Director of Research Partnerships

George Kaiser Family Foundation
Date Posted: 04/03/2018
Salary / Wage:
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Job Type: Leadership / Director

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George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is a charitable organization dedicated to providing an equal opportunity for young children in Tulsa through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement.  
The Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa, referred to as BEST, represents an exciting opportunity for Tulsa. This strategy is a comprehensive, continuous and integrated approach that focuses on families to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Programs and services, community agencies and philanthropies are partnering with Tulsa’s families to build a cycle of opportunity.  

The Director of Research Partnerships will play a key role in shaping, managing and communicating the evaluation of the Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa. This person will report to the managing director of BEST and will manage key relationships, including those with BEST research and evaluation partners and a research and evaluation advisory group.


Primary Responsibilities Include: 

  • Shape the vision for the BEST evaluation agenda in collaboration with other experts.
  • Develop and manage the BEST research and evaluation advisory group, consisting of local and national experts.
  • Serve as the primary day-to-day GKFF liaison to BEST evaluation partners to ensure milestones are met, coordination with programs and services is smooth and efficient, and issues in need of further attention are surfaced.  
  • Drawing support from other evaluation and research experts as needed: 
  • Lead the creation of the vision for outcomes and impact studies for BEST.
  • Develop and manage RFPs, other research application processes and ongoing oversight for external research contracts for BEST studies.
  • Represent BEST at research meetings and conferences to advance BEST priorities around sharing lessons learned and supporting the scaling and replication of BEST.
  • Translate technical findings from BEST and other related studies into understandable terms for the GKFF team, BEST implementing partners and other stakeholders.
  • Advise the BEST GKFF team on a vision for scaling and replicating BEST, informed by extensive reviews of evaluation, research and policies.
  • Advise the GKFF BEST team on how to draw from existing research and evidence to inform ongoing BEST planning and draw comparisons between BEST and other initiatives across the country. 
  • Identify and develop plans for supplemental data collection efforts to support additional evaluation plans.
  • Directly support the BEST managing director with presentations, analyses, reports and convenings for a wide range of stakeholders by synthesizing BEST evaluation findings, the BEST evaluation agenda and other research-related projects and by framing the syntheses for appropriate audiences and contexts.
  • Actively contribute to ongoing BEST team meetings and engage in ongoing collaboration with fellow team members within GKFF.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Data Systems and Technology within GKFF to ensure BEST priorities and strategies around data, technology, research and evaluation support and inform one other.


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in education, healthcare, social services, public policy, public health or a related field 
  • At least 2 years of experience involving program implementation, advisement or application of research and evaluation to policy in education, healthcare or other social services preferred
  • At least 2 years of experience managing partnerships and processes inside of government, a social services agency, other nonprofits or a philanthropic foundation preferred
  • Experience with the intersection of applied research, evaluation and community-based providers


  • Conducts all activities in alignment with principals and integrity of the George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Commitment to taking on bold and ambitious initiatives in order to tackle intergenerational poverty and significantly expand opportunities for the children and families of Tulsa
  • Ability to perform and adapt in a fast-paced, start-up environment with ongoing refinements to processes and scope of work based on the mission of BEST and lessons learned during implementation
  • Commitment to personal and professional growth and development and the ability to incorporate feedback from a wide range of sources into continuous improvement efforts
  • Basic knowledge of the issue of intergenerational poverty GKFF is working to address and the promise of focusing on the earliest years of a child’s life in order to significantly improve a child’s chance at success in life
  • Interest in supporting a wide range of stakeholders in making connections among research, policy and practice 
  • Knowledge of and comfortability with interpreting program evaluation and research findings 
  • Strong facilitation skills, with an ability to recognize and gather input from diverse perspectives while advancing recommendations aligned to BEST’s vision
  • Cultural competency, as demonstrated by empathy and ability to build rapport with individuals from various cultures, experiences and backgrounds
  • Appropriate use of judgment to determine how to engage with peers and partners without formal supervisory authority as well as to manage up and leverage support from your direct supervisor and peers 
  • Ability to develop and manage processes to support decision making involving multiple factors and stakeholders with diverse perspectives 
  • Self-starter, reliable, self-motivated, in particular when identifying areas in need of further expertise, asking for help where appropriate, and leveraging other experts as needed
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills, including but not limited to conducting backwards planning, developing plans with appropriate sequencing, and making refinements as needed to develop and maintain project plans
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with abilities to tailor tone and content to different audiences for various purpose; present summaries, analyses and recommendations in a clear and concise way; and develop formal applications for potential evaluation partners

Application Instructions:

The position is open immediately.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Please e-mail cover letter and resumes to: Katie Oliver, Tulsa Community Foundation 7030 S. Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK 74136

Additional Information:

George Kaiser Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, or any other basis made unlawful by applicable federal, state, or local laws or regulations. We are an e-verify employer.  

If you have a difficulty applying for any job posted on Tulsa Community Foundation’s website because a disability prevents you from using the online system, Tulsa Community Foundation offers the following alternate application procedure: Contact Human Resources at 918-494-8823, and TCF will arrange for an alternate method of applying and will consider your application together with all other applications received for the job. Please call only for such application assistance.