Director of Learning and Evaluation

Waverley Street FoundationSan Francisco Bay Area

About Waverley Street Foundation

Waverley Street Foundation (WSF) builds and supports solutions at the intersection of climate change and community priorities, focusing on efforts and initiatives that  draw connections between urgent local and community-based issues—including  housing, transportation, food security, and more—and the health of our planet. The Foundation is especially eager to partner with communities in the Global South that are already enduring severe impacts of climate change and that deserve a central place in solutions. WSF prioritizes representation, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all  facets of its work.

Unlike most philanthropies, WSF will spend down its assets—approximately $3 Billion— over the next 10 years, a decision that empowers it to support not only sensible and pragmatic solutions but also daring bets and breakthroughs that can alter the trajectory of the climate crisis and unlock a new and better future for humanity.

WSF strives to do things differently, and be entrepreneurial and innovative in our grantmaking approach. As we take on the task of addressing global climate change, we are adopting a campaign mindset where we look to empower people and communities to ensure that their governments adopt and implement climate friendly policies. Starting with some of the highest emitting nations, the goal is to demonstrate the collective will of humanity to reside on a livable planet, and to develop momentum for climate improvements across the globe that results in a global transition to clean energy sources and sustainable living. 

WSF works in deep collaboration with field experts and advisors, as it is essential that the Foundation’s strategy is developed not in conference rooms but out in the world, informed by the lived experiences and innovative ideas of the people most directly impacted by the problems the foundation seeks to address. Specifically, WSF convenes experts from a variety of disciplines who are close to communities – their experiences and their solutions.

In order to execute against our ambitious goals, we are seeking our Director of Learning and Evaluation.

These photos, taken at the Kopepi Ketiara Cooperative, were taken by Blake Dunlop on a 2015 trip to the Takengon region of Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Opportunity

Waverley Street Foundation has ten years to invest the entirety of its endowment in order to reduce carbon emissions by half. This spend-down goal will require rapid deployment, deep learning and evaluation of opportunities and an of-the-moment sense of impact.

Your role will be to leverage best practices to build the learning and evaluation approaches that Waverley Street will use in order to define success, and to help the team rapidly learn from and iterate its grantmaking and strategic approach. You will also work to help strengthen our grantees and our field more generally, particularly when it comes to developing appropriate metrics and approaches for understanding and measuring community change.

The Director of Learning reports to the Managing Director and Chief of Staff (MD/CoS). This new position relies on strong strategy, collaboration, and leadership skills as well as an expert understanding of how to use data analysis and evaluation to design best-in-class learning frameworks that support ongoing improvement and impact. Ultimately, this work will only be as good as the legacy that we leave and the infrastructure that we help build.

You will work with the MD/CoS to ensure that WSF’s campaign and grantmaking strategies are developed and implemented using timely evidence and learning frameworks to maximize impact. Y You must come to this job both with the skills to build those frameworks as well as the curiosity to consistently question them. 

This position is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, reporting to the office at least 2 days per week.

Your Mission

  • Strategy:
    • Formulate WSF’s learning framework in a manner that considers our spend down goal, and intended overall impact on policy, people, institutions and networks undergirded by considerations of equity and social justice
    • Ensure that WSF’s efforts are creating meaningful impact and that the organization is learning from its successes and failures to continuously improve
  • Impact
    • Conceive, organize and conduct research as needed on identified topics in support of our strategy and campaign objectives
    • Identify, collect and analyze the right data sets that include big data resources and small scale surveys to understand and predict attributes, functions, and behavior of multiple simultaneously run campaigns
    • Manage external evaluation and learning partners, as needed
    • Create powerful visualizations and narratives to help the leadership team, Board and partners understand the effect of our campaigns/impact of our strategies.
  • Learning
    • Implement WSF’s learning framework, ensuring they are aligned to our campaign and grantmaking strategy
    • Focus on refining the due diligence process in our grantmaking with results from our Learning framework
    • Foster a culture of learning, inquiry, experimentation at WSF that is an integral part of everything we do – from our site visits to internal reviews of success and failures

Who You Are

  • Above all you are curious, committed and energetic about work that changes the world
  • Excited to use data science to guide grantmaking strategies for positive social impact
  • Experienced in climate or campaign related Evidence, Impact and Learning.
  • A citizen of the world, as comfortable in a board room as you would be on the ground with frontline organizers who are leading this work.
  • A creator of a shared learning culture that increases impact and advances goals and strategies.

Experience You Bring

  • Successful development and tracking of key metrics for measuring the impact of issue campaigns or political campaigns
  • Effectively worked with multiple stakeholders to develop evidence and analytics for the purpose of impact and improvement.
  • Fluency in a range of statistical analysis skills for understanding impact (e.g., exploratory data analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics, data representation and display etc.) including an understanding of what (e.g., in terms of measures, data analysis, visualizations, statistical methods and tools etc.) is usable and useful in practical settings
  • Adeptness at going beyond the numbers, translating large amounts of complex data and trends into strategic learnings that have the power to shape and influence strategic decision-making.Experienced in the basic tenets of improvement research, including improvement analytics, using evidence to inform and support positive change and improvement, etc.
  • Proficient in traditional learning methods paired with an innovator’s mindset and openness to adapting and developing methodologies to advance improvement.
  • Writing ability that is clear, concise and analytic in style
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and diplomacy skills including solid presentation and facilitation skills, with the ability to interact with and mobilize a wide and diverse population.

Key Attributes for Success at WSF

  • Passion about advancing equitable and transformative solutions to the climate crisis
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, able to scale the function up from design to maturity in short order
  • Ability to synthesize information and distill complex ideas into clear, concise, and actionable forms
  • Proven track record within complex, multi-stakeholder projects/organizations
  • Skilled at building strong relationships and cultivating diverse networks
  • Humble and open to differing views and perspectives
  • Intellectual curiousity and current on news in their field
  • Comfortable with radical approach to diversity
  • Break down barriers to getting things done, while always operating with unassailable integrity
  • Willingness to pitch in when needed
  • Low drama, good humor and joie de vivre


Salary: This position offers a salary that begins at $225,000. The exact offer will be determined by a variety of factors such as the candidate’s individual skills, qualifications, and experience relative to the requirements of the role.

Benefits: In addition to salary, this position includes a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) plan with employer match, paid time off, and other perks.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button on the position profile on the GoodCitizen website.

Applicants applying by September 25, 2023 will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

Director of Learning and EvaluationWaverley Street FoundationSan Francisco Bay Area

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by Waverley Street Foundation to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300

Jailan Adly
Managing Director
Direct: 202.993.7976

Mollie Smith
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6190