Director of Strategic Partnerships

FUSE Corps - Nationwide, US, United States

The Director of Strategic Partnerships will foster relationships with government officials, foundations, and community leaders to help determine the growth trajectory of the FUSE Executive Fellowship program and its capacity for social impact in cities throughout the country. The Director will work closely with local stakeholders to design dozens of executive fellowship projects each year and to secure the government contracts and philanthropic support needed to underwrite those projects. 


FUSE is a fully virtual organization and this position can be based remotely from anywhere in the United States.


FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 300 projects in 45 governments across 20 states, serving a combined population and impacting the lives of over 40 million people.

When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.

Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.

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FUSE’s Partnerships Team manages relationships with government officials, community leaders, and philanthropic funders in cities throughout the country. Working in close collaboration with these local stakeholders, the Partnerships Team develops detailed scopes of work for all of the fellowship projects that FUSE will undertake to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change in those cities. FUSE launches at least 60 new projects each year by expanding our relationships with existing partners and forging relationships in new communities.

In addition to shaping the nature of all fellowship projects and the impact that our work will have in the lives of community members, the Partnerships Team also leads the organization’s direct sales, government contracting, and fundraising efforts in order to secure the resources necessary to underwrite all of our project-based work. In pursuit of these goals, the team is managed by a Vice President and includes two other Directors of Strategic Partnerships, who each manage a distinct portfolio of 10-15 governments, as well as a Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and two Associates who provide vital support for our efforts.

Reporting to the Vice President, the Director of Strategic Partnerships will manage a portfolio of government partners, lead the development of new projects, ensure the timely completion of contracting processes, maintain relationships with local and national peer organizations, and represent FUSE at major events such as gatherings of the US Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties. The Director will also help ensure that major federal investments (ARPA, IIJA, etc.) are being fully leveraged to accelerate systems change in our partner communities.

The Director will be expected to model FUSE’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in every aspect of this work and, as is the expectation of all FUSE staff, to directly engage in the organization’s internal DEI work. In particular, the Director will place racial equity at the center of efforts to design fellowship projects and only partner with value-aligned government leaders and funders.


Relationship Management

  • Manage a portfolio of city and county governments that includes both current partners and prospects where we are working to build new relationships. Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with a wide array of leaders within each government, including elected officials, senior administrators, department heads, and those responsible for budgeting and contracting.
  • Develop relationships with non-governmental leaders such as local philanthropies, nonprofits, associations, private sector companies, etc. Leverage these relationships to understand how we can more fully engage the community in our work and build locally-specific strategies for FUSE can have the greatest possible impact in each region.
  • Build relationships with other local and national organizations that are engaged in aligned work. Explore prospects for inter-organizational collaborations that will allow FUSE to place additional fellows in more cities and/or to increase the impact that our fellows are able to achieve.

Project Development

  • Identify regional priorities and the roles FUSE Executive Fellows can play to help accelerate progress in those areas. Specify a host agency, project supervisor, and distinct goals for each unique fellowship project. Ensure that FUSE’s project quality metrics are maintained with regard to the success-determining factors for each project. Secure at least 20-30 fellowship projects each year across a portfolio of 10-15 governments.
  • Develop a detailed 3-page description for each fellowship project by interviewing local stakeholders, working with a team of in-house professional writers to draft a scope of work based on those interviews, and then incorporating edits from the host agency. Collaborate with FUSE’s Recruiting Team to help ensure that the selected fellow meets the agency’s expectations.
  • Conduct ongoing relationship management with host agency leaders and community stakeholders over the course of each fellowship project. Collaborate with FUSE’s Program Team to help ensure that the fellow is successful in achieving project goals. When appropriate, explore and actively pursue the prospect of extending the fellowship for a second year.

Funding and Contracting

  • Identify and help secure sufficient funding to cover the full cost of each project. This effort should focus primarily on municipal budgeting and government contracting, with the expectation that host agencies will cover some/most/all of the program cost. Support host agencies in navigating their internal contracting processes, which may involve any array of activities such as working with city attorneys or presenting at city council meetings.
  • When necessary, collaborate with FUSE’s Director of Philanthropic Partnerships to pursue local funding to match the government’s financial commitments. Support the fundraising team’s efforts to meet with funders, develop proposals, and manage funder relationships throughout the course of the project. When possible, pursue opportunities for supplemental funding for project extensions to a second year and/or support for additional projects.


  • Passion for FUSE’s mission and model; a commitment to advancing racial equity; and a belief in the power of local government, civic innovation, and cross-sector collaboration.
  • Minimum 10-years of related work experience, ideally including some experience either working in/with local governments or in close collaboration with local government leaders.
  • Experience in roles involving direct, personal responsibility for overseeing partnership development, business development, sales, or fundraising.
  • Tenaciously optimistic, positive mindset, goal-oriented and deadline-driven, with the ability to develop creative solutions in pursuit of maintaining forward momentum.
  • Highly-developed emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish trust and effective communications with a wide array of stakeholders.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, with an understanding of how to adjust message for a variety of audiences and an ability to effectively communicate the compelling nature of an investment opportunity.
  • Strong multi-tasker with the capacity to balance competing priorities within a dynamic environment and keep an array of concurrent projects on target for hitting goals and timelines.
  • Ability to work highly independently while also collaborating effectively as a member of a virtual team, contributing positively to the advancement of a strong organizational culture.
  • Ability to travel to partner cities and conferences for in-person meetings. Travel will generally be planned entirely at the Director’s discretion in terms of timing, duration and frequency, and can thus easily accommodate any scheduling or availability constraints.


Please submit an application and cover letter. The cover letter should explain your motivation to join FUSE and how you anticipate leveraging your experience in this role.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work at every level. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.

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