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Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning (ACH)
at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
New York, NY

Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning (ACH)
at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
New York, NY

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (“Foundation”) is a not-for-profit, grant making organization that seeks to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  It makes grants in four core program areas (higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; scholarly communications; and international higher education and strategic projects).  The Foundation seeks a Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Program. 


Position details:


The Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning in the Arts and Cultural Heritage (ACH) Program will be a strategic thinker and thought partner for the Program Director. A senior member of the Program Director’s team, she/he/they will assist the Director in shaping the vision for ACH as well as implementing ongoing and new initiatives aligned with that vision. The Manager will coordinate internal and external convening and communications with special initiative partners and serve as a critical resource to members of the ACH team and colleagues across the organization. Reporting to the Program Director, she/he/they will represent the Program Director in internal and external engagements to communicate the ACH’s strategic directions, programmatic activities, values, and aspirations.


The primary responsibilities may include but will not be limited to:

  • Work closely with the Program Director and program staff on strategic visioning for ACH.  Serve as a thought partner for the Program Director on program direction;
  • Develop documentation protocol and timelines for strategic planning and implementation of new directions for ACH programs;
  • Investigate, report upon, and, where appropriate, manage exploratory grant making opportunities for ACH that may include programs focused on the intersection of the arts and social impact, digital experiences, cultural diplomacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and/or community vitality;
  • Assist the Program Director in the development of budgets for the programs and strategic initiatives and in tracking of ACH strategic initiative expenditures;
  • Help plan effective convenings of grantees and other stakeholders as needed to support ACH signature initiatives;
  • Partner with the Foundation’s office of communications to develop clear, consistent, and effective communications about ACH;
  • Where appropriate, co-author, with the Program Director and Program Officers thought leadership about ACH priorities;
  • Act as a liaison with the Foundation Chief of Staff and Managers of Strategic Initiatives and Planning in the Offices of the President, Executive Vice President, and other program areas to ensure alignment between ACH priorities and those of the Foundation;
  • Where appropriate, represent the Program Director in meetings with potential grantees and consultants on specific initiatives;
  • Where appropriate, initiate grant development in specific areas of grantmaking related to ACH’s strategic initiatives;
  • Work with the program assistants in the ACH office in relation to grantmaking and grant tracking;
  • Where appropriate, speak in forums about ACH’s strategic directions and programmatic initiatives in relation to the Foundation’s mission;
  • Help maintain a work environment that is collegial, outcomes-oriented, and efficient;
  • Where appropriate, serve as the Program Director’s representative and in own capacity on cross-Foundation committees and task forces;
  • Assist Program Director in preparation for meetings, convenings, and conferences focused on matters of strategic concern for the sector.

Required skills or experience:

  • Master’s degree or higher in an academic discipline related to higher education, the humanities, arts, business, and/or public policy;
  • Experience developing new initiatives and managing change in a foundation, non-for-profit, or institution of higher education, ideally an institution with deep connections to arts and culture;
  • Operational experience, including budget management;
  • 7-10 years professional experience, including staff management;
  • Ability to think nimbly and connect ideas and practices across the arts and cultural heritage sector and in connection with other Foundation priorities;
  • Exceptional oral, written, and visual communication and presentation skills, including public speaking;
  • Demonstrated capacity to influence, negotiate, and facilitate processes in a collegial manner;
  • Superior organizational, project, and resource management skills;
  • Proven ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, effectively structure projects, and prioritize time and task sequences;
  • Familiarity with the grantmaking process;
  • Willingness to travel and/or work outside typical business hours;
  • Deep curiosity and passion for learning;
  • Well-developed empathy, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills including proven ability to work effectively on a team;
  • Currency in communications strategy, including digital and social media;
  • Technologically savvy and proficiency in MS Office Suite as well as grant management software such as Fluxx (if not proficient, then a demonstrated willingness and ability to quickly learn new tools);

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume to: Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning

The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.

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