Senior Vice President, Research

Department: Research         
Reports To: President & CEO
Location: NYC Office (preferred) Toronto Office (considered)

Summary of Responsibilities

The Senior Vice President (SVP) of Research leads the creation and execution of Catalyst’s research and knowledge-management strategies to position the organization as the premier provider of cutting-edge knowledge products that empower individuals, teams, and organizations to create inclusive workplaces. Serves as a member of Catalyst’s Global Leadership Council (GLC), which sets organizational priorities and strategies, and monitors Catalyst’s progress. The SVP is an acknowledged and sought-after expert on research about women in the workplace and inclusion; leads the development of Catalyst’s global research agenda; and leads efficient execution of a collaborative research process that ensures the delivery of quality, high-impact research products. Key areas of oversight:

  • Primary Research: Setting and executing the organization’s primary research agenda around core topics of inclusion (engaging men, intersections of gender/race/ethnicity and other aspects of identities, individual- and team-level change, and organizational change) to create breakthrough knowledge and drive product innovation related to accelerating progress for women in the workplace.
  • Applied Learning Content: Turning insights into action by: a) developing and implementing an integrated, research-based content strategy across our learning programs (MARC, Leading With Inclusion, CatalystX, workshops); b) supporting our field staff with practical, research-based insights to engage supporters in more consultative ways; and c) creating tools and infographics that provide valuable how-to insights to create inclusive systems and empower leaders.
  • Knowledge Management: Upholding standards and maintaining the knowledge infrastructure, leveraging resources and expertise to serve stakeholders, creating publicly available content, and preserving the organization's history.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: Assessing the impact of our products/programs, measuring inclusive climates, and evaluating interventions to accelerate learning about effective practices (Catalyst Inclusion-At-Work Survey, Awards and Recognition criteria, Action Research, etc.). 
  • Secondary Research: Mining and compiling existing research and data to provide decision support through customized reference and awareness-building products (Pyramids, Quick Takes, First Steps, Ask Catalyst Express, etc.) to internal and external stakeholders.

Essential Functions

  • Research
    • Lead and define the organization’s knowledge-creation strategies, leveraging content expertise to identify priorities and methodologies that will yield leading-edge content and insights.
    • Lead the research agenda-setting process by working with key internal and external stakeholders in prioritizing and selecting research projects consistent with the organization’s strategic content focus.
    • Proactively seek out, be aware of and in front of research needs and interests externally in the marketplace, as well as the research being done by others in the space. Proactively recommend whether and how Catalyst will participate to ensure continued thought leadership. 
    • Bridge with Communications SVP to ensure the research produced can be translated in a “consumer-friendly” way and can be “told” in a simple, compelling story that ignites stakeholder interest.
    • Oversee the Research Leadership Team to monitor and ensure the quality and methodological validity of research projects in an effort to continually increase the impact of Catalyst research.
    • Encourage innovation by embracing a diverse slate of research methodologies and approaches. 
    • Provide strategic direction to the department for the creation of products and services for Catalyst stakeholders, including supporter organizations, the media, scholars, policy-makers, and students of our learning programs. 
    • Develop the measurements and standards to ensure compliance, to support continuous quantifiable productivity of knowledge efforts, and to determine their strategic outcomes.
    • Liaise externally with partners and internally with other departments to carry out research projects and expand the capacity and innovation of the organization.
    • Collaborate cross-departmentally to ensure quality and alignment and coordination of content-development strategies, processes, and outcomes across the organization. 
  • Executive Leadership
    • Work collaboratively with other GLC members to set the organization’s mission-based priorities by shaping the business model and global positioning, allocating resources, and supporting infrastructure.
    • Serve as a role model, fostering collaboration, inclusion, and inspiration, while enhancing consistency and accountability. 
    • Make periodic presentations to the GLC and Catalyst’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisors.
    • Represent Catalyst and its research to a wide range of high-profile audiences at conferences and other major events attended by business leaders and by partner organizations; serve as a spokesperson for the organization, affecting opinion, actions, and policy in person and in the media through interviews, published articles, and presentations.
    • With staff and Board, lead significant fundraising programs from corporations, foundations, donors, and those committed to Catalyst’s goals and mission.
    • Bring fiscal prudence to the oversight of the budget and resources, and seek opportunities for partnerships to support and implement projects and shared initiatives through the optimization of resources in the short and long term.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Expert knowledge of organizational theory and behavior, group processes, leadership, and other topics related to workplace diversity and inclusion.
  • Statistical literacy and/or skill with quantitative and qualitative research methods. Capability to assess team’s work quality, including methodology used, statistical controls, segmentation, etc.
  • Advanced analytic, problem-solving, and strategy-development abilities.
  • Ability to be responsive to multiple stakeholders in a business environment.
  • Strong organizational, administrative, and leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects, people, and budgets.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and collaborative style.
  • Ability to interact effectively with people in multicultural settings with global sensitivities.
  • Skilled at addressing and leading organizational change.
  • Ability to create and foster a learning environment.
  • Personal computer literacy in a network environment with a Windows base. Literacy in Word, Excel and PowerPoint are required, and database software literacy is a plus.

Working Conditions

  • Tight deadlines, multiple priorities, and shifting demands. 
  • Limited travel (15%).

Education and Experience Requirements

This position requires a PhD (or equivalent) with a proven record of scholarship and leadership in the nonprofit sector or public policy arena, and at least 15 years of progressively responsible experience in applied social science. Relevant content knowledge and recognized expertise required. Experience working with directly with CEOs, Board Members, and Senior Executives of global corporations is also required. 

Application Instructions

Please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected]