Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For over 30 years, IHI has used improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health systems across the world. IHI brings awareness of safety and quality to millions, catalyzes learning and the systematic improvement of care, develops solutions to previously intractable challenges, and mobilizes health systems, communities, regions, and nations to reduce harm and deaths. IHI collaborates with a growing community to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. IHI generates optimism, harvests fresh ideas, and supports anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better. Learn more at

As an integral IHI team member and organizational leader, the Senior Project Director is responsible for driving successful planning and execution of projects as well as developing and presenting content in a focused area. The Senior Project Director builds and fosters meaningful, effective relationships with customers, funders, partners, teams, and individual staff members to achieve IHI's mission and develop the next generation of leaders.

This role is contracted through April 2022.

Position Responsibilities:

In addition to the Project Director responsibilities (listed below), the Senior Project Director has the following additional responsibilities:

High-Level Project Management and Content Expertise

  • Build and lead effective internal and external teams to achieve high-level results
  • Design and lead high-profile, strategic projects, particularly those involving content development
  • Actively contribute to IHI's content theories and methods
  • Apply deep expertise in at least one content area
  • Navigate and frequently switch gears among content areas
    • Facilitate, synthesize, develop, and teach content areas internally and externally

Organizational Leadership and Relationship Management

  • Share and leverage work with and across other departments, providing insight and building organizational business strategy
  • Use market intelligence to identify and pursue potential partnerships
  • Develop and achieve goals with deep understanding of impact on IHI's results, reputation, revenue, customer satisfaction, and staff satisfaction and engagement
  • Consult with external organizations and senior leaders to cultivate, test, and implement system improvements
  • Communicate clear vision for IHI's work and the work of the team connected to it
  • Clearly communicate complex subjects internally and externally
  • Leverage internal and external customer relationships to achieve IHI's strategy
  • Influence outcomes in difficult/complex conversations internally and externally
  • Deliver compelling presentations to audiences at meetings, external visits, and IHI conferences
  • Represent IHI on external advisory groups and professional committees

Staff Development

  • Funnel decision-making downward, empowering staff and sharing ownership
  • Actively contribute to staff development and long-term succession planning
  • Supervise, mentor, and coach others; serve as a mentor and resource to effectively develop IHI Directors

Standard Project Director Responsibilities (Senior Project Directors should be performing these responsibilities at the highest level with ability to teach others):

Project Leadership and Relationship Management

    • Lead effective project teams to achieve desired results
    • Build and maintain strong relationships with customers, funders, partners, and faculty; negotiate difficult conversations to a desired end while maintaining trust and respect
    • Mentor and develop staff to reach their highest potential
    • Optimize work and projects for overall organizational success
    • Provide thought leadership to one or more of IHI's focus areas or content areas
    • Actively promote the diversity of IHI's faculty and staff by identifying and developing emerging leaders from projects and programs

Project Direction and Design

  • Drive project design, including conversations with customers, developing proposals, etc. (in conjunction with New Business and relevant Portfolios and Regions)
  • Lead the development of the the overall vision and strategy for a project
  • Establish clear project goals that can be tracked and summarized over time
    • Work with the Project Manager to support project timelines, budgets, and deliverables
    • Consult with external organizations and senior leaders to cultivate, test, and implement system improvements
    • Design and improve program activities, including modifying program structures, creating curricula, designing trainings and agendas, and testing new approaches to meet desired goals
    • Lead and facilitate high-level external meetings (virtual and in-person)
    • Along with Improvement Advisors, teach and apply IHI's core methodology of improvement science (e.g., Model for Improvement, reliability, spread) to accelerate partner results; coach individual teams to maintain pace
    • In collaboration with the Improvement Advisor, review and analyze individual and collective team data and reports and make recommendations in project content and coaching to achieve results
  • Lead the timely completion and adaptation of the IHI Five Core Design Components for Results-focused projects
  • Content Development and Dissemination
    • Identify and develop new opportunities for IHI content, programs, or products
    • Develop and execute dissemination plans, including writing blogs, publishing articles with faculty, speaking to reporters, and presenting at conferences
  • Act as a spokesperson and representative for the project; present at meetings, external visits, and IHI conferences

Position Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Must possess all Project Director knowledge, skills, and abilities (listed above) in addition to:

  • Understand long-term trajectory of content area and effectively apply appropriate business components and models
  • Understand market and external landscape
  • Apply equity principles to content and team development
  • Able to build and maintain relationships across and outside the organization
  • Experience developing employees and providing effective feedback
  • Understand and apply nonprofit management principles (communication, ethics, leadership project management, people management, financial management, etc.)
  • Ability to navigate transition and change
  • Awareness of internal and external customer needs and expectations, consistently receiving positive feedback
  • Cultural competence and ability to implement best practices in diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • Demonstrate IHI values at all times

Project Director Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and experience with one or more of IHI's focus areas or portfolios
  • Project management skills, including being detail-focused and managing towards aggressive timelines
  • Able to maneuver through complex political situations to achieve desired outcomes
  • Ability and skill to drive and achieve quality results within complex, time constrained goals
  • Excellent communication skills (both interpersonal and written), including superior presentation skills
  • Able to think about whole systems, rather than optimize for one part
  • Create a compelling vision and build motivation with internal and external teams
  • Negotiation, decision making, and delegation skills
  • Able to effectively coach and motivate customer teams
  • Drive to effectively develop self and others
  • Must be an approachable mentor, employee advocate, and team leader
  • Able to actively support, communicate, and teach the unique culture and values of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Commitment to IHI Values
  • Commitment to equity, anti-racism, and the improvement of societal systems

Position Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree highly preferred
  • At least ten years' experience working in a team within a complex, professional environment preferred
  • Three to five years of experience leading teams of professionals preferred
  • Experience as an IHI Director or equivalent
  • Experience or knowledge of health care, public health, and/or health of communities (as appropriate) required
  • Experience leading staff teams with a high degree of interpersonal and cultural sensitivity and trust
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint is required
  • Training and experience with improvement science required
  • Training in/commitment to equity

At IHI, we are inspired to do our best work and be our best selves by leaning into our values and uniting in our vision to create a future in which everyone has the best care and health possible. We ensure that people feel valued and supported in meaningful ways, as demonstrated in our total rewards package that features competitive compensation, medical, dental and vision coverage, life and disability plans, FSA plans, matching 401k contributions, discounted MBTA passes, tuition reimbursement, a personal development allowance to support what matters to you, a professional development allowance to support continued learning, respect for personal commitments and flexibility to manage them, generous time off including vacation time, Summer Fridays, a paid week off between Christmas and New Year's Day, wellness and wellbeing time, and other special programs to support employee wellbeing.

IHI is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, political beliefs, gender identity or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation to complete our application, please let us know.

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