REAL, Program Director

National League of Cities
660 North Capitol St., N.W. suite 450
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Public Administration
Job Start Date
Manages Others
Experience Required
Degree Required
From $100,496 To $132,152
Per Year    
Employment Type
Work Schedule
Some Travel

Job Description

The Opportunity

The National League of Cities is an organization based in Washington, D.C. comprised of city, town, and village leaders across the country that are focused on improving the quality of life for their current and future constituents. With over 90 years of dedication to the strength, health and advancement of local governments, NLC has gained the trust and support of more than 2,000 cities, towns, and villages across the nation. Together, our mission is to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. To learn more about our guiding principles click here.  

The Program Director, Race Equity and Leadership is responsible for overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of all program-related activities for current REAL Grants including concept writing, program design, implementation, evaluation and reporting. This position will engage the full range of stakeholders, including philanthropic foundations, elected officials, corporate and strategic partners, leadership from like organizations. The Program Director manages the day-to-day operations, strategic direction, activities and budgets for REAL’s philanthropic programmatic initiatives. This will be an exciting opportunity to work with an organization that is committed to advancing racial equity in local government. This role will work closely with the Director of REAL to implement an ambitious strategic plan for REAL’s philanthropic foundation programs. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented, have strong oral and written communication skills and passion for racial equity in government. They will have experience designing and managing programs, writing grant proposals and securing funding, developing and managing programmatic budgets and coordinating evaluation efforts. This person will be patient with people, a skilled project manager, and able to thrive in fast paced environments.

Job Requirements

Program Design, Implementation, and Strategic Communications
Oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of all program-related activities for current REAL Grants including concept writing, program design, and implementation.
Establish and ensure that objectives and goals are achieved within the timelines and budget established for the program.
Work with the REAL Director to develop programmatic strategies and funding opportunities to help local governments improve outcomes for all by focusing on the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, income, religion, immigration status.
Conceptualize and serve as principal lead of new reports, strategy guides, and toolkits for NLC member cities.
Prepare and lead team in preparation of articles for NLC’s blog.
Develop program summaries for posting on the REAL department page of the NLC website in partnership with NLC’s Center for Digital Engagement and Marketing and Communications.
Oversee the planning and implementation of workshops and meetings at NLC’s two annual conferences – the City Summit and the Congressional City Conference that relate to grant initiatives when applicable. 
Provide limited oversight support including travel logistics and large and small meeting coordination.
Grant Writing and Reporting
Serve as lead grant writer for the REAL department.
Monitor progress and provide reports to funding organizations and Director.
Research funding opportunities, and partner with Director to develop funding strategies, goals and work plans for new programmatic opportunities.
Team Building and Management
​​​​​​​Lead, develop, and manage REAL grant staff. Serve on REAL Leadership Team.
Ensure team is engaged and accomplishes team goals and objectives within budget and on schedule.
Seek out and provide professional development opportunities to REAL grant staff to encourage growth and development.
Use project management tools to communicate deadlines, request updates, and track progress towards outcomes and deliverables.
Collaboration and Partnerships
​​​​​​​Work in cooperation with team members on a variety of projects that strengthen REAL’s programmatic work.
Work across the organization to develop internal partnerships and joint fundraising opportunities with programmatic teams.
Cultivate partnerships with other national and civic organizations working in the racial equity field.
Identify opportunities to leverage partnerships to provide city leaders with the resources needed to embed racial equity into policies, practices, and procedures.
Represent NLC at national, state and regional conferences and meetings to build new partnerships, in partnership with Director.
Raise the visibility of REAL initiatives and stay abreast of the latest developments in the racial equity field, in partnership with Director.
Evaluation and Measurement
Oversee and manage the evaluation and reporting of REAL programs.
​​​​​​​Monitor progress and provide reports on implementation, learning, best practices, and budget to the Director.
Identify new ways to measure effectiveness and impact of REAL programs.
Hire external evaluators for independent evaluation of grant funded programs.
Education and Experience

Strong analysis of institutional and structural racism; able to identify policies, practices and procedures with implicit institutional bias
Bachelor's degree or equivalent professional experience; Master’s Degree, PhD. Or JD is a plus
A minimum of 10 years of experience working in progressively more accountable positions in government, social justice and equity, program development, public administration, public policy, urban affairs, non-profit or a related field.
Demonstrated passion for and investment in advancing racial justice and equity.
Work experience managing complex projects and meeting deadlines.
Has knowledge of and has implemented strategies that promote racial equity
Ability to imagine and facilitate discussions with others to envision a racially equitable future.
Demonstrated experience in program design and project management.
Strong team player who works collaboratively and can facilitate discussions with seemingly disparate groups on complex issues towards a common interest.
Experience with and ability to manage foundation relationships. Demonstrated management skills, including planning, organizing, scheduling and implementing projects of substantial complexity and variety.
Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills as well as ability to interact effectively with NLC members, representatives of other organizations, consultants, and all levels of NLC staff.
Experienced grant writer with measurable results.
Experience mentoring, developing, and providing leadership to high-performing teams and partners toward goal achievement.
Experience working with elected officials, and/or knowledge of city initiatives around racial equity preferred.
Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a standard office setting working at a desk or table on a level surface. Minimal travel is expected. The NLC team is now operating in a hybrid capacity with some team members working fully remote.

Work Status

This position is based in Washington, DC and the selected candidate will be required to work at the NLC offices at least two days per week.

Vaccination Requirements

This position requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment, subject to applicable law. If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation request is received and approved.

Equal Employment Opportunity

NLC is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons and to prohibiting discrimination because of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, or any other protected status and/or conditions specified in federal and local civil rights laws.
Jheryl Parson
660 North Capitol St., N.W. suite 450
Washington DC 20001
United States

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