Jobs At The Fresh Air Fund
  • 19-Jul-2021 to Until Filled (EST)
  • Program Department
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences in the outdoors to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Each summer, thousands of children visit either volunteer host families in rural and suburban communities along the East Coast and Southern Canada, attend six Fresh Air camps in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley, or participate in other outdoor programs run by The Fresh Air Fund. Young people also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs offered by The Fund. In Summer 2020, during the difficult realities of COVID- 19 and the economic crisis, The Fresh Air Fund reimagined summer and developed new in-person and virtual program models to support youth in New York City.

The Fresh Air Fund (The Fund) seeks a Director of Strategic Initiatives. This role will serve as an essential leadership role as a strategic planner within the program department. The Director of Strategic Initiatives will rally program teamsand effectively lead, influence and navigate interdepartmentally to drive focused program agendas and achieve desired outcomes. This role will be a resource to all departments as we strive to view all procedures and practices through an equity lens.

Position Summary

The Director of Strategic Initiatives will support the Chief Program Officer (CPO) as a short and long-range goal planning function and will drive strategic initiatives and support the development of long-term growth and strategic plans. The Director of Strategic Initiatives analyzes and recommends emerging youth development trends, expansion opportunities and performance process improvement and quality assurance. The ideal candidate will be a critical thinker with experience designing and implementing a long-term Talent Acquisition strategy that aligns with the company's business goals and drives values-based behaviors. The Director will be responsible for overseeing and streamlining several strategic initiatives while convening and communicating objectives between all program departments.

The Director of Strategic Initiatives will report to and work directly with the Chief Program Officer and will be a member of The Fund's Leadership Team.


Strategic Planning & Leadership

  • Oversee program planning efforts in a way that aligns with the organizational vision and goals, including ensuring that FAF staff consistently understand the alignment of FAF's mission;
  • Develop a team culture of accountability, direct communication, and creative problem-solving;
  • Identify inefficiencies in processes and encourage innovative solutions;
  • Thrive in a culture of accountability, direct communication, and creative problem-solving;
  • Collaborate with CPO on Friendly Towns, Camping & Year-Round Programs and Community Outreach Teams' strategic imperatives, reporting preparation, and presentations;
  • Demonstrate high social/emotional intelligence, diplomacy, outstanding judgment and ability to exercise discretion, maintain confidentiality, and assess risk relative to the business;
  • Troubleshoot and problem-solve professional development issues related to program expansion;
  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks, and benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; and
  • Lead event planning for various professional development and special projects assigned by CPO.


  • Coach and lead team in pursuit of company goals and individualized career development;
  • Develop partnerships with alumni across all programs;
  • Cultivate, maintain, and leverage new or existing program partners; and
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with Friendly Towns, Camping & Year-Round Programs and Community Outreach Teams.

Program Planning

  • Collaborate with the Research & Evaluation Manager to manage all data collection and evaluation processes within programs;
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development to cultivate and maintain relationships with elected officials and external partnerships;
  • Envision new opportunities to engage students and families;
  • Conduct periodic site visits and provide feedback to program departments;
  • Guide program development and evaluation efforts;
  • Ensure regular cadence and planned communications and interactions with the leadership team; and
  • Assist CPO in developing, maintaining and enforcing departmental standard operating policies and procedures. Regularly review policies and procedures and make changes or recommend changes as necessary to fit departments' needs.


  • Manage communication with key stakeholders as assigned by CPO;
  • Mentor and develop talent and cultivate strong relationships with all personalities;
  • Facilitate and communicate cross-functionally to ensure consistent development and execution of strategies; and
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree;
  • Non-Profit management experience with a minimum of 7 years in a leadership role with supervisory experience;
  • Strong supervisory skills with supervisory experience working with educational program administrators and instructors;
  • Management experience in programs that encourage innovation, pedagogical coherence, and curriculum alignment;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise of issues related to vulnerable youth in New York City;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in fast-paced, demanding, and complex work environment, with the ability to carry out complex assignments, seek targeted guidance when needed and adapt to changing situations and priorities;
  • Knowledge of:
    • DOE/Public School System;
    • NYC, NY State and Federal funding sources for programming;
    • Curriculum design and implementation;
    • Program Evaluation and assessment;
    • Community development;
    • Fiscal planning; and
    • Knowledge of planning and executing online/virtual/ remote learning models.
  • Ability to lead projects from ideation to execution and evaluation;
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Effortless communicator with strong and engaging presentation style and skills;
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, high-growth environment;
  • Ability to extract critical and most relevant information from complex set of data/information
  • Strong organizational skills with ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines;
  • Ability to collaborate with various types of team members and external parties;
  • High level of emotional intelligence with the ability to create the right solutions and approaches for each situation;
  • Ability to use data and research findings for program and staff development purposes; and
  • Interest in joining a youth development organization and supporting its mission and vision. 

Salary & Benefits 

The salary range for this role is $90,000-$105,000and is commensurate with experience. The Fresh Air Fund offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental and vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, commuter benefits, and employer and employee retirement contribution plans. 

Application Instructions  

To apply, please submit an application and cover letter. We are hiring on a rolling basis and encourage interested applicants to apply as early as possible. No calls or recruiters, please.  

The Fresh Air Fund is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in its work and on its staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations and communities to apply.

Jobs At The Fresh Air Fund
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