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Director, Public Engagement

Location: Greater Philadelphia Area, Pennsylvania, USA
Department: Public Engagement
Reports to: Vice President, Communications and Public Engagement
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications and experience
Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Organization and Position

The John Templeton Foundation, working across disciplines from astrophysics to philosophy, funds research and catalyzes conversations that inspire awe and wonder to enable people to lead lives of purpose and meaning. We aspire to become a global catalyst for discoveries that contribute to human flourishing.

The Public Engagement department maintains a grants portfolio of more than 60 projects around the world. We support innovative programs that advance the Foundation’s mission beyond the academy.  Forms of outreach that we support may include media projects, podcasts, public events, museum exhibits, and informal education.

We are seeking a Director of Public Engagement to oversee the creation and management of new public engagement grants and programs that catalyze conversations about the research and ideas supported by the Foundation. The Director will report to the Vice President of Communications and Strategic Engagement and will oversee a team of two. The department is responsible for developing and managing both short and long-term grants and projects that engage targeted audiences.


Areas of Responsibility

  • Oversee the development and executive of strategic plans for public engagement grant making activities. Contribute to strategic planning efforts of other departments.
  • Develop grants and programs which engage potential grantees, media, peers, and cultural influencers with ideas that inspire awe and wonder and enable people to lead lives of purpose and meaning.
  • Identify and recruit new grantees.
  • Lead the design, management, close, and evaluation of grants developed within the public engagement area.
  • Develop innovative approaches to grantmaking to take advantage of conversations across media types and channels.
  • Oversee all aspects of the Open Submission proposal review process for proposals related to public engagement.
  • Coordinate the implementation of best practices concerning public engagement in Foundation-supported research grants.
  • Cultivate partnerships with current and potential grantees in media, academia, philanthropy, and faith communities.
  • Cultivate relationships and co-funding arrangements with other funders relevant to public engagement grants and programs.
  • Manage public engagement staff, including a Program Officer and Program Associate.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Communication and the Managing Director of Strategic Alliances on inter-departmental projects engaging shared audiences.
  • Create and manage the departmental annual budget.
  • Serve as a spokesperson on matters pertaining to the Foundation’s mission, grant-funded activities and results to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Promote Foundation-funded work and research results to a range of global audiences.
  • Report to the JTF Board of Trustees on grant making activity in Public Engagement and coordinate sessions or speakers for meetings as requested.
  • Participate in professional development and networking opportunities.


Criteria and Relevant Skills

  • At least 5 years of experience in content production and/or audience development in a multi-platform environment as either a funder, a producer, or a strategist. Experience in philanthropic funding preferred.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required. Master’s Degree in the liberal arts or humanities preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record for developing programs that successfully engage targeted audiences, as evaluated through pre-determined metrics.
  • Experience with one or more communications platforms from direct-to-consumer programming such as courses, to tailored and targeted digital outreach through email, social media and websites, to more mass market content including podcasts, books and film. An entrepreneurial commitment to expand these practices within the context of the philanthropic world.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and networking skills.
  • Professional, collegial, collaborative and able to manage a team.
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission.
  • 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 also offers a staff 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, Pennsylvania. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, team members may work in-office or remotely at least until April 5, 2022. The Foundation plans to resume in-office operations after that time.  The Director will need to maintain an in-office presence but may work remotely for a portion of their week in accordance with our hybrid work policy.

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

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