Omidyar Network is hiring a

Strategy Manager

Washington, United States

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, established Omidyar Network (ON) in 2004 based on the belief that every person has the potential to make a difference. Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. The organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $900 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster empowerment and economic advancement across multiple initiatives, including: financial inclusion, property rights, governance and citizen engagement, emerging technologies, and education, as well as with our impact investing and entrepreneurship teams. Over time, about 45% of our investment has taken the form of early stage equity investments in start-ups with the potential for social impact, and about 55% in grants to non-profits or research.  To learn more, please visit www.omidyar.com. Unique in the world of impact investment, we make both private investments and nonprofit grants within a single initiative area (e.g., education), identifying like-minded innovators and organizations that we support, help scale, and collaborate with to help realize their full potential. ON’s focus is broad, both topically and geographically, including US, India, SE Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

ABOUT THE TEAM:

Omidyar Network operates with multiple forms of capital, including: Financial capital, led by the initiative investment teams; Human Capital, which provides recruiting and executive coaching to help portfolio companies scale their operations; and Intellectual Capital, which is a function dedicated to thoughtful analysis and learning as a driver for the strategic direction of the firm's work. ON introduced the Intellectual Capital team in 2013, with strategy, research, and learning functions to complement existing investment and portfolio management approaches to amplify our investees’ social and commercial impact at scale.

We serve as key thought partners for the Board, organizational leadership, individual initiative areas, and in some cases directly for our portfolio investees to support strategic decision-making, cutting edge research, and continuous learning at all levels of ON’s work, with the purpose of steering ON to best serve its mission. To do this, we operate as an in-house consulting group, research shop, and think tank.  We also are responsible for scanning for future trends and opportunities to deliver impact that fall outside of or adjacent to our current initiative areas.

We are a tightly-knit team that values intellectual rigor, diverse perspectives, and a sense of humor.  Our global team includes about 10 people across three offices. We work on the most important strategic questions facing ON, innovative research with field-shaping implications, analytics to support organizational learning and improvement, and much more, tackling topics such as:

  • Setting and refining corporate strategy with the ON Board and senior management (e.g., where should we focus in Africa?);
  • Developing investment strategies and leading research in support of our initiative investment teams, exploring major trends and scope new potential investment areas within their remit (e.g., where should our financial inclusion efforts focus? Does EdTech improve learning outcomes?).
  • Providing targeted strategic support (if requested) to selected portfolio organizations (e.g., should a particular portfolio firm consider a pivot from B2B to B2C?);
  • Investigating and analyzing cross-cutting topics/issues of importance to our investment teams and portfolio organizations (e.g., where can equity crowdfunding be extended to increase impact; do start-up accelerators work?)
  • Identifying potential new areas for the firm to focus (e.g., what is the potential for biometric ID to deliver social impact; where should we be making bets on blockchain applications?);
  • Performing analysis on key internal topics to improve ON decisions and processes (analyzing performance of our B2G investments and implications for how we finance them);
  • Led by the learning and impact team (also part of the Intellectual Capital function), supporting measurement & learning activities across the organization (e.g. establishing a framework to measure the impact of our policy grants); and
  • Producing or commissioning high-quality research and analysis for public dissemination on issues that matter to us and can help galvanize social impact, whether from think tanks, consultancies, academics, or other sources (e.g., recent publications like Big Data, Small Credit, Frontier Capital, or More Than the Sum of Its Parts.

POSITION SUMMARY:

ON is seeking a passionate, independent, entrepreneurial individual who can work across a wide range of projects and issues within the team. While we aim to match our team members to the topics and roles that interest them most, candidates should expect to work across the following areas:

  • Strategy:
    • Assist initiative teams (e.g., education, financial inclusion, consumer internet and mobile) in shaping their sector-level investment, research, and sector-building strategies.
    • Conduct or commission research and analysis to support strategic decision-making on topics of importance to ON’s Board and leadership.
    • Identify key adjacencies to ON initiative areas and support explorations of potential activities (e.g., digital identity)
  • Research: Assist the intellectual capital team’s leadership with priority projects in ON’s focus areas. Examples include:
    • Commissioned or internally conducted research to inform investment theses and strategies (e.g., assessment of consumer attitudes and willingness to pay for low cost private education in Latin America; trends in geospatial data use in property rights)
    • Cutting-edge primary research for ON published reports, e.g. “Big Data, Small Credit” research on economics of firms using big data to generate credit scores for un/under-banked individuals;
    • Research design, contracting, and management of consultants, consumer survey research firms, think tanks, academics, etc. (e.g., “Drones and Aerial Observation: New Technologies for Property Rights”; effectiveness of emerging market entrepreneurship accelerators)
    • Research using new big data, rapid survey, and crowdsourced tools on current and emerging trends in emerging markets and key ON areas of interest
  • Analysis: Assist firm leadership in conducting key analyses of cross-cutting issues, results, and trends to inform ON operations, e.g., drivers of ON financial returns; drivers of success in B2B and B2G investments; patterns and results of sub-portfolios (e.g., large non-profit grantees).
  • Learning & Impact: In parallel to articulating strategy, assist initiative teams to develop their impact measurement framework and metrics to assess effectiveness of their work in empowering individuals.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • A deep passion for Omidyar Network’s mission and approach to social change, and preferably some prior professional exposure to our focus areas
  • A minimum of 4-6 years of relevant experience that demonstrate solid management, analytic, problem-solving, and content capabilities, with the following credentials:
    • Experience with a top-tier consultancy (minimum 3 years) serving private sector clients, ideally having reached a team manager level role within the consultancy;

or

  • Experience with a top-tier investment bank (minimum 3 years) serving in a macro research function or M&A role where broad analytical skills have been developed.
  • Experience in-market with emerging / developing economies strongly preferred.
  • Experience having worked in private sector Applicants with no private sector experience, or only in government contracting, will not be considered.
  • Experience in mission-oriented work in addition to private sector experience a strong plus, e.g., donor agency, NGO, foundation, social enterprise.
  • Excellent research, analysis and communication skills
    • Ability to switch between strategic and practical thinking, with top-class project management skills
    • Ability to independently and logically frame a problem and the resulting analysis required to answer the question, across both commercial and mission-oriented aspects
    • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously (usually 2-4 at any given time)
    • Clear written and oral communication skills required
    • Fluency in various formats (e.g. Powerpoint, Excel, Word)
    • High tolerance for ambiguity and ability to work independently
  • Authorization to work in US
  • MBA preferred but not required

Position is based in Washington DC. It will be housed in the intellectual capital unit and will report to a Senior Manager.