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Portfolio Lead, Strategic & Partner Programs

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Location: Cambridge, MA

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact. Join Solve on this journey at

Joining the Solve team offers a unique change to join an entrepreneurial team to drive innovation to solve world challenges and support social entrepreneurs and social impact leaders in advancing their work.

Solve seeks a Portfolio Lead to join its Strategic & Partner Programs team. The Portfolio Lead will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for a portfolio of Solve’s custom open innovation Challenges and programs with external clients. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual who is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and build a movement to address the biggest issues of our time. This is a full-time position, located in Cambridge, MA (remote until September 7, 2021). 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**):

Strategic & Tactical Leadership

  • Serve as strategic lead for a portfolio of Solve’s Partner open innovation Challenges and strategic projects with global, cross-sector clients including philanthropic foundations, corporations, multilateral organizations, and more
  • Lead Partner relationships, including supervising client onboarding and communications with Partner counterparts across portfolio
  • Oversee content creation and strategic direction for Partner Challenge deliverables, including but not limited to: challenge design, judge recruitment and stewardship, challenge promotion and application, review process, finalist and winner selection, entrepreneur support programming, communications workflows, and facilitation of workshops and pitch events
  • Manage prospecting conversations with potential clients including prospecting calls, proposal development, agreement negotiations, and conversions to reach team-level revenue KPIs
  • Design and facilitate human-centered design thinking workshops, judging deliberations, and other virtual or in-person events related to Partner programs


Team Leadership

  • Supervise and guide a team of department staff including Officers, Coordinators, interns and occasional consultants/contractors to administer best-in-class custom open innovation Challenge services
  • Develop and ensure that team-level OKRs are achievable and reached
  • Establish priorities, timelines, and ensure appropriate resources are available to team members
  • Collaborate with other teams across Solve to design and execute internal cross-team operations, systems, and processes
  • Support Solve’s Strategic & Partner Programs team, including Director, Strategic & Partner Programs, on other ad-hoc projects, as needed.

Supervision Received:

  • Report to Director, Strategic & Partner Programs
  • Support Executive Director as needed


Supervision Exercised:

  • Supervise department staff including Officer(s) and Coordinator(s)
  • Manage interns, consultants, and volunteers as needed


Qualifications & Skills:


  • Minimum 6 years’ experience, with at least 4 years’ experience in project management, partnerships, business development, or fundraising for social impact, events, or nonprofit organizations 
  • At least 2 years’ experience managing staff
  • Highly developed organizational and team management skills
  • Strong background in project management or consulting
  • Experience working in a complex multi-layered environment with multiple stakeholders
  • Experience in sales or nonprofit development 
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, handling multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to prioritize and plan work in an efficient manner to meet deadlines and anticipate needs
  • Must be a confident decision maker
  • Bachelor’s degree required


  • Master’s degree in an area relevant to Solve’s work
  • Experience working for a social and/or environmental impact organization
  • Knowledge of 1+ foreign language

As an MIT Solve employee, you are eligible for a number of benefits, perks, and discounts, including:

MIT Solve is committed to inclusion and diversity to build a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more diverse our team is, the better we can achieve our mission of solving world challenges. Meet our team. 

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.


To apply: Please visit, reference #20426-9. No phone calls or recruiters, please.

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