for solving problems as they are assigned to the team, as opposed to a desire to focus on one problem over long lengths of time

2 writing samples and 2 program management document samples will be requested from finalists

1 case study will be requested from finalists

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

    Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

Other duties may also be assigned, not all unique aspects of this job are covered by this job posting. A full job description will be shared during the interview process.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4122
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: J
  • Requisition ID: 88509




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Job No:
Posted: 2/20/2021
Application Due: 4/21/2021
Work Type: Full Time