Director, Investments & Accountability

Job description

Director, Investments & Accountability

Stanford University

Job Number:


Stanford Impact Labs: 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—a major new initiative at Stanford University—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. Stanford is developing a new model 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.


Reporting to the Faculty Director in the immediate term (and eventually reporting to an incoming Executive Director), the Director of Investments & Accountability will lead the strategy, design and delivery of all SIL investments. This is a senior leadership role on the SIL team and has a tremendous opportunity to shape and influence the impact of SIL as we scale. Stanford Impact Labs is an equal opportunity organization and is strongly committed to racial and social justice. To that end, we particularly encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply for open positions.

Applicants should submit resume and cover letter through the Stanford career portal.

Investment Strategy, Portfolio Development, and Learning

  • Lead the design, implementation, and on-going evaluation of an investment process to allocate capital to impact labs at the seed, start-up, and term levels.
  • Create a structure for sourcing and engaging scientific and practical expertise in the review of potential investments.
  • Build a pipeline of investments to advance our impact goals, by leading the process of selecting, managing, and tracking the portfolio of SIL investments.
  • Explore new opportunities to grow our investment portfolio and experiment with new models.
  • Serve as the in-house subject-matter expert in the field of impact investing, developing and driving changes to our processes over time.

Partnership, Accountability, and Oversight of Investments
  • Lead the design and implementation of an oversight and accountability process for impact labs at the seed, start-up, and term levels, including on-going monitoring, reporting, and convenings.
  • Manage relationships with Stanford Impact Labs' portfolio of awardees, working with each impact lab to develop partnerships, workplans, and concrete impact targets.
  • Develop a strategy and approach to connecting impact labs to critical catalytic support including assistance with the recruitment of talent, the negotiation of partnerships, external engagement and communications, etc.
  • Assess and make recommendations for how the wider Stanford Impact Labs' network can be leveraged to advance the progress of individual labs towards achieving their impact goals.

Leadership, Management, and External Engagement
  • Build and manage the Investments & Accountability team with 2 FTEs (investment associate, core lab support manager).
  • Contribute to our core team by attending team meetings and strategic retreats, knowledge management, strategic planning, budgeting, reporting.
  • Build, manage, and maintain relationships with a broad set of stakeholders including faculty members participating in programs, graduate students, and research teams from across the university.
  • Develop and maintain a portfolio of relationships external with the university including stakeholders from local and national government, the private sector, and nonprofits.
  • As a new initiative within the university, this role requires the ability to take on new assignments and projects as they arise. Of particular relevance to this role will be initiatives around expansion of our funding and grantee programming.

  • Lead strategic planning and analysis for complex functions or programs with significant business, regulatory and/or technical challenges requiring subject matter expertise. May provide development of program or function from initial concept to implementation.
  • Manage the administration and evaluation of programs or functions. Oversee the interpretation, implementation and compliance with policies and regulations. Recommend actions and/or resolve complex issues that often span organizational boundaries.
  • Represent the program or function at the university level and/or to external/internal stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Develop and manage outreach strategy that includes relationship development, communications, and compliance.
  • Oversee or supervise staff in the development and implementation of programs or functions.
  • May develop and/or oversee budgets; manage finances including monitoring, analyzing, forecasting, and reporting.


Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience. Experience in impact investing or philanthropy encouraged but not required.

This is a one-year fixed-term position with the possibility of renewal.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to influence and motivate constituencies which could span multiple organizational boundaries.
  • Demonstrated excellent planning, organizational and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to make sound business decisions using good business judgment and innovative and creative problem-solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage financial, organizational and staff resources.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills with the ability to cultivate professional and business partnerships.
  • Relevant subject matter expertise in impact investments or philanthropy.
  • We recognize that no candidate will meet every requirement. If you may be a good fit, we encourage you to apply.
Additional Information
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4752
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: I
  • Requisition ID: 88921


Location: School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, California, United States
Classification Level:

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

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

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Job No:
Posted: 3/26/2021
Application Due: 5/14/2021
Work Type: Full Time