To harness the power of research to ensure that all young
children benefit from early learning experiences that affirm their
individual, family, and community assets, fortify them against
harmful consequences arising from poverty, racism, prejudice, and
discrimination, and strengthen their developmental potential.
Do you believe in the role of quality early care and education
in reducing the inequities that plague our society and in
particular racial inequities?
Are you committed to research that informs policies and
practices that enhance the wellbeing of young children, their
families, and the adults who work with them?
Are you a bridge builder across sectors and a systems thinker
who relentlessly seeks to find opportunities for researchers,
philanthropy, and policymakers to come together to design systems
that work for children?
Do you believe philanthropy has an important role is combating
racism, prejudice, and discrimination?
Are you a driven advocate with a strong public voice for
children, parents, and early care and education professionals?
Are you motivated by leveraging and maximizing resources to
drive innovation for outsized impact?
If so, we invite you to keep reading to explore the enormous
potential for you to lead a private, grantmaking foundation that
for over 120 years has been a leader in promoting systemic change
on behalf of our children and their development.
Building on a distinguished 120-year legacy as one of the
nation’s oldest private foundations committed solely to the
wellbeing of children, the Foundation for Child Development (the
Foundation) enhances the lives of children from birth to eight
years of age by driving and translating innovative research leading
to systemic changes in policy and practice.
The Foundation seeks a dynamic leader with keen intellect, deep
passion, and significant experience in strategically investing and
leveraging resources with partners.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FOR CHILD
The Foundation’s work is at the nexus of research, policy, and
practice. Its resources are used to foster scholarship, fill gaps
in research, and exercise good stewardship. The Foundation
continues a legacy of providing a “big voice” of “wide influence
and impact” relative to the size of its endowment.
Committed to equity and social justice within and across all its
grantmaking initiatives, the Foundation envisions a world in which
the racial, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic diversity of
today’s young children is celebrated as an asset for building a
strong and productive society. The Foundation addresses issues of
diversity and disparities by funding research, stimulating public
debate, and informing public policies related to the quality of
life of all children in the United States.
The Foundation’s endowment is approximately $100 million, with
an annual grants budget of approximately $3.5 million. Based in New
York City, the Foundation has six full-time staff and a small corps
In response to the pandemic, the Foundation has made changes
with respect to work requirements. Currently, there is a hybrid
schedule in which employees spend three days a week in the office
and two days working remotely. The Foundation will carefully assess
and adjust matters accordingly.
PROGRAMMATIC AGENDA: THE EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION
The Foundation has prioritized racial equity as an essential in
its commitment to diversifying the early care and
education workforce. It is committed to ensuring that ECE
professionals have the knowledge, support, and resources they need
to enhance the lives of underserved children and families with a
focus on educator preparation, mastery of competencies, and
The Foundation considers invited requests for funding that are
within its mission and priorities. The Foundation’s only open
competition, the Young Scholars Program, funds early-career
scholars to conduct policy- and practice-relevant research that
examines the issues related to the ECE workforce.
The Foundation is committed to building a skilled and diverse
pipeline of underrepresented ECE researchers.
The Foundation uses a broad range of communication strategies to
inform ECE-related policies and practices and highlight the work of
our grantees and other researchers whose work supports the
RESPONSIBILITIES AND PRIORITIES
- Leadership – Effectively
promote the Foundation’s mission, core beliefs, and operating
principles that address racial, social, and systemic inequities.
Ensure that the Foundation strategically supports meaningful
research that can inform and improve federal, state, and local
policy and practice. Keep a finger on the pulse of day-to-day
internal operations and activities. Create and support a caring and
responsive culture and community of learners where staff are
encouraged to continue learning and developing as
- Research Experience and Research
Networks – Operate with a solid understanding and
appreciation of research from question development through research
design, implementation, data interpretation, and communication of
findings. Convene groups of researchers to explore and address the
implications of new and seasoned research for early care and
education. Establish relationships and networks within the research
community. Use research as a tool to drive policy change and inform
improved practice that address racial and other disparities.
- Policy Experience and Policy Networks
– Possess a deep understanding of how policy is made, the most
effective levers for change, and what it takes to make
evidence-based policy and practice decisions.
- Strategy Development – Chart the
Foundation’s future direction. Develop, support, manage, and
implement the strategic plan. Test and evaluate the plan’s
assumptions and modify as appropriate. Think ambitiously and
formulate clear-cut objectives.
- Staff – Attract, build, and
lead a highly motivated, competent, and responsible team with a
common vision, sense of purpose, and shared objectives. Possess
cultural sensitivity and dedication to collaboration, equity, and
diversity. Evaluate the talent structure of the organization. Set
benchmarks and expectations with staff and hold them accountable.
Develop appropriate professional development opportunities for
staff. Hire and manage a broad range of contractors. Value and
incorporate diversity of staff to bring fresh and relevant
perspectives to the work.
- Grantmaking – With
deep appreciation and empathy toward the children served, develop
and oversee the Foundation’s initiatives: their implementation and
impact; performance measures for success; the way in which money is
being granted and invested. Leverage resources and create synergies
across its work. Monitor trends and relevant issues in research,
practice, and policy related to child development. Identify new
areas of work and grantees with the most potential for impact.
- Board Relations – Establish
a strong working partnership with the Board of Directors. Forge
relationships that will bring forth their best ideas and efforts in
support of the Foundation’s Coordinate and support efforts of
various Board committees. Maintain a regular communications system
for informing Board members of the Foundation’s activities. Assist
the governance committee of the Board in promoting equity and
diversity in the recruitment of new Board members.
- Evaluation and Impact –
Ensure that evaluation criteria are consistent with the
Foundation’s guiding principles and that the Foundation’s
activities and operations are effective and efficient, and meet
and/or exceed organizational goals. Develop and implement a plan to
increase the outreach and effectiveness of the Foundation’s work
for the wellbeing of children. Develop a vision for excellence with
a focus on measurable results. Having a deep respect for sound
science and reliable data is essential.
- General Management, Administration, and
Finance – Understand the Foundation’s
administrative and management systems, internal policies, and
procedures. Oversee budgeting and forecasting and help manage
Foundation assets. With sound financial controls, ensure that funds
are spent and invested wisely for maximum impact. Implement
enhanced forms of technology for operations and activities.
- Relationship Building, Collaboration, and Public
Role – Build upon existing partnerships and
seek new strategic alliances among foundations, researchers, higher
educational institutions, nonprofits, and government to promote
systemic change. Serve as convener. Leverage intellectual capital
of the Foundation. Collaborate and leverage funds with other
philanthropic entities. Serve as a visible national spokesperson
and thought leader representing the Foundation in the field of
child development, particularly to the philanthropic, policy, and
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The President and CEO will have the following:
- Intellectual depth and curiosity and a deep passion for
promoting equity for highly vulnerable A record of working
effectively with diverse populations, building common ground on
- Experience as a respected thought leader in the field of child
development and/or its related fields. A commitment to an
interdisciplinary and cross-program approach. A commitment to
inform and change policy from an equity lens and employ Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) throughout all activities.
- Solid understanding of the research questions, methodological
approaches, data interpretations, and data communications that can
advance the field of early care and education. Established networks
and relationships across the research community.
- Expertise working at the nexus of research, policy, and
practice. Strong strategic leadership, serving as a catalyst for a
vision that engages the Foundation’s constituencies and leads to
impactful changes in policy and practices. Skill at advocacy and
public engagement, influencing government leaders and other
- Proven managerial and board management skills and commensurate
fiscal responsibilities as a nonprofit or government executive
preferably with a focus on education. Demonstrated ability to
balance long-term strategic vision with daily operational
- A history of communicating effectively in writing and verbally,
including excellent public- speaking skills for formal and
extemporaneous presentations. A sophisticated understanding of
appropriate public-relations opportunities as they may arise.
- The credibility, scholarship, and thought leadership of a
public intellectual to make the Foundation the go-to foundation for
early care and education resources.
- The ability to respect, listen to, and work well with internal
and external constituencies. An individual with a naturally
consultative and inclusive management style who can act decisively
when necessary. Deep integrity and unflagging optimism.
- A relevant graduate degree is required.
- Expected salary range from $325,000 to $360,000.
For further information about the Foundation, please visit
The Foundation seeks a diverse pool of candidates and
will offer a competitive salary.
Applications, including cover letters and resumes, and
nominations should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at