Director, Program Development - Disability and Employment

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



4301 Connecticut Ave. NW
Suite 100
United States


Do you believe that the next generation of youth will only thrive if they are supported by school systems, communities, family, government, and businesses run by strong leaders? Are you someone with an inclusive and collaborative mindset who can break down barriers? Are you someone who naturally builds relationships, opens doors, and advances equity and inclusion? Do you want to work with a team of dedicated and highly motivated professionals who help to improve outcomes for all young people and their families? Then keep reading – this could be the perfect opportunity for you!


As a valuable member of the team at IEL, you’ll work as an ambassador with youth, community, and policy leaders to help realize the organization’s philanthropic goals, develop relationships, enhance programs, and ensure that policies are viewed from a disability lens. Being the Director, Program Development - Disability & Employment means you infuse innovation into the programmatic arena to ensure that IEL is leading the way for progressive thought and action that helps the organization meet its strategic goals and allows it to continue to provide the level of resources, training and support that our communities across the country need. 


Since 1964, the Institute for Educational Leadership’s core mission has been to equip leaders to work together across boundaries to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship. IEL is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization and has been at the forefront of innovative efforts that bring together leaders across the various sectors of education (P-20), workforce development and child- and youth-serving systems. IEL builds partnerships across institutional boundaries, helping individuals and institutions tackle leadership challenges and leverage the resources of multiple partners to foster reform. For IEL, deep and purposeful collaboration is essential to getting results that will transform learning for the 21st Century. IEL’s work focuses on multiple factors that influence child and youth outcomes. Institutional factors, such as effective organizational stewardship and strong professional development; in-school factors, such as principal leadership, teacher quality and rigorous, engaging curricula; and non-school factors, such as family circumstances and community context all require attention. We believe that our society and our leaders can and must address all dimensions of child and youth development.


As the Director, Program Development - Disability & Employment, you’ll report directly to the President and manage and support a team of 17 people, including three Deputy Directors for the Center for Workforce Development. You will be a member of the Executive Leadership Team and will contribute insights, new ideas, support and progressive thinking alongside a team of highly motivated peers. The primary mission of this role is to increase competitive employment opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities, particularly for the sub-population that is marginalized in an already diminished disability community. 

Primary Responsibilities:

Project & People Management:

  • Responsible for promoting and implementing the organization’s long term strategic plan and ensuring cohesive and collaborative interdepartmental efforts, communication, and initiatives. 
  • Provide visionary and inspirational leadership while overseeing the content and work of 17 staff members.
  • Managing, motivating and developing professional and operational staff members on a day-to-day basis including providing supportive skills and methods that enhance professional growth.
  • Oversee programmatic initiatives and operations to ensure a high level of service and care for the communities that are served.
  • Attend board meetings to help create and define the long-term goals of the organization, including workforce planning, managing capital resources, and balancing stakeholder needs. 

Program Development & Execution

  • Research and develop ways to bring greater visibility to and integration of issues of disability in all of IEL’s work. 
  • Build relationships and partnerships with philanthropy organizations, corporate responsibility leaders, community leaders, family leaders, program officers, universities, contractors and subcontractors who may be involved now or in the future with employment or disability programs.
  • Become familiar with organizational programs, goals and financial needs, identify funding sources, and compile and send grant proposals in an effort to garner new or ongoing support for current or future programs.
  • Utilize independent judgment and provide timely response to private and public grant opportunities
  • Manage and oversee a significant portion of vocational rehab work and programs.
  • Develop new ideas from concept through execution, ensuring impactful and effective follow through. 
  • Passionately drive outbound awareness and expansion of employment and disability programs nationally.
  • Develop and execute metrics-driven strategies to measure program success.
  • Research, monitor, and identify areas of greatest need for disability policy rehabilitation and collaborate with policymakers, school districts, community organizations, and employers among others, to develop strategies for inclusivity.

Administrative Management

  • Oversee and provide timely annual performance reviews for the team. 
  • Oversee financial plans and manage budgets in accordance with guidelines and initiatives.
  • Support staff with the tools they need to be the most effective in accomplishing team, departmental, and organizational goals. 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • 10 years experience with deep disability and employment policy and practice expertise; lived experience preferred.
  • Track record of success stepping into increasingly more significant roles and demonstrated ability to manage multiple staff and initiatives.
  • Highly networked individual with a strong strategic disability network.
  • Ability to conceptualize breakthrough policy and practice innovations. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Previous grant writing experience will be a plus.


Collaboration: Brings people together, builds cohesive teams, strives to achieve shared goals, works inclusively across the organization by providing open communication, cooperation and management. Remains open to learning from situations, peers, and leadership. 

Influence: The ability to accomplish results with and through people by interacting with or influencing them individually or in groups. The ability to acknowledge other people’s circumstances, stoke ambition for a better future, communicate with passion to enlist participation in a shared goal. 

Inclusivity: Remains open-minded, accepts alternate opinions, facilitates supportive and respectful cultures and environments. Contributes to the goal of organizational diversification and supports the growth of a diverse workforce into influential and executive positions. Deep commitment to equity.

Change Agent: Paints a picture of a better future and communicates a clear vision of how to achieve it. Embraces change and demonstrates how to move through the stages of change for internal teams, as well as external communities and leaders.

Open Leadership: Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires others to perform well. Provides open communication; accepts feedback from others and gives appropriate recognition to others. Instills trust and encourages initiative, engagement and independent thought. Creates a sense of community and manages in alignment with the company’s mission and vision.

We look for passion, an ownership mentality, and out-of-the box thinking. If this is you and IEL sounds like home, please apply. IEL is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran's status or disabled veterans' status. IEL is implementing a diversity and supported inclusion strategy and is actively and intentionally encouraging applicants of color and of diverse backgrounds to apply.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To Apply: Please email before 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 2, 2018 with "Director Disability" as the subject line to Include a cover letter, resume, and a work sample.