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Director of Continuous Improvement

Albuquerque, NM

Relocation expenses: Not paid

Full time
3 - 5 years of experience
Master's Degree

Published on 28 Feb 2020

Expires on 28 Feb 2020

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Director of Continuous Improvement


Under the direction of the Chief Impact Officer (CIO) of United Way of Central New Mexico (UWCNM), the Director of Continuous Improvement will have primary responsibility within the organization for assessing the impact of UWCNM’s mission-aligned initiatives and providing strategic recommendations to UWCNM senior staff and volunteer leadership about ways in which these efforts might be strengthened and improved to achieve our goals.


To that end, the role of the Director of Continuous improvement is to develop and implement a research-based framework for assessing impact across all of UWCNM’s impact initiatives, including Mission: Graduate, Mission: Families, and the Community Fund; to oversee data collection, analysis, and management pertaining to these partnerships and programs; to develop and implement strategies to promote and facilitate a culture of continuous improvement among UWCNM’s staff and community of partners; to produce regular reports and data visualizations that can be used to promote and strengthen the work of UWCNM; to evaluate the efficacy of UWCNM’s strategic initiatives and make recommendations for improvement; and to provide research and data analytical support to the Vision Councils of Mission: Families and Mission: Graduate and other community-based volunteer groups, as needed.


The Director of Continuous Improvement will supervise a research team, which is currently based at the University of New Mexico Cradle to Career Policy Institute and supporting Mission: Graduate under a contractual arrangement. Over time, UWCNM intends to grow the capacity of this team, and it may include a mix of staff and students from both UNM and UWCNM. The Director of Continuous Improvement will work with the CIO to make recommendations for how this team should grow to fully support the research and data needs of UWCNM, as outlined in the preceding paragraph. Finally, the Director of Continuous Improvement will work as part of a leadership team within UWCNM’s Impact Department. Under the leadership of the CIO, this team will coordinate activities across Mission: Graduate, Mission: Families, the Community Fund, and other programs of UWCNM to advance the organization’s Board-approved Impact Agenda.



  • Support for UWCNM Impact Initiatives – Mission: Graduate & Mission: Families
    • Coordinate regular data collection from Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families partners and produce an annual impact report for each initiative (or a combined report).
    • Develop and cultivate relationships with community stakeholders, including local educational institutions, government agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other partners.
    • Develop and maintain a continuous quality improvement (CQI) strategy and plan for projects, programs, and initiatives associated with Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families, including developing performance measures, collecting data, producing data briefs at the end of each Plan-Do-Study-Adjust (PDSA) cycle, and presenting findings to stakeholders to inform next steps.
    • Design quantitative and qualitative research plans for Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families projects, programs, and initiatives, utilizing a variety of instruments, including surveys, in-depth interviews, observational tools, focus groups, and administrative data.
    • Design and conduct “root cause” analysis research to inform the development of projects, programs, and initiatives.
    • Apply CQI processes, methodologies, and tools to support project teams and other community partners to achieve shared objectives.
    • Coach and support Impact Team and other UWCNM staff to ensure that effective CQI practices are being utilized in all aspects of our work.
    • Coach, facilitate, and provide technical assistance to Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families project teams (and other partners, as needed) to achieve objectives and complete deliverables.
    • Stay current on recent research pertaining to Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families focus areas, including research on best practices, policy, and successful examples of community-based change from other communities.
    • Lead, attend, and present at Mission: Graduate and Mission: Families meetings, as needed.
    • Present research findings in private and public settings.


  • Support for UWCNM Impact Initiatives – Community Fund
    • Compile an annual report, with support from the Grants Administrator, detailing performance outcomes of UWCNM grantees.
    • Advise grantmaking staff on the development of performance measures for all grants.
    • Provide trainings to UWCNM grantees to develop their capacity to make better use of data in their programs and organization.


  • Data Stewardship
    • Oversee data management and establish shared standard operating procedures for all data, research, and continuous improvement functions.
    • Develop and maintain data sharing agreements and memorandums of agreement with external partners.
    • Maintain an online data dashboard for sharing publicly accessible data.
    • Provide recommendations to UWCNM management about the development of data systems to help us better measure the impact of our Impact Agenda activities.
    • Work with IT staff to ensure that these data systems are coordinated (or integrated) with other UWCNM systems.


  • Contractual Relations
    • Review contract budgets, ensuring reviews by a fiscal monitor monthly basis.
    • Data documentation and management procedures are submitted following the Office of Sponsored Program guidelines.
    • Maintain software and databases according to the Information Security and Privacy Office guidelines.
    • Update and maintain all MOUs and IRBs with sensitive data
    • Serve as Primary Investigator on the contract (requires graduate degree or higher).


  • Leadership & Operational Management
    • Assign and supervise the daily work of the Impact Team continuous improvement staff and provide regular performance feedback.
    • Participate in regular meetings of the Impact Leadership Team.
    • Provide input into the development of funding proposals and grant reports.
    • As a member of UWCNM’s Impact Leadership Team, ensure that the work of the partnership aligns with the stated goals of UWCNM and coordinate activities with other Impact staff and initiatives to ensure the success of the Impact Agenda.


  • Other duties as assigned



  • Self-starter, flexible to respond to emerging needs, highly motivated, and happy to work with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in education or nonprofit organizational settings.
  • Knowledge of continuous quality improvement processes and methodology.
  • Supervisory skills.
  • Group facilitation skills.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to present research findings to both technical and lay audiences, in both private and public settings.
  • Effective project management skills, including the ability to develop clear project plans and timelines, communicate with project partners and stakeholders, and monitor progress to meet agreed deadlines.
  • Technology proficient, especially in designing and producing work products and plans and utilizing data systems to track population-level indicators and performance measures.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team with a diverse group of individuals.
  • Ability to provide high-quality customer service and to build and maintain collaborative and productive working relationships with a wide array of cross-sector partners and stakeholders.



  • Master’s or higher-level degree in a related field (e.g., social sciences, education).
  • Three to five or more years of experience in designing and carrying out research and/or evaluation projects, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research designs, in education or nonprofit organizational settings. The successful candidate should demonstrate, through prior experience, a deep breadth of research competencies, including but not limited to:
    • Survey design & implementation,
    • Focus group facilitation,
    • In-depth interviewing,
    • Observation,
    • Statistical analysis,
    • Data analysis & visualization,
    • Data stewardship, and
    • Literature reviews and report writing.
  • Two or more years of experience utilizing continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes and methodology.
  • Experience supervising staff and leading research teams.
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office products.
  • Must be able to work occasional early mornings, evenings, and weekends to attend a variety of events.
  • Must have access to a reliable form of transportation to attend offsite meetings, as needed.



  • Knowledge of and experience applying Results-Based Accountability in education or nonprofit or organizational settings.
  • Experience designing Tableau data dashboards.



Standard PC based office equipment.



Standard office environment, position is primarily an office setting, requiring long periods of sitting at a desk and computer.  The position requires the ability to lift 20 pounds unassisted, 40 pounds with assistance. 


To apply, please forward your resume and cover letter to