Strategy Officer, Participation, Lumina Foundation

The Organization

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

Lumina is working with partners to design a learning system that gives every person—regardless of race and ethnicity, income, or other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that only education and training after high school can provide. To achieve our mission, we work with governmental, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations to bring about widespread change. Our work relies on strategic communication, empowering leaders who can bring about change, policy outreach to state and federal officials, investments in proven and promising practices, and targeted efforts to measure and evaluate progress.

Lumina Foundation has a passionate and committed staff and is among the nation’s top private foundations, with an endowment in excess of $1.2 billion.

Position Overview


The Strategy Officer for Participation works with the director to implement Lumina’s strategy, approach, and portfolio of grants and contracts designed to increase enrollment and re-enrollment in AA degree and short-term credential programs. The strategy officer should have practical expertise in effective approaches to identifying, informing, engaging, and enrolling students in high-quality programs, well designed to promote credential attainment.  The officer should also have insight into innovative marketing strategies, behavioral barriers to enrollment, and best practices in student advising and navigation.  In addition, the officer should be conversant with an array of strategies and reforms that address equity, quality, scale, and innovation to dramatically increase the enrollment, persistence, and completion of postsecondary credentials, particularly for learners of color and adults.

This position works in a collaborative and integrated manner within the Learning and Work division as well as across all other areas of the foundation to ensure that the goals of Lumina’s Strategic Plan are realized, and to assist the nation in making significant improvements in credential attainment.

The Responsibilites

• Commitment to Equity: Strategy Officers advance Lumina’s commitment to ending  systemic racism and barriers to learning beyond high school for Black, Latino and Native American individuals.  Officers will further Learning and Works’ specific practices that promote racial and ethnic diversity in hiring, contracting, grantmaking, inclusive decision making, and achieving fair and just outcomes arising from the department’s exercise of its duties and responsibilities and effectively communicate Lumina’s commitment to internal and external partners

• Strategy Conceptualization & Leadership: Manage an assigned portfolio of grants and contracts through the lifecycle, proactively addressing questions and concerns, and communicating with director on ways to support, enhance, or pivot in strategy execution

• Strategy Analysis and Synthesis: Analyze and synthesize information across a variety of sources, and then make recommendations to the Strategy Director and executive team member about the design, development, and piloting of new initiatives; partner on integrated strategy approaches that aim to scale promising practices.   Likewise, Strategy Officers need to have the critical thinking skills necessary to extract key lessons from past or current work, and to use those learnings to both shape and inform future work. Finally, Strategy Officers must be strong writers who can both review and revise incoming material, as well as convey their thoughts and Lumina’s key messages in a clear and articulate manner.

• Portfolio Design and Management: Responsible for leveraging existing relationships with trusted colleagues and cultivating new partnerships to develop a portfolio of grants and contracts related to the assigned strand of work.  The portfolio must either directly lead to an increased number of enrollments or facilitate a change in conditions that will likely lead to the increased enrollment and re-enrollment in AA degree and/or short term credential programs.  The Strategy Officer must constantly stay abreast of key issues and players in the field in order to assess how the portfolio can be enhanced.

• Integration and Collaboration: Collaborate in an intentional and forward-thinking way with colleagues across the organization to maximize the impact of the Foundation’s resources. Examples include working closely with Strategic Impact to develop metrics and targets to ensure grants and contracts are designed to produce results, with Stakeholder Engagement so that convenings are used as a key tool to advance strategic priorities, and with Impact Ventures to explore alternative ways of supporting mission-aligned efforts. Importantly, the Strategy Officer will deeply engage his or her supervisor consistently for feedback, guidance, and alignment.


• Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

• At least five (5) years of experience working with postsecondary providers to improve outcomes for Today’s Students. Applicants with backgrounds in higher education, healthcare, workforce development, education sales or some other mix of relevant skills and experience.

Skills, Competencies and Characteristics

• Ability to learn quickly and connect learning to ongoing conversations related to the assigned body of work.

• Ability to demonstrate how best to use the Foundation’s resources to ensure the policies and practices envisioned in the current Strategic Plan are aligned with Lumina’s principles of learning and credentialing.

• Ability to make decisions in concert with others without complete information and to thrive in an outcomes-oriented, continuously evolving work environment in which thinking beyond the curve is encouraged.

• Project management skills with demonstrated ability to execute and follow through to achieve intended results, by following through on commitments, prioritizing work, and managing time and resources well.

• Experience building and managing diverse networks that support efforts to produce systemic change.

• Excellent verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate accurately, effectively, and in ways appropriate to different audiences.

• Strong writer, with the ability to review, revise and synthesize a variety of information and help connect the Foundation’s work to broader discussions within the higher education landscape.

• Ability to manage internal and external constituents, projects, and budgets.

• Analytical, problem-solving, and research abilities and an ability to coordinate with researchers and program evaluators.

• Capable of applying adaptive problem-solving skills in response to unforeseen challenges and new assignments.

• Ability to prioritize a wide range of duties and responsibilities, organize tasks, and remain flexible to changing and multiple requests.

• Ability to work collegially and diplomatically across the organization and audience groups, with an ability to resolve any conflicts.

• Exercise sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.

• Ability to use technology effectively, including databases, spreadsheets, Microsoft Office 365 products such as Outlook and Word, Salesforce, WebEx and Yammer.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

•Work is performed in an office environment, mostly sedentary.

•Visual and auditory acuity for extensive use of various forms of technology.

•Currently Lumina staff are not traveling. When travel resumes- this position travels 10-20%, including overnight stays.

This Position Summary is only a summary of the typical job functions, not an exhaustive list of all possible responsibilities, and may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.

How To Apply

Applicants should send to the e-mail address below:
•a letter of interest, and
•a resume as an attachment outlining experience relevant to the position.

Amber Shelton
Human Resources Manager

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