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First 5 LA

Program Officer, Communities

Employment type
2 months ago
Los Angeles

The Program Officer, Communities is the project-level subject matter expert and portfolio manager for one or more projects in the Communities Department .This role is primarily responsible for advancing First 5 LA’s systems and policy change agenda through the development and management of strategy-aligned projects in the area of Communities, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan. S/he is the content expert in their respective Outcome Area-aligned project or program and provides critical thinking in both project refinements and in the day-to-day monitoring and management of their project portfolio. S/he serves as both a direct report and content expert to their respective Senior Program Officer and to the Director of Communities. The Program Officer is responsible for contributing and keeping abreast of essential knowledge, policies and systems developments in Communities.

The Program Officer should visibly demonstrate the adopted organizational values of collaboration, integrity, respect, accountability, purpose, shared leadership and learning in the execution of their key areas of responsibility:


Key Areas of Responsibility:
 Project design & implementation
 Partnerships and stakeholder engagement
 Portfolio management
 Grant & contract procurement and management consistent with requirements of a public entity
 Strategic integration and outcome alignment


Essential Duties:
Project Design & Implementation
 Leads the development and ongoing refinement of strategy-aligned projects given the evolving policy and systems context, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan under the direction of the Senior Program Officer and/or Department Director
 Ensures projects align with the strategic plan outcomes and investment guidelines
 Develops project budgets and resource requirements for respective projects
 Identifies long-term sustainability options for projects
 Identifies capacity needs and mechanisms for capacity building to achieve targeted outcomes; elevates appropriate mechanisms for incorporation into initiative design
 Works with Program Associates to manage procurement workflows and compliance with processes
 Writes and completes necessary forms and supporting documentation for initiation of projects



 Keeps abreast of relevant research and policy advancements in the field
 Conducts landscape analyses to inform strategy, project or initiative design and management Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement
 Identifies potential partners and maintains relationships between key stakeholders, as appropriate, to advance strategic objectives; as appropriate coordinates with SPO to cultivate relationships
 Represents First 5 LA on relevant external committees, work groups, and at conferences/meetings
 Coordinates with other key departments to develop mechanisms for private/public partnership opportunities; develops mechanisms to operationalize partnerships in respective projects

Portfolio Management
 Manages projects within a strategy, and associated budget against key objectives and milestones
 Manages grants and contracts for progress against deliverables, outcomes or process agreed to; reviews grantee deliverables, performance matrices or other programmatic exhibits and activities for impact and quality
 Works with Finance to conduct scenario testing; uses cost and program analysis to recommend program modifications
 Uses learnings from grantee interactions to advise on course adjustment or correction
 Reviews and conditionally approves grantee invoices and routes for appropriate approval
 As assigned, manage complex projects within defined responsibilities and accountabilities
 Manages grantee reporting in compliance with learning agenda and compliance policy
 Participates in reflection and learning across projects and team members to inform ongoing strategy refinement
 In collaboration with the Integration & Learning Division, shares learnings from grant-making and portfolio management to contribute best practices to the field
 Oversees and ensures accountability across projects within a strategy or portfolio budget; conducts cost and program analysis to consistently recommend program improvements and modifications


Strategic Integration
 Collaborates with project teams and within Department to promote integration and learning, strategy refinement, and innovation
 Identifies strategies to address points of integration within and across outcome areas
 Supports the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and values a diversity of perspectives
 Adheres to policies and procedures to ensure alignment with State regulations, local ordinances and

First 5 LA directives
 Keeps apprised of all laws, regulations, statutes, rules and policies affecting First 5 LA and Proposition 10
 Supervises contractors and consultants, as needed
 Collaborates both internally and with external stakeholders to capture, synthesize and share learning and knowledge outcomes from the ongoing execution of all activities as necessary


Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
Organization-wide Competencies
 Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors
 Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Is aware of and considers relevant internal & external stakeholders and their needs (customers); identifies solutions to be responsive to stakeholder needs; considers impact when executing daily tasks
 Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co workers, public officials and the general public
 Communicates Effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; demonstrates active listening and comprehension; selects and uses appropriate communication methods to keep others appropriately informed; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences
 Demonstrates Integrity and Judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of his/her true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact based and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
 Demonstrates Critical Thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to effectively think through problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches
 Demonstrates Strategic Thinking: Considers issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; identifies alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to layout several points of view on a course of action to accomplish goals


Job Specific Competencies
 Role Specific Content: Knowledge of community development, engagement and advocacy and demonstrated commitment to equity; understanding of adult learning theory and ability to facilitate collective learning across diverse stakeholders; ability to develop partnerships, build consensus, and facilitate community agendas; understanding of organizational, network-level, and community-level capacity development; understanding of the local, statewide and national landscape of place-based efforts and emerging best practices to inform First 5 LA’s community work; understanding of strategies and approaches to engage communities in policy and system change

 Content Knowledge: Competent in required job skills and knowledge; ability to learn and apply new skills; ability to learn how to operate new systems quickly; demonstrated ability to set priorities, establish clear expectations and execute identified projects; keeps abreast of current developments; requires minimal supervision; displays understanding of how job relates to others; knows how to use technology tools to effectively manage and expedite processes; uses resources effectively

 Planning and Organization and Project Management: Works in an organized manner with strong attention to detail; prioritizes and plans work activities; ability to effectively manage overlapping projects and deadlines; ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; integrates changes smoothly; sets goals and objectives; ability to manage high performance projects


 A minimum of five years of experience in one or more of the following areas preferred: policy and systems improvement, program development, grantmaking, research, and/or evaluation
 Significant experience in fields relevant to First 5 LA’s strategic plan, including early care and education, public health, child welfare, community development and civic engagement, mental health, early identification and intervention, parent engagement and support preferred


 Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the fields of social science, health, education, or a related academic field preferred
 Advanced degree in a relevant field is a plus

Computer Skills:
 Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
 Ability to use widely supported internet browsers

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:
 Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
 Valid automobile liability insurance

Travel Requirements:
 This position requires travel locally, statewide and nationally as needed


Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee will sit, talk, hear and use hands up to 2/3 of the time.  The employee will stand and walk up to 1/3 of the time. The employee is routinely required to carry and/or lift up to 10 pounds.


Work Environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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