Director of External Affairs

Remote (Boston, MA) +1

The Director of External Affairs will play a critical role supporting cross-departmental management and engagement of strategic stakeholder audiences in service of Upstream’s mission, impact and growth trajectory. Reporting to the Vice President of Development & External Affairs, the Director of External Affairs will be a seasoned relationship manager who is able to leverage their skills in designing and implementing strategies to cultivate and engage a range of stakeholders who influence Upstream’s current and future impact, including former public officials, academics, thought leaders, and other high-profile, high-touch stakeholders.

A successful candidate will be skilled at building trust and effectively collaborating with leadership across the organization to develop, deliver, and monitor effective relationship management strategies, their progress, and their impact. They will also be an effective team-builder and mentor, managing a small team of officers with a portfolio of external relationships.

The candidate will bring a passion for supporting mission-driven impact and a familiarity with the systems and processes that support relationship management across teams and organizations. Attention to detail, strong “EQ”, high levels of discretion, and a sense of humor are highly valued for this position. Upstream celebrates and fosters an inclusive work environment and encourages people of all identities, perspectives, and backgrounds to apply.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities                

  • Partner with the Vice President of Development & External Affairs to operationalize the vision for External Affairs at Upstream, including developing the strategies and implementation plans.
  • Oversee the implementation of Upstream’s broader commitment to relationship management, including partnership with internal functional teams and coordination across functions.
  • Develop a strategy to leverage public sector stakeholders (state and local government) for Upstream’s state-building efforts.
  • Manage a portfolio of key stakeholder relationships on behalf of the CEO and other Upstream leaders, as needed.
  • Effectively manage sideways, through a combination of either leading relationship management on behalf of teams and or building the skills of teams, to ensure Upstream achieves relationship management goals.
  • Grows, manages, and mentors a team of External Affairs Officers. Develop team goals, standards of practice and performance and support team culture and learning.
  • In building out the External Affairs team, propose team and individual goals, staffing requirements, and updated job description at the end of the 90-day on-boarding process.
  • Collaborates with leadership across the Development and External Affairs team to operationalize stakeholder management, including with the Senior Director of Investor Engagement, Senior Specialist of Principal Gifts and Board, Director of Philanthropy, Director of Strategic Services, and the Vice President of Development and External Affairs.

Required Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • 8-12 years management experience with increasing levels of responsibility. Relevant experience includes roles focused on direct relationship management and managing or supporting teams with stakeholder management responsibilities, external affairs, policy advocacy, sales, investor relations, or fundraising
  • Exceptional project management ability with experience leading a team, delegating responsibilities, and managing up
  • Demonstrated ability to operate with a high degree of urgency, self-motivation, focus on goals, and commitment to high-quality work
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Entrepreneurial and big ideas thinker around the opportunities within engagement
  • Innate sense of savviness and creativity when executing and designing engagement strategies for the wide array of Upstream’s external stakeholders
  • Experience executing events and convenings with major stakeholders (high net worth individuals, politicians, etc.) in the room
  • Comfort in an internally facing role as well as with external audiences
  • Commitment to Upstream’s mission and to mission-driven work
  • Skilled communicator and influencer, with the ability to influence without authority
  • Experience with partnering with and leveraging members of state and local government or political operatives is preferred
  • Ability to manage multiple, competing deadlines and to develop strategy based on data
  • Awareness of the latest trends and industry practices in healthcare, public health or gender equity
  • Ability to effectively deliver and receive both positive and constructive feedback
  • Proficiency with Salesforce, Google, and Microsoft Suites
  • Sense of humor
  • Upstream USA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy requires employees to have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or, if applicable, request a medical or religious exemption.
  • All Upstreamers must also be able to attend work-related in-person meetings and functions as needed.
  • In our hybrid work environments, there is a basic expectation that our Upstreamers will ensure that their work from home setups will have reliable access to phone and Internet to ensure connectivity to their teams.
  • At Upstream we gather for moments that matter for training, teaming and connection. Our teams come together for occasional in person meetings and organizational retreats. As part of our hybrid work practices, this travel expectation will be applicable for all Upstreamers, even those based remotely.

Travel Requirements

This role will require up to 45% of business travel. All Upstreamers can expect a minimum of 8 days of business travel per year to attend two annual organizational retreats. Members of the Development and External Affairs team will also be expected to be in person in Boston for 2 days each quarter.

Upstream Benefits

Upstream USA offers a comprehensive benefit package including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, long and short term disability, 401K with a match, generous vacation, personal, sick and holiday time off, parental leave, professional development, a fitness and cell phone allowance for all full time employees and part time employees who work a minimum of 24 hours per week.  

Hiring Range

The hiring range for this role is $111,508 to $162,909.60. Final offers for this position will be based upon several factors including the scope of the role, market compensation analysis, position requirements, candidate’s experience level and capabilities, specific candidate geographic location, internal pay equity considerations and will be made within the parameters of Upstream USA's compensation framework and philosophy.

Hiring Process

Candidates who advance in our preliminary review process will have an opportunity to discuss the position, their employment background and lived experience with a member of our talent acquisition team by telephone. Those who advance to subsequent steps in our interview process may participate in up to three rounds of meetings by Zoom or in person and in a thought exercise/case study assignment. Each round could consist of multiple meetings with various Upstreamers.

Upstream Careers

At Upstream, we embrace diversity. We nurture it and we thrive on it because it benefits our organization, our partners, and our community. Our goal is to attract, develop and retain exceptional people, and to create a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Upstream is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, genetic information, gender identity or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know. Learn more about working at Upstream, our values, and our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Upstream USA participates in E-Verify.

Upstream Headquarters

2 Oliver Street, Suite 402, Boston, MA 02109

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