Director of Community Programs

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
Apply by 5 August 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 5 June 2018

Job Description

The newly-created Community Centered Development team seeks to (1) effectively deploy Plan’s technical expertise on program design and proposal development, program implementation, and knowledge management in the critical areas of Health, Water and Sanitation (WASH), Education, and Protection; and (2) to improve the integration and coordination of our mainly community based approaches to in these sectors so that Plan’s programs are designed and executed to result in maximum impact. The team includes technical experts from Plan’s WASH, Health, Education and Child Protection sectors and collaborates closely with technical support teams such as Youth and Engagement and Economic and Disaster Risk Management (Resilience) as well as cross-cutting teams focused on Business Development, Gender and Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning. Community Centered Development team also will work closely with our teams focused on designing programs for large individual sponsors, as well as corporate and foundation donors.

The Community Programs team reports to the Senior Director of Technical Services and is part of the Programs & Policy division, which is led by the Senior Vice President of Programs & Policy. Collaborating with other teams and units, Community Centered Development has responsibilities in the areas of business development, program design, project management and execution, and monitoring, evaluation, research and learning.

Position Overview

The Director of Community Centered Development Programs has leadership of several of Plan’s technical sector experts and is a critical member of the Technical Services team. This position works closely with other leaders within the Technical Services team and with leaders and staff within the Project Management Unit and Business Development Unit to ensure that Plan’s technical expertise is appropriately applied in proposals and projects. S/he also works with members of Plan’s Individual and Private Philanthropy teams to create programs and projects appealing to these donors.

The Director of Community Centered Development Programs also works closely with technical leaders within Plan Country Offices and Regional Offices. S/he works with Plan International USA staff and Plan global staff to ensure that our best technical approaches are brought to scale and to test new and innovative models. The Director of Community Programs also leads collaboration with the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning team (MERL) to ensure that each program has a learning agenda and contributes to research and learning within the international development sector.

Main Responsibilities


  • Lead and manage a diverse team of subject matter specialists to enable them to provide the best technical advice and support in line with Plan’s objectives.
  • In collaboration with leadership, work on Plan strategy and annual budgets.
  • Assume overall responsibility for managing the team’s budget.
  • Establish a vision for integrating technical teams to position Plan better for projects that require integrated approaches.
  • Provide support to technical specialists in Community Centered Development team in working with Plan International and its country offices, including during the proposal, implementation, and close-out phases. Work to develop relationships with key country office staff and identify the right mix of Plan International USA, country office and partner resources for projects and programs.
  • Implement, with assistance from MERL, Communications, and Policy, a plan to publish and promote Plan’s technical solutions, including data, research and stories. Work with Communications and Policy to ensure that Plan technical experts are represented at key sector meetings and are on panels at industry events and conferences.

Business Development

  • Work with department leadership and the Business Development Unit to create and pursue the pipeline of opportunities and assess and address the impact on resource support from technical teams.
  • Assign technical staff to proposals and mentor staff throughout the program design and proposal process, working with the Business Development Unit, to ensure that Plan’s proposals highlight tested and innovate technical approaches.
  • When needed, participate in meetings and calls with country office experts to ensure that local context and approaches are included in proposals.
  • Participate in the proposal review structure, including assessing data on wins and losses, and providing feedback to team members on improving the technical component of projects.

Project Management

  • Partner with the Director of the Project Management Unit to outline collaboration and roles and responsibilities between project managers/associates and technical experts.
  • Ensure that the Community Programs team is following Plan’s standard operating procedures for project management.
  • Participate in ongoing portfolio reviews and participate in donor meetings as needed.

Training, Supervision & Coaching

  • Direct and supervise the technical team staff; allocate project portfolio workload among team members; plan field visits with the team based on risk, project materiality, etc.; work with team in all aspects of workload management, including time reporting and staff allocation.
  • Assist the team in the design and delivery of periodic in-house trainings and workshops related to Plan’s technical approaches and results.
  • Develop and manage relationships across teams through building trust, understanding requirements, and being proactive.
  • Assist and champion team members with the identification of new or innovative technical areas for research that align with Plan’s strategy and objectives.
  • Identify and contribute to the hiring of new technical specialists to further Plan’s strategy and objectives.

Qualifications Needed to Be Successful in the Job

A demonstrated commitment to creating a successful and engaging culture for all team members in support of Plan International USA’s mission.


  • Excellent leadership and management skills
  • Problem-solving, analytical and decision making skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an international team environment and coordinate activities among teams
  • Demonstrated ability to work within multinational teams
  • Ability to work in a matrix structure and environment
  • Demonstrated business development experience
  • Supervisory and coaching skills
  • Technical experience in development area such as Social Behavior Change Communication, Nutrition or Community Development
  • Sound decision making and judgment
  • Well organized and able to manage multiple priorities
  • Enthusiasm for generating and implementing new ideas
  • Willingness to contribute to a collaborative, creative and communicative organizational culture
  • Ability to communicate clearly in English, both oral and written, with Spanish and/or French a plus
  • Competent computer skills, including MS Office and Salesforce

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree, preferred in International Development, Public Administration, Business, or Social Sciences.
  • 10+ years’ experience in international development, demonstrating increasing management responsibilities in a similar size organization implementing USG international contracts and cooperative agreements in a technical sector Plan works in especially Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), Nutrition or community development.
  • Preference given to candidates with INGO experience and field/home office experience; experience leading a technical sector or group of technical subject matter specialists.
  • Experience in INGO with diverse (private and institutional) funding
  • Knowledge and experience with USG Rules and Regulations and of other institutional funders within the field of international developmen
  • 5+ years supervisory experience of diverse technical team.

Physical and Mental Demands

  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job

Work Environment

  • Collaborative business orientation toward achieving Plan objectives
  • International travel may be required occasionally based on matters such as reporting needs, training needs or other global meetings
  • Minimal domestic travel

Key Interactions

Within Plan

  • Executive Team
  • Plan International USA Management and business unit leaders
  • Country Office staff, as needed
  • PII’s Global Assurance and Counter-Fraud Units

Outside Plan

  • Grants and Contract donors, including USG, corporate, foundation, and individual donors, as needed
  • Teaming partners, as needed
  • Think tanks, research organizations, as needed

About the Organization

Plan International USA (Plan) is part of a global organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters, and partners at the community level to:

  • Empower children, young people, and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls, exclusion and vulnerability.
  • Drive change in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels through our reach, experience, and knowledge of the realities children face.
  • Work with children and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and to overcome adversity.
  • Support the safe and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood.

Founded in 1937, Plan now works in more than 70 countries. Our programs in water and sanitation, health, education, child protection, economic empowerment and disaster response directly reached 54,693 communities in 2017 and our advocacy work addressed girls’ rights by bringing their voices to the forefront in policy discussions on early marriage, sexual and reproductive health, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Plan International USA has two offices, located in Washington, DC and Warwick, RI. It is part of the Plan International global Federation, comprised of collaborative partnerships between 21 national offices and 51 country offices. Plan International USA is registered 501(c)(3) and has an independent Board of Directors.

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