Salary Range: 87-107K
Launched in 2019, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund (the Fund) is a philanthropic initiative aimed at catalyzing economic opportunities for immigrants and refugees and enabling immigrant communities to thrive in the U.S. and Canada. The Fund provides provide grants, impact investments, and other support to interventions that build more inclusive economies and the advance economic integration of immigrants and refugees. In particular, the Fund is currently focused on supporting organizations and initiatives that aim to: equip immigrants and refugees with the skills and supports to succeed; advance inclusive and equitable employer practices; foster innovation and experimentation in the workforce development and immigrant integration fields; invest in immigrant leaders; and grow the ecosystem of collaborators.
The Fund is looking for a Chief of Staff , a newly created role, to join the growing WES Mariam Assefa Fund team and provide WES’ Managing Director of Philanthropy with critical strategic and operational support. This role will work with the Fund’s leadership to set strategic priorities, ensure strong execution and follow-through for the Fund’s initiatives, strengthen coordination within the Fund team and linkages with other WES departments, and manage key strategic planning, knowledge management, governance, and crossfunctional projects. This role offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with all aspects of building a philanthropic fund. As the Fund is an early-stage philanthropy, the Chief of Staff will have opportunities to shape and expand their responsibilities and role as the Fund’s work evolves or move into other roles on the Fund or at WES. The Manager reports to WES’ Managing Director of Philanthropy and will work closely and collaboratively with all members of the Fund team in the U.S. and Canada, as well as other WES Social Impact departments, WES’ Office of the CEO, and other functional teams. They will have significant exposure to WES’s Executive Team and members of the WES Board of
Location & Work Environment
The Fund team is a distributed, hybrid team with several colleagues working out of WES’ NYC and Toronto offices and others working virtually from other cities in the U.S. and Canada. Fund team members based near local offices typically work out of the office 1-2 days a week and spend the remainder of the week working remotely. However, schedules are flexible and local colleagues can also choose to work wholly from home. WES’ office spaces in NYC and Toronto are shared, open office environments with break-out and meeting rooms and light to moderate noise. We are also open to remote-first or remote-only candidates located so long as they are willing to attend in-person meetings in NYC, Toronto, or other cities at least once a quarter.
Duties included but not limited to:
Direct Support for Managing Director
• Serve as a critical sounding board for the Fund’s leadership, helping to set and refine priorities by defining and assessing strategic choices, conducting scenario planning exercises, and identifying and managing strategic risks.
• Support the Managing Director in developing and executing strategic, organizational, and cross-departmental projects as they arise.
• Coordinate engagement with the WES Board Fund Committee and other Board members to ensure strong governance, timely approval of funding recommendations, and effective meeting management.
• Design and prep for internal and external meetings, including developing backgrounders, coordinating agendas, facilitating, and identifying and ensuring follow up on action items.
• Draf t internal and external communications – in collaboration with the Fund and Strategic Communications teams when needed - including updates, PowerPoint presentations, Board correspondence, dashboards, talking points, and more.
**Strategy, Planning, and Learning **
• Manage the Fund team’s preparation for and involvement in key internal processes,
such as Fund Committee meetings, quarterly Board meetings, and annual priority and budget-setting processes.
• Support Fund team members with the design, scoping, and planning for new
• Help establish key operational and impact metrics and update key dashboards; manage external consultants that support dynamic learning and impact evaluation for the Fund.
Team Coordination & Alignment
• Propose the creation of new systems and processes to streamline the Fund’s operations, integrate inclusion and equity lenses, and meet the needs of our stakeholders (e.g., grantee and investee partners, Board members, WES colleagues).
• Build and manage detailed workplans and project management tools to support the Fund and teammates in meeting and managing key milestones and goals.
The Ideal Candidate will:
• Be excited about WES’ mission, the Fund’s impact goals, and advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
• Energized to be part of a fund that endeavors to shift power and resources to proximate communities and to contribute to the movement to transform philanthropy.
• Bring lived experience f rom immigrant and refugee communities and/or communities of color, as well as the issues that the Fund focuses on.
• Have a high degree of comfort with rapidly changing ambiguous contexts and an ability to help craft a clear path forward in these environments.
• Bring both an entrepreneurial mindset to generate new approaches, spot opportunities, and initiate action.
• Have a deep-rooted intellectual curiosity and an openness to diverse ideas and perspectives.
• Thrive in an environment that values transparency, collaboration, and a learning orientation.
• Bring a “can-do” attitude and have a willingness to stretch up and down in their role as the Fund’s needs evolve.
• Build informal working relationships, quickly establish credibility in new areas of work, and mobilize people at all levels towards collaborative goals.
• 6-7+ years of relevant work experience with strong preference for experience in consulting, business operations, and/or philanthropy.
• A Bachelor’s degree in public policy, economics, business, international relations, or other relevant degree preferred, but not required.
• Exceptional project manager who thrives in a fast-paced environment, delivers high quality work, is comfortable managing up, and enjoys juggling dynamic priorities.
• Track record as an excellent problem-solver who enjoys taking on new challenges and demonstrates strong decision-making skills and judgement.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills that convey complex information to a range of stakeholders in compelling formats, including via PowerPoint slides.
• Demonstrated qualitative and quantitative analytical skills to assess situations, break down complex problems, identify strategic trade offs, and apply learnings in a larger context.
• Experience utilizing inclusive and participatory models for strategy development, planning, decision-making, and/or budgeting within organizations and/or with external partners a plus.
• Good interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility, and demonstrated experience building trust with diverse stakeholder groups.
• Strong command of technology tools, including Microsoft Office suite (especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive), Salesforce or other CRM systems, and Google Apps / G Suite.