Your browser cookies must be enabled in order to apply for this job. Please contact if you need further instruction on how to do that.

Principal, Programs

Programs | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Reboot works with change agents who care about creating a better future—within governments, foundations, international organizations, media, and civil society groups.

We innovatively apply methods pulled from ethnography, design, political science, and other disciplines to the challenges of global development and public sector innovation. Reboot puts empathy for people and user-centered design at the core of our work in our three program areas:      

We are seeking a third Principal to join Reboot’s senior leadership team and serve as a key leader in mentoring our Programs team and evolving our business. With expertise in user-centered design and ethnographic research, this person will direct our programs team to deliver innovative and research-driven programs in the U.S. and abroad. From advocating for better development policy with senior public officials in Washington, DC to conducting ethnographic research with marginalized populations in rural Nigeria, the Principal will use their deep experience in systems design and public policy to bolster our impact.

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.


The Principal’s work will include providing technical project expertise, developing and leading the Programs team, and significantly contributing to Reboot’s communications and business development work.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Guiding projects from start to finish, by providing technical advisory on user-centered design processes in project scoping and roadmapping, research, synthesis, design, implementation, and evaluation;

  • Managing key relationships with partners, always with a strong focus on ‘super-pleasing’ and optimizing the partnership experience;

  • Leading storytelling activities around project work, for audiences that range from policymakers to activists to journalists to the general public. Working with project teams, writers/editors, and communications designers to produce concise technical writing and compelling visual/web design;

  • Contributing to Reboot’s advocacy work and thought leadership by publishing articles, speaking at events, and representing the organization at key events. Creating and cultivating partnerships around new opportunities and educating partners on Reboot’s unique approach;

  • Provide support and training to ensure technical skills and expertise in our program areas across the Programs team. Ensuring lessons from our broader communities of practice and completed projects are effectively integrated across Reboot’s work.


To best achieve Reboot’s mission, the Principal should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • 10+ years of relevant professional experience, with experience in a fast-paced and growing company, social enterprise, or nonprofit;

  • Advanced degree in a relevant field, such as international development, public policy, public administration, economics, political science, anthropology, or journalism;

  • Fluency in user-centered design processes, ideally with experience using design methods to discover, define, and develop programs and policies to address social issues;

  • Experience directing deep qualitative research exercises, including institutional ethnography, generative design research, and political economy analysis;

  • Expertise in designing and implementing at least $5M of international development and/or social innovation programming;

  • Skilled in the design and facilitation of interactive workshops with a deep understanding of how to guide complex conversations, while implementing visual facilitation to support participatory design and synthesis exercises;

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to effectively synthesize and present complex ideas to diverse audiences;

  • Significant international work experience in low resource settings and ability to operate effectively in unfamiliar cultural contexts and poor infrastructure environments;

  • Demonstrated experience in supporting the growth and development of staff, at different levels of experience and across cultures;

  • Professional fluency in languages other than English—with a preference for Spanish, French, and Arabic—is strongly preferred;

  • 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, in lieu of a standard cover letter, please respond to two of the following three prompts. Suggested limit of 200 words per question.

  • Per the job description, which three responsibilities resonate most with you and why? What unique value would you bring to these aspects of the role?

  • How would you describe your philosophy on user-centered design for social impact? Please explain the experiences or lessons that led you to this conclusion and how this influences your work.

  • What gaps or opportunities do you see in how Reboot approaches its mission?  

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