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Principal, Programs

Programs | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Reboot is a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance. We blend methods from ethnography, design, political science, and other disciplines, and apply them in new ways to the challenges of global development and public sector innovation. We work at the intersections between governments, civil society, media, citizens, funders, and the private sector. We bring these diverse groups together to co-create and deliver solutions to complex challenges, focusing on three program areas:    

  • Reboot Governance: Co-creating open, participatory, and accountable governance.
  • Reboot Media: Fostering vibrant information ecosystems.  
  • Reboot Institutions: Putting innovation into practice with leading organizations.  

We are seeking a passionate, experienced technical leader to direct our teams in delivering innovative and values-driven programs around the world. As our third Principal, you will also serve as a key leader in defining organizational priorities and evolving our model, so that we can achieve greater impact.

Our ideal candidate is fluent in both systems design and public policy. You bring deep experience in program design and adaptive management that can be applied across the sectors where Reboot works, including open government, media development, civic technology, criminal justice, and institutional innovation. You are expert in building cross-cultural partnerships and facilitating collaboration among diverse stakeholders. You are equally comfortable advocating for better development policy with senior public officials in Washington, DC, as you are conducting ethnographic research with marginalized populations in rural Nigeria. You have a track record of leading multidisciplinary teams (and fighting the battles needed) to deliver programs that are unwavering in their commitment to the people they serve.

This is a full-time, permanent staff position based in our New York office, with the expectation of significant travel (approximately 30%) for project work.


Project Technical Leadership (50%)

  • Lead projects from start to finish, which includes project scoping and roadmapping, research, synthesis, design, implementation, and evaluation. Manage collaborations with diverse subject matter experts, both internal teams and external consultants.
  • Manage key relationships with partners through proactive communication and successful project execution, always with a strong focus on ‘super-pleasing’ and optimizing the partnership experience.
  • Direct the execution and lead the synthesis of research work (primarily design research, institutional ethnography, and political economy analysis, with light quantitative work), and their translation into robust services, policies, and program designs.
  • Lead storytelling activities around project work, for audiences that range from policymakers to activists to journalists to the general public. Work with project teams, writers/editors, and communications designers to produce concise technical writing and compelling visual/web design.
  • Oversee project management structures and protocol, in collaboration with our Operations team, including team and stakeholder communications, budget and timeline management, and field and security logistics.

Team Development & Management (20%)

  • Mentor and manage Reboot’s Programs team (comprised of anthropologists, economists, designers, and public policy and development specialists), with a focus on both supporting their professional growth and ensuring strong delivery on project work.
  • Lead or coordinate ongoing training for the Programs team, ensuring team continues to grow their technical skills and critical thinking abilities as they related to our areas of work.

Communications & Business Development (15%)

  • Create and cultivate partnerships around new opportunities, in collaboration with our Partnerships team. Educate partners on Reboot’s unique approach, and lead development conversations on project scope, methodology, design, outputs, and budgets.  
  • Contribute to Reboot’s advocacy work and thought leadership by publishing articles, speaking at events, and representing the organization at key events.
  • Contribute to the development of technical and financial proposals for opportunities that align with your expertise and background.

Process Innovation & Knowledge Management (15%)

  • Contribute to process innovation and improvement within Reboot to improve organizational agility, efficiency, and impact.
  • Ensure lessons from our broader communities of practice and completed projects are effectively integrated across Reboot’s work.
  • Ensure frequent knowledge transfer between programmatic team members and technical specialists, and support cross-pollination of expertise across the organization.  


An ideal candidate has:

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience, ideally in a fast-paced and growing company, social enterprise, or nonprofit, or the ability to speak to how you have been entrepreneurial within the organizations in which you’ve worked.
  • Experience in designing and implementing at least $5M of international development and/or social innovation programming. Specialization within these areas, particularly in open government, media development, and/or institutional innovation is a plus.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to effectively synthesize and present complex ideas to diverse audiences. Comfort with public speaking.
  • Significant international work experience in low resource settings and ability to operate effectively in unfamiliar cultural contexts and poor infrastructure environments.
  • Ability to direct multiple projects under tight time constraints. Knows how to triage under pressure, and can adapt to frequently changing priorities.
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting the growth and development of staff, at different levels of experience and across cultures.
  • Experience directing deep qualitative research exercises, with expertise in: institutional ethnography, generative design research, and/or political economy analysis.
  • Strong experience in the design and facilitation of interactive workshops. Brings a deep understanding of how to select interactive exercises, facilitate tough conversations, and leverage visual facilitation to support participatory design and synthesis exercises.
  • Professional fluency in languages other than English—with a preference for Spanish, French, and Arabic—is strongly preferred.
  • Advanced degree in a relevant field, including international development, public policy, public administration, economics, political science, anthropology, or journalism.
  • Appreciation of complexity. Comfort with ambiguity. A sense of humor. Fan of cute office pups.

Reboot is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Reboot respects and values diversity. We are committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination in the recruitment, retention, training, or development of employees on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression, race, national origin, religious belief, political opinion, age, or disability. Diversity of perspective and experience benefits our firm and helps us deliver our best work; we encourage qualified individuals from all backgrounds to apply.

To Apply:

Please complete the application through the link below. Include your CV and a cover letter that describes why you believe you would be a good fit for Reboot and this role, as well as your salary expectations. Only complete applications will be considered.

We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, until the position is filled. We encourage interested applicants to apply as soon as possible.