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DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 18th, 2023
Ford Foundation’s Mission Investments (MI) team is hiring a Technology Fellow. The tech fellow will integrate into the MI team, and will also be a part of the broader Technology Fellowship Program, which was created to support integrated learning and action at the intersection of social justice and technology throughout the work of the foundation. Fellows work both as a cohort across the foundation and as part of program teams to explore the role and impact of technology with social justice, and help develop a critical technology lens throughout the foundation.
The work of our Mission Investments program is to grow the field of impact investing as well as influence the broader capital markets to deliver more equitable and sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders. The Mission Investments team manages three types of capital.
- The first is a $1 billion mission-related investment (MRI) fund from the endowment, the largest commitment of its kind, which seeks to achieve strong impact and financial returns across five thematic strategies – affordable housing, diverse fund managers, financial inclusion, global health tech and quality jobs.
- The second is a $350 million program-related investment (PRI) fund designed to catalyze investments in markets and opportunities often overlooked by traditional investors.
- The third is a grantmaking initiative designed to strengthen the infrastructure of the impact investing market and promote a more inclusive system of capitalism.
We believe that government and philanthropy play a critical but often incomplete role in addressing the problems that confront us, from climate change to income inequality. Our team engages companies and investors to help provide solutions and create benefits for all their stakeholders, not only their shareholders.
Technology has been increasingly relevant to this work, as technology companies dominate large stock market indices and early-stage venture capital pipelines alike. Our own Mission-Related Investment and Program-Related Investment capital is invested in funds that provide capital to technology-centered businesses. We know that technology, data analytics and AI offer the potential to foster greater access and impact, but are also mindful that technology has the potential for misuse or unintended negative externalities. In addition, while there is a rapidly maturing landscape of tools and standards to assess climate impacts, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and quality jobs, there are few standards or tools to help investors and other stakeholders understand and manage the impact risks and opportunities embedded in technology.
Reporting to the Senior Program Officer for Mission Investments, the Tech Fellow will be a strategic partner in strengthening the technological competencies of the Mission Investments team, its grantees and investees. The Tech Fellow will primarily advise on the team’s grantmaking strategy, but will also contribute to the team’s investments and diligence processes related to technology.
The Tech Fellow will also help deepen our team’s partnership with the Technology and Society team and other relevant programs at Ford. In particular, Mission Investments seeks candidates with an understanding of for-profit technology business models and/or investing. Candidates should also have an orientation towards serving as a bridge between civil society, founders/investment fund managers and investors with regard to issues of responsible technology.
An ideal candidate can understand, reflect on and engage with the impact opportunities and risks presented by for-profit technology tools and businesses. It is imperative that the fellow be a trusted partner for both our private sector partners (namely our investment fund managers, their portfolio companies and other limited partners) and Ford’s social justice grantees.
The Technology Fellowship Program has three overarching goals:
- Enrich perspectives within the foundation by adding a technical lens
- Increase technical capacity throughout each of the foundation’s seven thematic areas of work
- Generate novel, innovative ideas and build new relationships and networks
A Technology Fellow Embodies Three Key Roles
- Innovative Strategic Advising: Strategic support is a critical priority of a Technology Fellow. Work in this category may include helping Mission Investments examine the role of technology in advancing its objectives, informing development of technology strategies for the thematic area, conducting landscape research and due diligence, identifying and analyzing potential threats, supporting strategic grant proposal reviews, serving as an internal technology advisory resource, developing trainings for the team and foundation staff about intersections of social justice and technology work, identifying technologically proficient grantees, investment fund managers and thought partners working in the thematic area, participating in conferences, reviewing news, and reports from other funders in the field to bring fresh perspectives to team strategies, and collaborating with the Technology and Society Program Officer on Foundation priorities.
- Direct Technical Expertise: A fellow’s specific technical expertise will come into effect through activities such as conducting technology assessments, conceptualizing and supporting development of relevant investor tools such as due diligence questionnaires, coaching and mentoring grantees/investees, and working as internal technology “guides.”
- Relevant Independent Projects: This role is secondary to the other two and may include supporting needs in the field, conducting research, participating in relevant civil society endeavors, participating in grant making strategies for work that involves technology, working with the Communications Office as necessary, writing and publishing on topics at the intersection of technology, social justice, and the thematic area.
- Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, with minimum 4 years’ professional experience working with technology-driven business models or approaches, ideally in the private sector
- Strong ability to critically assess technologies relevant to impact investing and inclusive capitalism, particularly regarding usefulness, effectiveness, security risks, and potential impact
- Sophisticated knowledge about existing and emerging technologies, and their potential intersections within impact investing and inclusive capitalism
- Experienced in understanding needs of individuals, organizations, or communities and collaboratively designing technical solutions to meet them
- Strong communication skills, including the ability to collaborate with and articulate the potential impact of technology to diverse audiences – particularly those utilizing more traditional forms of engagement
- Strong understanding of how for-profit technology ideas are developed and financed
- Self-motivated and disciplined with a high degree of comfort working both independently and collaboratively
- Demonstrated experience working effectively as part of a team and with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives
- Excellent analytical, oral presentation, writing, and interpersonal skills
- Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and an inquisitive and collaborative nature
- Ability to work effectively in a shifting environment, navigate ambiguity, and work independently
- Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness, and diversity
- Fluency in English
- Willingness to be based in New York City and work in the office 3 days per week
This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.
The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 573-4627.
LOCATION: The position is based in our New York office
SALARY: The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The minimum salary for this position is $117,000 and the maximum is $131,000.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 18th, 2023
Alignment to Culture and Values
- Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
- Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
- Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
- Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
- Hybrid Workplace and Flexible Work Arrangement policies
- Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
- Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
- Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
- Professional development initiatives for growth
- Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)
Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law. The Ford Foundation does not discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals.