Mission Director – Healthy Lives

Nesta Mission Director
Location London/Home Based
Application deadline 2 November 2020
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary £90-£110k pa + excellent benefits
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Nesta is looking for a Mission Director, Healthy Lives to lead our efforts to reduce health inequalities in the UK.

About Nesta
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 drive innovation for social good.

The role

The poorest people in the UK die almost a decade before their more affluent counterparts, and experience ill-health almost twenty years sooner. At Nesta, our aim is to substantially narrow this gap over the next decade. To get there, we will be focusing on two of the biggest drivers of lost years of a healthy life: obesity, caused by unhealthy food environments, and loneliness.


As Mission Director, you will think critically about how to tackle this challenge, and work towards practical solutions that help ensure healthier lives. You will lead a multidisciplinary team to form long-term partnerships, generate new ideas, experiment with potential solutions, and scale up what works. You will also:

  • Oversee and guide large-scale complex programmes of work, ensuring focus on the strategic goal
  • Represent Nesta to a range of external audiences and act as an expert voice on food environments, obesity, and loneliness
  • Help develop an organisational culture of mixed-methods innovation, in which skills are combined in new ways to produce better outcomes; and champion an organisational culture of exploration, learning, development, and rigour
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals, particularly in relation to the health outcomes we focus on

Experience and skills

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.