Design & Innovation Director in Houston, TX at BakerRipley

Date Posted: 6/14/2021

Job Snapshot

Job Description

At BakerRipley we focus on bringing resources, education and connection to more than half a million people in Texas each year. For more than a century, BakerRipley has embodied the entrepreneurial spirit to offer innovative solutions to help neighbors and their communities to seek equitable access by braiding private and public resources.  

BakerRipley strives to be completely outcome and impact driven. Proving and improving impact requires an approach steeped in design thinking, continuous learning and quality improvement, and innovative methods. We also strive for commercial-minded data-driven decision making to demonstrate impact to our stakeholders when considering where to invest their time, talent, and treasure. 

BakerRipley is seeking a Director of Design and Innovation to manage our Program Design and Planning team, reporting to the Senior Director, Center for Excellence. This position will lead cross-disciplinary projects to map and maintain agency leadership with regards to our program portfolio of services supporting the agency’s mission and our neighbors’ emerging aspirations. 

The Director of Design and Innovation will be responsible for: 

  • Team lead for all program planning, design, and learning cycles as part of our focus on continuous quality improvement. 
  • Create and manage program portfolio roadmap to facilitate leadership alignment and decision making, support agency change management, and ensure more consistent outcomes across program divisions.  
  • Develop and communicate program design principles and philosophies to align program leaders and their teams towards an approach of ONE TEAM, ONE GOAL – providing for strong support of neighbors and stakeholder reporting to evidence the BakerRipley Effect.  
  • Ensuring strategy is translated into program development and operational design while providing for reverse feedback loops on what is working well, what is not, and how to adapt or adjust to support strategic shifts.  
  • Collaborate with Grants and Philanthropy to develop and express innovative concepts which enhance and expand outcomes through BakerRipley programming. 
  • Able to adeptly present visual proposals to stakeholders to gain buy-in and support. 
  • Perform and lead across team and peer groups to research best practices for existing or proposed program designs which are steeped in producing outcomes, not only outputs, and have sustainable models of implementation.   
  • Demonstrates planning competency for inclusion of sustainable income and revenue within program design working alongside development team members. 
  • Maintain positive, collaborative working relationships with external partners across various industries – public and private – to further agency mission and neighbors’ goals.  
  • Remain abreast of local, state, and federal policy issues and potential changes which could affect delivery and/or funding of services. Support process design for braiding or weaving public and private supports to create greater equitable access to all resources for neighbors and communities we serve.  
  • Share knowledge and increase awareness of BakerRipley’s approach and impact through external publications and presentations when possible.  


  • Manages the Design and Innovation team and oversees all program design and planning with the support of the Senior Director. 
  • Leads design thinking workgroups and workshops regularly on variety of program and agency topics as determined by annual objectives and priorities. Coaches direct reports on how to do the same. 
  • Manages the program lifecycle portfolio. Creates annual team priorities and objectives. Manages achievement toward key priorities regarding program planning, design cycle (learn – build – implement), and monitors outcomes and outputs for continuous improvement via learning cycles.  Ensures up to date project tracking for all team deliverables on project management software (coaches staff to do the same).
  • Develops, recommends, and implements program improvements with support of program leadership to demonstrate the agency as a model for community development.  
  • Supports Grant and Philanthropic development staff to inform proposals and draft content to achieve financial capacity to expand and develop innovative programs and services. 
  • Research best practices in domain of intra-generational socio-economic mobility. Create logic models / Theories of Change and provide insight on how to evaluate and document outcomes most effectively. 
  • May conduct training to inform others about concepts, practices, learnings and best practices to both elevate the agency externally and expand staff capacity internally.  Ensures maintenance of design tool kit for agency staff use. 
  • Identifies and participates in professional development opportunities for themselves and coaches direct reports on their development.  


  • Leadership skills to successfully support decision making, project development, and resource management, and ensure execution of plans with a lens on regional inequities and disparities among communities.  
  • Able to navigate ambiguity and demonstrate thought leadership by finding alignment and merge ideas for greater efficiency and effectiveness. Forward thinking capability to move beyond immediate problem or task.  
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, interpersonal, and organizational skills to effectively coordinate, plan, and prioritize multiple projects with demanding deadlines. Ability to shape creative ideas into tangible solutions.  
  • Able to effectively develop and maintain strong relationships, lead teams, and manage projects which involve multiple stakeholders.  
  • Excellent communication skills to influence, collaborate, and relay understanding; strong verbal, written, and editorial / proofreading skills.  
  • Strong persuasive writing skills to craft proposals, summaries and reports.  
  • Comfortable navigating (and coaching others) public information sources (i.e. Census data).  
  • Strong understanding of asset-based and appreciative inquiry methods.  
  • Strong expertise in applied design thinking models and / or public policy design. Able to bring new concepts and methods into agency Design Tool Kit.  
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office, G-Suite. Comfortable using team remote collaboration tools such as Slack, Zoom, Teams.   


  • Prior experience in customer relationship management platforms such as SalesForce ( platform and dashboard development). 
  • Familiarity with public and private grant requirements, processes and systems preferred.  
  • Prior experience using Dedoose, Gliffy, Survey Gizmo, Canva, and similar tool sets.


  • Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Education, Sociology, Public Administration, or related field strongly preferred.   
  • Typically, 5+ years of prior experience in user centered and experience design for program or services.
  • All applicants must provide prior work samples in addition to references and prior work experience through resume or CV. 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)