Program Director

Full-time (40 hours per week), $63,000 to $67,000/year DOE

Oregon Humanities is an independent nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Our vision is an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities. Our mission is to connect Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities.

The new position of Program Director will serve as a key member of Oregon Humanities’ leadership team. They will support the program team in setting the vision for Oregon Humanities’ programs; exploring and implementing participatory and effective departmental structure; and ensuring that the program team works collaboratively and purposefully. They will support the success of the department, ensure that communication lines stay open, and work toward efficient database systems and data quality. They will actively incorporate our equity and inclusion lens into all the work that they do. This is a permanent, full-time position

The Oregon Humanities team is a group of idealistic, collaborative, creative people who are committed to bringing Oregonians together across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds. Each year, we offer hundreds of public conversations and programs across the state, train discussion leaders across Oregon and the country, and distribute grants to organizations that, like us, believe in the power of people in rooms listening, learning, and struggling together. In our magazine and on our website, we publish essays, photographs, films, curricula, and audio recordings that explore the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of Oregonians, especially those who have been ignored, generalized, or oppressed.

If you are interested in applying, by 11:59 p.m., March 4, 2020, send to the following: a résumé and a cover letter explaining why you want to join our team and how your experience and skills will help us in our work of bringing people together across differences, beliefs, and backgrounds. Please submit both required items combined as a single document.

Please direct questions to Adam Davis, executive director, at

Program Director Key Responsibilities

Organizational and Departmental Leadership (60%)

  • Work with leadership team and program department to establish program department strategy within overall organization strategy
    • Convene program team meetings and retreats
  • Provide leadership in working toward OH’s vision of an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities
    • Support program team in integrating equity and inclusion lens in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs work
  • Serve as a key member of organizational leadership team internally and externally
    • Work with other directors toward full integration of OH’s vision and equity and inclusion goals
    • Participate actively in manager meetings, human resources work group, and strategic planning
    • Represent OH at community, state, and partner events
    • Prepare for and participate in national and state-level advocacy
    • With other directors, participate in overall organizational budgeting process; coordinate annual drafting of program budgets
  • Explore and develop new vision-aligned partnerships
    • Respond to inquiries and pursue new relationships with strategic alignment; meet with new and existing partners
  • Share learnings and contribute to outreach and partnership-building efforts through public speaking, presenting as a panelist at conferences, serving on grant panels, and engaging with community leaders
    • Collaborate with program team, facilitators, hosts, and staff at partner organizations to propose and coordinate presentations and panels
    • Attend state and national conferences
  • Research and develop understanding of vision-aligned programming in the humanities throughout the state as well as current questions and trends in this work nationally and beyond

Program Management and Evaluation (40%)

  • Supervise program staff, conducting annual reviews and providing regular support and feedback to achieve strategic program goals and ongoing professional development
    • Conduct annual reviews
    • Conduct regular check-ins
    • Support program staff in setting and following up on 30-/60-/90-day goals after transition into new positions
    • Support program staff by recommending professional development, collaborative problem solving, fielding questions and concerns as is helpful and supportive
  • Develop and implement evaluation protocols with departmental heads to measure and report on progress toward strategic goals and to support development efforts; strive for alignment between conversation, education, and training programs and grants and fellowship programs in reaching these goals; and incorporate results in future program planning
    • Lead efforts to extend and align evaluation work across all programs
    • Collate evaluation data into reports for quarterly program team impact assessments and board meetings
    • Facilitate program team’s development of tools to assess whether to continue, change, or discontinue programs currently underway
    • Facilitate departmental process to revise new program and partnership go/no-go decision-making matrix
  • Assist program staff in determining work processes and developing departmental policies
    • Facilitate meetings to identify staff roles and maintain clarity in programs/projects
    • Support staff's creation of operational procedures for work processes, to be collated in departmental manuals
    • Lead program department in tracking and reporting in database, prioritizing updates in database, and collaborating with database manager; advise on data management as needed
  • Work closely with the development department to identify and support efforts to secure funding, using the development equity lens/statement
    • Research funding opportunities and suggest opportunities that fit with planned program activities
  • Work with the board of directors’ program committee and ED to ensure that the board understands and is committed to Oregon Humanities programs
    • Attend board meetings; report on program activities
    • Lead contact with board Program Committee chair
    • Recommend board reporting content and format to program staff; prepare reports on individual programs as needed and on department-wide and organization-wide initiatives such as evaluation and strategic planning
  • In collaboration with program staff, explore and develop new programs and initiatives
    • Propose new programs based on learnings and challenges in current programs, staff recommendations, staff and partner interests, and initiatives, events, trends, and programming statewide

Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

  • Seven years of experience developing and implementing public programs, or relevant experience where comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities were gained
  • Five years of experience managing staff and participating in departmental or organizational leadership, or relevant experience where comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities were gained
  • Demonstrated initiative to learn and enhance skills that promote equity, inclusion, and cultural responsiveness, and an understanding of systems of oppression and their impact on community
  • Demonstrated commitment to the creation of inclusive spaces and to the equitable treatment of all—including participants, audiences, supporters, staff, and board—at every level of the organization
  • Thorough proficiency with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Strong database and CRM skills (Oregon Humanities uses Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack)
  • Reliable and efficient work ethic
  • Strong communication and active listening skills with coworkers and a wide range of stakeholders
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Attention to detail, accuracy, and consistency in executing tasks for internal as well as external audiences
  • Ability to anticipate needs and align resources
  • Ability to hold accountability and shared ownership of projects and tasks
  • Willingness to work collaboratively across teams as needed

The Details

Location: Portland, OR
Reports to: Executive Director
Direct reports: Program team members
Pay: $63,000 to $67,000 DOE
Employment Status: Regular Full-time (40 hours per week), Exempt
Benefits: OH offers paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays, health and dental insurance, 403[b] retirement plan, long-term disability and life-insurance plan
Application Deadline: March 4, 2020

Oregon Humanities is committed to the creation of inclusive spaces and to the equitable treatment of all—including participants, audiences, supporters, staff, and board—at every level of the organization and in all of our programs. Read more about our commitment to equity.