Mission Director: Early Years and Education

  • Location


  • Sector:


  • Salary:

    £90,000 - £110,000, plus excellent benefits

  • Published:

    5 months ago

  • Expiry date:


  • Client:


Are you an influential, driven and creative individual with the ability to assemble and lead world-class teams to tackle complex social problems, bringing together combining disciplines to drive better outcomes and designing for scale from the start? Do you have expertise of thinking creatively about solutions that target different levers of change, and develop and implement high-impact and scalable solutions?

Then don’t miss this exciting opportunity to join Nesta as Mission Director: Early Years and Education, where you will play a critical role in shaping our strategy and vision for the future.

About Nesta:

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. It also means changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society, from the frontiers of personalised healthcare to stretched public services and a fast-changing jobs market. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.

As part of Nesta’s upcoming new strategy, we will focus on three innovation missions, comprising of work to equalise life chances, to increase the number of healthy lives for people most affected by health inequalities, and to secure a post-COVID-19 economy that works better for people and the planet. Our successful candidate will oversee the work of one of these three Missions, focused on Early Years provision, secondary school outcomes, and specific forms of disadvantage that occur independently of family income, such as racism and traumatic childhood experiences, with the ultimate aim of eradicating these gaps that emerge in childhood.

About this pivotal role

As Mission Director, you will think critically about how to tackle this challenge, and then continuously designing, testing and scaling solutions that help ensure the circumstances of a child’s birth do not limit their future life outcomes. This will involve setting the direction for and leading a multidisciplinary team across multiple programmes of work, overseeing and guiding the work and ensuring focus on the strategic goal. You will also:

  • Represent Nesta externally to a range of audiences and act as an expert voice on early years and childhood development

  • Help develop an organisational culture of mixed methods innovation, in which skills are combined in new ways to produce better outcomes

  • Champion an organisational culture of exploration, learning, development, and rigour

  • Contribute to development and delivery of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals

What we are looking for:

You will have a proven track record in leading programmes and delivering social impact and have demonstrable experience of leading teams and a strong broker who can bring together the right mix of skills and inputs from specialist teams and externally on a project-basis.

An impressive communicator with strong interpersonal and networking skills, you will also have experience running a range of complementary projects underneath a shared strategic goal and a deep understanding of the use of evidence and the strengths and limitations of different kinds of research. Experience influencing local and national government and translating evidence into applied insights for policy and practice are also vital.

How to Apply

The closing date for applications is the 5 October 2020 at 8:00am.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.