First 5 Orange County is seeking a dynamic, experienced individual with a mission-driven approach to support program development and implementation. Reporting to the Vice President of Programs, the Senior Program Manager will steer initiatives to create meaningful, sustainable outcomes for young children in Orange County.
This is an exciting opportunity to join First 5 Orange County as we grow our team and continue driving toward our long-term goals of resilient families, quality early learning, and comprehensive health and development for children and families during the prenatal-5 years.
A. Program Development and Implementation
- Manages specific portfolio of First 5 OC programs that enable achievement of First 5 OC’s Strategic Plan goals. Manages program budgets; tracks program progress toward identified goals; confirms alignment of grantee activities with program goals; and ensures program funding compliance. Liaises with First 5 OC internal finance and administration staff as needed to troubleshoot contract issues escalated by consultants.
- Acts as primary point of contact for funded programs and consultant program managers. Communicates with these stakeholders on program requirements and changes and actively troubleshoots and resolves issues. Determines appropriate workload assignments and balance between internal staff and consultant resources.
- Regularly provides program updates to VP of Programs, including risk status and planned mitigations. Escalates high-risk items to VP of Programs for resolution support.
- Engages with funded partners to develop relationships, understand challenges, and cull what’s working/best practices. Stays up to date on the capacity, status, and focus of these organizations to facilitate speedy, knowledgeable outreach during program design phases and to identify and mitigate issues that arise in existing programs.
- Participates in the design of new programs, specifically considering how to advance an equity impact framework, encourage the collaborative involvement of a variety of service providers, and yield sustainable impact.
- Identifies the need for subject matter experts to support programs and raises this need to the VP of Programs.
- Supports responses to formal and informal requests for proposals from local, state, and federal agencies; foundations; and other funding entities. Supports also the writing of requests for proposals from First 5 OC to the community as needed.
- Represents First 5 OC in a community context, including at Community Collaboratives, to develop and strengthen community relationships.
- Takes an intentionally bi-directional approach to co-creating solutions and cultivating shared language and desired outcomes with public and nonprofit partners. Collaboratively shares and receives data about the status of young children in Orange County and uses this knowledge to inform program design, development, and adjustments.
- Liaises with staff from County agencies, e.g. Social Services Agency and Health Care Agency; corporations; and other community organizations to understand their perspective as well as to educate them on First 5 OC’s vision for how to achieve population-level impact.
- Actively participates in First 5 Network to collaborate with statewide peers and emphasize collective, statewide impact on early childhood issues.
- Supports First 5 OC Technical Advisory Committee activities as needed.
- Participates in the First 5 OC culture of learning. Compiles program-specific reports with assistance of the Senior Manager, Learning and other evaluation staff/consultants. Synthesizes information in a clear, concise manner for VP of Programs
- Provides input into the presentation and promotion of related findings based on knowledge about key program stakeholders.
- Stays attuned and current on trends in early childhood services and policy. Uses this knowledge to contextualize and inform First 5 OC program administration.
- Educates stakeholders about First 5 OC’s goals for improving early childhood systems of care.
- Shares context and realities around program operations and program inputs with the VP of Programs, VP of Learning and Integration, and Director of Partnerships as appropriate to inform external communication strategy.
- Cultivates and maintains appropriate strategic alliances and professional relationships. Promotes and supports a focus and understanding of First 5 OC’s vision and mission among these groups.
- Understands and articulates First 5 OC’s vision, mission, and values, and aligns activities with First 5 OC Strategic Plan.
- Supports annual consultant RFQ process. Recommends consultants to invite to respond, vets proposals, conducts due diligence, and recommends consultants to be placed on the First 5 OC pre-qualified list.
- Drafts and reviews technical, specific agenda meeting items as needed for six First 5 OC Board meetings per year.
- Actively participates in internal meetings and initiatives designed to streamline work, improve communication, and support the implementation of the First 5 OC strategic plan.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree.
- At least five years of progressively responsible experience, including in a supervisory capacity, in the areas of collaborative program implementation and management, including budget; team management; data analysis and evaluation; and team-based grants writing and management.
- Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team to achieve discrete outcomes.
- Demonstrated ability to learn quickly, navigate ambiguous stakeholder situations, think critically, take initiative to identify and solve problems, adapt and change course in response to changing dynamics, and project manage multiple interrelated workstreams.
- Familiarity with core concepts of evaluation and data analysis, particularly in situations with collective impact goals.
- Knowledge of the policies, systems, and issues relating to the mental and physical health, development, and education of young children.
- Strategic communication skills, including demonstrated proficiency in writing, editing, and group facilitation.
- Advanced Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint skills.
- Demonstrated commitment to mission-driven organizations.
- Ability to be present in First 5 OC offices or other designated work location five days per week. Ability to travel within Orange County and adjacent (Los Angeles or San Diego) as needed for meetings or presentations. Ability to work in the evenings on occasion to attend events or collaborative meetings.
- Master’s degree in Administration, Public Health, Policy, or related field.
- Familiarity with the Orange County landscape of social, educational, and health services for young children and families.
- Content knowledge about one or more of the First 5 OC focus areas: Resilient Families, Quality Early Learning, and Comprehensive Health and Development, in the context of children ages 0-5 and their families.
- Status: Full-time, at-will employment.
Workplace Environment: This position is based in the First 5 OC Santa Ana, California office. First 5 OC maintains an inclusive, supportive environment, and we promote employee development and autonomy.