91548 Requisition #

The world’s biggest social problems are complex, multi-faceted, and stubborn. No academic center, company, or organization can solve issues like economic inequality or pandemic response alone. We need individuals with different skills and experiences to come together to create fresh insights and take action to make meaningful progress.

Stanford Impact Labs invests in highly-motivated teams of researchers and practitioners from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. These teams—impact labs—work together on social problems they choose and where practical progress is possible. With our support, they can rapidly develop, test, and scale new solutions to social problems that affect millions of people worldwide. We make social science work for society.

A New Focus on Equity: One way that Stanford Impact Labs is doing this is through a new initiative called Local Impact Labs. The COVID-19 pandemic has cost lives and jobs in our communities and exacerbated inequalities across Silicon Valley, and the health and economic effects have been worse in BIPOC communities and among undocumented residents. Local leaders in government, community organizations, philanthropy, and higher education have agreed to partner and make financial investments to address the drivers of systemic inequity in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that have left the bottom quartile of the region—disproportionately Black, Latinx, Asian, and undocumented residents—unable to achieve financial well-being, stable and affordable housing, and upward economic mobility.

The Local Impact Labs initiative is one key component of a new, multi-year partnership led by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Stanford Impact Labs, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school), and Joint Venture Silicon Valley. The Program Manager is an integral member of the Stanford Impact Labs team who will be responsible for managing the Local Impact Labs program, with high-level exposure to community members, faculty, funders, and our nonprofit and government partners.


Reporting to the Director of Innovation, and alongside the team at large, the Program Manager will design and implement all elements of the Local Impact Labs program and support the key operational activities of the larger partnership, effectively engaging all necessary stakeholders throughout the process.

The Program Manager’s core responsibilities include process design and implementation, project management, relationship management, and communication.  

Process design & implementation:

  • Design the process for identifying and selecting the Local Impact Labs that should be funded. These labs will connect research teams from local higher education institutions with government, nonprofit, and private company leaders to generate evidence on solutions that improve equity in the region.
  • Provide recommendations to the partnership’s advisory committee (25+ leaders from government, nonprofit, philanthropy, community organizations, and private funders) for Local Impact Lab grantees. This includes managing a portfolio of relationships with local nonprofits and organizations, understanding the community’s most urgent equity needs, and requesting proposals from scholars and practitioners to meet those needs. The Program Manager will then run a robust grantee evaluation process, engaging subject matter experts, reviewing proposals, interviewing teams, conducting due diligence, and facilitating a final selection process to recommend a set of labs for funding (approximately $500k-$1m grants over 2-3 years).

Project management:

  • Manage the Local Impact Labs program that pairs leading faculty and research teams from a number of local academic institutions with partnership grantees, government leaders, and local nonprofits to apply research and evidence to issues of equity.
  • Plan, budget, oversee, and document all aspects of Local Impact Labs, including the design, development, and implementation of: requests for proposals, grantee selection and funding, match-making faculty with practitioners, lab oversight, and research insight implementation oversight
  • Develop a detailed work plan for the multi-year Local Impact Labs initiative: define project tasks and activities; plan, schedule, and implement project timelines and action plans
  • Work closely with Local Impact Lab team members (Principal Investigators, Project Managers, and practitioner partners) to track their 2-3-year research and implementation progress and project deliverables (i.e., work plans, commitment devices). Our goal is to directly support the Labs’ scholar-practitioner teams to help them foster meaningful partnerships, navigate operational challenges, implement and apply research insights to equity issues, and scale and sustain the solutions they identify.
  • Support Local Impact Labs in troubleshooting and resolving issues as necessary. This will include consulting with internal and external experts and will require the ability to navigate ambiguity, quickly learn new subject matter, manage relationships and interact with a broad set of experts, public and community stakeholders.
  • Report back to the Stanford Impact Labs team with Local Impact Labs’ progress, escalate risks or concerns, and make recommendations for their second tranches of funding in Year 2.

Communication and external engagement:

  • Represent Stanford Impact Labs in the partnership’s operational team meetings and with external audiences.
  • Build, manage, and maintain relationships with a broad set of stakeholders including the partnership’s operations team; staff and faculty from other local academic institutions (ex: San Jose State, Santa Clara University, Foothill College, De Anza College, and more); and local government, nonprofit, and community leaders.
  • Identify opportunities to advance policy and advocacy efforts relevant to Local Impact Labs’ roles and execute supporting activities, such as facilitating conversations with community leaders and partners.
  • Share progress and insights from the Local Impact Labs and the partnership in meetings, public events, on the Stanford Impact Labs website, and with the media.



The ideal candidate possesses a passion for making meaningful, sustainable change and is ready to work in an openly collaborative work environment. We want to work with individuals who are community-oriented, have done coalition- and relationship-building, and/or have implemented public service programs. No candidate will meet every requirement. If you may be a good fit, we encourage you to apply.

Profiles for a successful candidate for Program Manager may have the following skill sets or background: a) professionals with a background in government, community, philanthropy, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs); b) have worked on issues such as housing, financial stability, workforce development, climate change, public transportation, closing the digital divide, or other social programs; c) management consultants with public sector consulting experience.

The candidate should demonstrate the ability to:

  • Build successful relationships – with experience of building trust-based relationships and partnerships to deliver shared goals
  • Display sound political and technical judgment that helps build momentum, enable change and overcome barriers to success
  • Participate in problem solving – have a track record of analyzing problems, extracting insights from different types of data, identifying and structuring key issues, and simplifying the approach to solving them
  • Take full ownership over multiple work streams, demonstrating comfort amid ambiguity, proactivity, dependability, and excellent work ethic
  • Provide challenge and effective feedback – have strong influencing and negotiating skills and excellent at giving constructive feedback; empower Labs and team by providing the right balance between challenge and support
  • Work well in a team – have a track record of team working and leadership, especially drawn from across organizations with different cultures
  • Design and write high-quality materials – produce clear, concise, and compelling narratives through a combination of prose, use of data, graphics, and/or other story-telling techniques
  • Think logically to sequence and plan delivery of strategy with pace, optimism and urgency
  • Facilitate and communicate effectively – can lead interactive workshops with stakeholders and coach others in producing high quality work
  • Navigate and achieve change in the public or nonprofit sector – have knowledge or experience of operating in a political environment and driving reforms through public sector decision-making processes
  • Demonstrate flexibility and comfort with change – have the ability to quickly pivot based on programmatic needs; accept and integrate feedback with a growth mindset

The ideal candidate would have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree preferred
  • 3+ years of full-time work experience in program or project management, government, consulting, public policy, nonprofit, philanthropy and/or related fields
  • Knowledge of and experience with project management techniques and tools
  • Experience in community outreach and/or engagement
  • Superlative written, visual, and oral communication skills
  • Experience working on collaborative teams with diverse expertise
  • Experience with fundraising and funder relationship management preferred
  • Experience in the areas of affordable housing, economic mobility, financial security, and/or workforce development preferred
  • Appreciation for the value of research; someone who brings a social science mindset to the work
  • Passion for Stanford Impact Lab’s mission of the real-world implementation of research insights through research-practice partnerships

Personal Skills/Attributes:                                                                                                                          

  • Energetic self-starter who inspires others to do their best work
  • Understanding of governments, nonprofits, and/or academia
  • Problem-solver and change agent
  • Highly ethical and trustworthy
  • Proactive communicator
  • Innovative and flexible
  • Attention to detail and excellence
  • Experienced in dealing with senior leadership
  • Able to bring together public, private, and nonprofit organizations
  • Collaborative and team focused
  • Ability to navigate an ambiguous environment with excitement, enthusiasm, and empathy
  • Excitement for solving problems as they are assigned to the team, as opposed to a desire to focus on one problem over long lengths of time


This is a one-year fixed term position, may be renewable for up to three years, after which time there may be an opportunity to extend the position.

.Compensation will be based on experience and university guidelines. 

Stanford Impact Labs is an equal opportunity organization working to address some of the world’s most challenging social problems. To that end, we particularly encourage people with lived experience of those social problems to apply for open positions.


Please submit a resume and cover letter.

Learn more about Stanford Impact Labs at impact.stanford.edu

It is suggested that interested candidates also read about the Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable and the final report for additional context and background on the larger partnership. 

The School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) is the foundation of a liberal arts education at Stanford. The school encompasses 23 departments and 25 interdisciplinary programs. H&S is home to fundamental and applied research, where free, open, and critical inquiry is pursued across disciplines.


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