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Director of Learning

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Moving towards a vision of building an Oregon that works for all, Meyer Memorial Trust invites applications and nominations for the role of Director of Learning. Established in 1982, Meyer Memorial Trust was created by the late Fred G. Meyer, founder of a chain of retail stores bearing his name throughout the Pacific Northwest. Meyer has awarded roughly $840 million in grants and program-related investments to more than 3,380 organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since 2016, Meyer focused grantmaking to advance equity, eventually leading to a new justice-centered mission in 2021: Meyer accelerates racial, social, and economic justice for the collective well-being of Oregon’s lands and peoples.

Now in 2022, Meyer is working towards the implementation of a new strategic framework grounded in principles of trust-based philanthropy and rooted in its anti-racist, feminist values. Meyer’s program team is engaging with members of the BIPOC community to ensure that their priorities for justice shape Meyer’s approach going forward. The funding priorities that Meyer adopts this fall will build on the trust’s legacy of equity-centered work in education, housing, the environment, and thriving communities, and will dovetail with Justice Oregon for Black Lives, an initiative that Meyer launched in 2020 to deepen their commitment to racial justice by making community-informed investments in the lives of Black Oregonians.

Meyer also takes an active role as a convener, by bringing leaders together to learn from one another and move forward strategically in collaboration to tackle complex problems and create meaningful change. Beyond grantmaking, the organization acts as a catalyst through advocacy by bringing people to the table and supporting partners who advocate for BIPOC community priorities. Recognizing the importance of meeting urgent and immediate community needs while also working for changes in public policy, this kind of change often does not happen quickly; Meyer’s active support of policy advocacy helps magnify the work of grantmaking partners who are dedicated to challenging the status quo.

As part of the effort to build capacity towards becoming an intentional learning organization, Meyer has partnered with the Center for Evaluation Innovation to explore and strategize the question: How can we know if we are building a foundation and practice of trust-based philanthropy, participatory grantmaking, and intentional community relationships in alignment with our anti-racist, feminist values? The exploration of this question lays the groundwork for Meyer’s engagement of a new Director of Learning who will work in partnership with senior leadership to build a comprehensive learning and evaluation approach to support the achievement of Meyer’s mission.

THE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU

The Director of Learning will be an enthusiastic self-starter who has a committed passion for Meyer’s mission, values, and commitment to equity. They will lead a new and growing team and will coach and support program team colleagues in advancing Meyer as a learning organization, rooted in its values. The Director will engage in the following:

Leadership & Vision for Learning at Meyer. The Director will provide leadership and work collaboratively with the Chief Impact Officer and Director of Grantmaking to develop, refine, and implement Meyer’s learning and evaluation approach that is aligned with Meyer’s newly approved mission, uses an anti-racist and feminist lens, and is grounded in Meyer’s strategy framework. This work will include assessing and providing recommendations for how to operationalize Meyer’s learning and evaluation approach at all levels, including staffing, systems and process development, and capacity building. Additionally, the Director will work in close partnership to assess Program strategies, learning, and activities in order to draw out insights to be meaningfully disseminated across the organization and beyond.

Partner to Support Board Learning. Lead and work collaboratively with the Director of Grantmaking and program staff to support Board learning and capacity building for fully realizing trust-based philanthropy principles in Meyer’s work.

Steward External Relationships. The Director will build and maintain relationships with skilled, diverse consultants who support commissioned evaluation, ensuring that efforts meet or exceed standards for accountability and learning and are grounded in Meyer’s values. The Director will actively engage in the trust-based philanthropy network to ensure that Meyer’s commitment to building equity and addressing power imbalances are centered in the organization’s learning and giving practices.

Champion and Model Equity-Centered Approaches. As a key contributor to Meyer leadership, the Director will offer personal interest and commitment to working in a diverse and inclusive work environment that places a high value on equity and justice. They will contribute to promoting a positive workplace culture of collaboration, innovation, and respect. The Director will engage in training and competency development to further build equity-based skills that can be applied at multiple levels across the organization.

THE SKILLS YOU WILL NEED

Candidates for the Director of Learning role will bring many of the following qualities, experiences, and approaches:

  • Deep commitment to Meyer’s mission to use an antiracist, feminist lens to strengthen movements, change systems, and support communities to build an Oregon that works for all.
  • Ability to authentically connect one’s own personal lived and professional experiences with the Foundation’s mission and aspirations.
  • Deep knowledge, commitment, and personal interest in working in a diverse and inclusive work environment that places a high value on equity.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish effective working relationships in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment (please refer to Meyer’s Equity Statement).
  • An understanding of the foundational role that racism, ableism, sexism, and other forms of bias and oppression play in perpetuating inequity; demonstrated appreciation for shared power.
  • Knowledge and experience working with equity- and justice-oriented approaches to learning and evaluation, including awareness of and appreciation for the different ways in which knowledge manifests in group design, adult learning, and evaluative practice.
  • Deep knowledge of the field of philanthropy and strategic grantmaking, including principles of trust-based philanthropy. Experience working across the social sector with foundations, non-profits, and mission-driven organizations.
  • Flexibility and agility working across content areas with an appreciation for the intersections between issues; Ability to synthesize complex, cross-disciplinary material and focus quickly on the essence of an issue while maintaining clarity around the big picture; Experience using a combination of objective and subjective data to create relevant, dynamic learning opportunities.
  • Extensive experience in the development of dynamic learning agendas that are tailored to the unique needs of internal stakeholders. Robust facilitation skills for meetings, dialogues, and working sessions, including the ability to identify patterns, make connections and capture & synthesize information.
  • High emotional intelligence with the ability to provide nuanced training and support to team members on issues that may be learning/evaluation-related challenges or points of opportunity. An engaging, accessible, and flexible style that builds trust and confidence across diverse team cultures and priorities. A natural collaborator with a service orientation and ability to listen and deftly influence and guide individuals and teams.
  • A dynamic influencer with highly effective interpersonal and relational skills, including a demonstrated ability to work successfully across complex, matrixed teams and with roles at multiple levels.
  • Natural inclination and intentionality for learning; A curious disposition motivated by the internal drive to uncover and shed light on complex issues.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred, although equivalent expertise and/or lived experience will also be considered.

The compensation range for the Director of Learning position is $150,000 - $170,000. This position is based in Portland, Oregon with the Meyer team. Meyer staffers are working on a hybrid schedule with remote and office-based days.

TO APPLY

More information about the Meyer Memorial Trust may be found at: mmt.org

This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Danielle Higa of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Meyer Memorial Trust is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and compliance with all federal, state and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, Meyer ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race; color; age; gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; religion; marital status; national origin or ancestry; citizenship; lawful alien status; physical, mental or medical disability; veteran status; or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

Transgender, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary job applicants, as well as applicants with disabilities and applicants with criminal record histories, are encouraged to apply.

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