Director - Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs
Responding to COVID and the crisis it created for America’s workers, in summer 2020 Convergence Center for Policy Resolution (Convergence) reconvened many of the stakeholders who participated in our past, successful Convergence Dialogue on Economic Mobility - a diverse mix of policy thinkers, practitioners, business leaders, and some new voices. The group shared information and explored both new ideas focused on short-term relief and on sustainable long-term solutions. Those discussions helped us identify the need for a future Convergence Dialogue focused on building post-pandemic pathways to better jobs.
With initial funding secured, Convergence seeks a strategic, detail-oriented, and passionate leader to launch and oversee the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs, which will convene a diverse and influential group of stakeholders representing workers, companies and training providers of all types for a collaborative problem-solving dialogue designed to excavate how these groups can better align their needs/capacities and collaborate on new pathways to better jobs. The focus will be America’s low- and moderate-income workers, especially women and people of color who faced the greatest barriers to economic security and mobility prior to the pandemic and, in many cases, the greatest disruptions and burdens during the pandemic.
The Director will develop and execute project strategy; manage budget, performance measures, and project timeline; cultivate relationships with dialogue participants, stakeholders, consultants, project associates, and others; manage a “dialogue leading to action” with high level influencers, policy thinkers, private sector leaders and on-the-ground practitioners; facilitate the creation and implementation of solutions; and advance the project through fundraising.
The Ideal Candidate
Convergence seeks a person with strong entrepreneurial, managerial and people skills who is committed to supporting the organization’s mission to develop collaborative, non-partisan public policy, private sector, and community-based solutions to challenging national issues. This person needs a strong familiarity with the job training, higher education, and skilling landscape. Successfully directing our projects requires nimbleness, adaptability, thought leadership, problem-solving skills, and extremely strong communications, interpersonal and diplomatic capabilities, as well as a commitment to working in a strictly nonpartisan manner with people of diverse, and often conflicting, points of view.
Principal Duties & Responsibilities
Enroll and move participants through a Convergence Dialogue process designed to build trust, identify solutions, and catalyze unlikely alliances for action. Specifically:
- Design and implement project strategy, including finalizing the framing built on themes gleaned from informational interviews that will lead to an impactful Dialogue and managing the budget.
- Oversee Dialogue process, including designing agendas and executing meetings.
- Identify, engage, and maintain relationships with potential Dialogue participants and other stakeholders and advisors who will be involved in the project.
- Engage dialogue participants and others with relevant expertise and lived experience in between meetings in order to facilitate consensus development. Convene and facilitate listening sessions to understand the experience of those most impacted by the challenges addressed by the project.
- Research issues and develop project reports and other documents.
- Support communications efforts on behalf of the project, including drafting articles and op- eds, and engaging in public speaking, webinars and other venues/vehicles to highlight Convergence’s work in this arena.
- Support fundraising efforts for the project, including cultivating donor relationships and supporting the Development team in drafting proposals and reports, to build on existing start-up funding, in coordination with Convergence senior leadership.
- Build project team. Coach, develop, and mentor staff and interns.
- Build alliances and partnerships through networking and attending/presenting at conferences while acting as project ambassador.
- Serve as a member of the Executive Team of Convergence, assisting in organization wide meetings and activities.
- Other duties as assigned or required.
Qualifications & Skills
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in economic opportunity work (can include work in the private sector, public policy, community-based, or philanthropic worlds) or an equivalent field, especially including any work connected to job training, higher education, and skilling
- 10 years full time working experience or the equivalent
- 5 years’ experience managing large-scale projects and supervising other employees
- Exceptional decision-making and creative problem-solving skills and excellent political judgment
- Experience managing complex and diverse groups of leaders
- Ability to be nonpartisan/neutral and to welcome and honor all points of view
- Strong communication skills, including interviewing, synthesizing, writing, and public speaking – with an emphasis on clarity, brevity, and persuasiveness
- Flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adjust strategy based on circumstances
- Knowledge of and ideally professional connections with key organizations and entities related to job training, skilling, and higher education to include cross-sector leaders and networks (private sector, grassroots, philanthropic as well as public policy)
- Strong skills and experience in professional cross-divide work (e.g., mediation, facilitation, conflict resolution, relationship-building, coalition management, etc.)
Supervision & Team
General supervision by the Senior Director of Projects. Supervises a Project Associate and Project Intern. Supervises and coordinates with facilitator and other outside consultants as needed. Works in close partnership with other leaders on the Executive Team, fellow directors of Convergence Dialogues, and Convergence’s teams for Communications, Development, and Operations.
Founded in 2009, Convergence is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that convenes people and groups with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on critical national issues. We achieve this through structured, facilitated dialogue and long-term relationship building. Through proactive, nonpartisan engagement of influential individuals and organizations, we create new pathways that move our country and society forward. Our work demonstrates that trust, civility, and compromise can shift the focus from winning the debate to collectively seeking solutions. Convergence staff is concentrated in the Washington, DC and San Francisco Bay areas. For more information about Convergence, visit: www.convergencepolicy.org.
This position will be remote for the foreseeable future. Some preference may be given to candidates based in either the Washington, DC or the San Francisco Bay areas.
Email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Director, Pathways to Better Jobs” in the subject line. Applications should include: (1) a resume, (2) a tailored cover letter indicating your relevant experience and specific interest in the position, and (3) a writing sample. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Please indicate where you saw the job announcement in the body of your email. Position available immediately. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls please.
Convergence values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. Convergence is an equal opportunity employer. Hiring decisions are made without consideration of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.