90663 Requisition #

Correction -this position is classified at JCC: 4133 and not 4113.

The world’s biggest social problems are complex, multi-faceted, and stubborn. No academic center, company, or organization can solve issues like poverty, economic inequality, or political polarization. Our society needs leaders with different skills and experiences to come together to create fresh insights, evidence, and action to make progress.

Stanford Impact Labs — a major new initiative at Stanford University—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 the support of Stanford Impact Labs, they can rapidly develop, test, and scale new solutions to social problems that affect millions of people worldwide.

How does Stanford Impact Labs work?

  • We focus on big social problems where progress is possible when practitioners and scholars work together to understand the issues, craft solutions, and expand promising approaches.
  • We find, train, and invest in scholars from across the university motivated to use their talents to formulate solutions to local, national, and global issues.
  • We connect scholars with a growing network of government, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic practitioners. These individuals work together—in impact labs—to generate new insights, creative approaches, and practical tools to make progress on complex social challenges.
  • We provide financial capital, training, thought-partnership, and mentoring to help impact labs turn their evidence and experience into purposeful work that benefits society.
  • We share what the labs do and learn—about the problems, solutions, and what does and doesn’t work—to create a culture of public impact at Stanford and inspire scholars and practitioners everywhere to work together to create just, fair, and equal societies.

Our approach builds on what works in the life sciences and engineering to turn academic discovery into medical advances and new technologies people use: significant investment in research and development, and close partnership with academics and leaders outside the university. Stanford is developing a new model to support the social sciences in the same way. With financial capital, professional support, and training, SIL can catalyze problem-focused research and partnerships to generate new insights and solutions to persistent social problems. In doing so, they can make social science work for society.

After a successful two-year pilot, Stanford Impact Labs (SIL) is entering a period of extraordinary growth. Over the next few years, SIL will see its annual budget triple (from approximately $5M to $15M), as part of the university’s commitment to raising $315M to support this new model of public impact. SIL will also play a central role in promoting this new model of R&D nationally with the goal of spurring other institutions to follow suit. Therefore, SIL is currently seeking an Executive Director to chart the path ahead. Read more information on SIL’s approach and investments: Investments: Design, Start-Up, and Term Labs | Impact Labs (stanford.edu).

Position Summary

Stanford Impact Labs is seeking an Executive Director. The Executive Director will work in partnership with the Faculty Director and must possess and demonstrate a positive outlook on continuous process improvement efforts while maintaining a team-based and customer-focused mindset. It is critical that this position exhibit the abilities to practice sound judgment and decision-making, effective written & oral communication, strong attention to detail and respectful relationship management. This position must also exhibit a strong desire to continuously learn new and unfamiliar business topics, policies and procedures as they relate to organizational management and operations – the ability to translate this information into operational successes will be critical.

If you believe that this opportunity is a match for your knowledge, skills and abilities, we encourage you to apply. We anticipate this position playing a leading role in the organization during its period of growth. We view this position as a multi-year position beginning with a one year fixed-term that may be renewed annually.  Thank you for considering employment opportunities with the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Working in partnership with the Faculty Director, Jeremy Weinstein, the Executive Director will lead the SIL team to build and scale the impact of SIL’s investments, partnerships, and programs. The Executive Director will directly manage a team of senior leaders covering: Engagement, Policy and Communications, Finance and Administration, Investments and Accountability, Training and Education, and Innovation and Partnerships. This role will have primary responsibility for SIL’s investments in university-community partnerships that harness advances in research to generate real impact in the world, and oversee training and educational opportunities for faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates. Ultimately, the Executive Director is charged with designing, implementing, and promoting a new model of R&D for social problems that demonstrates how social science can work better for society and can inspire similar models across higher education institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

This leader will be expected to:

Strategy, Operationalizing Vision, and Management

  • Serve as a thought partner, working together with the core team, faculty director and associate directors to actively drive strategy and vision for Stanford Impact Labs.
  • Lead annual strategic planning processes, setting goals collaboratively, and responsible for ensuring that the team is meeting organizational objectives and key results.
  • Promote a culture of high-performance and learning across SIL and beyond, exemplifying our core values and building a team that lives those values.

Organizational Management and Operations

  • Build the SIL staff from current pilot phase staffing of 3.5 FTE to 14 FTE. Identify, recruit, and hire top talent to deliver on the SIL vision.
  • Directly mange SIL’s senior leadership team, covering key program areas: Engagement, Policy and Communications, Finance and Administration, Investments and Accountability, Training and Education, Innovation and Partnerships
  • Prioritize, delegate, and manage: mentor and develop team members, while ensuring the successful execution of programming.
  • Oversee and monitor the organization’s budget.

Development, External Engagement, and Communications

  • Partner with Stanford Office of Development to implement a financial model for operations that ensures revenue and support to maintain programmatic activities and enable future growth.
  • Represent Stanford Impact Labs within the university and externally with a variety of stakeholders: other institutions of higher education, philanthropists, nonprofits, community organizations, government and policymakers.
  • Build long-term partnerships and relationships with external audiences.
  • Lead the development of SIL’s strategic communications efforts -- building our reputation for rigorous research, evidence-informed innovation, and practical public impact.

In this role, you will:

  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, personal development for direct reports and accountable for the performance of employees.
  • May independently or in collaboration with human resources managers, direct faculty supervisors and managers in the interpretation and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and programs.
  • Independently initiate and create strategic plans for organization or program(s) managed. Make recommendations that may impact the unit's academic and research capabilities. Identify and resolve strategic issues of substantial significance that affect the overall functioning beyond the immediate unit, consult and advise senior leadership. Oversee allocation of all resources.
  • Manage the direction of internal academic and administrative policy development for programs and administrative operations.
  • Oversee and/or manage the finances across all sources for the annual budget cycle, including developing, monitoring, analyzing forecasting and reporting to ensure the financial success of the organization.
  • Manage and coordinate grants and contracts for the department. Ensure compliance with institutional and external requirements.
  • Advise senior management on programmatic and policy development. May provide input to university leadership on institutional academic and administrative policies and guidelines.

Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and seven years of relevant experience in administrative and financial management, or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory, planning and change management skills.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills. Able to influence people, solve problems, troubleshoot, think creatively and resolve conflicts.
  • Advanced financial expertise in accounting budget planning, and financial forecasting.
  • Advanced expertise in grants and contract administration.
  • Advanced analytical and problem solving skills Strong knowledge of industry standards and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Strong negotiation and effective interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Advanced expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
  • Subject matter expertise for area(s) of responsibility.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines.

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • Direct experience in philanthropy and impact investing 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

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume through Stanford Career Portal AND email your cover letter and resume to  stanfordimpactlabs@russellreynolds.com. Please note only applications that have both been uploaded through Stanford Careers and emailed will be reviewed.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

Other duties may also be assigned, not all unique aspects of this job are covered by this job posting. A full job description will be shared during the interview process.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


My Submissions

Track your opportunities.

My Submissions

Similar Listings

School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, California, United States

📁 Administration

School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, California, United States

📁 Administration

School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford, California, United States

📁 Administration

Global Impact
We believe in having a global impact

Climate and Sustainability

Stanford's deep commitment to sustainability practices has earned us a Platinum rating and inspired a new school aimed at tackling climate change.

Medical Innovations

Stanford's Innovative Medicines Accelerator is currently focused entirely on helping faculty generate and test new medicines that can slow the spread of COVID-19.


From Google and PayPal to Netflix and Snapchat, Stanford has housed some of the most celebrated innovations in Silicon Valley.

Advancing Education

Through rigorous research, model training programs and partnerships with educators worldwide, Stanford is pursuing equitable, accessible and effective learning for all.

Working Here
We believe you matter as much as the work

Group Dance Class In A Gym
Nora Cata Portrait

I love that Stanford is supportive of learning, and as an education institution, that pursuit of knowledge extends to staff members through professional development, wellness, financial planning and staff affinity groups.

Nora Cata

School of Engineering

Students Working With A Robot Arm
Philip Cheng Portrait

I get to apply my real-world experiences in a setting that welcomes diversity in thinking and offers support in applying new methods. In my short time at Stanford, I've been able to streamline processes that provide better and faster information to our students.

Philip Cheng

School of Medicine

Students Working With A Robot Arm
Denisha Clark Portrait

Besides its contributions to science, health, and medicine, Stanford is also the home of pioneers across disciplines. Joining Stanford has been a great way to contribute to our society by supporting emerging leaders.

Denisha Clark

School of Medicine

Students Working With A Robot Arm
Laura Lind Portrait

I like working in a place where ideas matter. Working at Stanford means being part of a vibrant, international culture in addition to getting to do meaningful work.

Laura Lind

Office of the President and Provost

Getting Started
We believe that you can love your job

Join Stanford in shaping a better tomorrow for your community, humanity and the planet we call home.

  • 4.4 Review Ratings
  • 86% Recommend to a Friend
  • 88% Approve of President

View All Jobs