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Director of the Nutrition Assistance Area

Job ID 1500-6

Position Description:

Mathematica applies expertise at the intersection of data, methods, policy, and practice to improve well-being around the world. We collaborate closely with public- and private-sector partners to translate big questions into deep insights that improve programs, refine strategies, and enhance understanding using data science and analytics. Our work yields actionable information to guide decisions in wide-ranging policy areas, from education, early childhood, and family support to nutrition assistance, employment, health, disability, and international development. Mathematica offers our employees competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package, as well as the advantages of being 100 percent employee owned. As an employee stock owner, you will experience financial benefits of ESOP holdings that have increased in tandem with the company’s growth and financial strength. You will also be part of an independent, employee-owned firm that is able to define and further our mission, enhance our quality and accountability, and steadily grow our financial strength. Read more about our benefits here.

Mathematica seeks an energetic, visionary leader to serve as Director of the Nutrition Assistance Area. The Nutrition Assistance area focuses on federal nutrition assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), including the school meal programs and other Child Nutrition programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Women, Infants, and Children Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (WIC).  Mathematica works collaboratively with FNS to design and implement a variety of projects that provide policymakers with the data they need to support evidence-based policy development and advance agency priorities for improving program operations, efficiency, impacts, and integrity. Mathematica has conducted many landmark studies for FNS including the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS), the SNAP Food Security Study, and the Evaluation of the SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Pilots. For more than four decades, we have supported FNS’s efforts to understand potential impacts of changes in SNAP policy using microsimulation and data analytics. We  have a growing portfolio of work focused on improving program operations and providing technical assistance to program staff. For example, we collaborated with FNS to develop new performance measures to help them assess states’ compliance with SNAP reporting requirements and are currently supporting FNS’s Office of Employment and Training in their efforts to deliver policy guidance to regional office and state agency staff; monitor State SNAP E&T programs; and facilitate communication and knowledge transfer across these entities.

The Director of the Nutrition Assistance Area leads Mathematica’s strategy, business development, and client relationships  and helps oversee and advise on our FNS projects. The Director works collaboratively with other leaders in the Children, Youth, and Families Division of the Human Services unit and across the company to understand and meet FNS’  needs.

The ideal candidate should have a commitment to Mathematica’s mission, a passion for serving clients, and a demonstrated ability to build and grow a diverse portfolio of work with FNS.

Responsibilities include:

  • Advance Mathematica’s position as a leader in the use of data and evidence for improving nutrition assistance programs and policies
  • Monitor legislative and regulatory actions related to nutrition assistance programs and communicate relevant details to project and proposal teams
  • Lead development and execution of strategic plans for work with FNS
  • Grow and diversify Mathematica’s work with FNS
  • Engage with staff in FNS’s Office of Policy Support and a range of program offices (across SNAP, Child Nutrition (CN) programs, and WIC) to understand client needs and perspectives and understand how Mathematica can best address and anticipate their needs
  • Monitor and work to improve measures of client satisfaction such as performance information from the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System
  • Support the development and adoption of new approaches that improve our ability to meet existing and emerging client needs
  • Develop annual plans around staffing and external partnerships to pursue opportunities with FNS
  • Lead business development planning and proposals
  • Lead FNS projects
  • Participate in monthly review of FNS projects
  • Oversee quality assurance plans for all FNS projects and proposals
  • Advise project and proposal teams
  • Respond to client questions or concerns about our work
  • Provide thought leadership and public commentary around issues critical to FNS
  • Maintain a professional reputation as a substantive expert on programs, policies, and other issues that affect nutrition assistance programs and participants
  • Contribute to the leadership of the Children, Youth, and Families Division, the Human Services unit, and Mathematica

Position Requirements:

  • Visionary leader who is strategic and passionate about Mathematica’s mission and delivering the best solutions to our clients
  • Demonstrated commitment to client-centered approaches that prioritize client needs and goals
  • Commitment to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture
  • Strong leadership, management, and organizational skills with experience successfully managing proposals and projects using a collaborative, team-building approach
  • Demonstrated ability to lead change across organizational units
  • Powerful communicator and careful listener who effectively engages and inspires clients and colleagues
  • Experience successfully leading projects for FNS, including projects overseen by the Office of Policy Support and/or projects overseen by SNAP, CN, or WIC program offices
  • Experience managing a large portfolio of contracts, including growing and managing contract backlog of over $60 million
  • A master’s or doctorate degree in public policy, nutrition, public health, or other relevant discipline
  • Subject matter expertise in CN programs, SNAP, and/or WIC
  • Three or more years of experience leading business development and forming strong relationships with FNS staff; experience with program office staff offices is particularly valued

We take pride in our employees and in their commitment to excellence. We encourage staff to collaborate in developing creative solutions to difficult problems and to share the responsibility and enjoyment of carrying out complex projects. This collegial spirit has helped us earn our reputation for innovative and high-quality work. As a winner of the "Excellence in Diversity Award," we know that building an inclusive culture based on the diverse strengths of employees from different backgrounds is key to our success.

In accordance with Executive Order 14042 and its implementing guidelines, all Mathematica employees must provide documentation that they have been fully vaccinated or obtain an accommodation through Human Resources by providing documentation from a licensed health care provider that they are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of a disability (which would include medical conditions) or provide an attestation that they are entitled to an accommodation because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.

This position offers an anticipated annual base salary range of $135,000-$200,000. This position may be eligible for a discretionary bonus based on company and individual performance.

Available locations:  Offices in Princeton, NJ; Washington, DC; Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; Ann Arbor; MI, Oakland, CA; and Seattle, WA. We will also consider candidates who would like to work from home.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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