Deputy Director Programs and Organizational Development (FT)

Forward Together is thrilled to be expanding our senior staff team and recruiting for a Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development. This is an opportunity for a highly skilled senior level leader to help shape the next phase of impact of a dynamic organization whose budget and staff have grown three-fold in recent years, and whose programs continue to grow in complexity, scale, and reach.

ABOUT US: Founded in 1989, Forward Together has grown from organizing local and statewide API communities to becoming a national leader in the reproductive justice movement. In 2010, we became a multi-racial and multi-issue organization, embracing the opportunity to expand our focus to POC and gender non-conforming families nationwide. This expansion reflects two core beliefs: 1) The oppression and liberation of all people are inextricably linked, and 2) Our strength lies in our ability to work and move together.

Our mission is to unite communities, build courage, and deepen connection among our community of change makers to secure rights, recognition, and resources for our families. We believe that all people deserve the economic, political, and culture power to have self-determination over our bodies, gender, sexualities, and family formation. Our organization amplifies the leadership and power of women and non-binary people of color and Indigenous people.

Over the coming years, Forward Together is doubling down to build a country where we are all at home, take care of each other, and respect each other, and where everyone is better off.

Led by our visionary Executive Director, Eveline Shen, and our highly accomplished staff, we have developed innovative programs, frameworks, campaigns, and initiatives for the movement: our state-based power building work is changing policies through year-round civic engagement; the Strong Families Initiative brings together over 200 organizations across the country to change policy and culture so that all families can thrive; Echoing Ida amplifies the leadership of Black women and non-binary writers; the Trans Day of Resilience campaign brings together non-binary artists and trans-led organizations to shift power and culture to support trans justice; and Stepping Into Power, our movement building fellowship, centers race, gender, and sexuality.

Our annual revenue has increased significantly, from $1.8 million in 2013 and is projected to be $5.1 million in 2019. This has allowed us to expand our staffing to 28 and extend our presence: we now have staff in 10 cities, and offices in Oakland, Portland, and Albuquerque.

At Forward Together, we play to win, AND we know that the way we achieve our goals and withwhom are just as important as our outcomes. We harness the individual strengths within our staff and our network to foster a leader-full organization and movement. Our team members are high performers and high collaborators, and we encourage creativity and failing forward. We are driven not by ego, but by the opportunity to learn and grow together, while achieving impact and advancing our mission collectively.

This is not an aspirational vision: this is how we live and breathe into our work together.

EXPANDING OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM: The time is right for Forward Together to bring on two new Deputy Directors for a) Programs and Organizational Development, and b) Operations and Growth. Together, they will embody the values at the heart of our work and bring the range of skills and experience needed to achieve our three-year Roadmap and continued growth. The search process for both positions is occurring concurrently.

In close partnership with our Executive Director and senior management team and with input from leaders throughout the organization, our two Deputy Directors will lead Forward Together in building out the strategy, infrastructure, and systems to accommodate recent and anticipated expansion. This includes providing the guidance and resources needed for us to achieve impact at the highest level internally and externally; creating opportunities to continue contributing innovative solutions to the movement; identifying and implementing best practices related to staff recruitment, hiring, development, and retention; creating the climate and structure needed to ensure communication, integration, and alignment across teams, regions, and initiatives; and ensuring that more robust finance, technology, and human resources systems and practices are in place to support us as we move forward.

CANDIDATE PROFILE: We are excited to be joined by a deeply skilled and experienced senior leader who will partner with our Executive Director, Deputy Director of Operations and Growth, and our Senior Director of Field Policy and Strategy to advance our work in this pivotal phase of our development.

The successful candidate for the position will be a thoughtful leader who brings relevant life experience as well as deep demonstrable experience in organizational growth management; program planning, development, and evaluation; staff supervision, professional development, and team-building; training and facilitation; internal and external relationship building; and budget development and oversight.

They will likely have gained this experience as an Executive or Deputy Director in a progressive social justice policy or activist organization or movement. Whatever track they have taken to this point, they will also bring alignment with our strengths-based, values-driven approach. They will have a commitment to and grounding in intersectional feminism, racial and gender equity, reproductive justice, and LGBTQI rights, as well as a deep desire to work in an organization whose mission and culture are rooted in courageous action and transformative practices.

KEY AREAS OF FOCUS: This is a senior level position. Priorities may shift over time, but will include:

LEADING PROGRAM STRATEGY, DEVELOPMENT, COORDINATION, AND OVERSIGHT: As we expand across multiple issues, offices, and regions, the Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development (DD) will: 

  • ensure a strategic coordinated approach to implementing our Road Map and Theory of Change;
  • support the alignment, development, and efficacy of individual staff, teams, and initiatives;
  • provide direct coaching and supervision of four direct reports for the following programs: Movement Building, Policy and Civic Engagement, Communications, and Culture Shift; and
  • serve as a high-level thought partner to the directors leading this work, providing overall strategy, planning, development, and oversight of these programs and related initiatives.

LEADING INVESTMENT IN OUR PEOPLE, PRACTICE, AND CULTURE AS WE GROW AND EVOLVE: In close partnership with the Executive Director and Executive Leadership Team, the DD will:

  • plan for evolving staffing needs in collaboration with the DD of Operations and Growth; develop recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and retention practices aligned with our vision and values;
  • promote internal staff leadership by designing and implementing organization-wide performance management practices including leading the annual performance evaluation process; ensuring proactive leadership pipeline plans; and providing ongoing guidance to managers to support their intentional and effective supervision and support for all staff;
  • oversee and lead the integration of our Courageous Operating System, Courageous Practice, and Non-Violent Communications, ensuring staff are trained in and implementing these systems across the organization;
  • maintain and deepen our culture of continuous learning – identify and address staff training needs; design retreats, training, and practices that facilitate alignment, learning, experimentation, and celebration of accomplishments across the organization.


ENSURING EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION-WIDE PLANNING, DECISION-MAKING, AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES. With over overall responsibility for developing inclusive, decisive, and nimble processes, the DD will:

  • lead our annual organizational-wide planning processes that effectively integrate program level work planning into an overall plan; monitor and evaluate our progress against our Road Map; and research 501 (c) 4 process and considerations;
  • own and lead executive and staff team meetings, ensuring strong communication lines and practices, and cross-team planning and collaboration;
  • build processes that help us adapt nimbly to growth and change and enable us to evaluate program opportunities and requests against alignment with vision, values, and resources.

REPRESENTING FORWARD TOGETHER IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY. Along with all members of the Executive Team, the DD will step into leadership in all ways as needed, and will:

  • Serve as strategic thought partner and advisor to the Executive Director, inform and advise on overall strategy, trouble-shoot challenges, and step in as needed during major staff transitions;
  • Represent Forward Together at key meetings with allies and funders; attend conferences and convenings; and develop compelling materials, reports, and presentations about our work and impact, and that of our partners.

QUALIFICATIONS AND QUALITIES OF OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE: We intend to bring on a candidate with as many of the following qualifications and qualities as possible:

  • Previous experience as an Executive or Deputy Director or equivalent senior level position with at least 7 years of combined executive/senior level experience;
  • Direct experience in social justice, organizing, and/or movement building organizations; experience with racial, gender, and reproductive justice;
  • Experience leading the development of collaborative, cross-functional teams; proven ability to coach and inspire the leadership capacity of team members;
  • Strong people management, training, and supervision experience, including knowledge of professional development systems and practices;
  • Strong strategic thinking and analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Strong training, facilitation, and curriculum development experience;
  • High degree of ease utilizing project management software and tools;
  • Excellent interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills;
  • Previous experience developing or building a 501 (c) 4 as a staff or board member;
  • Ability to adapt as needed, self-manage, and to prioritize between and manage multiple demands;
  • An earned reputation for being trustworthy, with excellent judgment and discretion;
  • Optimistic and resourceful, with strong self-awareness, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and humility; grounded and flexible with a high degree of integrity and transparency;
  • Experience working with our core constituencies: women and non-binary people of color and indigenous communities; lived experience that reflects our communities is highly desirable;
  • Kindness and strengths-based leadership: someone who sees value in every person and communicates respect and encouragement to people at all levels; a passionate investment in the wellbeing and success of our staff and our organizational partners.

COMPENSATION, HOURS, LOCATION: This is a full time, exempt, salaried position based in Oakland, CA. Your schedule may vary based on need and could extend into the early evening, with some weekend hours. Exact salary will be determined upon hiring but will be in the range of $120K to $135K. Benefits are generous, with fully paid employee and dependent coverage for health, vision, and dental; and long-term disability insurance.  Paid time off includes sick, vacation, and personal days and holidays.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: Forward Together is an equal opportunity employer that supports and lives diversity in our staffing and values. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women; people of color; immigrant, bilingual, and bicultural individuals; and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities. Forward Together complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.

TRAVEL DEMANDS: Must be able to travel by public transportation or car, and by air at least 4-6 times a year for periods of 2-3 days.

HOW TO APPLY: Our search is being supported by Cory Pohley and Paula Morris of Bandwidth Consulting who will confirm receipt of applications and keep candidates updated on the process. Applicants should submit a substantive and thoughtful cover letter describing their interest in the position and making the case for the relevance of their experience to the key areas of focus. The cover letter can be submitted together with a current resume to: [email protected].

Applications will be accepted through November 2, 2018 or until filled. Early submissions are encouraged. To learn more about Forward Together visit our website:

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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-10-11 10:04:27 -0400