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2021-65: Strategic Initiatives Assistant

MDRC is seeking a Strategic Initiatives Assistant to support the work of the Program Development Department and the Office of Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion (ODI). The Strategic Initiatives Assistant will have an unusual opportunity to work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment and contribute to efforts to achieve MDRC's corporate priorities. Supporting work across two units, the successful candidate will work to advance and implement MDRC corporate strategies, including integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in our internal work culture, our proposals and funding, and our research. The home department for this position will be the Program Development Department.
MDRC is seeking candidates interested in nonprofit development and the role research plays in informing public policy and program improvement. The position will report directly to executive team members and requires utmost professionalism, discretion, a willingness to take initiative and work with minimal direct supervision, and the ability to meet tight and competing deadlines.
The position provides the successful candidate an opportunity to focus on a range of development activities, including:
  • Specializing in writing funding proposals and reports, particularly but not exclusively those centering on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at MDRC.
  • Managing information and descriptions about DEI efforts at MDRC for use in funding proposals and grant reports.
  • Supporting project incubation and launch, such as coordination and background research for new projects, particularly for funding opportunities with a focus on equity.
  • Working closely with the Vice President and Director of Program Development, the Deputy Director of Program Development, and the Grants Manager, to support external communications and activities with funders, which may include creating profiles of prospective funders, developing presentation materials, generating funder acknowledgments, and meeting reporting requirements from funders.
  • Coordinating and assisting with the production of proposals.
  • Managing the development database and maintaining the development files and systems.
  • Providing general support for the core operations of the Program Development Department.
In addition, under the direction of the Director of Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), the successful candidate will spend one half of his, her, or their time:
  • Working closely with the Director in the planning, coordination and implementation of ODI-related programs, initiatives, and meetings, including all logistics.
  • Providing initial drafting of ODI-related internal and external communications for Director’s review and finalization.
  • Drafting and publishing a quarterly ODI newsletter highlighting DEI work within the organization.
  • Helping to coordinate Gueron Scholars Program activities, including engaging in recruitment, supporting summer programming, and maintaining ongoing outreach and communication with program alumni.
  • Attending meetings, including the DEI Advisory Council meeting, and preparing agenda and summaries for circulation.
  • Planning organization-wide presentations and dialogues around DEI and related topics.
  • Supporting the development and administration of ODI-related staff surveys and other research activities, analyzing data, and creating reports.
  • Performing a broad spectrum of administrative duties that require independent decision making, discretion, and judgment.
  • Performing other related assignments or special projects as may be required.
Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree, a demonstrated interest in education and/or social policy issues and nonprofit development, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with others to ensure a diverse and inclusive community. Desired knowledge and skills include a basic understanding of nonprofit development and issues and approaches related to DEI, excellent attention to detail and organization, ability to multitask, strong written and oral communication skills, demonstrated emotional intelligence, and strong critical thinking, interpersonal, collaboration, and task execution skills. Familiarity and comfort with Office software and collaboration platforms, such as Excel, Qualtrics, PowerPoint, Teams, and SharePoint. Discretion, good judgment, and the ability to handle confidential information appropriately and with tact are critical. Prior experience working on outreach, diversity, equity and/or inclusion initiatives is a plus, as is demonstrated comfort with public speaking and experience with graphic design. Candidates also should be very comfortable working in a team-oriented and fast-paced environment.
This position is part of a collective bargaining unit under Social Policy Worker United (SPWU) – Local 57 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Timing: Applications should be submitted by Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
Location: Based in MDRC’s New York City, but we anticipate remote work through April 2022.
Compensation and benefits: Salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits and relocation assistance offered. Some on-the-job training is provided.
Instructions: When submitting your application, please include:
  • Resume
  • Cover letter
Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Please note that the health and safety of our employees and candidates is very important to us and that interviews (when scheduled) will be conducted via video conferencing. As a Federally Contracted employer, MDRC is in full compliance with all applicable regulations including, but not limited to, recent changes that require vaccination of employees of federal contractors. All employees are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the available COVID-19 vaccinations, unless they have sought and received an exemption from this policy due to a disability or other medical condition, or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Accommodations are granted in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Applicants must submit proof of vaccination or request and submit an applicable request for accommodation during the offer stage.
MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. No qualified applicant, employee, intern, volunteer, or apprenticeship trainee will be discriminated against on the basis of his, her, or their race (including traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, national origin (including physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics), marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group, tribal affiliation, membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group, name that is associated with a national origin group, accent, language use, immigration status, citizenship, possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their lawful presence in the United States, and other definitions under California or other states’ laws, ancestry, creed, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), age, citizenship, veteran and/or military status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (including transgender status), gender expression, gender transitioning or perceived gender transitioning, marital status or civil partnership/union status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, protected medical leaves (requesting or being approved for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act) or similar state family medical leave laws, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Legal work authorization is required. To request a reasonable accommodation during any stage of MDRC&’s employment process due to a disability, please contact
MDRC’s dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion exceed compliance requirements. We believe that recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce of all backgrounds and perspectives improves the quality and relevance of our research, as well as the daily experiences of our staff. By fostering an equitable culture of inclusivity and belonging, we seek an environment in which staff feel welcomed, valued, and engaged in their work.