The pioneering social enterprise, VisionSpring, seeks an entrepreneurial global vice president to lead the expansion of VisionSpring’s programs that accelerate the uptake of eyeglasses as a powerful tool for social and economic development. Why eyeglasses? Eyeglasses are a low-cost, high-impact, scalable product that enable people to maintain their livelihoods, achieve in school, stay safe on the roads, and participate fully in society, yet 1.1 billion mostly low-income people do not have the eyeglasses they need to see well and do well.
In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the ‘Vision for Everyone’ resolution recognizing eye health and vision correction as a driver of multiple sustainable development goals. Member states at the 74th World Health Assembly agreed to increase the effective coverage of refractive errors with eyeglasses (or contact lenses) by 40% by the year 2030. With this new global consensus and VisionSpring’s 20-year track record of delivering vision access solutions, we are poised to scale-up our most promising service delivery models, working together with government, private sector, and NGO partners. The first-ever global vice president of programs leads this effort with team members and partners in eight countries.
The global VP strengthens and expands VisionSpring’s See to Earn, See to Learn, and See to Be Safe programs focused on working adults, school-aged children, and drivers, respectively. The person in this role builds out the programs department with responsibility for program strategy and design; service quality and customer experience; monitoring, evaluation, and learning; knowledge management; strategic partnerships; innovation management; and ensuring that funding proposals are technically sound. The global VP directly manages an initial team of eight people and, working with country and regional directors, fosters the success of a 175-person team delivering $4.5 million in program services that screen the vision of more than 3.5 million people annually.
The person in this role may be based in, or relocate to, any one of VisionSpring’s eight key markets—Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, or Zambia—and should expect a heavy travel schedule. The global VP reports to the CEO who is located in VisionSpring’s New York support office.
- Mission-driven, entrepreneurial leader. You build an organization to deliver on its long-term outcomes. You foster ideation, iteration, and learning, and take calculated risks.
- Customer centric. Beneficiary is a bad word in your book. You center program and process design around defined value propositions, customer experience, and feedback.
- Scalable is necessary. You are motivated to build services that reach millions of people based on their unit economics, repeatability, customer demand, and market opportunity.
- Inclusive player-coach. You mentor and develop people. In a diverse, growth-stage organization, you create opportunities for participation and increased responsibility. You model vulnerability, accountability, and roll-up your sleeves to deliver when needed.
- Resource mobilizer. You build cases for support rooted in rigorous program design, evidence of impact, a track record of delivery, and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
- VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
- As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses. Every $1 of philanthropy invested in VisionSpring yields an unprecedented $43 in increased earning potential at the household level.
- We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 1.1 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
- We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
- We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We use a range of nonprofit and business practices to get the job done.
- We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
Program Strategy and Design
- Through an inclusive process, develop a five-year strategy for scaling-up programs to serve more customers in VisionSpring’s priority segments and maintain newly achieved eyeglasses coverage rates. Ensure customer centricity through articulated value propositions, program quality and efficacy, and evidence of impact.
- Identify and harness opportunities for innovation to accelerate customer acquisition, create efficiencies in service delivery, and expand program financing.
- Maintain program design fidelity and efficiency as initiatives progress through pilot, replication, and scaling stages. Coordinate continual improvement across markets and adaptations to local contexts.
- Collaborate with the COO and team leaders to develop country-specific implementation plans to achieve enterprise-wide annual program goals.
Resource Mobilization and Strategic Partnerships
- Partner with fundraising and business development teams to secure and effectively utilize philanthropic funds, terms of service contracts, and other revenue. Ensure proposals and reports are technically sound, contributing content related to program design, performance frameworks, work plans, and budgets.
- Organize VisionSpring’s ability to deliver on performance-based funding for program services, including strengthening our approach to project cycle management.
- Lead the coordination of multi-stakeholder partnerships that draw private sector, government, industry associations, and NGO actors into collective action to accelerate the uptake of eyeglasses, including the Clear Vision Workplace Alliance (India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh), the Clear Vision Collective (Bangladesh), and Clear Vision Assam (India).
- Develop a synchronized approach across markets to support governments in incorporating refractive error services into universal health coverage and primary care services through direct collaboration and policy development.
- Represent VisionSpring in external forums to share what we are learning, garner additional support, and launch new partnerships.
Program Quality and Customer Experience
- Establish an enterprise-wide practice for gathering customer feedback and the perspectives of customer-facing team members to continually inform service value and performance improvements.
- Guide and strengthen the supportive supervision system to maintain service quality and enhance the skills of team members and partners, for example, pertaining to vision camp set-up, product selection, accurate diagnosis, effective counseling, referral pathways, data collection, etc.
- Strengthen our evidence-based approach to overcoming barriers to glasses acquisition and wearing among adults and children, for example, pertaining to awareness raising, demand generation, behavior change, and addressing myths and social stigma.
- Collaborate with marketing and communications team to enhance the customer-facing brand and experience.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Maintain systems and team capacity for monitoring program and project performance, including through standardized logic models, results frameworks, data collection tools, and dashboards.
- Guide the design and execution of program evaluations, operational research, and A/B testing. Oversee collaboration with external researchers, including to conduct randomized controlled trials.
- Build-out a long-term research and evaluation strategy that underpins VisionSpring’s business objectives and informs the systems change goals of the eye care sector.
- Maintain data systems ensuring they contain timely and accurate program and customer information, and have a clear governance approach.
- Cultivate VisionSpring’s culture and practice of using data to drive decision making, adaptation, transparency, and risk-taking.
- Facilitate the public sharing of findings and results including through peer-reviewed publications.
- Guide the documentation of VisionSpring’s unique service delivery models and know-how, including through program guidelines, tool kits, and budget and financial models, to be shared across teams and with implementing partners and the larger sector.
- Oversee the development and delivery of training, rooted in competency-based learning for adults and intended for use among VisionSpring teams and by our partners.
- Establish an enterprise-wide system for teams to access and disseminate information about our practices and knowledge pertaining to markets, customers, and program services.
- Oversee the development of and adherence to program service SOPs.
- Partner with the COO to formalize the systems and practices to generate, test, evaluate, and prioritize new products, services, business models, financing, and customer-facing technology.
- Facilitate and track the incubation of concepts such that anyone can move the organization forward if proposals align with our mission, organizational goals, and time horizons.
- Partner with the COO to integrate the most impactful, cost-effective concepts into the core business for mainstreaming or scale-up.
- Nurture a culture and processes that combine creativity and rigorous iteration, expertise and a beginner’s mindset, and openness to ideas from everywhere within the enterprise, our ecosystem, and beyond.
- VisionSpring offers competitive benefits, including a performance-based bonus, health insurance, and five weeks of paid time off.
- Salary range will be disclosed to candidates invited for a preliminary interview.
- We wish to know more than just what you have done. We want to know who you are. What are the passions and talents that draw you to this role?
- Please update your CV/résumé to include a phrase or sentence describing the business of each organization where you have worked. Applications without this information are disadvantaged in the process.
- Your complete application includes a thoughtful cover letter and CV/résumé.
- Please note, only candidates invited to interview will be contacted.
At VisionSpring, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our core value to advance equity. Our mission is predicated on removing a fundamental barrier to full economic and social participation—uncorrected blurry vision. The values that underpin our mission energize our commitment to a diverse and inclusive team. A diverse team also allows VisionSpring to approach problems with nuance and develop unique insights that drive an outsized positive impact in the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds and support everyone in being exactly who they are. VisionSpring is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.