Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), a dynamic social enterprise solving Americas rural economic crisis by empowering small towns to build thriving digital economies, is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Director of Impact.
Guided by a strong belief in rural ingenuity and small-town potential, RISI and its sister organization, Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), focus on intentional efforts that support communities wanting to evolve into inclusive, resilient digital ecosystems. CORI and RISIs comprehensive systems approach to building digital economy ecosystems involves building a nationwide network of local economic change agents; using mapping and data to highlight rural opportunities; making direct investment in underserved rural entrepreneurs; and closing the digital divide so all Americans can participate in the 21st century digital economy.
Founded in 2017 in Hartland, Vermont, CORI and RISI have grown into dynamic enterprises bridging rural America to the future of work and building scalable support for rural entrepreneurs in the digital space. The enterprises support communities through a comprehensive set of strategies, including the Rural Innovation Initiative (RII) and Rural Innovation Network (RIN), Broadband Strategies and Consulting, Mapping and Data Analytics, and the CORI Innovation Fund (CIF).
COVID-19 has challenged assumptions about where digital economy jobs and tech talent can exist, and CORI is seizing the moment to create a more equitable distribution of these high-paying jobs. Recognizing the diversity of rural communities, CORI and RISI have called for transformative action to address the tremendous disparities communities face and are actively working internally and externally to further transformation efforts. Across the varied challenges, CORI and RISI partner with rural community leaders and employers to build capacity to develop digital economy ecosystems.
In this next stage of growth, RISI seeks a Director of Impact to scale its consulting, technical assistance, and professional services practice, building and managing a growing team focused on building inclusive digital economy ecosystems in small communities, assessing communities for building broadband capacity, and growing data analytic products and clients. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Impact currently oversees the Rural Innovation Program Manager and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Specialist and will further grow a highly-talented team.
The ideal candidate will be an exceptional strategist and manager, well-versed in growing and solidifying impactful consulting practices and deeply committed to CORI/RISIs mission to transform rural communities. They will bring superior communication and client management skills, with an ability to forge strong relationships and communicate in market and mission language with a wide variety of stakeholders, including community organization leaders, local and federal government officials, tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and foundation staff, among others. The ideal candidate will bring exceptional skill in designing, developing, and delivering high-quality consulting services and technical assistance, and the ability to build a team of talented and committed consultants to deliver value to clients.
While the preference is for this individual to be located at the Hartland, VT office or in the Washington, DC area for proximity to federal clients, we are open to the position being based in other locations.
This search is being supported by NPAG.
Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Director of Impact
The Director of Impact will grow a highly talented team and lead in the following areas:
Drive the growth and expansion of the consulting, technical assistance, and professional services practice. The Director of Impact will design, develop and deliver high quality consulting services and technical assistance to rural stakeholders, across RISIs services. They will grow and improve upon a robust practice that supports digital economic development in rural communities, drives broadband deployment, and provides data tools for clients. They will devise systems and structures that allow for effective and efficient delivery of consulting and technical assistance services. In addition, the Director of Impact will design and execute strategies to expand federal business and corporate partnerships that grow the practice and add new business lines that leverage the teams growing expertise and analytical tools to craft and diversify fee-for-service consulting models.
Collaboratively implement sustainable revenue models, including the continued growth and development of the Rural Innovation Network. This flagship program provides participating communities with the resources and support to accelerate their digital economy progress. The Director of Impact will partner with the Director of the Rural Innovation Network to launch new fee-for-service offerings for RIN and productize assets for revenue across programs, building a national business line with diversified revenue streams.
Build and lead a talented, high-performing team of consultants skilled at working across domains and clients. The Director of Impact will recruit, develop and empower a team of skilled consultants to leverage data, technology, and communication tools to effectively deliver value to clients and communities, and help CORI and RISI mature its approach to achieve its mission. They will lead this team to execute on strategies and workstreams that uplift CORI/RISIs value and impact and empower rural communities to build digital economy ecosystems and scalable entrepreneurship.
Help to establish CORI and RISI as thought leaders in rural innovation. The Director of Impact will contribute to CORI and RISIs growing position as thought leaders around scalable entrepreneurship in rural areas, including digital skilling and the future of work, distributed work, place-based economic development, and broadband. They will seek to translate CORI and RISIs work into partnership opportunities that advance the mission and influence the rural narrative. In addition, they will strategically position CORI/RISIs work to inform policy at the local, regional, and national levels.
The Director of Impact will be an exceptional strategist and manager, well versed in growing impactful consulting practices, and deeply committed to CORI/RISIs mission to transform rural communities. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
The target salary for this position is $140,000 with an opportunity for additional performance-based compensation. RISI offers a range of benefits including health insurance, employer matched 401K, and personal and professional development opportunities, among others.
Youll enjoy working at CORI/RISI if:
CORI is an Equal Opportunity Employerpeople of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. CORI is committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting staff with ongoing career development opportunities. CORI is interested in your ambitions, personal experiences, great ideas, and passions, and believe that everyones unique story and perspective adds value to our organization.
Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
RISI will manage the application and review process using our Workable platform. Please direct all inquiries through this system. We are unable to respond to phone inquiries at this time.
Rural Innovation Strategies Inc.