Senior Advisor, Innovation

Washington, DC
Dec 30, 2019
Jan 23, 2020
Full Time
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.

AARP Foundation is AARP's 501 c3 charitable affiliate. We are a public charity with revenue from federal agencies, corporations, foundations and individuals. AARP Foundation's vision is a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable. Staff are located in Washington DC and throughout the US.

Every year, AARP Foundation helps millions of struggling older adults 50 and over win back opportunity by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face each day. Through the Foundation's many groundbreaking and innovative programs and services, we create and advance effective solutions to meet their basic needs for nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, adequate income and much-needed personal connections.

The mission of the Foundation is to identify and advance effective solutions that help low-income individuals aged 50 and above ("LI50+") secure the essentials. The Foundation is focused on the 4 Impact Areas of Housing, Income, Hunger and increasing Social Connectedness.

To identify and advance solutions in these 4 areas the Foundation uses a well-defined Lean-Startup process composed of 3 sequential 43-working day modules: (a) Customer Discover, (b) Sprints and (3) Funding Request. Coached, advised and managed by the Senior Advisor, the Foundation's several Social Entrepreneurs in Residence take their proposed concepts through this process, including Leadership Team stage-gate decisions at the end of every module.

The Customer Discovery module involves human-centered design interviews with LI50+ individuals to identify their needs and learn about the challenges and opportunities they face. From these insights, proposed solutions are developed. In the Sprints Module, typical Lean Start-Up tests are conducted on the identified hypotheses that would have to be true in order for the proposed concept to succeed. In the Funding Module, a multi-year proposal is developed evidencing the scalability of the proposed solution.

The Senior Advisor acts as (1) a coach to Social-Entrepreneurs in-Residence and external partners, (2) an advisor to the Foundation's Leadership Team and as (3) a manager of the innovation process.

In the role of coach, the Senior Advisor runs set workshops within each module designed to inform, focus, develop and support the efforts of the Social Entrepreneurs in Residence and to distill their proposed solutions to set deliverables for review by the Foundation's Leadership Team.

In the role of advisor, the Senior Advisor brings their prior entrepreneurial experience and training to advise the Leadership Team in their decision-making at the stage-gates.

The Senior Advisor reports to the Vice-President of Strategy, Innovation and Evaluation, and will have daily interaction with several Social Entrepreneurs in Residence and Impact Area leaders, frequent interaction with the Foundation's Leadership Team and periodic interaction with the Foundation's Board.

The Senior Advisor will exercise a strong degree of autonomy and will be responsible for the results. The role requires (1) strong analytical ability and experienced entrepreneurial judgment to identify and zero-in on what is essential for success at scale, (2) developed inter-personal skills, (3) a high-energy ability to motivate from a matrixed-role, (4) excellent organizational and time-management abilities, and (5) an ability to clearly, succinctly and effectively communicate to multiple and varied audiences and stakeholders.

The successful execution of this role will deliver new sustainable and practical solutions that improve the lives of millions of LI50+ Americans.
  • Bachelors degree
  • Masters degree in business, social entrepreneurship or related field of study preferred
  • 5 or more years experience in either innovation management, start-ups, social entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.
  • Experience in coaching, facilitating, mentoring or teaching start-up teams in either an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial context
  • Experience with Lean Start-Up, Human-Centered Design, and Agile Development methodologies and an understanding of the Shared Value approach to social innovation
  • Excellent business judgment, a familiarity with a wide variety of business models both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and the ability to see the potential application of these models in the context of social innovation
  • Strong interpersonal skills that facilitate coaching, negotiation, advisory and coordination
  • Well-networked in the entrepreneurial, social-entrepreneurship or impact investing fields with an ability to engage these resources to assist the Foundation in its mission
  • Proficiency with both quantitative and qualitative research and analysis
  • Preference to take responsibility, manage several streams of work at once, and deliver professional work-product promptly and on-deadline
  • Ability to communicate clearly, succinctly and effectively, both written and verbal, including public speaking
  • Highly self-motivated and driven to make a difference
Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.
Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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