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Director, Program Design

Rise Background

Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, will build a lifelong community of students, teachers, and institutions across sectors who aim to serve others. The program, which will seek young people between the ages of 15 and 17 from around the world, will be designed to encourage a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that could include scholarships, career services, and funding opportunities to help these leaders serve others for decades to come.

The first annual competition for Rise in 2020 will begin to build a global community of students, teachers, and others—including a larger group of finalists worldwide and ultimately at least 100 extraordinary young people each year who show the potential to have a unique impact on their communities with more connection and support. Those young people who advance through the final stages of the competition will be invited to attend a residential fellowship before their final year of high school that will support them as they consider how to serve others, how to become leaders, and how to transition to higher education and careers. Other opportunities will include the potential to apply for scholarship funding for education, mentorship and other assistance tailored to their specific needs and interests, and a variety of career services as part of the Rise network.

To encourage service, Rise will invite its community members to make service commitments together and develop a platform to match network members with common interests. In addition, Rise plans to support non-profits or other social enterprises that Rise network members drive together to serve others.  Finalists and others in the Rise network will have the opportunity to compete for as-needed funding to launch or scale their ventures; funds are intended to be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.

The Role

The Director, Program Design will lead the design and development of the Rise program, in partnership with the Executive Director. The Director will be responsible for engaging leading experts and other partners to create an innovative program that identifies, selects and trains exceptional young people from all over the world. The Director will also engage with the Rhodes Trust and Schmidt Futures to ensure that the program design aligns with the vision and mission of Rise.

Key Responsibilities

Program Design

  • Manage the design and implementation of the Rise program
  • Identify and drive new program initiatives that have multiple stakeholders and many moving parts
  • Develop the three-week residential experience for Rise participants
  • Define and manage strategic initiatives that improve the program
  • Facilitate meetings to drive progress against Rise goals and objectives
  • Proactively assess risk, raise flags, and resolve issues before they become problems for the larger teams
  • Measure impact of programs and initiatives both qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with other members of the Rise team to deliver the best possible program
  • Support the executive team and governance board with effective team communication, proactive problem solving, information distribution
  • Build a network of experts to help inform the design and implementation of the Rise program

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Some of the desired capabilities include:

  • Demonstrated excellence in program design and implementation
  • Significant experience designing programs for international groups and communities
  • Proven experience creating new talent programs for youth
  • Strong knowledge of program management, design, and training for young people
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of how to build relationships across global cultures
  • Demonstrated teamwork ability and record of impact in high-intensity, team-based environments
  • Values-based, collaborative working style with demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of ethics and confidentiality
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills


Director, Program Design will:

  • Have at least 8+ years of work experience in government, business, philanthropy, academia, or the military
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Be based in New York and be able to travel within the U.S. and internationally on a regular basis as needed.
Ready to apply?