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Director, Individual Freedom and Free Markets

Location: Philadelphia metro area, Pennsylvania, USA
Department: Individual Freedom and Free Markets (Programs)
Reports to: Vice President, Programs
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications and experience
Employee Type: Regular, Exempt
Travel: Domestic and international travel as pertinent
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis 

Organization and Position

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries of relevance to Big Questions that have animated human thought across times and cultures, about fundamental realities and how we might live well in light of those realities. We support research in disciplines ranging from fundamental physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to psychology, sociology, philosophy, and theology. We encourage open-minded and rigorous intellectual engagement between scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between scholars, public intellectuals, journalists, and the general public. In all our work, we strive to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery. To accomplish this, we make grants to build capacity for and support academic research on a wide range of topics within the Foundation’s mission, as well grants to disseminate information about that research and stimulate popular enthusiasm for more.

To advance the Foundation’s mission and strengthen our team, the Foundation is seeking a Director of Individual Freedom and Free Markets (IFFM). This Director, IFFM will be responsible for catalyzing and generating new philanthropic initiatives and grant programs in the areas that span the Foundation’s Individual Freedom and Free Markets portfolio. They will work closely with other senior Program colleagues to lead the Foundation’s core activities in project development and management. The Director, IFFM will oversee and manage a team tasked with implementing strategic priorities and developing high impact projects and programs with special emphasis on basic research, field-building, cross disciplinary work and academic engagement.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Develop a range of projects and funding opportunities in free markets, entrepreneurship and the enhancement of individual freedoms that advance the Foundation’s mission.
  • Create new, cutting-edge funding initiatives that attract leading researchers, nurture promising younger scholars, foster new fields of inquiry, build networks among scholars with diverse perspectives and encourage engagement between those who espouse free markets principles and those who do not.
  • Oversee the development and execution of long-range strategic plans related to the Individual Freedom and Free Markets portfolio
  • Participate in all aspects of the open submission proposal review process.
  • Oversee management of active grants and evaluation of closed grants in the portfolio.
  • Manage the Individual Freedom and Free Markets Department Staff.
  • Create and manage annual department budgets.
  • Communicate the mission of the Foundation both internally and externally, especially to researchers, academic institutions, members of the media, as well as to other audiences interested in the foundation’s mission.
  • Review external communications concerning the department and its work with the Department of Communications.
  • Organize conferences and symposia relevant to the Foundation’s mission.
  • Establish relationships and cultivating co-funding from organizations with similar funding goals.
  • Report to the JTF Board of Trustees on grant making activity in IFFM and coordinate breakout sessions or plenary speakers for the Templeton Annual Meeting as requested.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities.

Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities

  • 5 to 10 years of relevant experience in philanthropic funding of academic research.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and networking skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and to meet deadlines.
  • Professional, collegial and able to work well with others.
  • Interest in developing research networks through funding initiatives.
  • Strong personal interest in shaping research in and advocacy for free markets aligned with the Foundation’s mission.
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission is essential.
  • Travel is required.


We are committed to caring for our employees and their families through exceptional benefits. We pay for 100% of employee medical, dental and vision premiums, and generously contribute to family premiums. We provide life insurance, short-term disability coverage and long-term disability coverage at no cost to employees. We offer a 401(k) retirement savings plan with an employer match and additional discretionary contributions. Paid time off includes generous vacation, sick, and personal days. The Foundation offers a unique donation program, enabling employees the ability to direct a $5,000 donation to a mission aligned organization of their choice, with no employee donation required.


The position will be based in the Foundation’s offices, located in West Conshohocken. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, team members may work in-office or remotely through 2021.  The Foundation does plan to resume in-office operations in January 2022.

West Conshohocken, PA is a short drive (~15 miles) from Philadelphia and there is a nearby commuter train station with service into downtown Philadelphia. The offices are close to residential and commercial districts with multiple restaurants.

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