Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy whose core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. We are dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.
Arnold Ventures believes deeply in the importance of rigorous evidence to help guide policy decisions, program investments, and public spending in the United States. The Evidence and Evaluation team at Arnold Ventures plays a critical role in fulfilling that aim. The team’s work centers on a pair of questions: how can we better understand what works to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities? And what can be done to accelerate the take-up of effective programs and policies to drive those outcomes as a team and as a philanthropy?
Our team’s efforts focus specifically on a few core strategies: (i) funding rigorous evaluations – mainly randomized controlled trials (RCTs) – to build the body of social programs with evidence of meaningful effects; (ii) exploring opportunities to accelerate local, state, and federal investments in scaling effective programs as well as supporting research and evidence-based reforms more broadly; and (iii) supporting the research and evaluation efforts of other teams at Arnold Ventures.
Arnold Ventures seeks a Director of Evidence and Evaluation to join our team and advance our mission of promoting evidence-based policymaking at the local, state, and federal levels and driving meaningful change in key policy areas. The Director of Evidence and Evaluation will play a critical role in ensuring that Arnold Ventures’ research grantmaking is strong and grounded in rigorous methods. This position requires both strong technical expertise and a willingness to collaborate and support colleagues in their project development across different portfolios. Based in our Washington, DC office and reporting to the Executive Vice President of Evidence and Evaluation, the Director of Evidence and Evaluation will work closely with other members of the Evidence-Based Policy team, as well as staff in other departments across the organization and external grantees and partners.
- Provide strategic guidance and support to Arnold Ventures program teams on the development of strong, rigorous, well-designed research and evaluation projects
- Design and deliver training and technical assistance on evaluation and research methods for staff and grantees
- Work with program teams to identify opportunities for collaboration on potential projects, learning opportunities, and grants
- Solicit, develop, and review grant proposals for rigorous evaluations studying important outcomes such as educational achievement, workforce earnings, criminal arrests, substance abuse, and hospitalizations
- Manage research grants, including working with grantees to develop pre-analysis plans, reviewing reports to monitor progress, problem-solving on project implementation challenges, and ensuring adherence to rigorous standards of quality and transparency
- Develop relationships with external partners, including academic researchers, think tanks, and other funders, to build a network of experts and stay up-to-date on best practices in evaluation and research methods
- Contribute to team meetings regarding projects, suggesting ideas, and brainstorming areas for improvement
- A PhD in a relevant field (e.g., public policy, economics, psychology, sociology) or equivalent experience in evaluation and research methods
- 7 – 10 years of experience designing and overseeing evaluations of social interventions, preferably in a philanthropic, government or nonprofit setting
- Demonstrated expertise in a range of research methods, particularly randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental designs, and other causal methods
- Experience providing training and technical assistance with experts in different fields to design/develop strong research projects
- Strong project management skills, including the ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders and competing priorities
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to communicate technical information to internal partners and external researchers, experts, and policymakers
Our Culture and Core Values
Our culture seeks to inspire and empower our people to innovate and develop bold ideas that will help Arnold Ventures achieve lasting impact. Our culture, and the core values that support it, should create an environment that spurs our team to think outside the box, feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and signal confidence in our team’s ability to make change happen through our philanthropic efforts. Although not an exhaustive list, below you’ll find examples of Arnold Ventures’ work culture.
- We are adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity.
- We are intellectually curious, open-minded, objective, humble, collegial, and receptive to feedback.
- We are action-oriented with strong self-direction and self-motivation skills with the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects.
- We interact confidently and collaboratively with team members and navigate relationships with external experts, government leaders, advocates, and individuals impacted by the justice system.
Arnold Ventures’ values are integral to our lived experience. They genuinely reflect who we are as an organization, help us accelerate our strategic goals, strengthen our resolve, anchor us to our mission, and guide our decision-making. The successful candidate will also demonstrate the following core values that inspire the Arnold Ventures team to make a difference.
- Respect for Ourselves & Others
- Audacious Action
- Collaborative Engagement
- Depth of Thought
- Clear Communication
Arnold Ventures is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives, Arnold Ventures is committed to employing individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. Members of historically marginalized communities and candidates who have been impacted by the systems we are seeking to change are strongly encouraged to apply.