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Strategy Officer for Talent Investments
Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana
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Date Posted 08/15/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Job Title:  Strategy Officer for Talent Investments

Department:  Strategy Development and Implementation

Reports to:  Strategy Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana (relocation required)

Lumina Foundation is committed to the creation of an equitable, universal postsecondary learning system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials; the goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

The Foundation believes that the postsecondary system must be redesigned to give all Americans—regardless of race, income, and other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that postsecondary attainment provides. While some progress has been made since 2008, attainment rates for African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian students continue to lag behind those of whites and Asian-Americans. Lumina’s Equity Imperative reflects its commitment to equity across all learning and work contexts (with recognition that historic, persistent factors have created inequity) and excellence (credentials defined by learning and competencies rather than time; assurance of high-quality learning that aligns with 21st century workforce and industry needs; and an affordable system with incentives that encourage students and institutions to increase educational attainment and close achievement gaps).

Lumina Foundation employs a number of evidenced-based approaches in its investment and thought leadership work, including its role as convener and sponsor of networks and partnerships. The Foundation is focusing on five priorities for action—big ideas about how to ensure six of every 10 working-age Americans have meaningful and marketable credentials beyond a high school diploma by 2025:

  • Scaling Affordable Pathways: A system for learning beyond high school that assures equitable access to affordable pathways to quality credentials.

  • Transparent Credentials: A new, national system of transparent, quality credentials exists in which learning is recognized however it occurs, offering every American a chance for a better life.

  • Competency-Based Learning: A national expansion of competency-based learning takes place that recognizes measuring academic progress based on demonstrations of what students know and can do offers another option for educating Americans.

  • First Credential for Adults: Pathways to initial credentials – including workforce certificates and industry certifications – exist for adults who have not yet pursued education beyond high school.

  • Quality Assurance: An integrated quality assurance system is in place for credentialed learning beyond high school that is rooted in measuring student outcomes and enabling responsible innovation.

Lumina Foundation has a passionate and committed staff of 55 and is among the nation’s top 100 private foundations, with an endowment in excess of $1 billion.


The Role

The Strategy Officer for Talent Investments conceptualizes and leads a comprehensive portfolio aimed at increasing the number of individuals that gain postsecondary credentials, and will specifically: 

  • Develop keen insight into the various ways that learning after high school is funded, including public investments beyond federal and state financial aid, tax incentives for employers, as well as new economic development and public-private partnerships that support the attainment of credentials.

  • Identify and support efforts that maximize the impact of state and federal workforce and education investments, self-sufficiency and programmatic funds, to include efforts that leverage community, private and public resources to better support adult learners to earn first credentials.

  • Make recommendations to the Strategy Director and Senior Vice President about the design, development and scale of new models and practices that leverage existing public and private resources in order to incentivize talent investment and to address equity.

  • Ensure an equity lens underpins all strategy conceptualization, design, development and management.

  • Deepen existing relationships and cultivate new partnership relationships in order to develop a portfolio of grants and contracts that either directly lead to an increased number of postsecondary credentials or facilitate a change in conditions that will likely lead to an increase in high-quality credentials (and those accessing and gaining those credentials).

  • Communicate Lumina’s key messages effectively and clearly to multiple audiences.

  • Collaborate in an intentional, forward-thinking and integrated way with colleagues, within the Strategy Development and Implementation Division as well as across all other areas of the Foundation, to maximize the impact of the Foundation’s resources.



  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience.



  • Background in consulting (management, strategic, innovation/design) or learning and development within a forward-thinking corporation known for its innovative talent development approaches. Ideally brings a track record of building financial models and business cases for talent-related investments.

  • Bring experience and expertise in employer-supported and -driven postsecondary programs, particularly in support of incumbent worker training, development and credentialing.

  • Commitment to Equity: Embrace Lumina’s commitment to equity and practice cultural competence. Demonstrations of this commitment includes increasing knowledge about systemic disparities and barriers to learning beyond high school, as well as honing the skills necessary to lead in more inclusive ways. Use knowledge and skills to actively engage partners in addressing equity in programmatic work.

  • Analytical skills, with a strong ability to:

    • Learn quickly and connect learning to ongoing program and portfolio conversations.

    • Problem-solve.

    • Research; can coordinate with external researchers and program evaluators.

  • Project and budget management skills, able to:

    • Manage complex, multi-stakeholder activities.

    • Prioritize a wide range of duties and responsibilities, organize tasks, and remain flexible to changing and multiple requests; must manage time and resources well.

    • Follow through on commitments.

    • Exercise sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.

    • Use technology effectively, including databases, spreadsheets, Microsoft Office 365 products such as Outlook and Word, Salesforce, WebEx and Yammer.

  • Relationship & communications skills:

    • Experience building and managing diverse networks, ideally to support efforts producing system-level change.

    • Excellent verbal communicator and presenter with both internal and external audiences.

    • Excellent writer, with the ability to review, revise and synthesize complex information

    • Connects the Foundation’s work to broader discussions.

    • Collegial and diplomatic, with an ability to partner effectively internally and externally.

  • Personal attributes:

    • Flexible and adaptive, with a strong learning orientation; can work in an iterative, dynamic environment.

    • Able to contribute to team-based decisions, at times leading at times in concert with others.

    • Is comfortable with ambiguity and operating without complete information.

    • Thrives in an outcomes-oriented work environment.

    • Self-reflective, humble, well-grounded and energetic.

    • Aligns to Lumina’s mission and values.


Work Environment and Physical Demands

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

  • Visual and auditory acuity for 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.


Applicants should send to the e-mail address below;

  • a letter of interest that includes desired compensation,

  • resume/curriculum vitae as attachments outlining experience relevant to the position, and

  • a writing sample that focuses on a topic relevant to this position.

Please specify the position you are applying for.


Nora Nichols, Associate

Viewcrest Advisors

Equal Opportunity Employer

*Please mention NonprofitJobs to employers when applying for this job*
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