First 5 LA is looking for a Senior Program Officer (SPO) for the Communities Team who can lead systems and policy change efforts in Region 2 (Regional Map). The SPO will lead a team to strengthen and build networks around a prenatal-5 agenda in the Region. The SPO is a strategy leader and portfolio manager. The SPO is responsible for driving integration within First 5 LA’s priority Communities area and contributing and keeping abreast of essential knowledge, policies and systems developments in Communities. The SPO serves as both a direct report and content expert to the Director and Deputy Director of Communities.
The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is a strategy leader and portfolio manager for the Communities Department. This role is primarily responsible for leading the systems and policy change through the development and ongoing refinement of strategies in the area of Communities, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan. They are the content expert in their respective Outcome Area-aligned strategy and provides creative, out-of-the box thinking in both strategy refinement and in the day-to-day management of the strategy portfolio. They serve as both a direct report and content expert to the Director of Communities. The SPO is responsible for contributing and keeping abreast of essential knowledge, policies and systems developments.
In addition to strategy leadership and portfolio management, the SPO is responsible for guiding and driving teams to mine projects and programs for learning to inform strategy development, grant monitoring, management, integration across the portfolio and future strategy development. They are responsible for driving integration within First 5 LA’s priority Communities area and contributes their knowledge of the outcome area to the design of the portfolio. In so doing, this SPO is also responsible for representing and supporting First 5 LA’s Communities advocacy agenda in leadership arenas in the region.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Senior Program Officer is expected to exemplify the organizational values of collaboration, integrity, learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the execution of their key areas of responsibility:
Key Areas of Responsibility:
Initiative design and strategy implementation
Partnerships and stakeholder engagement
Grant and contract procurement and management oversight consistent with requirements of a public entity
Strategic integration and outcome alignment
Staff supervision and talent development
Leads the development and ongoing refinement of strategies given the evolving policy and systems context, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan
Ensures initiatives and projects align with the strategic plan outcomes and investment guidelines
Determines appropriate allocation of resources and budget requirements across projects within a strategy
Develops long-term sustainability plans for projects within a portfolio
Ensures capacity needs are identified and mechanisms for capacity building are incorporated into initiative design
Keeps abreast of relevant research and policy advancements in the field
Presents to First 5 LA Board and other stakeholders
Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement
Establishes and cultivates relationships between key stakeholders to advance strategic objectives
Represents First 5 LA on relevant external committees, work groups, and at conferences/meetings
Coordinates with other key departments to establish private/public partnership opportunities
Advises and supports program officers in identifying and cultivating stakeholder relationships
Manages overall portfolio within a strategy, and associated budget against key objectives and milestones
As assigned, manage complex projects
Oversees and manage portfolio progress reporting to Division, Executive and Board Leadership
Provides guidance and problem-solving support to staff related to grantee/contract monitoring activities
Facilitates reflection and learning across projects and team members to inform ongoing strategy refinement
In collaboration with the Integration & Learning Division, shares learnings from grant-making and portfolio management to contribute best practices to the field
Oversees and ensures accountability across projects within a strategy or portfolio budget; conducts cost and program analysis to consistently recommend program improvements and modifications
Collaborates with all departments to promote integration and learning, strategy refinement, and innovation
Identifies and develop strategies to address points of integration within and across outcome areas
Facilitates and supports staff in effective communication with internal and external audiences, including, but not limited to, presentations, Commission discussions, key partner meetings, etc.
Establishes and supports ongoing team development
Supports the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and values a diversity of perspectives
Adheres to policies and procedures to ensure alignment with State regulations, local ordinances and First 5 LA directives
Keeps apprised of all laws, regulations, statutes, rules and policies affecting First 5 LA and Proposition 10
Supervises contractors and consultants, as needed
Collaborates both internally and with external stakeholders to capture, synthesize and share learning and knowledge outcomes from the ongoing execution of all activities as necessary
Staff Supervision and Talent Development
Monitors staff performance and provides ongoing performance feedback
Develops, coaches and supervises Department staff consistent with values and competencies required for successful job growth and development
Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.
Job Specific Competencies:
Role Specific Content: Knowledge of community development, engagement and advocacy and demonstrated commitment to equity; understanding of adult learning theory and ability to facilitate collective learning across diverse stakeholders; ability to develop partnerships, build consensus, and facilitate community agendas; understanding of organizational, network-level, and community-level capacity development; understanding of the local, statewide and national landscape of place-based efforts and emerging best practices to inform First 5 LA’s community work; understanding of strategies and approaches to engage communities in policy and system change
Adaptive Leadership: Is flexibleand accepts change as part of the organization’s evolution; embraces complexity and uncertainty and is nimble enough to shift direction as needed; open to feedback and welcomes a variety of viewpoints; encourages creativity and innovation aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities; able to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, in varied settings and different audiences
Strategic Management: Able to manage projects of various sizes, complexity, resources, levels of risk, and timelines in a highly organized manner and with attention to detail; able to navigate internal and external constraints and address workload issues within and across teams; demonstrates effective administrative planning and prudent management of resources
Emotional Intelligence: Demonstrates self-awareness, humility, empathy, and personal accountability; has a temperament that inspires trust, collaboration, and partnership between individuals, teams, and levels of leadership; ability to navigate divergence, find common ground among team members, and resolve conflict diplomatically
Supervision and Talent Development: Skilled at building and guiding a team of content area experts; fosters employee growth through coaching, mentoring, and professional development aligned with the team’s function and focus; supports direct reports including regular check-ins, open communication, and shared leadership
Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors
Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Is able to identify appropriate and relevant stakeholders; identifies internal and external stakeholders needs (customers); is responsive to stakeholder needs, considers impact when making recommendations
Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross-functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, public officials and the general public
Communicates Effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; strong presentation skills; demonstrates ability to develop and deliver relevant and appropriate communications; delivers messages in a direct manner; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences
Demonstrates Integrity and Judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of their true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact-based, and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
Demonstrates Critical Thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to analyze complex problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches
Demonstrates Strategic Thinking: Identifies key issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; develops alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to develop a point of view on a course of action to accomplish goals; develops priorities with the right balance of short and long-term wins
Demonstrates Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Supports equal and active participation and mutual respect; supports participation of people and groups with diverse identities, races, ethnicities, abilities, characteristics, cultures, socio-economic statuses, opinions, and beliefs; continuously challenges assumptions, and is mindful of unconscious bias, and leverages differences; understands historical and current context and root causes of inequities within society, systems and institutions; actively involves and reflects with the community First 5 LA serves.
Minimum of eight years of experience in one or more of the following areas preferred: policy and systems improvement, program development, grantmaking, research, and/or evaluation
Minimum of three years of staff supervision preferred
Significant experience in fields relevant to First 5 LA’s strategic plan, including early care and education, public health, child welfare, community development and civic engagement, mental health, early identification and intervention, parent engagement and support preferred
Advanced degree from an accredited college or university in the fields of social science, health, education, or a related academic field preferred
Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
Ability to use virtual engagement formats (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Sli-do, etc.)
Ability to use widely supported internet browsers
Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:
Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
Valid automobile liability insurance
This position requires travel locally, statewide and nationally as needed
First 5 LA requires that all covered employees provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS / WORK ENVIRONMENT
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The employee will sit, talk, hear and use hands up to 2/3 of the time. The employee will stand and walk up to 1/3 of the time. The employee is routinely required to carry and/or lift up to 10 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.