Program Director

New York, NY

The Program Director must exhibit perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit in their pursuit of establishing and growing the Friends of the Children Program in New York. The Program Director is responsible for the management of programming for Friends of the Children (Friends), including designing, coordinating, implementing, and sustaining programming and program research, proposal generation, and presentation as required. The Program Director is also responsible for: supervising, guiding, developing, and evaluating the efforts of all program staff ("Friends"), and for the overall integrity of the Program. The Program Director is responsible for coordinating, implementing, and sustaining the child identification and selection process and for the overall cultivation and maintenance of relationships with schools, government agencies, nonprofits, families, and key community members.

 The Program Director is a member of the senior management team and is expected to keep other senior management members informed about the Program's status. The Program Director is expected to interact constructively and proactively with community members, partner schools, and when asked by the Executive Director, potential donors, and other third parties. 


Essential Functions/Core Job Accountabilities:

  • In coordination with the Executive Director and executive team, play a key role in the overall development, strategic planning, service delivery, and organization management across multiple sites and departments.
  • Directly supervise program managers and coordinators, working closely with senior program staff to build their skills and confidence to mentor, encourage, and motivate all staff. Provide assistance and guidance on how to troubleshoot Program and staff performance challenges. Mentor managers and coordinators on proactively engaging in planning to improve program management.
  • Deploy resources efficiently and effectively toward organizational goals, work with staff to balance workload and effort, and provide regular feedback so that key staff can continuously improve their supervision and mentoring skills.
  • Create and support a high-performing culture in the program department aligned with Friends' core values: Put Children First, Build Relationships on Love, Commit to Empowerment, Pursue Goals Relentlessly, Demand Equity. Develop a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goal by clearly communicating agency vision, implementing yearly staff development plans, and mentoring. Coordinate with Human Resources to identify and create leadership and professional development opportunities for Program staff.
  • Establish annual Program, departmental, and staff goals and objectives and track results against these goals and accountability protocols.
  • Participate in the budget development process and maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility.
  • Support fund development efforts by promoting and executing annual fundraising events, writing proposals, and partnering with the Executive Director to steward funding relationships.
  • Coordinate with the Executive Director and Program Staff on developing new program ideas and pilot projects, including integrating successful pilots into the program department.
  • Serve as liaison to key government agencies and strategic partnerships
  • Monitor emerging needs among key stakeholders such as clients, government, philanthropy, and employers.
  • Oversee the coordination, integration, and delivery of all programs, and related services, promoting collaborative relationships between program areas and ensuring that the expectations of funders, partners, constituents, clients, and other stakeholders are consistently met.
  • Work closely with the finance department to budget and monitor programmatic operations to ensure sound fiscal and system management.
  • Ensure the delivery of qualitative and quantitative goals and outcomes of programs and services.
  • Coordinate and analyze the appropriate data to inform the programmatic and operational decision-making process. Use the existing Effort to Outcome platform to increase Friends efficiency, transparency and collaborative efforts among teams.
  • Determine staffing plans to achieve program goals and objectives and participate in hiring decisions for new program staff.
  • Deepen existing and create new performance and outcome measures for outreach and recruitment, completion rates, employment, retention, college, training, enrollment, completion, and other measures that are core to Friend's mission.
  • Develop an assessment protocol to determine the feasibility and sustainability of programs as well as lead to more effective and efficient service delivery.
  • Work with National program staff to design and implement initial Friends training, as well as ongoing training and other required performance improvement activities. 
  • Lead and facilitate effective, weekly program leadership staff meetings ensuring focus on child and Friend successes, setbacks, issues, concerns, and ideas. Ensure focus on communicating organizational information or issues to the team, and solicit feedback from the team.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in all directions regarding organizational issues, concerns, policies, and procedures. Raise and resolve issues appropriately.  
  • Solicit and obtain feedback from a minimum of two parents of children per month. Document and maintain all feedback, and include it in the Quarterly report.
  • Participate in regular conference calls with Program Directors of other chapters, and otherwise communicate with personnel at National Office and other chapters about the Program. Research, develop, implement and sustain best practice programming to serve current and future needs of the organization as required.
  • Manage the child identification and selection process; including developing and sustaining a robust, formalized process, and training and supervising process participants.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with our partner schools to allow for effective program implementation and sustainability. Design and implement a process to ensure others are trained/developed to work in this capacity as well, to further strengthen our efforts to cultivate and
  • Develop, implement and oversee other projects as required.

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management, delegation, and follow-up skills.
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to cultivate and sustain relationships and work effectively with a wide variety of constituencies, including staff, program children, parents, schools, organizational supporters, Board members, and community partners.
  • Ability to represent, effectively and professionally, the organization to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Ability to research, analyze data, design/develop, propose, implement and sustain programming
  • Ability to solve problems, work in a team environment, manage several issues concurrently, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced constantly changing work environment.
  • Strong project management skills. Proven ability to manage multiple deadlines, responsibilities and competing priorities.
  • Ability to influence the behavior of others to achieve necessary results
  • Strategic planning and budgeting skills.
  • Ability to work in diverse work environments.
  • Knowledge of child development and child issues, particularly those most relevant to our program youth.
  • Awareness of community resources, and the ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with these resources.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with children, families, school personnel, organizational supporters, and community partners.
  • Enthusiasm for helping to plan and manage the anticipated growth of Friends and commitment to developing personal skills and knowledge as appropriate to that growth.


Education and Experience Required:

Bachelor's degree in social work or related field

 Master's degree preferred or a minimum of eight years of leadership experience in a nonprofit, government, or philanthropy, overseeing multiple programs or contracts ideally at an organization serving low-income youth or communities.