Director of Programs

Race Forward
New York City
Mission Statement: 

Race Forward is a national non profit with the mission of generating the awareness, solutions and leadership required to achieve racial justice. We are a dynamic national organization with offices in Oakland, CA and New York City, and with staff in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans and Portland, OR. Our departments work collaboratively to produce and distribute all of our offerings, including, the Facing Race national conference, various issue investigations, and training tools. For the next several years, Race Forward will focus on leading the nation toward systemic, multiracial solutions to racial bias. 

Position Description: 

The Director of Programs (DP) works closely with the Executive Director and the Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) on all aspects of organizational strategy, planning and management, and will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of high quality, impactful programs.  An ideal candidate will have proven success in program & project management, building the capacity of teams, and overseeing efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of programs.  A successful candidate should be an open-minded, proactive, and solutions-oriented individual who is comfortable working within a fast paced national organization.Leadership

  • Work closely with the Executive Director, Board and all staff to develop, articulate and implement overall organizational strategy.
  • Lead short and long term planning processes; ensure organizational progress toward goals and chair the Management Team.
  • Develop and sponsor strategies that will maximize smooth collaboration among program areas.
  • Manage a mutually agreed upon portfolio of allies and donor relationships.
  • Serve as a bridge between the Executive Director and the program staff to ensure strategic alignment throughout the organization.
  • Work jointly with the Executive Director and Board to develop programmatic and organizational strategy; manage implementation of Board-identified deliverables; staff and serve on critical Board committees; and organize program presentations at Board meetings.

Team Management

  • Working with the Executive Director and DFA and in coordination with relevant supervisors, make decisions for all staffing positions, including recruiting, hiring, and overseeing training, orientation and development of all staff members.
  • Work with staff to develop objective performance measurements across all programs ensuring consistent, high-quality evaluation and goal setting for all employees.
  • Instill a sense of accountability among team members by modeling tight oversight of individual and organizational performance standards.
  • Develop and implement a system to evaluate the skill, experience, and professional development needs of all staff.
  • Collaboratively implement professional development activities to address program employee experience and skill gaps.
  • Supervise and support program directors in five program departments.
  • Provide a strong day-to-day leadership presence & coaching. 
  • Help to build a relational, transparent culture of excellence, including creating learning opportunities for all staff, and timely, regular internal communications.

Program Operational Management:

  • Conduct key consultations and make decisions necessary to achieve established organizational goals, including solving problems that arise in the course of program implementation.
  • Establish consistent, objective program performance standards of accountability, using dashboard or scorecards.
  • Work with the program and development staff to design program proposals for the Development team to advance, and ensure that funding deliverables are met.
  • In programmatic matters, coordinate with Race Forward’s external counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Support the budgeting and budget tracking process. 

For this pivotal role, we seek an experienced, creative, systematic, detail-oriented leader who is deeply committed to Race Forward’s mission and values.  While no one candidate will possess every quality, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Passion for Race Forward’s mission and legacy, and deep knowledge of the racial justice field.
  • At least ten years experience providing strategic leadership and effective management of a sizable, complex public purpose program or organization.
  • A pragmatic approach to visionary racial justice work, and an ability to unleash a team’s creativity.
  • Experience and competence in managing a uniquely diverse staff by race, class, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, age and work experience.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives.
  • An inclusive management style which respects the capabilities, experience, and professionalism of staff while providing them with clear direction.
  • Proven ability to track and act on the program execution details of a complex organization.
  • Proven skills in conflict resolution and negotiation and sound judgment in times of conflict.
  • An ability to creatively lead organizational transformation projects & change management programs.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit along with record of working in successful partnerships.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • A thoughtful, organized and transparent approach to decision-making.
  • Experience working with remote staff.
  • Experience, though it not need be in equal measures, in organizing, media and research. 
Application Deadline: 
Friday, August 14, 2015
Application Instructions: 

Submit cover letter and resume to DOP [at]; application process may require additional materials

Position Level: 
Country/US Territory: 
United States