Master Black Belt

Vanguard, one of the world's largest investment management companies and a recognized employer of choice, seeks a Master Black Belt for its Center for Excellence department in the Strategy Division. Vanguard is based on a simple but revolutionary idea-that a mutual fund company should be managed in the sole interest of its investors. To ensure that the interests of investors always come first, Vanguard is owned by the Vanguard funds, which in turn are owned by the investors. We're still the only company structured this way. Today, we state our mission broadly: To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success.

The Center for Excellence (CfE) serves as a hub for helping internal Vanguard departments address complex challenges using internationally recognized process improvement and excellence practices.

The teams within the CfE are in-house subject matter experts on Lean Six Sigma, DMAIC process improvement, and Vanguard Unmatchable Excellence (VUE), and these disciplines are leveraged to help business units frame and manage problems, as well as design and optimize processes. Positioned within Vanguard's Strategy Division, this group functions as internal consultants that assess opportunities that exist within Vanguard's complex, global environment - improving the operating efficiency of the firm and remaining a catalyst for its mission.

The Master Black Belt will be responsible for acting as an internal consultant in shaping the VUE strategy while also helping senior leadership at Vanguard solve complex business problems. The Master Black Belt will own and utilize Lean Six Sigma and continuous improvement methodologies, tools, techniques, and principles -- assuring their freshness, applicability, and consistency with industry standards.

Primary duties and responsibilities:

  • Manages and executes a portfolio of projects, demonstrating advanced expertise of Lean Six Sigma and continuous improvement methodologies and delivers measurable and sustainable business results. Assists in project qualification, selection and building of the project pipeline in coordination with shaping the VUE strategy.
  • Owns individual project engagements from problem identification to project execution (or as determined in scoping discussions). Drives progress, identifies obstacles and provides solutions, while maintaining appropriate levels of communication with internal business partners and stakeholders. Analyzes the most complex opportunities and problems from a broad divisional and cross-divisional perspective.
  • Builds strong strategic business relationships and serves as an impartial consultant to internal business partners, understanding their needs and the broader business landscape.
  • Leverages technical expertise and knowledge of the business to influence leadership. Seen as a seasoned Lean Six Sigma professional and trusted advisor to all business partners.
  • Stays abreast of industry best practices and methodologies that could be deployed at Vanguard. Brings new ideas to the table that will contribute to the success of our business partners. Attends, and presents at, professional industry conferences.
  • Proactively pursues growth opportunities as it relates to maintaining technical expertise, business acumen and competency development.
  • Supports the DMAIC training program for candidates within the enterprise (including the project qualification process, facilitating training, and coaching assignees).
  • Participates in special projects and performs other duties as assigned.


  • Undergraduate degree preferably with a concentration in mathematics, statistics, qualitative and quantitative measurement, or quality assurance; graduate degree also preferred.
  • Minimum of eight years of progressive work experience with at least five years of working with Lean Six Sigma programs from either a corporate or professional services environment.
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt as certified by an industry recognized organization.
  • Ability to apply strong consultative, relationship management and influencing skills at all levels of an organization.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft applications, particularly Excel, MS Project and PowerPoint. Minitab, Crystal Ball, and iGrafx preferred.
  • Ability to work independently at a high level of performance.
  • Demonstrated presentation and training delivery skills.
  • Excellent verbal and communication skills.

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