Location: Washington, DC
Department: Center for Strategic Philanthropy


About the Center for Strategic Philanthropy

Philanthropic capital is a growing and powerful economic force–particularly in the United States, where Americans donate more than $390 billion annually. At the same time, we are all on the cusp of the greatest intergenerational transfer of wealth ever, with $30 trillion poised to be transferred to heirs over the next 30-40 years. Given the stakes, it is imperative that this capital be invested as wisely as possible.

The Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) believes philanthropy has the opportunity and obligation to take on big risks to test bold ideas. We conduct deep due diligence across a range of issue areas, promote creative and well-informed giving strategies, and advise families and foundations on where and how to channel their philanthropy to maximize a return on their investment.

As systems thinkers, we pull back and examine the entire picture. We leverage the world class convening power of the Milken Institute to assemble the best thinkers to examine root causes and identify the right leverage points to effect positive and lasting change. Currently, our work focuses on advancing medical innovation, protecting environmental assets, and building robust education models.

Further, we build communities of like-minded, forward-thinking philanthropists, create a marketplace of innovative giving practices, forge greater awareness of high-impact investment opportunities, and connect promising ideas with action and capital in order to tackle some of the world’s most pressing social challenges.

Director Overview

The Milken Institute is looking for a talented, senior professional to lead strategy and business planning functions that will help individuals and foundations to shape new philanthropic endeavors and move opportunities from concept to reality. The Director will report to the Executive Director and serve as a senior member of the CSP leadership team to provide input into the vision and operations of the fast-growing center.

A successful candidate will able to:

  • Utilize systems thinking approaches to understand bottlenecks and gaps, and identify opportunities for philanthropic investment to catalyze social change;
  • Create new or refreshed strategic plans for organizations supported by philanthropic capital;
  • Develop operating models, governance and organizational structures, human capital requirements, distribution of responsibilities, capital and expense requirements, etc.;
  • Working in conjunction with the Institute’s innovative finance team, provide recommendations on alternate financing structures that leverage philanthropic capital;
  • Construct program implementation timelines, work plans, and project management structures;
  • Interact and manage relationships with high-level donors, subject matter experts, and advisors;
  • Facilitate stakeholder engagement and donor decision-making;
  • Be knowledgeable of philanthropy trends and tools to create change (funding, advocacy, community-building, etc.) and readily apply new models to donor projects;
  • Identify and leverage burgeoning social impact innovations in both the public and private sectors;
  • Serve as a thought leader in the field and represent CSP in public conversations – on line and off;
  • Convene affinity communities of philanthropists to inform and empower their giving; 
  • Mentor staff and grow strategy and business planning function; and
  • Support business development, outreach, and expansion opportunities, as needed.


  • Education to graduate level, MBA preferred;
  • At least 15 years of relevant work experience (experience in philanthropic advising, management consulting, sustainable development, corporate strategy, impact investing, or investment banking is a plus);
  • High intellectual capacity that can be and has been applied to learning new fields;
  • Strong business acumen that has been applied to analyzing market trends, sectors, and organizations, and/or building new programs or businesses;
  • A strong personal network of social impact thought leaders and philanthropists;
  • An ethic of service leadership, collaboration, and mentorship;
  • Familiarity with health, education, and/or environmental conservation innovations is a plus;
  • Personal attitude that includes being outgoing, entrepreneurial, action-oriented, flexible, with a willingness to adapt to changing situations and having a good sense of humor;
  • Sophistication in managing senior level donor and stakeholder relationships;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and
  • Solid program planning and project management skills.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a globally engaged, publicly supported, non-partisan, nonprofit think tank with offices in Santa Monica, California, Washington, D.C., London, and Singapore. Its mission is to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital and enhance health. The Milken Institute offers an excellent benefit package including medical/dental, LTD, Life, Flex Spending Program, 403(b) tax-deferred retirement savings plan, and company gym. E.O.E.

To apply, please submit your information and upload your cover letter and resume.


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