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Strategy Officer for Competency-Based Learning

Job Title: Strategy Officer for Competency-Based Learning
Department: Strategy Development and Implementation
Reports to: Strategy Director
FLSA Status: Exempt
Location: Indianapolis, USA (relocation required)

The strategy officer for competency-based learning leads a comprehensive portfolio of grants and contracts designed to support the use of a variety of tools that postsecondary providers of learning utilize to offer competency-based credentials. These tools include competency frameworks, competency-based education, strategies for assessment, and digital, competency-based learner records. The goal of this portfolio is two-fold: to enable large-scale implementation across a wide range of providers, such as higher education institutions, workforce training providers, employers, the military, and nonprofits; and for those providers and validators of learning to increase their capacity to facilitate, validate, and document learning regardless of where it occurs.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Leverage existing relationships with trusted colleagues and cultivate new partnerships to develop a relevant portfolio of grants and contracts. The portfolio must either directly lead to an increased number of postsecondary credentials or facilitate a change in conditions that will likely lead to the increased production of high-quality credentials.
  • Identify ways to consolidate, refine, or cross-reference tools that enable diverse providers to efficiently translate and acknowledge competencies from prior learning experiences that will allow learners to make forward progress towards earning a credential.
  • Ensure an equity lens underpins all strategy conceptualization, design and management.
  • Stay abreast of key issues and players in the field in order to assess how the portfolio can be enhanced. Analyze and synthesize information across a variety of sources, to include research, as the knowledge and experience of external partners.
  • Make recommendations to the strategy director and senior vice president about the design, development and piloting of new tools; partner on integrated strategy approaches that aim to scale promising tools.
  • Collaborate in an intentional, forward-thinking and integrated way with colleagues, within the Strategy Development and Implementation team as well as across all other areas of the foundation. Examples include working closely with Lumina's strategic impact team to develop metrics and targets to ensure grants and contracts are designed to produce results, with the stakeholder engagement team so that convenings are used as a key tool to advance strategic priorities, and with the impact ventures team to explore alternative ways of supporting mission-aligned efforts. Importantly, the strategy officer will deeply engage his or her supervisor consistently for feedback, guidance, and alignment.


  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Experience of adult learning or organizational development, most probably gained in higher education, workforce, or talent development. Can point to tangible examples of: developing differentiated learning strategies that address opportunity gaps; creating competencies/learning outcomes; designing and building curriculum; developing assessments; approaches to validating learning and analyzing learner performance data. 
  • Views individuals through an assets-based and efficacy lens; demonstrates authentic appreciation of, and ability to draw on best practices, to maximize validation of learning where ever it occurs.
  • Commitment to Equity: Embrace Lumina’s commitment to equity and practice cultural competence. Demonstrations of this commitment includes increasing knowledge about systemic disparities and barriers to learning beyond high school, as well as honing the skills necessary to lead in more inclusive ways. Use knowledge and skills to actively engage partners in addressing equity in programmatic work.

Analytical skills: 

  • A critical thinker who is able to extract key lessons from past or current work, and to apply those learnings to both shape and inform future work. 
  • Learns quickly and connects learning to ongoing conversations related to the assigned body of work.
  • Problem-solver
  • Brings research abilities; can coordinate with researchers and program evaluators.

Project and budget management experience:

  • Track record managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects or programs. 
  • Prioritizes a wide range of duties and responsibilities, organize tasks, and remain flexible to changing and multiple requests; must manage time and resources well.
  • Follows through on commitments.
  • Exercises sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Uses technology effectively, including databases, spreadsheets, Microsoft Office 365 products such as Outlook and Word, Salesforce, WebEx and Yammer.

Relationship and communications skills

  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills; can communicate accurately and effectively to a variety of internal and external audiences.  
  • Experience building and managing diverse networks.
  • Collegial and diplomatic; able to resolve conflicts.

Personal attributes

  • Flexible; is comfortable iterating and adapting.
  • Makes decisions in concert with others without complete information.
  • Thrives in an outcomes-oriented, dynamic environment in which thinking beyond the curve is encouraged.
  • Self-reflective, humble, well-grounded and energetic.
  • Aligns to Lumina’s mission and values.

Work environment and physical demands

  • Work is performed in an office environment, mostly sedentary.
  • Visual and auditory acuity for extensive use of various forms of technology.
  • Travels 10%-20%, including overnight stays. 

This description is only a summary of the typical job functions, not an exhaustive list of all possible responsibilities, and may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.

Lumina has engaged an outside search consultant. Applicants should send the following to the e-mail address below:

  • a letter of interest that includes desired compensation,
  • resume/curriculum vitae as attachments outlining experience relevant to the position, and
  • a writing sample that focuses on a topic relevant to this position.

Please specify the position you are applying for.

Nora Nichols
Viewcrest Advisors
Equal Opportunity Employer

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is committed to the creation of an equitable, universal postsecondary learning system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials; the goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

The foundation believes that the postsecondary system must be redesigned to give all Americans—regardless of race, income, and other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that postsecondary attainment provides. While some progress has been made since 2008, attainment rates for African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian students continue to lag behind those of whites and Asian-Americans. Lumina’s Equity Imperative reflects its commitment to equity across all learning and work contexts (with recognition that historic, persistent factors have created inequity) and excellence (credentials defined by learning and competencies rather than time; assurance of high-quality learning that aligns with 21st century workforce and industry needs; and an affordable system with incentives that encourage students and institutions to increase educational attainment and close achievement gaps).

Lumina Foundation employs a number of evidence-based approaches in its investment and thought leadership work, including its role as convener and sponsor of networks and partnerships. The foundation is focusing on five priorities for action—big ideas about how to ensure six of every 10 working-age Americans have meaningful and marketable credentials beyond a high school diploma by 2025:

  • Scaling Affordable Pathways: A system for learning beyond high school that assures equitable access to affordable pathways to quality credentials.
  • Transparent Credentials: A new, national system of transparent, quality credentials exists in which learning is recognized however it occurs, offering every American a chance for a better life.
  • Competency-Based Learning: A national expansion of competency-based learning takes place that recognizes measuring academic progress based on demonstrations of what students know and can do offers another option for educating Americans.
  • First Credential for Adults: Pathways to initial credentials—including workforce certificates and industry certifications—exist for adults who have not yet pursued education beyond high school.
  • Quality Assurance: An integrated quality assurance system is in place for credentialed learning beyond high school that is rooted in measuring student outcomes and enabling responsible innovation.

Lumina Foundation has a passionate and committed staff of 56 and is among the nation’s top 100 private foundations, with an endowment in excess of $1 billion.

Lumina Foundation
30 S. Meridian St., Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204