About the Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

We were founded by community organizers, so when we seek change, we do it by bringing people together. 

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where we are building the Obama Presidential Center. The Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home. 

But that approach extends to all our work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.

As President Obama has said, “we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” So join us. 

For more information, please visit www.obama.org.

Purpose of the Role

The Design Director will serve in a deputy role to the VP, Creative for brand experience, rooted in visual design with a focus on unifying and extending the visual identity of the Obama Foundation across all touchpoints. This versatile leader understands how to leverage design to solve problems, creatively approach ambitious projects, and oversee execution for a multitude of audiences and channels, including online and on campus at the Obama Presidential Center. In collaboration with the VP, Creative — and working closely with internally teams and external partners — the Design Director acts as a steward of the brand, fully leveraging it to grow the Foundation’s impact globally and achieve scale.

Core Job Responsibilities

  • Deputy Function to VP, Creative: Serve as a deputy to the VP, Creative, specializing in visual design and brand execution, to oversee creative work streams with internal teams and external stakeholders.
  • Brand management: Lead efforts to scale the visual identity of the Obama Foundation across all touchpoints (digital and physical) and ensure brand consistency and mission alignment. Generate ideas and strategies to scale the brand’s reach through relevant collaborations, partnerships, and executions. 
  • Manage design team: Lead and mentor a multidisciplinary design team, fostering a collaborative and innovative work environment. Set clear expectations, provide constructive feedback, and support the professional growth of team members.
  • Manage design partners: Manage and oversee design Foundation partners, creative agencies or freelance designers in alignment with creative strategy and partnership with VP, Creative.
  • Internal and External Stakeholder Communication: Interface with internal and external stakeholders to present and explain design concepts, solicit feedback, and ensure alignment with goals and objectives
  • Budget Oversight: Manage the design budget effectively, making strategic decisions to optimize resources and deliver high-quality design solutions.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Key Deliverables / Outcomes

  • Obama Foundation brand strategy is unified across all its work
  • Successful delivery of the Obama Presidential Center through experience design
  • High performing team that fosters innovation, creative problem solving, and impact
  • Design across the organization is highly integrated and working in alignment with each other and the Obama Foundation brand
  • Projects are delivered on time and within budget

Required Qualifications

  • Track record of advancing global and/or high impact visual identity systems and scaling over time
  • Experience managing designers and design firms, providing feedback, and fostering a collaboration
  • Deep experience working across platforms (digital and physical) with experience working in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) and other publishing and presentation products (e.g., Canva, Google suite) a strong plus
  • Experience developing and executing strategies that contribute to an organization’s mission
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment, ability to manage multiple complex projects, and deliver on a timeline
  • 10-12 years leadership experience and managing brand design teams
  • Preferred experience leadership with a global brand

The salary range for this role is between $129,675 and $162,070.

Don’t check off every box in the requirements listed above? Please apply anyway! Studies have shown that marginalized communities - such as women, LGBTQ+ and people of color - are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. The Obama Foundation is dedicated to building an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible workplace that fosters a sense of belonging – so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to still consider submitting an application. You may be just the right candidate for this role or another one of our openings!

In the interest of employee health and safety during the pendency of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Obama Foundation is requiring that all prospective employees present proof that they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, or seek a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons, prior to their first day of employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at careers@obama.org if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

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The Obama Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff. To better understand the diversity of our applicant pool, we offer those applying for positions at the Foundation the opportunity to share information about their background with us. Responding to these questions is strictly voluntary. If you choose to answer, your responses will not be shown to individuals reviewing applications, the hiring manager, or anyone else who could affect the status of your application. The aggregate information collected through this form will be used to assess the Foundation's overall recruitment efforts only. No hiring decisions are made based on this information. There will be no impact on your application if you choose not to answer these questions.

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