National Program Director

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Friends of the Children is looking for an extraordinary professional to join our National Program Team. We are seeking a National Program Director to join a small, nimble and mighty team to help us deliver, build and scale learning and development programs for our Friends. In this role you will also provide hiring support for our chapters.

Reporting to the Chief Program Officer, this position offers the opportunity be a part of scaling and expanding learning to new chapters within our growing network. As National Program Director you would truly make a significant impact setting up new chapters for success.

The ideal candidate will have held a Team Leader position or above for Friends of the Children and have training and hiring experience within a Friends of the Children location.

This role will require some travel and will be located in Portland, OR. Our National Program Director will collaborate with Portland based colleagues to host visitors and potential funders that visit the National office.

Curious to learn more? See the details below.

Basic Function:

The National Program Director is responsible for training and assisting chapters with hiring, and the development of Friends. The National Program Director supports new chapter management, acts as a team facilitator and organizational motivator, and facilitates effective communication throughout the organization. They will identify training and developmental needs and drive suitable training initiatives that build loyalty to the organization’s culture. The National Program Director must have program leadership experience as a Team Leader or above at Friends of the Children; know, understand, honor and support the organization’s mission, vision, values and principles; be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function; and have demonstrated success as a supervisor in the organization.

National Program Director Accountabilities: 

  • Participate in recruiting and hiring of Friends, including: interviewing candidates, organizing and/or presenting training sessions.
  • Work with Chief Program Officer to define, coordinate, and effectively manage network trainings.
  • Identify and assess future and current training needs.
  • Deploying a wide variety of training methods.
  • Monitor and evaluate the training program’s effectiveness, success and ROI. Periodically analyze and report on program training.
  • Maintain a keen understanding of training trends, developments and best practices.
  • Understand and support the organization’s mission, vision, values and principles and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.
  • Ensure compliance with and accountability to organization’s policies, procedures, and practices as outlined in the Employee Manual and Friends Handbook. Responsible for developing and implementing trainings that move the organization to one of increased accountability and professionalism.
  • Perform other responsibilities as requested.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Know and understand the needs and issues of children served by the program. Monitor Program Performance Scorecard outcomes for locations. Help identify areas of improvement and growth and work with Chief Program Officer to ensure that children are served with quality across the program.
  • Develop and sustain honest and trusting relationships with colleagues, and inspire and motivate team members within the national team and across the network. Serve as a role model both for effective Friend/child relationships and as a professional, ensuring a positive and professional work environment.
  • Act as a collaborative leader for network management by providing support and resourceful solutions to concerns and challenges.
  • Support network in holding chapters accountable for work performance: adequacy of time spent with children, quality and diversity of activities with children, and administrative responsibilities, providing continuous constructive feedback and coaching as necessary. Work with HR and the Chief Program Officer to resolve issues as needed.
  • Actively participate as a member of the national team, participating in making, implementing, and upholding decisions or policies related to the operations of the organization. Effectively lead and support organizational change.
  • Work collaboratively with network and national management to determine areas of improvement and develop the necessary trainings that support the advancement of the program. Monitor implementation and adoption.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately throughout the organization regarding organizational issues, concerns, policies and procedures. Raise and resolve issues appropriately. Advocate for Friends, representing the best interests of the team and children, doing so in an appropriate and timely manner. Understand, implement and support organizational policies and procedures.
  • Work collaboratively with the Chief Program Officer to ensure that current programming is sustained and that new programming is developed to serve current and future needs of the organization.

Essential Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the demonstrated ability to resolve conflict, and help others do the same;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management, delegation and follow-up skills;
  • Strong training and presentation skills;
  • Effective, appropriate and professional supervisory and leadership skills and behaviors;
  • Demonstrated ability to influence the behavior of others to achieve necessary results;
  • In depth understanding of the role of a Friend, as well as of the issues faced by our program children;
  • Ability to use creativity and initiative in guiding others to plan activities that continually develop children;
  • Ability to work as a team player, as well as the ability to lead a team;
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise excellent judgment related to maintaining confidentiality and communicating appropriately within the workplace, and to hold others accountable for the same;
  • Proficient computer and keyboarding skills, proficiency with e-mail systems, familiarity with MS Outlook and Access (or other database applications); and
  • Ability to exercise good judgment independently, in various situations and environments, and under varying levels of stress, and to develop others to do the same.


  • Experience tracking training related data in a Learning Management System.
  • Classroom or corporate training experience.
  • Two or more years in a Friends of the Children program leadership role.

Education and Required Experience:

Bachelor’s degree, plus five to seven years’ experience working/volunteering with children, including some experience in a Friends of the Children program leadership role.

Friends of the Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends of the Children provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. Friends of the Children hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.

Location: Portland, OR
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