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Programs and Partnerships

Join our entrepreneurial team working to advance discovery science, collaborative philanthropy, and holistic approaches to strengthening science and democracy. We are looking for a thoughtful and highly collaborative leader to guide the Foundation’s work to enhance effective programs, build high-performing capacity, and strengthen strategic partnerships, with a particular focus on our Civic Science Fellows program.


About the Foundation

The Rita Allen Foundation is a venture philanthropy organization that invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. We support discoveries in their earliest stages that will ultimately improve human health, democracy, and understanding.


The core parts of this position—collaborative alignment and an orientation toward learning-informed action—are key to our work to develop fields and networks collaborating to advance discovery science, philanthropic practice, and civic science. Our programs include a number of national and international philanthropic collaborative initiatives, including the field-leading Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program, and the Civic Science Fellows program, a signature effort co-created with a vibrant cross-sector community. With diverse roots and across ecosystems, we work to seed, incubate, and mobilize leaders and networks—co-creating a future where all people shape science to expand its benefits and frontiers.


About the Role

We are seeking a strategic, collaborative team leader with excellent project management and partnership development skills to support the operation, rapid growth and enhancement of the Civic Science Fellows Program. Working closely with our President, our highly collaborative team, and philanthropic partners, this role will be central to our efforts to support innovative leaders and advance a culture of civic science.


In our work together, you will:



  • Collaborate with colleagues and contractors to plan engaging and productive convenings for partners in alignment with Foundation and programmatic missions.
  • Collect, synthesize, and incorporate dynamic feedback from partners, including external advisors and ad-hoc co-design committees, that contributes to the advancement of the Civic Science Fellows Program and other Foundation-led programs, resources, and events.
  • Collaborate internally with our team to elevate strategic questions, share feedback from partners and determine next steps.
  • Manage day-to-day execution of those next steps with a learning orientation and focus on strengthening partnerships, learning and impact.
  • Identify relevant individuals and areas of expertise (contractors, consultants, vendors, etc) to support execution of the programs.
  • Interface with external evaluation and learning partners to assess and report on progress toward strategic goals and incorporate ongoing learning into identifying and responding to emerging opportunities for impact.




  • Lead our team through a collaborative process to assess needs, select tools, oversee implementation, and ensure use of project management and relationship management tools and systems.
  • Support Rita Allen’s leadership and participation in national and international funding collaboratives, including serving as the Foundation’s representative with select collaborative groups and interfacing with their staffs, consultants, and fiscal sponsors as needed.
  • Guide logistics and contribute to partnerships strategy for Rita Allen–organized meetings of peer funders and other strategic partners.



  • Support strategic planning for the Foundation’s programs on annual and multi-year cycles, as well as the process of translating strategic priorities into action, supporting the President and Board in refining areas of focus and resource allocation across the Foundation’s portfolio.
  • Build an understanding of what is working well, what can be improved, and what needs additional development by asking thoughtful questions of and listening carefully to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Make recommendations for ways in which we can improve the alignment of and increase efficiency across our programs to increase our impact and outcomes.
  • Contribute to assessing and reporting on progress toward organizational goals, interfacing with the Foundation’s peers and external partners to incorporate evolving insights.
  • Directly manage one or more Rita Allen team members, as well as project teams combining Foundation staff, outside consultants, and other partners, fostering a culture of effective collaboration to make the most of emergent opportunities and advance long-term goals.
  • Collaborate with Foundation team members to build overall team capacity, professional development, and systems, including providing or supporting coaching in the areas of project management and strategic relationship development.


We are looking for:

  • A highly effective program and team leader eager to engage as part of an agile, innovative team to enable collaborative action in support of discovery science and civic science. This person is curious and seeks to understand the current state of new and growing work and complex problems by asking questions.
  • An energetic project leader with a zest for reaching ambitious goals through creative approaches and collaboration with others, able to guide peers and external partners to make decisions and deliver on evolving opportunities for impact and connection. This is the kind of leader who loves rolling up their sleeves and contributing to every stage of a project when needed to produce the best results.
  • An agile collaborator—one who excels when working with a diverse mix of people, embracing an iterative team-based process of content creation and decision making, and advancing projects with enthusiasm for working in teams—with the ability to coordinate complex processes and produce deliverables on deadline.
  • A relationship builder with meticulous attention to detail, who can help the Foundation and its collaborators form strong, long-term partnerships based on mutual understanding, aligned values, and ongoing learning.
  • Able to learn, use, and adapt tools and processes essential to advancing our programs and communications, which currently include Fluxx grants management software, ClickUp, WordPress, Mailchimp, Canva, Salesforce, Survey Monkey, LinkedIn, and the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Experience working in an executive, development, editorial, communications, analytic, or programmatic role for 10-15 years, along with experience in academic, philanthropic, media, government, community organizing, public-benefit, or nonprofit spaces.
  • Preferably, an advanced degree in a STEM field, the social sciences, humanities, communication, journalism, administration, or interdisciplinary studies—or equivalent lived and professional experience. Awareness of issues related to philanthropy, ethics, equity, and the practice of science are strongly desired.


To Apply 

Please email to submit a résumé and cover letter describing your interest in this position. For full consideration, please apply by the priority application deadline of July 8, 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


The salary for this full-time position is commensurate with senior-level experience. We also offer a highly competitive benefits package, including health, dental, and life insurance; a defined-contribution retirement plan; and a generous paid-time-off program.


Our office is located in downtown Princeton, New Jersey. A hybrid working arrangement is possible for this position.


We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds. The Rita Allen Foundation is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation or expression, gender, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic as established under law. All individuals are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

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