Innovation Associate

New York, NY
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Acumen is looking for a flexible, dynamic self-starter to support our Chief Innovation Officer. We’re looking for someone with 2-4 years’ experience who has superior writing and communications skills, maturity, strong project management abilities, and a commitment to tackling global poverty.

About Acumen
Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $113 million in 108 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. We have developed a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills, and determination to create a more inclusive world. We were named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies in 2015.

About Innovation
The Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) oversees four of Acumen’s fastest-growing verticals: the Acumen Fellows Programs, our leadership development programs; +Acumen, our online school for social change; Lean Data, which brings customer voice to impact measurement; and Communications and Marketing to generate insights and spread Acumen’s voice.

About the role
We seek an Associate to support the CIO across all aspects of his role. You are an entrepreneurial self-starter and a team player. You are comfortable with ambiguity, passionate about Acumen’s mission, and excited by a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. You excel at balancing the strategic and tactical responsibilities and weighing and executing against competing priorities. You are excellent at execution and possess a strong attention to detail.

You have a high degree of emotional intelligence and can build trust with diverse groups of people. You are a strong communicator and writer. You can integrate seamlessly into communication flows, and have the gravitas to coordinate multiple projects and stakeholders while displaying smarts, grace, humor, and remaining calm under pressure.

Responsibilities range from logistical support and project coordination to playing a role in special projects on the teams the CIO oversees:

Project Management, Operations, and Logistics:
+ Manage all work-streams across the Innovation function, ensure that key deliverables are met on time
+ Maintain the CIO’s strategic priorities and identify opportunities for collaboration across the Innovation function and with other teams at Acumen
+ Ensure that the CIO’s time is allocated effectively and that all meetings—both internal and external—are reflective of priority areas; manage the schedule of the Chief Innovation Officer to maximize productivity
+ Coordinate senior management’s and team member’s schedules to ensure weekly check-ins and other internal meetings
+ Own all logistics related to the CIO’s domestic and international travel (including flight and hotel bookings): coordinate relationship management for the CIO both internally and externally;  conduct research and prepare talking points to ensure that the CIO is adequately prepared for all meetings and speaking engagements

Special Projects:
1) Leadership
+ Work alongside the CIO to project manage the different components of Acumen’s Leadership work globally
2) Writing & Communications
+ Support the CIO in his external writing, speaking and presentations
+ Support the CIO’s thought leadership by vetting meetings and speaking opportunities

+ 2-4 years’ experience; academic or professional experience in global development, social enterprise, or leadership development strongly preferred
+ Strong project management and analytical skills; a demonstrated ability to lead a diverse number of projects and complete them in a timely manner with limited supervision
+ Ability to manage multiple tasks effectively with frequent interruptions, and to work productively in a fast paced, rapidly growing organization
+ Ability to assert influence in ensuring deadlines are met and management team stays on track to critical deliverables or administrative timelines
+ Superior written and oral communication skills
+ Good judgment, poise, and discretion related to senior executives
+ Interest and experience in using technology to improve work efficiency; additional expertise in trouble-shooting technological problems a plus
+ Familiarity with the macro environment for the impact investing and social enterprise sectors
+ Proven mastery of Office applications including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint
+ Bachelor’s Degree required
+ Authorized to work in the United States

Additional characteristics we seek for all roles at Acumen:
+ Commitment to and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity and respect.
+ Ability to thrive in ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve.
+ A sense of humor (really).

Acumen offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience, including full benefits and a 401(k).

Application Requirements
Please submit a resume and responses to the following questions via the following link:

+ Why are excited to work for Acumen?  Be specific.
+ Describe a time when you’ve played an integral role in helping someone else succeed.
+ Describe a time when you’ve decided to learn something new. What did you choose to learn and why? How did you go about it?

The deadline to apply is May 1st, 2018. Candidates are encouraged to apply early as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.