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President and CEO, Foundation for Child Development

Foundation for Child Development
New York, United States
$325,000.00 - $360,000.00
Closing date
May 19, 2022

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Position Type
Advocacy, Youth
Employment Type
Full Time
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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.





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 of consultants.


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.





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 appropriate compensation.





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 Foundation’s mission.





  • 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 professionals.


  • 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 research communities.





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 equity issues.


  • 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 stakeholders.


  • 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 issues.


  • 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


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