Director, K-12 Education & Data Literacy
Valhalla Foundation

Director, K-12 Education & Data Literacy

OVERVIEW

Valhalla Foundation (“Valhalla”) is the private foundation of Scott Cook (co-founder of Intuit) and Signe Ostby. Valhalla invests in and supports innovative organizations aligned with its mission to drive measurable and meaningful improvement in outcomes that matter.

In that spirit, five key issue areas comprise Valhalla’s main portfolio: early childhood development, K12 education, data literacy, medical research and talent, and environmental innovation. Additionally, Valhalla is an active participant in collaborative philanthropy efforts through The Audacious Project, and is a General Partner in Blue Meridian Partners. Valhalla has also made sizable gifts to COVID relief and racial justice efforts in the past several years.

Scott and Signe – sole Trustees of Valhalla – have already committed over $600 million, are proud signatories of The Giving Pledge, and are passionate about the idea of “giving while living.” Therefore, the Foundation’s lean grant-making team works with focused attention to investigate who is achieving outcomes in designated issue areas, invest millions of dollars in those leaders and their solutions, and accelerate the impact and scale of those models.

True to its founders, Valhalla applies a data-driven and highly rigorous approach to grant-making and also provides ongoing non-monetary support to help portfolio organizations scale their impact. Examples of these services include connections to other funders, goal-setting and strategy assistance, strengthening hiring processes, strengthening board practices and recruitment, executive coaches to help leaders with specific challenges they’re facing, and candid feedback and moral support.

Learn more at www.valhalla.org.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Valhalla’s K-12 education and data literacy portfolios have grown substantially in recent years, and their investment strategies are intertwined. The goals of the portfolios are to dramatically improve rates of academic achievement, attainment, and data literacy nationwide, so that all children—and particularly low-income children and children of color— gain the skills necessary for success in life and career and are able to effectively participate and succeed in a modern economy and society.

Valhalla’s K-12 portfolio invests in proven and growing solutions that serve hundreds of thousands of students as well as edtech funds that build the ecosystem.

Valhalla’s data literacy portfolio invests in: (1) solutions that provide high-quality curricula and professional development for teachers to implement data literacy courses in their classrooms; (2) research efforts to identify what is known about data literacy today, to deepen the field’s understanding of what works in data literacy instruction and assessment, and to develop an agenda to guide future research; and (3) field-building efforts that grow stakeholder awareness of the importance of data literacy, advance state policies that encourage schools to adopt data literacy curricula, and allow innovators, academics, and funders to share promising solutions and learn from one another. Visit the K-12 portfolio page and the Data Literacy portfolio page for more details.

The Director will join the K-12 education and data literacy team to accelerate the impact of these expanding portfolios of grantees and to continuously improve these portfolios’ strategies to drive results. The Director will own relationships with a meaningful subset of grantees in each portfolio, develop specific grant recommendations, support and coach portfolio organizations to amplify their impact, monitor impact and progress, and shape evolving investment strategies based on learnings. They will also conduct additional sourcing and due diligence to grow the portfolios They will apply and hone their skills in a collaborative, learning-centered environment where the path to the Senior Director level is intentional and transparent.

The Director will collaborate with other members of the Valhalla team, including Scott and Signe, who are actively involved in the work of the Foundation. Additionally, many of Valhalla’s diligence efforts are fueled by a dedicated team of external consultants from The Bridgespan Group whose members meet frequently with the Valhalla team.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Reporting to Nancy Lue, Senior Director and head of the K-12 Education and Data Literacy portfolios, the Director’s key functional responsibilities are:

    • Coaching of high-potential K-12 education and data literacy portfolio organizations: The Director will work closely with a subset of portfolio organizations to supercharge their impact and scale. This involves identifying where organizations are performing well versus where they may be facing challenges and risks and serving as a coach and mentor to the leaders of these organizations. The Director will marshal capacity-building resources and facilitate the involvement of the Trustees and other members of the Valhalla team in targeted support of these organizations, as appropriate.
    • Supporting diligence on new K-12 education and data literacy investment opportunities and developing reinvestment recommendations: The Director will support diligence on new investment opportunities, often in conjunction with consultants from The Bridgespan Group. In addition, as grants mature or new rounds of funding are raised for organizations within the K-12 education and data literacy portfolios, the Director will conduct due diligence and present a point of view on whether to reinvest, the appropriate grant amount and structure, and the key risks associated with an investment recommendation.
    • Harvesting learning from portfolio organizations and across individual portfolios: The Director will glean and distill data, insights, and learning from portfolio organizations and initiatives, then effectively and efficiently share insights and learnings with the Valhalla team, the Trustees, and other portfolio organizations. Further, the Director will synthesize key trends and insights from the sectors in which the Trustees are investing to inform Valhalla’s philanthropic strategy and sourcing of new opportunities.
    • Collaborating with and influencing others in the field: The Director will build relationships with other leaders and funders in the field, collaborate with them, and learn from and influence them. This will involve staying apprised of key sector trends; participating in relevant networks by attending conferences; staying closely connected to key leaders/funders; and possibly organizing convenings/gatherings and/or writing.

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The successful candidate will be a collaborative, curious, continuous learner with a deep interest in K-12 education and data literacy. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications outlined below, successful candidates will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Strategic leadership and coaching skills:
    • A track record of thinking critically about what it takes to achieve outcomes
    • A track record of helping leaders identify needs and solutions to hurdles they face, and of influencing leaders (without direct authority) to make decisions / act in ways that deliver outstanding results
    • The capacity to listen to and value the views of others, even when possessing an existing point of view
    • The ability and courage to clearly say what you think and why, even when it’s contrarian or bold
Communications skills:
    • Excellent written skills, as evidenced by the ability to write strong assessments and recommendations with appropriate supporting rationale
    • Excellent oral communication skills, as evidenced by the ability to clearly and succinctly present perspectives with appropriate supporting rationale, and by the ability to be persuasive and influence others orally
Robust analytical skills and judgment:
    • The ability to analyze data and research, and appropriately assess impact, scale trajectory, financial sustainability, leadership / team strength, and other key success factors of potential portfolio organizations
    • The capacity to derive important insights from the analysis above, name strengths, weaknesses, and assumptions, and, ultimately, to make sound recommendations on investments
Personal characteristics:
    • Demonstrated passion for social impact and social change
    • A learning orientation with an appetite for feedback
    • A collegial and team-oriented working style
    • A track record for being highly productive and a “doer”
    • Unquestionable integrity
    • Respect of the fact that, ultimately, we are executing the vision of our Trustees

COMPENSATION

Valhalla has recently conducted a comprehensive compensation study to develop transparent salary bands and promotion criteria for each role, and the salary range for this position begins at $195,000, with higher placement in the range based on experience and performance. Valhalla also offers generous benefits.

ABOUT VALHALLA FOUNDATION / FOX HOLLOW VENTURES

Valhalla’s operations are supported by Fox Hollow Ventures, Scott and Signe’s family office. Valhalla staff are employees of Fox Hollow Ventures.

The Director will work from Valhalla’s Woodside, CA office two days/week with the option to work remotely for the remainder of the week when in-person collaboration is not required.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Valhalla is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring and developing a diverse team, and we encourage all interested candidates to apply. Valhalla centers diversity, equity, and inclusion in the decisions we make and in how we work together internally and with our grantees.  This explicit DEI focus furthers our mission of driving measurable and meaningful improvements in outcomes that matter and specifically breaks the predictive power of race, gender, class, income, and other forms of marginalization.

TO APPLY

We have engaged Promise54 to support the hiring process.

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please follow these instructions to submit a cover letter and resume:

    • Visit the Opportunities section on Promise54’s website and click on the APPLY NOW tab within the Valhalla Foundation – Director, K-12 Education and Data Literacy job description
    • Answer a brief set of questions about you
    • Below the questions, you’ll be able to upload your resume as well as a cover letter

Finally, if you encounter any technical difficulties, please contact: admin@promise54.org.

 

Fox Hollow Ventures is an equal opportunity employer.

Valhalla Foundation is building a diverse team that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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