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Job Title: 

Program Director - Children and Families

Job Location: 
Denver, CO
Full Job Description: 

JOB TITLE:                          Program Director      

PROGRAM:                        Children & Families – Economic Security, Housing, Child Support

LOCATION:                         Denver, CO

SALARY:                              $7,082/month


The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is the nation’s preeminent bipartisan membership organization for state legislators, legislative staff and other intergovernmental groups in the 50 states, commonwealths and territories and has been since 1975. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. Our mission is to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures; promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures; and ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system. While NCSL is bipartisan in nature, all NCSL staff work is strictly nonpartisan.


NCSL’s Denver-based Children and Families Program seeks a Program Director with extensive experience managing people and projects in a grant-funded environment. Applicant should have substantial knowledge of one of more of the following policy domains: 1.) family economic security (e.g., Earned Income Tax Credit and other family tax credits, benefits cliffs, barriers to employment, opportunity youth, TANF, SNAP or two-generation strategies), 2.) housing and homelessness, or 3.) child support and family law. This position will be responsible for contributing to a culture of program innovation and excellence, developing and maintaining productive funder relationships, supervising and coaching staff, and ensuring NCSL’s work is completed in an objective and nonpartisan manner. This position reports to the Children and Families group director.

This position typically requires air travel approximately 10 times per year. Most trips are for one to three nights. Due to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, no travel is anticipated until August 2021. This date is subject to change.


  1. Organizes, plans, manages and coordinates work across multiple projects, activities and funding streams.
  2. Leads, supports and coaches staff.
  3. Establishes program priorities and plans, develops and manages budgets, allocates resources, and assigns staff to carry out program activities.
  4. Ensures quality standards and contract specifications are met.
  5. Oversees or completes translational research and writing tasks, often involving careful interpretation of political nuances. (This is NOT a scientific research position.)
  6. Manages or coordinates planning of complex meetings, seminars and technical assistance efforts, generally requiring astute political judgments, a high degree of responsiveness to constituents and an understanding of organization priorities and concerns.
  7. Identifies and develops resources to carry out the program's activities and functions. Oversees fundraising efforts and personally handles the most sensitive negotiations and high-level contacts with potential funding agencies.
  8. Works with other NCSL units and external partners to develop innovative project proposals.
  9. Develops and implements communication strategies for disseminating and raising the visibility of NCSL’s policy products.
  10. Maintains an extensive network of relationships with federal agencies, funders, private-sector partners and interest groups.
  11. Performs other responsibilities as needed.


This position has direct supervisory responsibilities of approximately 3 staff members.


This position is a mostly performed in an office environment with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Must be able to lift small objects up to 20lbs. You will be required to utilize standard office equipment such as filing cabinets, copy machines, scanners, and smartphones. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 


Experience and Education 

  • Bachelor's degree plus nine years of relevant and progressive work experience OR post-baccalaureate / graduate degree and eight years of experience.
  • Experience working for public affairs or communications firms or civic engagement organizations, coupled with a human services policy background, a plus.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 

  • Substantial knowledge of one of more of the following policy domains: 1.) family economic security, 2.) housing and homelessness, or 3.) child support and family law.
  • Excellence in developing and executing educational/informational products and services for adult learners (i.e., legislators, legislative staff and others).
  • Substantial knowledge of state lawmaking processes and government structures.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • Ability to clearly and credibly present information to NCSL members, funders and other audiences.
  • Ability to work in a politically neutral manner with legislators and legislative staff and maintain confidentiality when required.
  • Excellence in staff supervision and development (i.e. delegating, supervising, evaluating work and coaching).
  • Excellence in fundraising, primarily through philanthropic organizations and federal contracts.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects (including budgets) in a fast-paced office environment.


NCSL offers an outstanding benefits package including low cost health, dental and vision coverage, a 401(a)-retirement plan with 10% contribution after 6 months and full vesting, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience, paid leave, telework, pet insurance, discounted bus / train passes, in-office dry cleaning pick up, access to 24-hour fitness memberships, and more!


Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume highlighting skills and qualifications no later than Wednesday, December 9, 2020 by 5pm MST.  


To Apply: 


Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume highlighting skills and qualifications no later than Wednesday, December 9, 2020 by 5pm MST.  

Link to apply: https://recruiting2.ultipro.com/NAT1060NATS/JobBoard/2a60216b-c3d4-44bc-8412-88e21e324b41/Opportunity/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=3e8c8d5e-02b4-4ce8-8811-77a495a35f57&sourceId=210c26b5-abaa-4036-888a-48688c8d94e4

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Posting Expiration Date: 
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Job Location Details: 
Denver, Colorado

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