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Director, Talent Ventures

The Talent Ventures portfolio at Schmidt Futures focuses on addressing critical public problems, where systemic solutions may be available in a reasonable time, by creating interdisciplinary teams of exceptional people. One key element of our approach to problem-solving is to improve foundational technologies that enable competitiveness and innovation.

We are seeking a Director, Talent Ventures, who will lead the execution of multiple programs within the portfolio. The Director will work closely with the EVP, Talent Ventures, on strategy development and scaling the overall approach to the portfolio. Two primary focus areas include accessible internet connectivity and synthetic biology. Our goals are to increase opportunity for all by ensuring everyone has access to affordable high-speed internet and to promote innovation within the rapidly growing field of synthetic biology.  These focus areas are part of a broader effort we have on foundational technologies and capabilities.

Key Responsibilities

Program Leadership

  • Lead strategic program design and execution on programs with iterative improvement implementation
  • Support teams in managing existing programs in Talent Ventures
  • Generate new programmatic ideas and build a pipeline of experts and partners to contribute to current and future programs 
  • Monitor an evidence-based strategy for evaluating existing and future programs using metrics and industry best practices.


Thought Leadership for Gifts, Grants, and Investment Analysis and Evaluation

  • Source and review gifts, grants, and investments in development or underway to identify opportunities to improve their execution and impact within program areas
  • Analyze the impact of work completed against our organizational and program goals
  • Deploy expertise to improve both team and grantee performance.


Partner / Network Development

  • Recommend potential strategies, methods, partnerships, and other resources that Schmidt Futures or beneficiaries could use to strengthen their work and impact
  • Manage ongoing relationships with partners/network and offer new ways to grow
  • Proactively engage network members in identifiable ways to help them and improve impact of our work.


Team Leadership

  • Supervise people with positive impact in end to end professional development


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Some of the desired capabilities include:

  • Proven excellence in leadership and management positions;
  • Proven ability to convene networks and use an interdisciplinary approach to solve systemic problems;
  • Exceptional critical thinking ability and creativity in new idea generation;
  • Project management skills, including capabilities to manage complex stakeholders and ensure effective implementation;
  • Demonstrated teamwork ability and record of impact in high-intensity, team-based environments;
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills for conceptual and analytical problems;
  • Values-based, collaborative working style with a demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of ethics and confidentiality; and
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.



Directors will:

  • Have 10+ years of work experience in government, nonprofit, or philanthropy;
  • Have extensive experience managing others, both direct and indirect management;
  • Have expertise in internet connectivity and access (preferred); and
  • Be based in the Schmidt Futures offices in New York with the ability to travel within the U.S. and internationally regularly as needed.

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together.  We knit talent into networks, bet on the most promising ideas through diverse forms of competition and support, and equip people to scale through partners and modern tools. To realize this vision, Schmidt Futures uses a broad set of tools — including gifts, grants, investments, and startup activity — for charitable, educational, and commercial efforts with a public purpose. Our initiative brings together the efforts of various charitable and non-charitable entities to improve our potential impact by making diverse types of capital available to the efforts we support.

Futures Action Network, LLC, which operates Schmidt Futures, is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.

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