Bellevue, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC or Detroit, MI

Director, Racial Equity, Ballmer Group

The Organization

Since 2015, Ballmer Group (BG) has supported efforts to improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. Ultimately, we envision a country where every child, regardless of background and circumstance, has an equal chance to achieve the American Dream – the promise of moving up from one generation  to the next through effort and talent. Our work must tackle the systemic racism and inequities that have made the American Dream historically inaccessible to many.

Our co-founders – philanthropist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, and chairman of the LA Clippers – are committed to impacting economic mobility and encourage innovative thinking to move the needle and drive systems and policy change. BG focuses on multiple intersectional issues such as early learning; K-12 education; youth development; college and career pathways; housing; health; and criminal justice. We are both a national and regional funder – we have a presence and invest deeply in Washington state, southeast Michigan, and Los Angeles County.

We acknowledge that systemic racism makes it harder for people of color to move up the economic ladder and we seek to address barriers to racial equity in all we do. This means we do work to support communities of color, as we continue to learn more about what it takes to deeply and authentically engage in a practice of racial equity.

For more information about BG Philanthropy, please visit:

Position Overview

BG seeks a bold, visionary leader to serve as its first Director, Racial Equity. The goal of our racial equity work is to eliminate the obstacles to economic mobility caused by systemic racism, racial bias, and discrimination. As a key member of BG’s national team, the director will lead national racial equity grantmaking and related efforts to address racial inequalities that limit economic mobility, with an explicit prioritization of Black families and children. The director will develop the vision, design the grantmaking strategy, and advance national racial equity program, policy, and systems change work. This leader will: 1) execute and manage national grants that advance BG’s racial equity strategy; 2) use the tools of philanthropy to drive equitable improvements in the economic mobility of children and families; and 3) serve as an internal thought partner with BG colleagues.

Supporting scalable innovations at the intersections of economic mobility and racial equity is the focus of this role. The director will be expected to demonstrate deep knowledge and direct experience working across the spectrum of issues at this overlap. Strong candidates will be excited to work collaboratively as part of an entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary team and with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds. The position reports to the Executive Director, National Impact and is based out of BG’s locations.

Key Priorities and Responsibilities 

Strategic Oversight and Thought Leadership:

·        Create, implement, and manage BG’s racial equity strategy, including setting long-term and annual goals for the organization’s national investments aimed toward removing racial barriers to economic mobility.

·        Maximize the tools of philanthropy to tackle structural and systemic racism issues related to expanding pathways to economic mobility. Develop funding strategies that explicitly address the impacts of racially inequitable policies, practices, systems, and markets and complement efforts of other sectors including government and corporate.

·        Remain grounded in emerging racial equity trends, opportunities, and issues affecting economic mobility and develop a point of view on the most leveraged strategies for philanthropy and BG.

·        Work with the Executive Director, National Impact to explore opportunities and develop potential strategies for adjacent issues and help build skills across the team to infuse racial equity strategies throughout our grantmaking, beyond the racial equity portfolio. Collaborate with colleagues on the implementation of those strategies.


·       Manage BG’s active portfolio of national racial equity grants and build a broader suite of grants specifically designed to tackle racial inequities in the systems that provide pathways to economic mobility.

·        Develop and leverage relationships among peer philanthropic organizations, the business community, the public sector, elected officials, advocates, activists, practitioners, and other relevant stakeholders to identify and pursue innovative trends, new grantmaking opportunities, and strategic partnerships.

·        Establish and maintain relationships with grantees to learn from and elevate their work and to advance BG’s racial equity investments.

·        Lead potential racial equity grantees through the grant review and approval process, including           developing detailed recommendations for BG leadership.

Engage with BG Regions:

·        Share knowledge across BG Philanthropy on national racial equity priorities and work with colleagues in the regions to learn about and help advance regionally defined racial equity priorities.

·        Collaborate with BG’s Executive Directors and staff in BG’s regional offices to exchange ideas and insights that increase the impact of both regional and national racial equity grantmaking strategies.

·        Develop strong relationships internally with peer departments (e.g., the Advocacy & Communications and Data & Technology teams) to leverage and maximize impact.



The ideal candidate will:

·        Be a bold and imaginative leader with acumen for executing big ideas; engaging stakeholders from public and business sectors; and effectively collaborating with peers.

·        Possess a deep network in the racial equity ecosystem and substantial knowledge of pertinent public policy, systems change, and private industry trends across the country.

·        Have a sophisticated understanding of historical and contemporary racial justice issues, programs, policies, and structures.

·        Be an accomplished leader with a track record of creating measurable impact on economic mobility and racial equity.

Additional qualifications include:

·        At least 8 years of professional experience working in racial equity or a directly related field.

·        Possess either an advanced degree in the field of business, law, economics, social work, or a related field (preferred) or experience in excess of the minimum.

·        Dedication to supporting and driving BG’s mission with some familiarity with the racial equity issues at play in one or more of BG’s three focus regions.

·        Strong written communication skills, including the ability to simplify and communicate clear takeaways and insights to an executive-level audience.

·        Excellent verbal communicator with strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence when engaging one-on-one. Skilled at synthesizing and translating complex information for diverse audiences.

·        Skilled at discussing and analyzing strategies and approaches with internal and external stakeholders.

·        Solid quantitative and analytical skills with experience assessing budgets and organizational finances.

·        Ability to build trust, rapport, and effectively function as part of a team with internal and external stakeholders.

·        A strong sense of humility and integrity with a curious mind and a sense of humor.

·        Willingness to travel to BG’s three focus regions and other U.S. cities as needed (work is remote and travel is minimal at this time but travel to the regions would typically represent roughly 15% of the position’s time) and, once offices are safely reopened, to work in a hybrid model with 2-3 days in the office a week.

How To Apply

Ballmer Group is partnering with Black- and women-owned strategic management consulting and executive search firm Walker and Associates Consulting for this search. To apply, email a single PDF file containing a cover letter, resume and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to your references) to on or before 5:00 p.m. PT on November 17, 2021. Use the subject line: Director, Racial Equity. Resume review begins immediately.

Ballmer Group is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is valued. Individuals seeking employment at Ballmer Group are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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