Mission Director – Early Years and Education

Nesta Director
Location London, England with remote working possible
Application deadline 5 October 2020
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary £90k-£110k pa + excellent benefits
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Our vision is that by 2030, Nesta will have improved the lives of millions of people by designing, testing and scaling new solutions to society’s biggest challenges.

We have chosen to focus on three guiding missions – equalising life chances, building healthier lives, and supporting a sustainable economic recovery. In each of these areas, we will partner with frontline organisations to generate and rigorously evaluate new interventions, and support their widespread adoption. We will support the creation of new products and ventures, and shape the system as a whole to support innovation.

Working with a range of delivery partners, we will deploy multi-disciplinary teams that bring together capabilities in design, data science, behavioural insights, and experimental research. We believe that by bringing together innovation methods to design, experiment, rigorously evaluate, and scale innovations, we can be a world leader in driving innovation for social good.

The role

Nesta is looking for a Mission Director, Early Years and Education to lead our efforts to help equalise life outcomes between the most and least deprived children in the UK.

You are curious about new methods, open to contributions and ideas from all sources, and keen to push the pace and scale of our impact. You have a track record in leading programmes that deliver social impact, taking an empirical approach and ensuring results. You have demonstrable experience leading effective teams, and are a strong broker who can bring together the right mix of skills for every project.

Key roles and responsibilities

As Mission Director, you will think critically about how to tackle this challenge, and then continuously designing, testing, and scaling solutions that help ensure the circumstances of a child’s birth do not limit their future life outcomes. This will involve setting the direction for and leading a multidisciplinary team across multiple programmes of work, overseeing and guiding the work, and ensuring focus on the strategic goal. You will also:

  • Represent Nesta externally to a range of audiences and act as an expert voice on early years and childhood development
  • Help develop an organisational culture of mixed methods innovation, in which skills are combined in new ways to produce better outcomes
  • Champion an organisational culture of exploration, learning, development, and rigour
  • Contribute to development and delivery of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals

Experience and skills

You will have a proven track record in leading programmes and delivering social impact and have demonstrable experience of leading teams and a strong broker who can bring together the right mix of skills and inputs from specialist teams and externally on a project-basis.

An impressive communicator with strong interpersonal and networking skills, you will also have experience running a range of complementary projects underneath a shared strategic goal and a deep understanding of the use of evidence and the strengths and limitations of different kinds of research. Experience influencing local and national government and translating evidence into applied insights for policy and practice are also vital.