People & Programs Development Specialist

Job Type

Full Time




55000 Hwy 1
Big Sur
United States


Come roll up your sleeves and level up the learning experience at Esalen.


At Esalen, we care about being present. We bring that to everything we do. We don’t just build a table, we build a work of art that’s also a table. We don’t just say hello, we make eye contact and listen with intention. We feel the same way about our team members - showing up in support of their full being. We offer great health care, access to workshops, and the space to do your personal and collective work.


We stand for supporting you to realize your potential.




This key role sets the overall direction and tone for the residential study program, staff/community education, and contributes to identifying, developing, administering new learning opportunities and new audiences. This position reports to the Director of Programs and supervises a part-time coordinator.


What will this role do?


Residential Study Program

  • Provide overall leadership and development of extended residential program(s) to ensure an evolving mission and direction.
  • Oversees the student experience
  • Supervise the admissions and financial aid process
  • Develop and deliver student orientation
  • Develop and deliver Esalen curriculum throughout the month
  • Support student goal setting and evaluate success; provide coaching and counseling
  • Review student feedback and oversee program improvements
  • Cultivate new student markets and actively inspire diversity and inclusion
  • Oversee educational direction
  • Establish educational goals and direction
  • Support the identification and hiring of the teaching faculty, provide orientation
  • Provide faculty support and feedback
  • Oversee the service/work component
  • Ensure all work assignments and supervisors meet standards and expectations
  • Liaison with departments over the month to assess needs or problem areas
  • Oversee program communication
  • With Marketing Director, craft and monitor all program communication – brochures, website, student correspondence, handbook, etc.
  • Ensure all communication with student and public is kept current and professional
  • Manage and direct the part-time program coordinator

Staff Development

  • In collaboration with Human Resources and individuals, support each staff member in consciously creating wellbeing plans for their time at Esalen. By working with mangers, create a system of accountability to these plans.
  • Support staff in achieving wellbeing goals through development of education opportunities such as workshops, lectures, in house education and other. Assist staff in finding and using wellbeing resources available.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and adjust plan when needed. 
  • Provide leadership in coordinating the successful execution of this organizational intention.


Public Programs

  • Assist Director with researching and curating potential public programs that fit within mission and scope of the position.
  • Assist with the cultivation of all faculty relationships and meet/greet presenters when on campus. Develop personal relationships and advocate for faculty needs.
  • In collaboration with the Manager of Programs, support the team with coverage and workload when needed. Have a working knowledge of the flow and activities that happen within public programs. Assist public program staff with successfully supporting faculty.

New Program Development

  • Contribute to the overall strategic direction of Esalen by evolving new educational program opportunities as identified by board/management.
  • Oversee the creative evolution of the community/public classes being offered daily (Experiential Program). Identify new contributors, teachers, and learning containers.
  • In collaboration with managers, craft and manage a volunteer program consistent with the value of community involvement
  • Support Esalen in creating a proposal for a residential program for visiting teachers, artists, etc. Once structured and funded, oversee the implementation and management of the program. Work with Advancement team to identify funding sources.
  • Identify new business and community partners that can enrich the ways Esalen meets its mission both programmatically and by reaching new audiences


Qualifications & Requirements:

Our ideal candidate will possess at least 5 years of prior experience in program development and program management expertise.


Experience & Skills:

  • Experience as a coach, counselor, or educator required. MFT, M.Ed. or equivalent desired.
  • Proven ability to establish presence and program leadership and vision
  • Ability to create and work with budgets
  • Proven ability to develop and facilitate curriculum focused on personal growth
  • Sensitivity to diversity and inclusion
  • Some experience identifying funding sources and applying for grants
  • Excellent communication skills: oral, written, and listening/mediating/coaching
  • History of being in service to missions similar to Esalen’s
  • Skillful collaboration capabilities
  • Attention to details and ability multitask
  • Self directed, work independently and take initiative
  • Good boundaries, genuine caring for people, a sense of humor and an ability to stay calm during the unexpected.
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Office, and willingness to use computer database

Physical Requirements:


While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to maneuver on uneven ground, sit for long periods of time, occasionally carry and lift up to 25 pounds, and be able perform daily repetitive hand motions as it pertains to computer mouse and keyboard. 


The pay for this position is commensurate with experience. This role includes a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and paid time off. Esalen gives teammates access to an extensive range of daily experiential classes (yoga, dance, tai chi, and meditation), ongoing in-house education and training programs, and scholarship for Esalen workshops and massage.


Applications for this position will not be reviewed until after March 15, 2018.

Esalen provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply