Senior Mediator and Program Manager

March 2022 Position Announcement — accepting applications through April 4, 2022

Meridian Institute has an immediate opening for a Senior Mediator and Program Manager. This role is based in our Washington, DC or Dillon, CO offices; it may also be remote.

Meridian is a nonprofit consultancy that engages in dynamic problem solving with global leaders in business, government, civil society, philanthropy, and beyond. We bring people together, helping them navigate the dynamic variables that shape any collaborative search for solutions—from individual relationships to geopolitical considerations. Our work spans industries and sectors and includes projects focused on agriculture and food systems, climate change, forests, oceans and coasts, resilience, and science and technology, among others. Across these areas, we build and support partnerships that address our world’s complex challenges.

Within our broad range of services, the Senior Mediator and Program Manager position occupies a key role in facilitating decision-making processes with an eye for context, nuance, and common ground. Though we welcome applicants who have direct experience in conflict resolution and mediation, we are open to candidates with experience in fields that require similar skills in collaborative problem solving with diverse stakeholders; examples of this could include work in think tanks, on Capitol Hill, or in corporate sustainability groups. For the right person, this role offers opportunities to learn and grow in an evolving and challenging field.

As a member of our client-facing Practice Team, the Senior Mediator and Program Manager works with a dynamic mix of project-based teams across a range of subjects. This role supports these teams in building understanding, guiding collaboration and decision making, and driving action within each project’s context. The precise day-to-day responsibilities of the Senior Mediator and Program Manager will vary, depending on a given project’s scope of work and the makeup of each team. While focus areas will shift and expand over time, we anticipate that this position may initially include work on agriculture and food systems, big data and artificial intelligence (AI), and ocean policy and/or aquaculture. The position is supervised by related Project Directors and the Meridian Practice Director.

All full-time employees are eligible to participate in Meridian’s sponsored medical and dental insurance plans and are provided life insurance, vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, and enrollment in our 401(k) retirement plan.

How to Apply:

The deadline to submit an application is April 4, 2022.

Please submit your application materials, including cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references, using our online submission form. We thank all applicants for their interest and will be in contact with those chosen for an interview.

Position Description: Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Team: Practice
Reports to: Assigned Project Directors and Practice Director
FLSA Status: Exempt
Starting Salary Range: $104,000-$110,000 annually
Key Opportunities & Responsibilities:
  • Guide project strategy and process design: Design effective meetings and collaborative engagements involving a wide range of process types (workshops, strategic planning engagements, multi-year initiatives, consensus-building meetings collective impact efforts, etc.). Actively supports stakeholder engagement and power dynamics in keeping with Meridian’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles.
  • Facilitate effective meetings: Facilitate groups of any size and complexity, including meetings of senior- and director-level participants. Support meaningful engagement within complex—and, at times, controversial—discussions and topics using techniques that integrate interpersonal and group dynamics, as well as issues of power, inclusion, and equity.
  • Develop meeting and process outputs: Manages the team’s development of meeting summaries, guiding principles, consensus policy recommendations, reports, and other products. Ensure that these materials support collaboration, consensus building, and implementation activities.
  • Manage complex projects: Independently provide guidance and direction to project teams (in coordination with the Project Director, if applicable). Track project activities against timelines and touchpoints with clients and participants. Create and nurture a collaborative team dynamic. Skillfully address conflict and challenges with clients and within project teams. Provide strategic advice and direction to help optimize effectiveness, efficiency, and desired outcomes.
  • Manage project teams: Provide oversight and direction to team members. Delegate responsibilities, create accountability, and provide feedback to encourage growth and development in assigned roles. Coach, mentor, and develop staff, supporting new employee onboarding and performance management.
  • Manage project finances: Track and manage project budgets and subcontracts in coordination with the finance team. Manage major aspects of grant reporting.
  • Lead project development: Maintain professional relationships and networks that lead to new project work. Lead or contribute to proposals that advance project development. Actively engage as a thought partner with colleagues around Meridian’s substantive focus areas, organizational goals, and potential future project work.
  • Support external communications: Contribute to impactful written and verbal communication about Meridian’s organizational mission, purpose, and project work. Provide insightful thought leadership, as appropriate.
QUALIFICATIONS:
  •  At least 8 years of experience in the field of conflict resolution, or related experience with building partnerships, stewarding multi-stakeholder initiatives, and collaborative problem solving
  • Education and training and/or relevant experience with the principles, practices, and tools associated with collaborative problem solving, such as, facilitation, mediation, strategic planning, consensus building, and conflict resolution
  • An advanced college degree or equivalent professional experience; minimum of a bachelor’s degree required
  • Substantive knowledge and background (through educational or work experience) in one or more of the following subjects is preferred: agriculture and food systems, including regenerative agriculture and intersections with climate; big data and AI; oceans and coastal resilience, climate change, and the blue economy
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including effective communication across an array of audiences, accurate and efficient information synthesis, strong attention to detail, and the ability to ask skillful questions that guide project work
  • Ability to comfortably manage conflict and facilitate complex meetings and discussions, including large plenary discussions, difficult group dynamics, and technical topics; demonstrated effectiveness in helping groups clarify and potentially resolve differences and achieve consensus
  • Demonstrated expertise in project management—from resource coordination to final delivery— including budgets and contracts
  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds with humility, ease, and enthusiasm
  • Self-awareness, adaptability, and openness to feedback
  • Ability to build and maintain trusted relationships with clients and other stakeholders
  • Proven capacity to work independently with a light touch from senior staff; demonstrated management and interpersonal skills for supporting junior staff and fostering their professional growth; self-identification as a consummate team player
  • Fluency in English; professional fluency in a foreign language is highly valued, particularly Spanish and French
  • Passion and curiosity about the issues and areas of Meridian’s work
  • Meticulous organizational skills, a high level of initiative, and strong analytical and problem- solving skills
  • A high degree of proficiency with Microsoft 365 tools, including but not limited to: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, OneNote, and SharePoint
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:
  • Required to attend to business outside of normal working hours due to the location and nature of project assignments, as needed
  • Required to travel domestically or internationally dependent upon the project, as needed
  • Must be able to engage with others in a courteous and professional manner at all times
ABOUT MERIDIAN:

Meridian Institute is a mission-driven, nonprofit consultancy that has helped clients and partners develop and implement solutions to complicated, often controversial problems—big and small, global and local—for over two decades.

Effective collaborative decision-making involves bringing together participants with diverse backgrounds and differing viewpoints. As an organization, we seek staff that reflects and values that same diversity; successful Meridian team members are experienced working in multicultural settings and welcome new opportunities to widen their own perspectives. We bring integrity, inclusiveness, and respect for differences to every project we undertake. We are working to ensure that Meridian possesses the expertise needed to partner with—and build trust among—marginalized and disenfranchised communities, while advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within our organization and our work.

At this time, Meridian Institute requires that all employees be fully vaccinated, including booster shots. In circumstances where an applicant communicates that he or she is not able to be vaccinated for COVID19 because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance or because of a disability, then Meridian, in accordance with applicable law, will engage in the interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation is feasible that will not pose an undue hardship or create a direct threat to safety.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Meridian’s work is made stronger and more impactful by the contributions of diverse groups from around the world. At Meridian, we welcome people from all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin, creed, class, ancestry, or other grounds. Meridian Institute is a participating employer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, E-Verify.