has an opportunity for a Partnerships Lead to join our New York City studio, starting this fall. As part of a dynamic and multi-disciplinary team, you’ll help build and maintain partnerships within our US Portfolio, which focuses on designing for the needs of children and families impacted by structural discrimination with a lens toward fighting poverty and inequality in America—its root causes and its effects. Our work spans several issue areas, from transforming early learning to advancing health equity to creating financial inclusivity.

As a lead contact with many of our partners and collaborators, you will be responsible for identifying new opportunities, pursuing the right partners, bringing in the business, creating great transitions for our teams who work on these engagements, and maintaining long-term relationships. You will engage with a broad set of players in the social sector—from large-scale funders and foundations to government agencies to smaller grassroots organizations and social entrepreneurs across the country to build relationships and develop new opportunities. You will support design teams on the ground and ensure that the solutions we create lead to real and lasting impact in the lives of the people we’re designing with.  

You’re a quick learner, enthusiastic, detail-oriented and collaborative—ready to roll up your sleeves and join a team that’s helping to bring human-centered design to some of the world’s toughest challenges. While you may not be a trained designer, you’re eager to explore new ways of building solutions that meet the needs of those living in poor and vulnerable communities and you have a track record of creating new partnerships and expertise in a field relevant to’s US portfolio and work.

In this role you will have the opportunity to go deep and build expertise on a broad set of issues. You’ll gain deep exposure to the design process, ramping up quickly through on-the-ground fieldwork. You’ll also have opportunities to showcase the US Portfolio’s work to a wider audience, where you’ll represent this way of working through creative storytelling and compelling visioning.


You will:

  • Collaborate with the US portfolio team to build on the foundations of our portfolio and advance our strategy.
  • Understand and create the conditions for funders, partners and project teams to center the experiences of the people we’re designing with and for, elevating their needs, ideas and perspectives.
  • Build the pipeline of opportunities by sourcing, vetting, and scoping projects and programs that allow our teams to co-design solutions that meet the needs of children and families impacted by structural discrimination in the US.
  • Spot opportunities for design in the practice’s relevant content areas including proactively monitoring requests for proposals. 
  • Build strong relationships with prospective funders and influencers. 
  • Conduct due diligence on prospective partners and engage them directly to identify opportunities for collaboration.
  • Serve as the primary author and producer of proposals for the US Portfolio.
  • Work with’s finance team to process grant agreements in a timely fashion
  • Represent with past partners to ensure the solutions we created are supported as they scale.
  • Produce thought leadership and publish/share our point of view at conferences.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Impact to continually improve the US Portfolio’s M&E frameworks and systems for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data from current and past projects.


You have:

  • Professionalism and Integrity. You lead by example, treat all people with respect, and seek and give constructive feedback.  
  • Experience and expertise. You have 5+ years of professional experience working on issues related to dismantling structural discrimination in America.  This might include social impact experience (e.g. criminal justice reform, racial justice, healthcare equity), business development, and design consulting/creative agencies focused on transformational work.
  • The Ability to Navigate Complex Relationships.  You’re adept at noticing the dynamics in a room - particularly around power, race and class - and you’re comfortable navigating through them while honoring your personal and professional values.  
  • Inclusivity.  You model the values of inclusivity, creating the conditions for those around you to collaborate effectively, and share their perspectives and opinions.
  • Rigor. You are constantly sharpening strategy and maximizing impact. 
  • A passion and craft for building relationships. You are energized by meeting and connecting with people and creating opportunities for rich collaboration.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. You are a great listener; communicate concisely and evocatively in written text; and can present to a boardroom, a small NGO, as well as the people we aim to serve.
  • Project management skills. You are detail- and deadline-focused and able to manage competing demands and complex projects by producing work, coordinating across a broad set of people, and over-communicating to partners. 
  • A love of design. You have an understanding of the value of HCD and can articulate how it can bring value to a particular challenge 

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