Director of Programs

Job Type

Full Time




304 Hudson Street
Suite 201
New York
New York
United States


The Sylvia Center is a nutrition education and youth development organization that works in high-need, high-potential communities to show young people how to establish healthy habits that lead to happier and more productive lives. In community kitchens, students learn what fresh food is, how delicious it tastes, and what it takes to prepare nutritious meals on a daily basis. By learning practical skills and working together as a team, our students gain confidence knowing they can do something that’s healthy for themselves and their own families.

For our older students, we connect this work to real opportunities in the local food system - building connections to potential careers in restaurants, entrepreneurship and food justice. We believe that we can grow a more equitable food system by engaging youth as advocates for nutritious food in their own communities, and by providing real opportunities for their future.

The program operates in New York City and in Columbia County. The role would oversee both locations.

Job Summary:

The Sylvia Center seeks a dynamic and experienced Director of Programs to oversee program strategy and implementation in New York City and Columbia County. The Director of Programs works directly with Executive Director and program staff to improve, manage and deliver consistent outcomes through our multifaceted, community-based program. The Director of Programs is the face of The Sylvia Center in the field and will develop partnerships that accomplish programmatic and organizational goals.

Programs (70%)

  • Program Strategy. With the Executive Director, lead, develop, and build a strong program strategy that serves our students and achieves program outcomes in line with our mission.
  • Staff Management & Recruitment. Recruit, hire, train, and manage the schedules of full-time, part-time, and seasonal program staff and interns. Conduct regular program quality checks and staff performance reviews.
  • Program Implementation. Ensure high-quality delivery of a diverse suite of programs. Be able to lead programs, if necessary, and coach others in their teaching for community-based, in-school, and farm-based programs with 5-45 student participants. Work with Program Managers to manage program year calendar towards achievement of participation goals.
  • Curriculum Development. Lead the design and development of curriculum for all programs, including: recipe development, lesson plans, and training materials.
  • Program Evaluation. Track and maintain program output and outcomes data. Analyze data and create corresponding reports for program improvement, fundraising and board communications. Design and ensure implementation of evaluation plan for all programs. Oversees administrative support entering survey data and produce reports on results as needed.
  • Program Relationship Management and Outreach. Design strategies for engaging our students and the communities we serve. Build and maintain excellent relationships with key stakeholders, including: program partners, participants, and community leaders. Develop program relationships with like-minded organizations, and culinary and food industry collaborators.

Development (15%)

  • Grant Support. Collaborate with Director of Development to develop program grant proposals and reports.
  • Donor Relationship Management. Represents The Sylvia Center at community events and fundraising events.
  • Event Support. Collaborate with Director of Development and Executive Director to create impactful programmatic content for cultivation and fundraising events.

Operations (10%)

  • Finances. Manage program budgets and facilitate program receivables with finance department.
  • Site Management. Provide general site management of program site contracts, and Columbia County office and Learning Garden.

Communications (5%)

  • Board Communications. Effectively communicate program outcomes and provide content for written updates, and annual board reports and presentations.
  • Public Communications. Contribute to the production of program collateral, such as photos, recipes, and stories.

Required Qualifications:

  • Culinary Degree or equivalent professional experience, and direct youth teaching experience
  • Minimum of four years of program management experience
  • Strong ability to recruit, train and retain high-functioning staff members and work team
  • Experience working with remote teams
  • Experience understanding and meeting the needs of diverse communities
  • Enthusiastic, energetic, and able to work quickly and efficiently in a fast-paced environment
  • High level of social and emotional intelligence
  • Ability to effectively improvise and adapt
  • Detail-oriented and great multi-tasker, who is responsible and focused

The position will be based in the New York City office with requirements to travel to Columbia County a minimum of twice a month. Ability to travel between program sites within all five boroughs of New York City required.


Salaried position with benefits, commensurate with experience.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

2-year degree

How To Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter, detailing your unique and specific qualifications for this position to Jennifer John, Executive Director of The Sylvia Center, at