Director/San Jose

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Knight Foundation seeks a local, social investor with a passion for San Jose and a commitment to our core belief: that a more effective democracy can be achieved when people are informed and engaged. In this role, you will serve as the foundation’s lead investor and point person in San Jose and be responsible for development of a strategy in your city that advances our mission.

The community director role is incredibly rewarding and complex. Our most successful directors operate as a principal in their community and are unwavering in focus on long term transformational change.  They do this by identifying organic trends and developing a strategy that leverages and accelerates those trends. Driving impact is the ultimate outcome; smart and diligent management of outputs – identifying investments aligned with strategy and investment management – is how success is achieved.

Our most successful directors are informed and engaged citizens, embedded in their communities. They have and easily establish and maintain close, meaningful relationships with local leaders in business, government and philanthropy so that when the best ideas for community impact are surfaced, they come looking for you.

Grantmaking is competitive and collaborative. You will sit in a group with your peers responsible to discuss and debate on new opportunities. Your deal flow and due diligence will determine the number of grants you manage, the size of your portfolio and ultimately the impact your work achieves for San Jose. In the past five years, the local program director was directly responsible for more than $12 million in Knight Foundation’s investments in San Jose. Working collaboratively with other foundation teams including the Arts, Smart Cities, Journalism and more, in that same time frame, the local program director supported an additional $6.3 million in foundation investments in the city of San Jose.

This job requires you to wear a lot of hats, including:

  • Investor: who identifies exceptional investment opportunities and teams to support, is business-minded and analytical and understands market forces and trends
  • Entrepreneur: who is innovative and open to new ideas, takes an agile approach to problem-solving, communicates clearly when presenting new ideas and is conversant in digital technologies and data
  • Diplomat: who is tactful and skillful in public speaking, negotiations and managing complex situations and differing points of view and is comfortable saying no
  • Driver: who is detail-oriented and excels in prioritizing work and managing people, projects and resources towards outcomes
  • Trusted advisor: who is skilled in synthesizing information and providing advice and guidance to others

You will report to the vice president/communities and national initiatives and be one of eight program directors in cities across the United States promoting success through investments in local ideas that support informed and engaged communities. You will work with these colleagues and other Knight Foundation staff in a fast-paced, highly collaborative environment. Expect to travel approximately ten percent of the time.

Things we look for in a successful candidate:

  • Commitment to inclusive, equitable and engaged communities
  • An intelligent risk-taker with an open and orderly mind
  • Business acumen
  • Highly communicative and collaborative
  • Detail oriented and conscientious
  • Resiliency and flexibility

As social investors, the Knight Foundation supports democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers.

Our approach is inclusive and non-partisan, we value freedoms of speech and the press, and we often embrace new and innovative technology to achieve our goals. The qualities we look for are openness to new ideas, courage to push for change, and the expertise and tenacity to achieve the desired results. Tell us what excites you about this opportunity and why you are right for it.

Send your resume to: [email protected]

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Knight Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.