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Deputy Director, Strategy and Learning

Position Description

The Walton Family Foundation, based in Bentonville, Arkansas is seeking a Deputy Director, Strategy and Learning of its Strategy, Evaluation, and Learning Department (SLED). There is a strong preference that the new associate be located in the foundation’s Bentonville, Arkansas; however, we will consider candidates to work out of the Jersey City, N.J., or Washington, D.C., offices. 

The Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department at the Walton Family Foundation supports careful planning, rigorous research, and systematic assessment in service of organizational learning, strategic adaptation, and philanthropic impact. We seek to learn with our grantees and other partners and advance the fields in which we work.

About the Walton Family Foundation

Sam and Helen Walton had an unshakeable belief in the power of people to transform their own lives. As Sam said, there is no limit to what individuals can accomplish if “given the opportunity, the encouragement and the incentive to do their best.” Today that “no limits” philosophy is carried forward by their descendants through the Walton Family Foundation.

Since 2000, the foundation’s grantmaking has grown from $50 million to an anticipated $450 million in 2017. With grantmaking projected to exceed $2 billion over the next five years, the foundation continues to move forward with increasing intensity, focus and commitment to sustaining the Waltons’ timeless entrepreneurial values and their deep dedication to making life better for individuals and communities alike. By working with grantees and collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, the foundation is focused on making a positive difference in three primary program areas of collective interest to the Walton Family:

  • K-12 education 
  • Freshwater and marine conservation
  • Quality of life initiatives in Arkansas and the Mississippi River Delta Region

In addition to these program areas, the foundation also supports grantmaking interests of individual and groups of Walton family members, as well as independent foundations created by family members. These individualized giving areas represent a high-growth area of the foundation. 

Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, with offices in Washington, D.C., Jersey City, New Jersey, and Denver, Colorado, a staff/consultant base of approximately 100 associates conducts the day-to-day operations of the foundation.

The Role

The Deputy Director, Strategy and Learning will work with the Director of the Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department (SLED), the SLED team, program teams, the Executive Director, and Board to lead development and implementation of strategic learning within the foundation, by raising the quality and consistency of internal strategic planning. As member of the SLED, the Deputy Director will also have responsibility for the ongoing development and revision of the learning plans for the SLED itself as well as other areas of the foundation. The SLED currently has 9 team members. More about our efforts to date can be found here

Specifics about the job: 

  • Serve as a member of the Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department (SLED) at the Walton Family Foundation, reporting to Director of the Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department
  • Guide the foundation’s internal strategy and planning efforts
  • Lead the development and curation of a set of prioritized strategic learning questions for each of the three foundation grantmaking areas, as well as the design and implementation of learning plans designed to address those questions
  • Work closely with each of the program directors on annual planning to articulate annual goals and objectives that align with five-year strategic plans
  • Develop learning and planning approaches and tools that provide appropriate consistency across the organization
  • Work with other staff to design and lead intentional learning events with grantees, funders, and other foundation partners.
  • Contribute to programmatic deep dives with the foundation’s Board
  • Manage the annual planning efforts for the SLED
  • Co-manage third-party strategic planning consultants
  • Play leadership role in refining the Foundation’s approaches to strategy, learning, and evaluation

Qualifications and Experience: 

The Deputy Director, Strategy and Learning should be an expert in strategic planning who has the ability to be persuasive in a work setting. She/he should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Graduate degree and at least five years of experience in a strategy consulting role required  
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Proven skills at organization and time management 
  • Demonstrated capacity to work in a team as well as independently 
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze, think critically, and understand emerging issues that are directly relevant to programmatic funding areas 
  • Unquestionable ethics and personal integrity 
  • Willingness to re-locate to the Bentonville, Arkansas (preferred), Jersey City, N.J., or Washington, D.C. office of the foundation 
  • Passion for the mission of the Walton Family Foundation

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the associate is regularly required to stand, reach with hands and arms, and use hands to finger, handle or feel objects and/or controls. The employee is required to sit, walk, talk and hear, and move/carry files. The associate must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 lbs.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color, and the ability to adjust focus in order to handle extensive data collection, analysis and summary reporting.  Computer work will be a part of the daily workflow and process.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics for this job are typical for this type of job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is reflective of a mid-sized office.

Compensation and Benefits: 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. 


The Walton Family Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Trisha Sutrisno here.

The Walton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women and LGBT applicants.