Chief Program Officer

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Competitive salary based on experience.




London (vicinity) open to New York City & Washington D.C.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom


Whole Child International seeks

Chief Program Officer

Whole Child International’s (WCI) mission is to improve the quality of care for vulnerable children. Our systems-based, comprehensive program prioritizes the social-emotional well-being of children in orphanages, limited-resource childcare centers, foster care, and kinship care. Working in partnership with Duke’s Global Health Institute and the University of Southern California School of Social Work, we provide knowledge, skills, and tools to local universities, social workers, center directors, government ministry employees, and other stakeholders to make sustainable change across the system of care.

In 2017, after 13 years of program development and rigorous evaluation in a highly underserved area of global development, Whole Child secured a $3 million unrestricted gift to fund our next phase of growth. We are beginning a five-year phase of careful programmatic and geographic expansion.

Led by Ashoka Fellow Karen Spencer, globally recognized for filling a gap in solutions for care for vulnerable children, Whole Child International is an entrepreneurial and innovative NGO that is providing much-needed tools, data, and insights to the world community in an important and emerging growth field in international development. Consider joining our diverse team committed to impacting the lives of many. 


The chief program officer (CPO) is WCI’s technical leader. The CPO ensures the technical integrity of WCI’s programs. WCI is beginning a growth phase. The CPO directs the programmatic and geographic expansion at the heart of this growth. The position presents a committed professional with an opportunity to work on key challenges to care reform in low resource settings. The CPO will develop programing and conducting relevant research to determine:

  • The support needed to safely and permanently embed children outside family and within the family
  • How to transition from overuse of residential care to primary use of family care
  • The requirements/costs of systems to monitor and respond to child neglect and abuse
  • The workforce needed to scale-up interventions that improve the quality of caregiving
  • How to expand access to public sector day care that improves children’s developmental outcomes
  • How to meet children’s basic needs – both emotional and material – in their home, residential center, and community
  • How to elevate the political priority of poor children and families and increase opportunity for them

By bringing technical leadership and expertise to these challenges, the CPO will contribute to the achievement of the core aspiration of the global child protection and development community – enabling our most vulnerable children to grow up in safe, stable, nurturing families.


  • Finalize a five-year plan for programmatic and geographic expansion that is in line with WCI’s technical strengths, comparative advantages, and evolving organizational capabilities
  • Guided by the expansion plan, lead the design, implementation, and monitoring of a global portfolio of research, training, and technical assistance activities that respond to host country care reform priorities
  • Lead ongoing work in El Salvador to improve developmental outcomes among vulerable children in residential care and prepare them for reintegration with families
  • Lead development and implementation of a research and evaluation agenda to address policy and practice questions relevant to local care reform in collaboration with WCI’s main research partners – Duke University and the University of Southern California School of Social Work
  • Ensure capacity development and system strengthening interventions piloted at the request of host country governments are scalable and sustainable with local human and financial resources
  • Develop and implement a system for cross-border collaboration and learning among WCI technical and program staff and their counterparts
  • Coordinate with colleagues in the sector to ensure complementarity of policies and programs, promote efficiency in learning, and apply collective influence


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating international development programs with a focus on programs that assist vulnerable children and families a plus
  • Master's degree in a discipline relevant to the challenge of improving the welfare, well-being and prospects of highly vulnerable children and families
  • Demonstrated ability to:
  • Manage assistance programs comprised of staff and activities in multiple locations
  • Communicate effectively and credibly in professional technical fora.
  • Write and/or oversee writing of proposals, annual reports, publications, white papers, etc.
  • Required skills and attributes:
  • Familiarity with the technical literature on alternative care with publications in the field a plus
  • Program budgeting and finance
  • Helpful skills and attributes:
  • The procurement process and regulations of current and potential WCI donors notably the U.S government
  • Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, statistics software
  • Enthusiasm and comfort working for a small, nimble NGO led by its founder

Competitive salary based on experience.

Level of Language Proficiency


Spanish a plus

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Application Instructions

Applicants should email a cover letter and resume, together in one document file to: Please include: Your Name and Whole Child CPO in the subject line of the email. Emails only please. 

Ideal Location: London & vicinity; open to New York City & Washington D.C.