Associate Director – Social Impact

ID HFLI 0119
Position Type Full Time
School Location
Henry Ford Learning Institute - Dearborn / Detroit MI - hfli.org
Job Description


Do you use Design Thinking to transform challenges into opportunities?

Do you believe that social impact work should be transformational and actionable?

Are you ready to build that capacity in non-profit leaders and educators?


Non-profit organizations and schools today are struggling to adapt to our rapidly changing world and to innovate to meet its challenges. The people we serve deserve our best – and to do that highly effective social impact work, we need leaders who can develop and implement solutions that are transformational and actionable. We’re on the lookout for a passionate, fearless social innovator who seeks to equip today’s non-profit leaders and educators with the power to use Design Thinking to fundamentally change the way we all approach social impact, teaching and learning in our communities.


Henry Ford Learning Institute (hfli.org) is an innovative nonprofit that empowers people to lead transformational change in, with and for their community. Our Social Innovation Studio provides a structured approach to preparing non-profit leaders and their beneficiaries, as well as educators and their students, to fundamentally change the way they approach social impact work.


Our Associate Director is a creative thinker, connector, coach and collaborator who will help guide and execute the strategic growth of our Social Innovation Studio programs and continue the development of unique resources and experiences that help learners: address the root cause of an intractable problem, navigate future challenges more effectively, and activate a shift in existing culture and behavior to create change. The five big areas of work are:


  • Impact.  Strengthen the framework and strategy by which HFLI embeds Design Thinking into non-profit leadership development, operations and social impact;
  • Create. Further develop and curate tools, materials and strategies for effective program implementation;
  • Connect. Grow and deepen HFLI’s role and impact in the social impact sector;
  • Develop. Design and provide professional development for non-profit leaders and communities in which they serve; and,
  • Amplify. Expand HFLI’s national presence related to innovative use of Design Thinking and community-based projects for non-profit and social impact.
Experience Required



Our new team member must have:

  • 3-5 years of experience in designing, developing and facilitating user experiences that use Design Thinking and other tools and methods from design;
  • Demonstrated expertise for providing professional development/learning experiences attuned to the needs of adult learners and professional contexts;
  • Evident enthusiasm for working with learners from a wide range of sectors, diverse age groups and varied cultural, economic and social backgrounds
  • Experience with using graphic design software, workplace technology tools and social media channels to engage with and promote collaboration with colleagues, partners and clients



Our next team member should demonstrate:

  • Strong and visible evidence of a Design Thinking mindset
  • Deep personal humility coupled with a readily available sense of humor
  • Strategic thinking, ability to see opportunity among constraints of traditional educational and non-profit systems, settings and mindsets
  • Vision to uncover opportunities when others see only challenge or obstacle
  • Insight into and empathy for non-profit leaders and educators, their intrinsic and extrinsic challenges and rewards
  • Evident commitment to pursue equity in our communities and deliver experiences that leverage inclusive design
  • Developed skill in managing multiple teams of learners toward positive outcomes and to “work the room”
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly, perform at a high level under pressure, and work efficiently as both a team member and as an individual
  • Effective planning and organizational skills, ability to incorporate needs of others into planning up front and throughout
  • Willingness and enthusiasm for doing whatever it takes to ensure the highest quality program implementation for HFLI, Henry Ford Academies and our partners, communities and clients
  • Willingness to share french fries with teammates
  • Desire to support the vision and mission of HFLI and HFAs
  • Ability and desire to travel as needed



Executive Director, HFLI



Salary range: $58,000 – $70,000 (commensurate with skills and experience)


Competitive benefits package, including comprehensive health insurance, to be detailed during selection process.




Please provide us with your essential information (resume, desired compensation, other mainstream documents). It’s critical that you also provide an artifact that best communicates the essence of what you will bring to our future partnership for making the world a better place for all of us.  Surprise and delight us – we know you can.


Submit your information using the form below. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will be filled as soon as a well-qualified person is identified.

To apply for this position, please email your cover letter and resume to employment@hfli.org.
Place the jobID 0119 and job title in the subject line of your email. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis

Application Form

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: doc, pdf, docx.