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Portfolio Specialist, Catalyst Project

Web Publication Date:4/2/2019
Job Location:Washington, DC

Company Information:

Resonance is an award-winning frontier market solutions firm based in Burlington, Vermont, that helps a variety of donor, commercial and investor clients around the world to catalyze lasting impact. We envision a prosperous and just world of thriving markets, healthy ecosystems, and vibrant communities where business, governments and citizens work together creating a better world for all. Resonance seeks to catalyze large-scale social, environmental, and economic change by fostering new and dynamic forms of collaboration. We do this by fostering public-private partnerships, facilitating sustainable investment, and providing deep analytical insights in frontier markets. We strive to merge strategic insight with practical on-the-ground knowledge into an integrated approach that emphasizes results. We seek candidates who are ready to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills to some of our planet’s greatest challenges in an entrepreneurial, fun, and fast-paced environment. We are looking for passionate and committed people who can work in a highly collaborative environment to deliver results for our clients and stakeholders around the world.

Brief Description:

Resonance is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated professional for the role of Portfolio Specialist the DIV program. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. The Portfolio Specialist must be ready to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills to some of our planet’s greatest challenges in an entrepreneurial, fun, and fast-paced environment. This position will provide support to a portfolio of organizations that receive grant awards through an impact investing model operated by USAID DIV. They will liaise with innovators, program managers and technical experts on due diligence of proposals submitted to DIV. The candidate will be passionate and committed to DIV’s mission, enjoy working in a highly collaborative environment, and be able to deliver results for clients and stakeholders around the world.

The Catalyst Project, led by Resonance, supports the Center for Development Innovation (CDI), Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) (www.usaid.gov/div), Grand Challenges and Prizes (www.usaid.gov/grandchallenges) and other Open Innovation initiatives. The Catalyst project is a five-year, $24 million buy-in mechanism that provides institutional support and technical assistance in the design and implementation of innovation and challenge programs.


This position will provide or source ongoing services to grantees, similar to services provided by a Portfolio Manager in a private sector venture capital firm. This could include a wide variety of issues, including financial modeling, effective data collection, impact evaluation, organizational development planning, talent recruitment, and scaling high-impact solutions in complex environments. This position will coordinate closely with Catalyst project leadership and workstream leads, a variety of internal USAID stakeholders including other portfolio specialists, agreement officer’s representatives, and CDI’s Communications Lead. In addition, the incumbent will also coordinate closely with the relevant bureaus and overseas missions in countries where innovations are operating.

Key responsibilities and illustrative activities include:

1. Contribute to strategic campaigns and materials and support development of partnerships for sourcing of innovative solutions.
2. Conduct initial screening of some DIV proposals. Provide technical feedback and guidance to the applicants.
3. Execute rigorous due diligence of proposals; assess the commercial or technical viability of a product or service; review business and scaling plans; assess competitive landscapes, solicit feedback from experts within and external to USAID and from customers; actively engage with applicants to shape high-potential projects; present analysis and funding recommendations to the Investment Committee; and serve on some Investment Committees.
4. Support the collection and review of grantees milestone deliverables and key performance indicators.
5. Support the preparation of award packages in compliance with procurement policies and best practices.
6. Identify and facilitate the provision of technical assistance to DIV grantees to build their capacity to succeed (acceleration services). Communicate regularly with grantees to understand progress/barriers, problem-solve and support grantees in implementing potential solutions.
7. Identify, build and strengthen relationships with private sector investors, foundations, governments, donors and other potential partners in support of DIV’s goals, including partnerships associated with scaling promising projects (and attracting growth capital)
8. Contribute to the development and roll out of tools to support grantees work (e.g. data collection templates, knowledge products, and thought leadership materials (such as articles for publication and blog posts).
9. Work with the Catalyst and DIV teams to identify technical and organizational needs to be sourced and managed through the project.


● Master’s degree in business, economics, public policy or a relevant field.
● At least 5 - 7 years’ professional experience including positions working for or supporting social enterprises and/or businesses, impact investing, venture capital, management consulting, and/or grant-making.
● Experience implementing, supporting or measuring programs in developing country context is preferred
● Familiarity with CRM systems, such as Salesforce, data management and reporting preferred
● Experience working in a complex matrix management context
● Outstanding written and oral communications skills
● Eligibility to work in US
● Ability to travel up to 20% internationally for period of up to three weeks on short notice required.

How to Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references to jobs@resonanceglobal.com. Please include “Portfolio Specialist, Catalyst Project" in the email subject line, and save documents (cover letter, resume, and references) in one PDF as ‘Last Name_First Name.pdf’. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls please. Resonance is an Equal Opportunity Employer.