Special Assistant to the President and Founder

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

Are you a changemaker who wants to play a pivotal role in restoring vision for millions of people in low-income communities around the world? Are you energized by an entrepreneurial spirit and want to combine the best of business practices to create social impact?

VisionSpring seeks an organized, smart, energetic professional with strong executive function to join our team as Special Assistant to the President and Founder. As a “right hand” to the president, you will help VisionSpring achieve annual goals and objectives by taking on strategic initiatives, assisting with internal and external communications, and coordinating activities with the board of directors. You will play a key facilitative role in a high-growth environment across VisionSpring’s global team. This position is based in New York City.


•       You are a no-task-is-too-small superhero. You can manage multi-month special project across teams in multiple time zones, will happily line up a slate of meetings for an upcoming conference, and won’t hesitate to book the flights to get there.
•       You draw energy from high volume work flows and new challenges, and find roles with flexible parameters stimulating. You don’t miss a beat when priorities change.
•       You enjoy autonomy, yet seamlessly integrate yourself into a range of teams. You maintain close relations with colleagues and external stakeholders. You have your finger on the pulse of the organization.
•       You find it easy to put your thoughts into words. Colleagues turn to you for editing support, and you love the art of story-telling. You can do wonders with PowerPoint and Word to make a message pop off the page.
•       You have a demonstrated interest in social enterprise models, international operations, and the experiences of low-income customers. This makes you an exceptional organizational ambassador.
•       Friends would describe you as curious and structured, smart with low-ego, resilient and full of zest.


•       We are an international social enterprise with a mission to create access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. We establish market access to eyeglasses and vision correction for people living on less than $4 per day.
•       As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to correct refractive error with eyeglasses so that low-income adults may experience improved productivity and earning potential, children may achieve greater learning outcomes, and professional drivers can be safer on the road.
•       We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of the optical market, which has failed to deliver a 700-year-old technology to 624 million low-income consumers.
•       Organizationally, we are a hybrid. We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures, and on earned revenue and philanthropic contributions. We borrow from a range of for-profit and not-for-profit practices.
•       We serve low-income consumers not as beneficiaries but as customers. By selling radically affordable, durable eyeglasses we awaken new demand and seed a viable market.
•       We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.


Board Support

•       Support the president in collaborating with the chairman of the board and the board committees to achieve the board’s annual goals.
•       Take the lead in drafting presentations for board meetings, including coordinating and editing content from across the organization.
•       Take minutes at all board meetings, and maintain follow-up task lists for the leadership team and board members as appropriate.
•       Manage all board related scheduling and logistics, including for meetings, dinners, calls and periodic visits to field offices.

Strategic Projects

•       Support the work of the president in moving VisionSpring forward in its mission and in the execution of its strategy.
•       Ideate, develop and implement projects as delegated by the president – for example, related to key performance indicator tracking; codification of products, services and best practices; and efforts to improve efficiency.
•       Ensure project deliverables and timelines are established and met.

Internal & External Communications

•       Prepare the quarterly and annual donor reports, highlighting achievements against targets, client/customer stories, and organizational learnings.
•       Prepare monthly internal newsletter, and coordinate quarterly “all-hands” global videoconference.
•       Assist the president and founder with preparing for meetings, including with philanthropic investors and speaking engagements. Provide supportive research and draft presentation materials.
•       Conduct prospective donor research as needed.

Office and Administrative Support

•       Handle all scheduling and travel arrangements for the president and founder.
•       Assist with onboarding new team members in the New York office and monitor paid-time-off.
•       Ensure VisionSpring’s New York office is a conducive work environment. Oversee all facilities matters, including liaising with VisionSpring’s landlord and interfacing with building maintenance personnel, cleaning services, and other vendors.


•       Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree in business, international development, or another related field preferred.
•       3-5 years of professional communications, board management, or project management experience.
•       Preferred experience (not required): (1) Working in a high-growth or start-up environment; and/or (2) Living or working in a low-income international setting.
•       Highly organized and detail oriented, with great problem-solving skills.
•       Demonstrated capacity to produce business correspondence, program plans, status reports, responses to request for information and input and other documents and electronic communications.
•       Comfort and experience with managing up, collaborating with peers and working with colleagues remotely and in different time zones.
•       Must meet the highest standards of ethics and personal integrity, with a demonstrated capacity for discretion and for handling confidential information with care.
•       The ability to travel up to 5% of your time, both domestically and internationally, as needed. Willingness to travel to locations with limited infrastructure.
•       Currently authorized to work in the United States.


•       Based on experience and education, and competitive for a social enterprise.
•       We offer comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, and vision, as well as 401(k) with match, pre-tax commuter plan, and generous vacation/personal time.


•       Please submit an application, including a thoughtful cover letter, CV/résumé, and one relevant writing sample (maximum of 5 pages).
•       Please assure there is a short description of each company or organization on your CV/ résumé.
•       In your cover letter, we want to know more than just what you have done. We want to know who you are. What are the passions and talents that draw you to this role?
•       Submit to: talent@visionspring.org. Include your last name and “Special Assistant to the President and Founder” in the subject line.
•       The preferred start date is February 1, 2018; early application is encouraged.
•       Please note, only candidates to be interviewed will be contacted.
•       VisionSpring is an Equal Opportunity Employer.