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Director of Learning and Evaluation - Location Flexible

United States, United States
The Land and People Lab at Trust for Public Land (TPL) seeks a Director of Evaluation and Learning to be a thought leader and champion for evaluation across the organization. TPL, like other conservation and land protection organizations, has traditionally measured success in terms of acres, dollars, and ribbons cut.  As a learning organization, we are committed to building a far more robust evaluation practice.  We aim to use rigorous methods to evaluate the extent to which our work delivers the outcomes we most care about: health, equity, climate action, and community.  These outcomes imply a diverse range of relevant metrics, from physical activity to social capital, from feeling welcome in parks to economic development, from surface temperature to carbon sequestration, and more. We view this work not only as evaluation of our own projects, but also as research—yielding generalizable knowledge that can help inform and improve practice nationally. 
About the Organization 
TPL creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. At TPL, we don't just save land—we create places to advance health, equity, climate action, and community, from the scale of neighborhood schoolyards to the scale of national parks. Every park, playground, trail, and public space we create is an open invitation to explore, wonder, discover, and play. We're proud to say that we've been connecting communities to the outdoors—and to each other—since 1972. Today, millions of Americans live within a 10-minute walk of a park or natural area we helped create, and countless more visit every year.  
The newly formed Land and People Lab is an internal “think-and-do tank” that advances TPL’s work through the power of evidence.  The Lab generates and analyzes evidence using a broad range of disciplines and tools—from geospatial science to ecology, from economics to epidemiology, from urban planning to landscape architecture.  The Lab is also home to TPL’s content experts in climate action, health, and community strategies, who help guide TPL’s strategic commitments to maximizing the multiple benefits of equitable access to parks and open space.  The Lab is the department within TPL responsible for assembling evidence and pushing that evidence into practice and policy.    
About the Role 
The Director of Learning and Evaluation will: 
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues in the Lab and other TPL departments including philanthropy, marketing, government relations, and field programs, 
  • Form and nurture partnerships with academic experts and external evaluation consultants who will collaborate in TPL’s evaluation efforts, 
  • Maintain expertise in state-of-the-art measurement techniques relevant to TPL’s priority outcomes (health, climate, equity, and community), and other key outcomes such as academic achievement and economic development, 
  • Lead the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks and processes, including the selection of priority outcomes, tailored to TPL’s approach to system change, to increase the impact of TPL’s work, 
  • Implement monitoring and evaluation efforts, either directly and/or in collaboration with TPL field staff, 
  • Collaborate with TPL staff in raising funds to support evaluation, both in large-scale funding proposals and as part of park, schoolyard, trail and land projects, 
  • Coordinate the collection and analysis of evaluation data and meet with teams to interpret findings (such as identifying best practices), 
  • Develop and lead organizational strategy for continuous learning and sharing evaluation information to improve internal process and/or operations,  
  • Prepare findings for external dissemination, and 
  • Represent TPL externally through meeting presentations, publications, and other means, amplifying and disseminating our evaluation findings. 
The ideal candidate will bring: 
  • A commitment to TPL’s mission (creating parks and protecting land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come) and values (belonging, creativity, collaboration, impact, and hope), 
  • A master’s degree in a relevant field (doctoral degree preferred but not required), 
  • At least ten years of experience in program evaluation, 
  • Familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, 
  • A commitment to community-based approaches to evaluation, particularly if grounded in lived experience and/or community-based work, 
  • Content area expertise in one or more areas relevant to TPL’s work (parks and other public spaces, land conservation, health, equity, climate action, academic achievement, community), 
  • A strong track record of collaborative work, 
  • A strong record of project management, and the ability to juggle several simultaneous workstreams, 
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, and 
  • Willingness to travel to collaborate with TPL staff at offices around the country. 
As a full-time, non-exempt employee, you will be eligible for TPL’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, three weeks of vacation annually plus holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with a company match of up to 7%. The salary range is $100,000 - $120,000, commensurate with experience.
At the Lab, we all have a role to play. We believe in cultivating a culture of inclusion, curiosity and connectedness. The collective sum of our individual differences, life experiences, self-expression and innovation contributes to our achievements and how we collaborate, share our perspectives, and encourage others to do the same. In turn, our team culture inspires us to speak up and helps us stand out. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that each person brings with them, including perspectives informed by culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, religion, education and beliefs. In pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace, TPL is an equal opportunity employer that maintains an affirmative action program.  
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