Program Manager 1- Community and School Nutrition

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $50,000
Maximum: $60,000
Details: Depending on experience and qualifications



Application Deadline



310 South Peoria Street
Suite 404
United States


The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) is seeking an energetic and well-organized team member to support program operations, coordinate with partners, and implement strategies related to the Illinois State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (ISPAN) and Healthy Schools initiatives in IPHI’s Center for Policy & Partnership Initiatives. The program manager will work with the program director, ISPAN and Healthy Schools partners to implement the programs’ nutrition strategies. The position is full-time exempt and reports to the program director. IPHI’s standard work week is 37.5 hours.

About IPHI, SPAN and Healthy Schools Initiatives

The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) mobilizes stakeholders, catalyzes partnerships, and leads action to promote prevention and improve public health systems to maximize health, health equity and quality of life for the people of Illinois. IPHI leads initiatives through the Center for Community Capacity Development, the Center for Health Information Technology, and the Center for Policy and Partnership Initiatives. More information is available on IPHI’s website at

The purpose of the ISPAN program is to reduce disparities in physical activity and nutrition to reduce chronic disease and increase health and well-being in Illinois. The program employs evidence-based environmental and systems change strategies at the state level and in three Illinois regions representing urban, suburban, and rural communities.

IPHI is also partner on a state Healthy Schools initiative to improve nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease management in Illinois schools, and will be leading aspects of the initiative’s professional development and technical assistance on physical activity/physical education, school nutrition, health education, and improved wellness policies.

The ISPAN and Healthy Schools programs build on and leverage the work of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). IAPO is a multi-sector coalition that works for equitable and just opportunities for Illinoisans to eat healthy and be physically active to optimize their health and well-being and is convened by the IPHI. More information is available on the IAPO website at

Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management

• Create and manage work plans and provide leadership and oversight to day-to-day program execution of the ISPAN and school health nutrition strategies

• Coordinate and foster collaboration among staff, partners, consultants and task forces to achieve program goals, including:

  • Developing and promoting a program of technical assistance to implement food service guidelines in worksites and community settings.
  • Implementing interventions that support continuity of care and community support for breastfeeding, especially in low-income, rural, or predominantly African-American communities with low rates of breastfeeding.
  • Collaborating with the IPHI’s physical activity program manager and external partners to implement and integrate nutrition and physical activity standards into statewide early care and education systems.
  • Identifying and developing opportunities for professional development and technical assistance to support healthy eating and nutrition in schools, focusing on school food environments, wellness policies, and health/nutrition education.

• Manage and report on budgets, as appropriate

Relationship Management and Communication

• Create and manage communications to further program work, such as case studies, success stories, lessons learned, as well as promoting and marketing program events and activities. Collaborate with physical activity program manager to develop and disseminate program newsletters and web page content

• Participate in and support collaborative reporting and program development activities with program officers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and partners at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

• Initiate, manage and deepen relationships with funded program partners and other key stakeholders and collaborators to leverage expertise and advance program goals and negotiate solutions to identified problems

• Convene and facilitate program committees and cohort groups on food service guidelines, school nutrition, and breastfeeding

• Represent IPHI at external venues to support cross-sharing of information among organizations

Strategy, Planning and Program Development

• Identify, research and report on relevant evidence-based state, local and national public policies, systems, interventions and environmental changes related to nutrition in workplaces, community settings and schools.

• Identify opportunities for program development and recommend program goals, including working across partners and stakeholders to identify and implement cross-cutting strategies and activities. Identify policies, budget and funding modifications that could further develop the program

• Set priorities for program operations and contribute to the development, design and execution of program deliverables

• Promote and support capacity development among partners by providing insights, information and solutions

• Support and nurture relationships with potential funders and clients, recommend funding opportunities, and lead proposal development for revenue and resource development initiatives.

Continuous Improvement

• Identify and recommend program improvement opportunities to deepen program impact, create program capacity, promote operational efficiencies and/or improve budget management

• Work with program evaluators to develop evaluation reporting templates, timelines, and guidelines for SPAN nutrition partners; monitor partner activity and achievement of milestones and outcomes

• Monitor and report on IPHI and partner activities and achievements to evaluators, and participate in program reporting to the CDC and IDPH

• Work with the program director, PI and Co-PI on identifying and solving problems, addressing barriers, ensuring health equity, making connections between programs and conducting quality assurance and quality improvement activities

Other duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have:

• Master’s degree or equivalent experience in a field related to public health, nutrition, public administration, policy, or education, with a minimum of three years of work experience in project management. IPHI values multiple pathways towards attaining professional experience and education.

• Knowledge of and experience in promoting nutrition through policy, systems and environmental changes. Experience working to improve food systems, worksite or school nutrition environments, institutional procurement, and/or breastfeeding community supports, especially in low-income or predominantly African-American or Latinx communities, preferred.

• Knowledge of and experience working with low-income populations and/or populations disproportionately impacted by chronic disease and community environments that do not support healthy nutrition.

• Ability to understand and apply nutrition standards and food service guidelines.

• Strong commitment to health equity, diversity, inclusion, and addressing the systemic factors that produce health inequities and health disparities.

• Strong professional/technical writing skills.

• Proficiency in Microsoft Office, electronic mail, web page and social media management, and the ability to use CRM software.

• Ability to anticipate and solve problems in a timely and professional manner and have strong critical thinking skills.

• Ability to assess and incorporate feedback.

IPHI is a collegial workplace whose mission is to partner to more effectively improve health. Staff must be able to work well in a team and collaboratively with external partners.

Job Requirements

• Must have a driver’s license and ability to access a car or be qualified to rent a car.

• Must be able to sit at and operate a computer and other office equipment for a significant portion of the workday.

• Must be able to move about the office and at offsite events to access files, supplies, and assist with event set up.

• The position requires occasional work on evenings or weekends and must be able to travel for one or more nights from time to time.

• The position requires frequent communication with internal and external customers about program activities. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.

Location: The position is currently planned for IPHI’s Chicago office, but we will consider applicants from central Illinois that bring exceptional skills and experience.

Travel: The position requires travel around Illinois, with at least six overnight trips annually to downstate areas as well as day trips to Chicago suburbs and collar counties. A multi-day trip to Atlanta will be required as well as possible other out of state trips for trainings and meetings.

Starting Date: Immediate.

IPHI is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and is actively seeking and encouraging applications from women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and/or people who are LGBTQIA.

No phone calls, please.

Visit for more information about IPHI.

The Illinois Public Health Institute is dedicated to the principals of equal opportunity. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other personal characteristic not relevant to the posted position.


Competitive benefits including health, dental and disability insurance; sick and vacation time; and a retirement plan with employer matching contributions.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter and writing sample by November 23 to be considered for this position. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and position hired as soon as the right candidate is identified, so applying early is advantageous. The cover letter should compare your qualifications and experiences to the duties and responsibilities and qualifications for the position. Please submit application materials electronically to with “Program Manager- Nutrition” in the subject line.