Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development

December 11, 2019


Forward Together and Forward Together Action is in search of a Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development. This is an amazing opportunity for a highly-skilled senior-level leader to help shape the next phase of impact of a dynamic 501(c) 3 organization, whose budget and staff have grown three-fold in recent years, and whose programs continue to grow in complexity, scale, and reach and to develop the programs and infrastructure of a newly formed 501(c)4 organization.

ABOUT FORWARD TOGETHER: At Forward Together, we play to win, AND we know that the way we achieve our goals and with whom are just as important as our outcomes. We are driven not by ego, but by the opportunity to learn and grow together, while achieving impact and advancing our mission. We harness the individual strengths within our staff and our network to foster a leader-full organization and movement. Our team members are high performers and high collaborators, and we encourage creativity and failing forward. This is not an aspirational vision: this is how we live and breathe into our work together.

Founded in 1989, Forward Together (FT) has grown from organizing local and statewide API communities to becoming a national leader in the reproductive justice movement. In 2010, we became a multi-racial and multi-issue organization, embracing the opportunity to expand our focus to POC and gender non-conforming families nationwide. This expansion reflects two core beliefs: 1) The oppression and liberation of all people are inextricably linked, and 2) Our strength lies in our ability to work and move together.

Forward Together’s mission is to unite communities, build courage, and deepen connection among our community of changemakers to secure rights, recognition, and resources for our families. We believe that all people deserve the economic, political, and culture power to have self-determination over our bodies, gender, sexualities, and family formation. Forward Together amplifies the leadership and power of women and non-binary people of color and Indigenous people.

Over the coming years, Forward Together is doubling down to build a country where we are all at home, take care of each other, respect each other, and where everyone is better off.

Forward Together has developed innovative programs, frameworks, campaigns, and initiatives for the movement: our state-based power-building work is changing policies through year-round civic engagement; the Strong Families Initiative brings together over 200 organizations across the country to change policy and culture so that all families can thrive; Echoing Ida amplifies the leadership of Black women and non-binary writers; the Trans Day of Resilience campaign brings together non-binary artists and trans-led organizations to shift power and culture to support trans justice; and Stepping Into Power, our movement building fellowship, centers race, gender, and sexuality.

Forward Together’s annual revenue has increased significantly, from $1.8 million in 2013 and is projected to be $5.1 million in 2020. This has allowed us to expand our staff of over 30 in 10 cities with offices in Oakland, Portland and Albuquerque.

ABOUT FORWARD TOGETHER ACTION: Forward Together Action is the newly formed 501c4 organization. Incorporated in October 2019, in the upcoming and future legislative and electoral years, Forward Together Action will organize our communities to build power so that all families can thrive. Forward Together Action will evaluate how existing power structures help or harm families and push for the changes needed to create systems that serve all of us.

Forward Together Action will build political power that uplifts the leadership of women of color, nonbinary people, and Indigenous communities. Forward Together Action will hold elected officials accountable to ensure all families get the support they need to thrive and support leaders and legislators who share or commitment to strong families.

THE EXECUTIVE TEAM: The Deputy Director for Programs and Organizational Development will embody the values at the heart of our work and bring the range of skills and experience needed to achieve our three-year Roadmap and continued growth.

In close partnership with our Executive Director and the Deputy Director of Operations, and with input from leaders throughout the organization, the Deputy Director of Programs and Organization Development will lead Forward Together and Forward Together Action in building out the strategy, infrastructure, and systems to accommodate recent and anticipated expansion. This includes providing the guidance and resources needed for us to achieve impact at the highest level internally and externally; creating opportunities to continue contributing innovative solutions to the movement; identifying and implementing best practices related to staff recruitment, hiring, development, management and retention; and creating the climate and structure needed to ensure communication, integration, and alignment across teams, regions, and initiatives.

CANDIDATE PROFILE: We are excited to be joined by a deeply skilled and experienced senior leader who will partner with our Executive Director, Deputy Director of Operations, and our Senior Director of National Field and Policy, and the Director of Movement Building to advance our program work in this pivotal phase of our development. This position has a large focus in two areas: 1) organizational and leadership development in order to create efficient systems and pathways for learning so that the program staff can focus on building leaders on the ground and growing networks to achieve the program goals, and 2) overseeing the programmatic work for Forward Together Action and Forward Together, ensuring programs are compliant with laws and best practices related to operating affiliated 501c3 and 501c4 entities.

The successful candidate for the position will be a thoughtful leader who brings relevant life experience as well as deep demonstrable experience in organizational growth management; program planning, development, and evaluation; staff supervision, professional development, and team-building; training and facilitation; internal and external relationship building; and budget oversight.

They will likely have gained this experience as an Executive or Deputy Director in a progressive social justice or activist organization or as a senior leader within progressive campaigns or movements. Whatever track they have taken to this point, they will also bring alignment with our strengths-based, values-driven approach. They will have a commitment to and grounding in intersectional feminism, racial and gender equity, reproductive justice, and LGBTQI rights, as well as a deep desire to work in an organization whose mission and culture are rooted in courageous action and transformative practices. And they will have experience in implementing and developing programing with affiliated 501c3 and 501c4 organizations.

KEY AREAS OF FOCUS: This is a senior-level position. Priorities may shift over time, but will include:

PROVIDING SUPPORT AND OVERSIGHT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAM STRATEGY, DEVELOPMENT, COORDINATION, AND OVERSIGHT: As we expand across multiple issues, offices, and regions, the Deputy Director of Programs and Organizational Development (DDP) will:

  • ensure a strategic coordinated approach to implementing our Road Map and Theory of Change;
  • support the alignment, development, and efficacy of individual staff, teams, and initiatives;
  • provide direct coaching and supervision for direct reports for the following programs: Movement Building and Cultural Strategy, Policy and Civic Engagement and Communications; and serve as a high-level thought partner to the directors leading this work, providing overall strategy, planning, development, and oversight of these programs and related initiatives.


partnership with the Executive Director and Deputy Director of Operations, the DDP will assist to:

  • plan for evolving staffing needs in collaboration with the DD of Operations, promote internal staff leadership by implementing organization-wide performance management practices including supporting and oversight of direct reports on the annual performance evaluation process; and providing ongoing guidance to managers to support their intentional and effective supervision and support for all staff;
  • provide support to directors in the integration of our Courageous Operating System, Courageous Practice in programs, and Non-Violent Communication in the organization, ensuring staff are trained in and implementing these systems across the organization;
  • maintain and deepen our culture of continuous learning – identify and address staff training needs; design retreats, training, and practices that facilitate alignment, learning, experimentation, and celebration of accomplishments across the organization.
  • continuously develop and create training opportunities on each organization’s frameworks including: reproductive justice, trans justice, black liberation and disability justice.


MANAGEMENT PROCESSES. With overall responsibility for developing inclusive, decisive, and nimble processes, the DDP will:

  • lead our annual organizational-wide planning processes that effectively integrates program level work planning into an overall plan; monitor and evaluate our progress against our Road Map;
  • manage the development of program meetings and, in collaboration with National Policy and Field Director and Movement Building Director; with Deputy Director of Operations, lead executive meetings, management and directors meeting as well as Staff Strategy Session ensuring strong communication lines and practices, and cross-team planning and collaboration;
  • build processes that help us adapt nimbly to growth and change and enable us to evaluate program opportunities and requests against alignment with vision, values, and resources.

REPRESENTING FORWARD TOGETHER AND FORWARD TOGETHER ACTION IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY. Along with all members of the Executive Team, the DDP will step into leadership in all ways as needed, and will:

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner and advisor to the Executive Director, inform and advise on overall strategy, troubleshoot challenges, and step in as needed during major staff transitions;
  • Represent Forward Together and Forward Together Action at key meetings with allies and funders; attend conferences and convenings; and develop compelling materials, reports, and presentations about our work and impact, and that of our partners.

QUALIFICATIONS AND QUALITIES OF OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE: We intend to bring on a candidate with as many of the following qualifications and qualities as possible:

  • Previous experience as an Executive or Deputy Director or equivalent senior-level position with at least 7 years of combined executive/senior-level experience;
  • Direct experience in social justice, organizing, and/or movement building organizations; experience with racial, gender, and reproductive justice;
  • Experience developing, building and/or managing affiliated 501c3 and 501 (c) 4 organizations as a staff or board member;
  • Experience leading the development of collaborative, cross-functional teams; proven ability to coach and inspire the leadership capacity of team members;
  • Strong people management, training, and supervision experience, including knowledge of professional development systems and practices;
  • Strong strategic thinking and analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Strong training, facilitation, and curriculum development experience;
  • High degree of ease utilizing project management software and tools;
  • Excellent interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to adapt as needed, self-manage, and to prioritize between and manage multiple demands;
  • An earned reputation for being trustworthy, with excellent judgment and discretion;
  • Optimistic and resourceful, with strong self-awareness, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and humility; grounded and flexible with a high degree of integrity and transparency;
  • Experience working with our core constituencies: women and non-binary people of color and indigenous communities; lived experience that reflects our communities is highly desirable;
  • Kindness and strengths-based leadership: someone who sees value in every person and communicates respect and encouragement to people at all levels; a passionate investment in the wellbeing and success of our staff and our organizational partners.

COMPENSATION, HOURS, LOCATION: This is a full time, exempt, salaried position with a preferred location in the Pacific or Mountain Time Zone. Your schedule may vary based on need and could extend into the early evening, with some weekend hours. Exact salary will be determined upon hiring but will be in the range of $120K to $135K. Benefits are generous, with fully paid employee and dependent coverage for health, vision, and dental; and long-term disability insurance. Paid time off includes sick, vacation, and personal days and holidays and two-week closure from December 21, 2020-January 1, 2021.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: Forward Together and Forward Together Action is an equal opportunity employer that supports and lives diversity in our staffing and values. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women; people of color; immigrant, bilingual, and bicultural individuals; and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities. Forward Together and Forward Together Action complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.

TRAVEL DEMANDS: Must be able to travel by public transportation or car, and by air at least 5-8 times a year for periods of 2-5 days.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants should submit a substantive and thoughtful cover letter describing their interest in the position and making the case for the relevance of their experience to the key areas of focus. The cover letter should be submitted together with a current resume to: Applications missing a cover letter or resume will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2020 or until filled. Early submissions are encouraged as we will close the application period prior to the close date if a candidate is identified. To learn more about Forward Together, visit: To learn more about Forward Together Action, visit: