Vice President, Innovation

Job Type
Programmatic/Project Management
Housing Partnership Network
Contact Name
Gievaughann Brown
Contact Email
Contact Phone

1 Washington Mall, 12th floor
Boston, MA
United States

Job Description


Housing Partnership Network (HPN) is an award-winning membership network of 100 of the nation’s leading affordable housing and community development nonprofits. Together, our mission is to help millions of people gain access to affordable homes and thriving communities that offer economic opportunity and an enhanced quality of life. We firmly believe everyone deserves to live in a vibrant community where housing fosters dignity, opportunity, and well-being.


Since our founding in 1992, HPN has collectively served over 11 million people; developed, rehabilitated, or preserved about 400,000 affordable homes; and launched 14 successful social enterprises. Our work has been recognized with honors including the MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions and Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance. Learn more at



HPN is committed to creating a diverse and equitable environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. HPN recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status and other protected status. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We aspire to build a diverse team, one that better reflects the people and communities we serve. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.



Racial Equity - We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion at HPN, and helping members advance initiatives that dismantle long-standing systemic racial biases and discrimination to achieve economic and social justice.

Collaboration - We are a true network. We believe in the power and benefits of broad engagement, empowerment and collaboration.

Connection - We actively build relationships that connect people, ideas, and organizations to forge new paths for improving communities.

Inclusion - We recognize our power comes from the collective and cooperative nature of our work, based on an environment that is inclusive of diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.

Respect - We are open, honest, and respectful in all of our interactions which strengthens our relationships, our mission, our work with colleagues and members, and ultimately the lives of the people we all serve.

Transformation - We work with our members to transform our industry by creating systemic solutions to help people who live in our communities to thrive.



The VP, Innovation is responsible for leading the work with HPN staff and members to advance new business and program concepts that fulfill a collective HPN member need, strategically address gaps in the affordable housing/community development marketplace, and support HPN and member sustainability. HPN has a long and successful record of creating social enterprises that benefit its members and the affordable housing sector, with fourteen business enterprises launched since 1995. The VP, Innovation will continue this legacy by working closely with HPN members to identify, shape and evolve opportunities for enterprise development  that stem from and add value for members. These innovations will cover a broad range of areas, with many focusing on advancing initiatives that further HPN’s commitment to social justice and racial equity. The VP, Innovation is a member of the Peer Exchange Team and will oversee Associate, Senior Associate and/or Director level staff on the Team who are charged with assisting in this work.


The VP will work with HPN business line and program leads, platform service staff, and member organizations to explore, research, design, pilot, incubate and launch new business ventures. Elements that are critical to success in this role include, among others, strong business development skills; experience with business and program innovation; connecting with HPN members through peer exchange and direct engagement; mining and tracking innovation ideas; facilitating a constructive, collaborative process that addresses and reconciles the wide range of stakeholder needs for a new business to succeed; cultivating social environments across HPN and its membership to ensure that staff and members can easily connect and collaborate around innovative ideas; and collaborating internally with HPN staff to co-create new ventures.


The VP will be a mission-driven leader who seeks to scale the impact of HPN and its members through collective social enterprise. The VP will be nimble, flexible, and adaptable, be a creative non-linear thinker who is comfortable with ambiguity and pursuing multiple paths, and be able to quickly figure out new and complicated business areas. Additional qualities and skills include:

  • Demonstrated ability to create sustainable business solutions for pressing issues and challenges;
  • Aptitude for facilitating and managing groups, and ability and commitment to collaborating with peers and existing business partners;
  • Considerable ingenuity and an ability to understand systems, detect patterns and create effective approaches to new initiatives and businesses;
  • Energized by group problem solving, leveraging expertise in a group rather than being the “expert”;
  • Strong motivational and organizational skills; equally comfortable leading business explorations and coaching other staff to do so;
  • Empathetic leader and change agent, oriented toward a human centered perspective on effective business and program design and development; and
  • Committed to building HPN’s knowledge base, innovation and social enterprise



Building off HPN’s distinguished peer learning and social entrepreneurship models, the VP, Innovation will be responsible for the development of future innovations for the Housing Partnership Network that emerge from member peer exchange and common interests.  Working closely with the Peer Exchange Team, business line and program leads, and other HPN staff the VP will:  


  • Develop and coordinate an efficient and effective process for discovering and evaluating new business and program concepts emerging from members, partners, and existing business lines.
  • Work collaboratively with the VP, Membership and International Exchange to devise and implement forums and opportunities to learn of innovation interests from HPN’s members.
  • Catalogue new ideas and maintain innovation pipeline report; gather materials and data from members to inform new business ideas; evaluate progress on explorations; identify support and resources needed to advance business concepts; and determine midcourse corrections in explorations, including when a business concept should be discontinued.
  • Analyze market needs and opportunities by conducting and/or overseeing qualitative and quantitative market research and data collection from several sources to determine market size, growth potential, financial viability, and competition.
  • Solicit ongoing member input regarding explorations by overseeing the formation and facilitation of member design groups, vetting concepts with members through individual and small group conversations, and meeting with HPN and external content experts. Work continually with member design groups from concept to launch.
  • Produce business plans, with assistance from Peer Exchange staff and HPN business line leads, to develop preliminary budgets, financial statements and business models; conduct stress testing; undertake market, relationship and reputational risk assessment; identify key resources required including internal capacity, HPN investment, other capital/funding needs, and operating/investment partners; define member and HPN roles, responsibilities and retained rights; and complete all other elements of a standard business plan to determine feasibility and contribution to HPN sustainability. 
  • Work with members and partners to identify business opportunities that advance HPN’s commitment to racial and economic equity.
  • Update HPN’s Executive Team to advance and make decisions about business opportunities.
  • Monitor financial expenditures and schedules to ensure that explorations advance in a timely and sustainable manner.
  • Work with HPN’s fundraising team to track and match potential funding opportunities with emerging businesses concepts.
  • Prepare investment proposals for review and decisions by the HPN Board Investment and Asset Management (IAM) Committee. Produce quarterly and other ad-hoc reports as needed for the IAM Committee. Assist with collecting data that help HPN leadership, funders and partners to quickly view progress, challenges, and trends.
  • Develop feedback loops to explore, learn from and integrate current and past HPN business successes and setbacks into HPN’s innovation process.



  • BA with advanced degree/MBA preferred, and minimum of 8-10 years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong analytical skills with an ability to thoroughly assess market opportunities and business viability using both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Business development experience including preparation of business plans, creation of business models, and launching new enterprises.
  • Ability and interest in relating to and empathizing with populations from different cultures, backgrounds, and lived experiences, and to approach the work through a racial equity lens.
  • Interest and experience in cultivating collaborative processes, with emphasis on member engagement to inform and accelerate innovation and positive change.
  • Facilitation and listening skills, and the ability to work with a diverse set of stakeholders to extract, synthesize, and communicate key insights.
  • Superior project management skills and ability to work under multiple competing deadlines.
  • Creativity, intellectual curiosity, and an ability to be flexible/adapt effectively to change.
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills to interact with HPN members, staff, and partners.
  • Comfort with the use of technology tools, and the ability to quickly learn new tools and systems.
  • Knowledge of the housing and community development sector and/or working with low-income populations and understanding common challenges and needs is strongly preferred.



  • This position reports to the Executive Vice President of Peer Exchange, Policy & Innovation.
  • Preference for this position to be based in Boston, Massachusetts, but location may be flexible.
  • A moderate amount of travel is required to attend member and other meetings when they are able to be held in-person.
Application Instruction


Please submit cover letter and resume here