Foundations and Philanthropy, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Program Leadership, Social Justice and Advocacy, Youth Development and Educational Equity

Senior Associate of Learning, Evaluation, and Research

  • Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • Quincy, MA

This position has been filled.

About the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) champions efforts that prioritize community goals that challenge racial inequities and advance excellent, student-centered public education for all New England youth.

As the largest philanthropy in New England dedicated exclusively to education, we work to ensure that all youth have access to excellent and equitable public education that prepares them to succeed and thrive in community. Our new grantmaking strategy, announced in early 2020, centers on racial equity in public education and includes grant funds for:

  • Supporting Organizations Led By People of Color;
  • Advancing Community-School Partnerships;
  • Amplifying Youth Voice and Leadership;
  • Building Capacity and Grantee Learning;
  • Strengthening Partnerships, Coalitions, and Movements; and
  • Championing Student-Centered Learning

In addition to our grantmaking, we are committed to using our voice, privilege, and power to advance and advocate for racial equity in our education system and to identify, call out, and dismantle the systems and policies that have led to a disproportionate number of negative outcomes for people of color. In all of our work, we have committed to a race-equity-focused and community-centered approach. We commit to actively engaging with the communities we serve, and those most impacted, regarding solutions, investments, and resources for their community.

Headquartered in Quincy, MA, our team is comprised of mission-driven professionals who share a commitment to putting youth and communities at the forefront, operating with a racial equity lens, building collaborative relationships, supporting community-driven change, and continuing to learn, adapt, and improve.

For more information on NMEF, please visit

About the Senior Associate of Learning, Evaluation, and Research Opportunity

The Senior Associate of Learning, Evaluation, and Research (LER) will work closely and collaboratively with the Program Director of LER to create and implement a Foundation-wide continuous improvement approach and strategic learning agenda that deepens the understanding of the impact of our initiatives and aligns to our vision of advancing racial equity within education. They will play a key role in our implementation of an equitable evaluation framework, supporting internal and external constituents in adopting this approach.

The Senior Associate of Learning, Evaluation, and Research will provide support to our systems for monitoring, capturing, and measuring the impact of our strategy and our internal learning processes. Through working with grantees, communities, and our staff in various capacities, they will support grantees’ progress toward their stated goals and enhance the depth and breadth of our understanding, knowledge and practices, as related to our mission, vision, values, and goals. They will develop and implement innovative tools that promote a culture of learning, adaptation, and improvement. Additionally, they will support all research functions and activities, with the supervision of the Program Director of LER.

This role offers the opportunity for an individual with strong applied research experience to contribute to our work as a leader around racial equity in public education and our ongoing innovation within our learning, evaluation, and research practices.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Support Program team members by designing and implementing research activities (e.g. surveys, phone interviews, focus groups), analyzing resulting data, and providing actionable summaries and reports
  • Manage the evaluation process with grantees, in collaboration with Program team members
  • Act as a resource and support for our grantees, providing technical assistance around their evaluation needs and building capacity with grantee staff
  • Collaborate with the Program Director of LER to identify, design, and coordinate or deliver internal learning activities for our staff and Board
  • Foster ongoing learning by conducting research and synthesizing and presenting information in an accessible, actionable for a variety of audiences
  • Provide grants management support in our Research grantmaking portfolio, including processing MOUs and managing contracts
  • Partner with the Program Director of LER on developing themes and meta themes based on grantee evaluation
Candidate Profile

As the incoming Senior Associate of Learning, Evaluation, and Research, you will demonstrate many, though perhaps not all, of the following qualifications and experiences:

  • You bring at least 5 years of relevant, successful experience in social science research, non-profit, or public policy contexts and demonstrate strong applied research skills. The experience and skill level sought for this role is equivalent to that of a Masters in Education Research, Education Sociology, Sociology, or other social science.
  • You come to this role with a deep understanding of relevant content areas (e.g. K-12 education and education trends; other youth-focused social services fields) informed by prior experience in research and evaluation focused in these areas, and you have the ability to communicate and partner effectively with a variety of constituents who will lead a change agenda for racial equity in public education.
  • You possess strong knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods, with demonstrated expertise in developing and testing qualitative measures and instruments. You bring analytical and conceptual abilities, as well as creativity and flexibility in problem-solving.
  • You demonstrate strong skills and experience in collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and using data, research findings, including research on complex policy issues.
  • You have the ability to think analytically, creatively, and flexibly in problem-solving and you can clearly communicate the analysis and interpretation of research and evaluation findings to a variety of audiences.
  • You share our understanding that evaluation is done with and for participants, not to participants, and you operate with humility and sensitivity to the power dynamics inherent within evaluation and philanthropic relationships. You offer experience implementing research and evaluation approaches in which bias is mitigated throughout all stages of the process. Prior experience with equitable or culturally competent evaluation is considered a plus.
  • You communicate in a clear and accessible manner with a variety of audiences, demonstrating the ability to present analysis and facilitate learning and excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills.
  • You are a strong project manager, with the ability to take initiative and work independently without close oversight, meeting deadlines and following through with high levels of accountability for performance goals and outcomes.
  • You have successful experience working as part of a small, collaborative, multidisciplinary team. You are willing to take on non-research tasks when needed to support the broader team and bring experience working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • You value social justice, including racial and gender equity as an organizational operating principle, and you are committed to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Compensation, Benefits, and Location Information

The full salary range for this position is $81,000 – $135,000, commensurate with experience. NMEF expects to make this hire in the $100,000 – $120,000 range to allow room for upward growth. NMEF provides a comprehensive benefits package.This role will be required to work from the NMEF office in Quincy, MA at least 2 days a week.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. To express your interest in this role, please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume, addressed to Nina Zockoff Culbertson here.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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