Columbia World Projects (CWP) is a university-wide initiative
that aims to forge closer and more useful connections between
Columbia University's research capabilities and the needs of the
world by mobilizing researchers and scholars in collaboration with
governments, organizations, businesses and communities to tackle
critical global challenges. CWP’s current areas of social impact
include climate, COVID-19, democratic renewal, energy access,
inclusive urbanism, maternal health and unequal opportunity in
rural America. CWP also leads the Obama Foundation Scholars
Program, and engages with faculty, students, and community members
to connect knowledge and action.
The Director will oversee the Obama Foundation Scholars Program
and create opportunities to engage and involve Columbia students in
social impact leadership development. This will be done by
initiating the design, implementation and managed growth of
programs and initiatives aimed at rising leaders from around the
world and the USA as well as targeting student leaders at Columbia.
Programming in this portfolio will target Obama Scholars, the
primary focus of the portfolio, and our emerging efforts to engage
the university’s students who are interested in pursuing a blend of
strategy and leadership, management and innovation skills to create
social, environmental and economic value that advances equity and
creates positive change. In this role, the Director will develop
and establish relationships with a range of key internal (schools
and departments) and external (governments, NGOs, private sector,
foundations) partners to advance CWP’s mission to deliver relevant
capacity building, training and educational programming.
- Oversee and manage all aspects of the Obama Foundation Scholars
Program (including recruitment of incoming Scholars, selection of
Scholars, program curricula development, onboarding/off-boarding
processes), in collaboration with the Obama Foundation. Similarly,
establish recruitment and selection criteria and goals and
objectives for CU students; devise and implement a recruitment
strategy and plan. Review student applications, create and revise
interview protocols, conduct interviews and select finalists.
- Work in partnership with the Obama Foundation to define the
learning objectives for participants in the Obama Scholars Program;
develop the design and implementation plans of capacity building
and educational programs that integrate academic and experiential
components, offering Obama Foundation Scholars and Columbia
University students opportunities to deepen their knowledge and
skills as well as build new capacities to accelerate their impact
as social leaders.
- Leverage the University’s academic resources as well as
relationships with external partners to create experiential
learning opportunities for Obama Scholars and CU students during
the academic year and beyond.
- Track Obama Scholars and student progress and provide regular
and ad hoc guidance on professional development, academic issues,
and long-term professional goals.
- Establish learning and development goals for Obama Scholars and
CU students including training objectives and oversee the design of
- Establish a strong alumni network amongst Scholar and student
participants and develop and maintain a robust alumni outreach
- Develop, implement and report on portfolio workplan and
- Work with communications and development staff to capture the
Obama Scholar and CU student experience as they gain capacity in
social impact leadership and disseminate their work and progress to
broader audiences, in order to highlight innovative approaches to
solving global problems, the benefits of value-based leadership,
and to engender interest in and funding for Social Impact
Leadership Programs at CWP.
- Utilize social impact research to inform reporting, analysis,
and program development efforts that align with CWP’s strategic
goals and direction.
- Implement a monitoring and reporting framework for the
portfolio. Compile, maintain and report robust data analyses on
projects and initiatives and strategic planning support to
strengthen projects and ensure continuous quality improvement.
- Stay abreast of social impact leadership evidence and
knowledge. Maintain knowledge of relevant pressing global issues,
policies, programs, and initiatives that can benefit from social
- Oversee and manage the work of full-time professional staff and
- Additional duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s degree required. Minimum 7-9 years related
**Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume.**
Who You Are?
- You have an advanced degree and, ideally, 10+ years of related
- You are an energetic, flexible, self-starting team player, who
enjoys finding creative solutions to challenges.
- You have excellent strategic management skills, including your
ability to set goals, design and manage initiatives, and align
program activities with organizational and program goals.
- You have a passion for addressing global pressing social issues
and have worked on related policy and programs.
- You have a commitment to centering racial equity and justice in
your work and a desire to address social issues by building
capacity and maximizing impact.
- You thrive in a team-oriented, multi-cultural,
- You have exceptional communication skills, the willingness to
adapt your style to various audiences and platforms, and the
ability to effectively synthesize feedback from multiple