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Senior Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Officer - Home Region Program

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking an experienced and skilled individual to join the foundation’s Bentonville office as a Senior Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Officer supporting the Home Region Program.

About the Position
The Senior SLED Officer will assist the foundation’s SLED team in providing the strategic thought partnership, data, and analyses that Home Region Program staff and others need to conduct their work, with a particular focus on the Home Region Program’s strategies and grants. She or he will report to the SLED Director and will work closely with the Home Region Program Director.

Specific duties include the following:

  • Collaborate with the Home Region program staff and the SLED Director to review and refine the approach to research and evaluation that can support the ongoing execution of the Home Region Strategic Plan
  • Conduct project management responsibilities including oversight for a portfolio of research and evaluation grants and contracts. This includes:

- Identifying/prioritizing R&E needs

- Scoping projects

- Sourcing research and evaluation partners

- Managing third-party approaches to design and implementation

- Receiving/reviewing findings

- Synthesis

- Communicating out (writing, facilitation, public speaking)

  • Coordinate the collection, analysis, and documentation of information regarding program strategies. This includes:

- Data collection and information design for staff and Board oversight

- Processing data, external research and historical reviews of the work of multiple grantees

- Developing performance metrics to evaluate progress of the Home Region Program and test its theory of change

  • Support development and evaluation of Home Region Program’s grants. This includes:

- Developing meaningful and measurable outputs and outcomes for specific grants

- Reviewing grantee reporting against a priori targets

- Writing summaries of grantee performance, incorporating lesson learned to inform future grants

  • Be a strategic thought partner to Home Region Program leadership
  • Manage new bodies of research and evaluation work within the Home Region strategic plan.
  • Provide direct research and evaluation support to Home Region Program staff.
  • Increase the adaptive learning capacity of Home Region program staff and support a culture of learning and reflection, including incorporating of lessons learned into strategic decision-making processes.
  • Track current, relevant third party-research and produce summary reviews of content
  • Assist with the development of the foundation-wide evaluation framework and of consistent evaluation approaches.
  • Increase the outward-facing presence for SLED through communications, presentations, participation in convenings, and publications.

Whom We Are Looking For:

Qualifications required for your success

  • 10+ years related experience conducting urban planning, public policy or economic research
  • 10+ years of experience in a professional setting, ideally with a strong focus on data analysis, research, and analytical writing
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively detailed technical material to non-technical audiences

Additional preferred qualifications

  • Master’s Degree and/or Ph.D. preferred in a relevant field such as urban planning, public policy, economics
  • Technologically savvy, with demonstrated competency with the Microsoft Office suite of programs, including the ability to retrieve, array, summarize, and graph data using Excel

Additional helpful experience includes

  • A commitment to the mission of the Walton Family Foundation and a passion for the Home Region focus of grantmaking
  • Experience and comfort working both independently and under close supervision, as required by the task
  • Proactive approach to problem-solving and sharp thinker
  • Diplomatic approach and an innate understanding of customer service
  • A high level of discretion and confidentiality for both business and personal affairs
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze, think critically, and understand emerging issues that are directly relevant to evaluation and the Foundation’s focus areas.
  • Unquestionable ethics and personal integrity

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2018, the foundation awarded more than $595 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About SLED
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 Home Region Program
We honor our roots by helping build opportunity in the communities that first gave the Walton family opportunity.
In Northwest Arkansas, we:

  • Continue to improve the quality of life for a fast-growing population of all ages, incomes and cultures; and
  • Work locally and on the world stage establishing the region as a global leader in arts, education and overall quality of life.

In the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta region, we:

  • Create access to educational and economic opportunity.

Learn more about the Home Region Program strategy here.

The Walton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, among other things or status as a qualified individual with a disability.