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Senior Director, Insights & Outreach, Digital Impact Alliance

Position Overview

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is a “think, do, replicate” tank that investigates digital transformation best practice at the national, regional and global level. We combine practical research with evidence-based advocacy to identify which digital efforts work, package them as re-usable solutions and encourage their use.
 
DIAL is funded through a collaboration among the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C.

The Senior Director, Insights and Outreach is the main policy leader for the organization and will be the key thought leader shaping our digital research and global engagement efforts for the organization. They oversee DIAL’s policy research, Digital Principles training portfolio and our communities of practice teams. Collectively, this group and our Communications team form the “Insights and Outreach team.” As the main policy leader for the organization, they are expected to be an accomplished public speaker and thought leader as one of the chief spokespersons for the organization.  They will partner closely with the CEO and Senior Director, Strategy and Partnerships on external engagement efforts, be a key member of DIAL’s leadership team, and will report directly to the CEO.
 
The Insights and Outreach (I&O) team works closely with external partners, gathering insights from digital development practitioners, curating replicable models that can be used to achieve policy objectives and engaging with global thought leaders on what is most needed to achieve digital transformation and responsible data use. These insights are then packaged into replicable models and communications products that others can adapt and use.
 
The Senior Director, Insights and Outreach, will be someone who has a broad depth of knowledge on trends in digital development. From this base of knowledge, they will work with the policy team to develop new research insights consistent with DIAL’s strategy, set up structures for community engagement centered around our stewardship for the Principles for Digital Development, and will engage with policy thought leaders directly in the UN system, donor governments and with national policy makers to advocate for new digital and data practices. 
 
The role requires a seasoned policy leader who has worked extensively on digital development programs and is passionate about scaling digital technology to achieve the SDGs. They will have a proven track record of working in large, complex international development organization managing and inspiring teams. They will be a leads team member and will, with the Director, Communications and the ProOps lead for Insights and Outreach, manage the smooth functioning of the I&O team. 
 
The successful candidate might come from a thinktank, civil society or public sector, or even industry background but will have a strong understanding of the digital development space at the country and/or the global political level. We strongly encourage women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply, as well as candidates with a personal background in low- and middle-income countries.

This position is full-time with benefits based in our Washington, D.C. office, NY office, or London, UK.

Essential Functions

  • Strategic thinking: identify emerging digital development research topics and shape cutting edge, insightful research on digital development trends, DIAL’s overall community engagement and the next phase of the Principles for Digital Development 
  • People Management: mentor and coach individuals from diverse cultural and technical backgrounds, supporting quality project delivery, encouraging collaboration and insights across the team, and fostering innovation through a continuous learning environment. 
  • Community engagement: connect different communities of practice that exist in digital development to align ongoing ideas and efforts to enhance overall effectiveness. 
  • Presentation: speak easily and fluently to technical issues of digital development, and lead internal and external policy engagement for DIAL, the Digital Principles as a senior leader at meetings, events, and conferences, particularly with the government where you are located and the UN system. 
  • Partnership: bring existing partnerships and relationships to DIAL and working closely with DIAL’s Senior Director of Strategy and Partnerships, develop the external engagement plan. 
  • Fundraising: ability to generate new financing leads for DIAL programs from donor and private sector financing options. 
  • Financial oversight: Responsible for oversight and management of the I&O budget and selection and management of external vendors for the delivery of quality products on time and on budget.

Selection Criteria

  • Recognized digital development thought leader with a minimum of ten years of experience in digital for development.
  • Demonstrated track record (more than five years) of leading global policy and/or research team and influencing decision-makers at a leading non-profit or global institution (e.g., international NGO or international organization, government department, research firm.)
  • Record of accomplishment of driving the production of thought-provoking research presenting new points of view to the digital development ecosystem.  
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and collaborate effectively across a diverse set of partners and audiences across multiple geographies and sectors, e.g., industry, government, and development.  
  • Empathetic leader who has been recognized by current teams as a trusted coach and mentor.
  • Demonstrated client service orientation, with the ability to internalize internal and external audience needs and to translate these needs quickly into high-quality research and assets.  
  • Substantive professional experience working in emerging markets.  
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills appropriate for diverse internal and external audiences.
  • Excellent relationship building skills, with demonstrated ability to build teams and work with partners and colleagues at all levels, across organizations, time zones, and cultures required.
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative, with a talent for creative problem solving, perseverance, flexibility, and resilience, and a willingness to dive in and fill gaps on projects where appropriate.  
  • Comfortable working under pressure and amid ambiguity, participating in debate with compassion and clarity.  
  • High attention to detail and commitment to ensuring agreements set can be delivered  
  • Entrepreneurial, with a talent for creative problem solving, perseverance, flexibility and resilience.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities under pressure and under tight timelines.  
  • This position is based with preference to  Washington, D.C., New York, or London, UK.
  • Must have legal authorization to work in the US or UK. 

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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