Job Opening: Strategist – Atlanta, GA

Job Summary

ICB’s Strategist is responsible for the development of strategic priorities for the Institute for Capacity Building in conjunction with UNCF and ICB leadership. Reporting to the ICB Director of Strategy, the Strategist will join ICB’s strategy team, which is responsible for nurturing the mission and vision of ICB, cultivating opportunities for ICB to expand its impact, and ensuring ICB’s work is integrated within UNCF and shared across external stakeholders. The Strategist will be a lead contributor to ICB’s strategic direction and will play a key role in efforts to secure funding and establish new programs and initiatives that improve capacity and institutional outcomes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Successful Strategist candidates will be proven and visionary leaders with demonstrated abilities and prior achievements in one or more of the following fields: communications, research, program development, concept generation, grant writing and professional relationship-building. As a lead contributor to ICB’s mission and external engagement strategies, the position will require an individual that is comfortable with adaptive leadership, collaboration, and persuasive writing and oration. An extraordinary candidate for this role will possess a foundational understanding of higher education, program development, non-profit and philanthropic leadership, and the strengths and challenges of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Successful candidates will join the Institute for Capacity Building team which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to specific roles and responsibilities, ICB team members have proven to be successful when they:

  • Are driven to serve people and institutions that are often undervalued and overlooked;
  • Embrace collaboration as a critical value to ensure effective teamwork and adoption of best practices;
  • Seek out opportunities to innovate and improve upon conventional practices and procedures;
  • Take personal responsibility for executing key projects and developing relationships; and
  • Operate with a sense of mission and purpose.

Responsibilities and Duties

The Strategist reports to the Director of Strategy, Institute for Capacity Building. S/he will have the following key responsibilities:

  • Identify opportunities for ICB to expand its impact, leveraging available resources and information to guide outreach to potential funders, partners and champions.
  • Lead incubation of new programs concepts that build the capacity of HBCUs, including drafting of proposal materials, grants and internal and external socialization processes.
  • Spearhead efforts to Identify, build relationships and secure funding with key funders and philanthropies.
  • Draft and develop key communications required by the strategy team, including speeches, presentations, blog posts, memoranda and research briefs.
  • Lead implementation of pilot projects in partnership with external partners to provide direct services, professional development, communities of practice and capacity building to HBCUs and PBIs.
  • Contribute substantively to the development of ICB’s network engagement strategy by building connections with HBCUs and other higher education institutions, educational intermediaries, funders, community organizations and workforce stakeholders.
  • Execute special projects requiring coordination and collaboration between the Institute for Capacity Building and other departments within the organization, including legal, communications, development, and the President’s Office.
  • Document and codify insights and outcomes from existing ICB programs and initiatives to inform our institutions and the field on best practices for engaging and supporting HBCUs.
  • Support execution of professional development projects that support ICB team member adoption of ICB’s mission and vision.
  • Assist with other duties and projects, as assigned by the Director of Strategy.


  • Deep commitment to education, liberation and social justice
  • Strong perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing HBCU students and their families and communities
  • Strong grasp of current events, history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and/or policy related to the improvement of Black lives, Black communities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • An outstanding record of academic and professional achievement
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, knowing how to prioritize and adjust timetables based on demand and other circumstances
  • Experience in the design and implementation of higher education and/or professional development programming
  • Demonstrated experience in new program development, leadership and strategic planning
  • Strong ability to communicate both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to move deftly between big picture and details
  • Comfort with concurrently managing multiple ongoing projects in different phases
  • Thrives with detail and deadlines
  • Strong cognitive and emotional management (CEM) skills
  • Ability and high comfortability operating at the most detailed level
  • Thrives with execution of deadlines
  • Strong multi-tasker, and operates with high degree of flexibility to adapt to changing needs and direction
  • Bachelor’s degree; graduate or professional degree in law, higher education, policy or administration preferred
  • 5-7 years of relevant work experience is required

Additionally, the individual must be a self-starter, who is able to problem-solve and take on a wide range of tasks to deliver results; collegial and professional manner; excellent communication and interpersonal skills.


Salary Range: $63,000.00 – 71,000.00


Click here to apply.

About UNCF

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, has been an engine of minority educational achievement for more than 70 years. UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of black students who, because of UNCF support, become highly qualified college graduates. In addition, UNCF ensures that its member institutions remain respected models of best practices in moving students to and through college. Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has raised over $4.5 billion in private support, distributed more scholarships to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the federal government, and enabled more than 425,000 minority and low-income students to graduate from UNCF’s member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and launch professional careers. UNCF is committed to closing the educational attainment gap between African Americans and other populations by increasing postsecondary access and success for students from underrepresented groups, particularly low-income and first-generation students.

About ICB

Launched in 2006, UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) provides targeted capacity-building resources to help HBCUs improve their resilience. We define resilience as the institution’s ability to improve its operation today and future-proof them for tomorrow. ICB’s engagement equips UNCF member institutions, and other HBCUs and PBIs, to provide high-quality educational experiences to their students and the broader Black community. ICB’s work focuses on three areas critical to HBCU success: institutional effectiveness, academic competitiveness, and financial viability. Beyond our strategic advisory and project management support, ICB serves as an innovation hub for Black colleges, connecting institutions to funders, best practices, resources, and subject matter experts both within and outside of UNCF.