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Director of Program Quality, Growth and Innovation

Req ID: 8033
Location: Chicago- City Wide
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


Location:          Remote

Organizational Background: Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is a service-based human rights organization headquartered in Chicago whose mission is to secure the rights and well-being of marginalized people and communities. HAI envisions a world in which those whose rights have been violated are safe and empowered to actively engage in their communities and be at the forefront of social change.

Summary: The Director of Program Quality, Growth and Innovation will develop and lead HAI’s technical area growth strategy as it relates to its practice areas: mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), access to justice (legal services), gender/gender-based violence, as well as other potential focus areas: livelihoods, sexual and reproductive health, child protection, early childhood/juvenile justice, transitional justice/peace-building, climate change/disaster, disability. She/he will collaborate with other HA/HAI leaders and staff to assess programmatic growth needs and strengthen technical expertise across program domains. Through a multiphase process with staff and consultants, the Director will guide development of integrated program models and best practice standards representative of HAI’s unique contribution the fields of humanitarian, development, and human rights work. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Program Model Development and Technical Area Growth – 50%

  • In line with HAI’s organizational growth strategies and strategic plans, identify priority technical areas for service delivery and capacity building, target populations/regions, and monitor the ongoing process or other strategic mechanisms for development of new program models.
  • Develop and implement protocol for creation of a consultant pool to support priority technical areas; recruit expert technical consultants to 1) conduct environmental scans with focus on gaps and innovation in priority sectors; 2) participate in workshop with in-house experts to articulate integrated program models; 3) contribute technical expertise to program development (proposal writing); 4) provide longer term technical support tailored to programming (as funded).
  • Facilitate program model development workshops/dialogues/processes in which consultant technical experts and existing HAI staff co-create innovative, integrated models representative of HAI’s unique strengths/contributions.
  • With other HAI team members, conduct a survey of past HAI projects to identify areas of innovation and inform growth.
  • Assess and guide HAI’s global staff capacity/skills assessments to identify relevant technical skills in existing HAI staff and partners.
  • Guide and provide technical area input into HAI program development efforts through consultant pool resource allocation, leveraging global technical expertise and providing direct counsel.
  • Work with Program Development team to identify and apply for funding for new program models.
  • Develop Program Development and technical area interface guidance document for each technical area and capacity build Program Development staff in their use.
  • Ensure participatory approach in which HAI participants and service delivery staff input are incorporated into strategy and program model development.
  • Capture, map and oversee HAI’s presence and engagement in key global coordination mechanisms and technical area strategic partnerships that are aligned with the growth strategy and strategic plan.
  • When applicable, participate in Senior Leadership Team to represent Program Quality and Growth initiatives.

Program Technical Quality – 50%

  • Review and summarize the literature (published research and grey literature) on advances and innovation in humanitarian/development/human rights programming, with focus on HAI’s key technical areas.
  • Promote HAI’s involvement in global coordination mechanisms in line with technical areas; identify additional areas for external representation (e.g., conferences)
  • Promote documentation/manualizing of program models, including minimum standard/best-practice guidance to ensure program quality.
  • Ensure use of evidence-based programming and promote HAI’s contribution to evidence through research focused on program models as possible.
  • Promote global focal points learning collaboratives for each priority technical area.
  • Work with MEAL team to monitor and evaluate pilot implementation of new program models and make associated quality improvements.
  • Strengthen internal (e.g., HA entities) and external partnerships (e.g., academic institutions) in line with priority technical areas and program models.
  • Guide a team of technical advisors and related staff and consultants
  • Support global MHPSS program initiatives as needed, e.g., supervision guidance, staff wellbeing guidance.
  • Guidance/mentorship to MHPSS leadership at HQ, Kovler, Colombia, Iraq and other offices.

Education and/or Experience: 

  • Preferred: A Master’s Degree or other advanced degree in any of the following fields: Public Health, International Affairs/Development, Human Rights/Social Justice and 7 years of experience in international development and/or human rights, including 5 years of progressive management experience.
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 8 years of experience in international development and/or human rights, including five years of progressive management responsibilities.
  • At least five years of experience with technical area program development, including project design and proposal writing.
  • Experience with mental health, access to justice, protections and/or gender programs;
  • Must have written and spoken fluency in English and excellent English writing skills and effectively communicate with non-native English speakers, and with remote team members via a variety of technologies such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advancing human rights and supporting the mission of Heartland Alliance International.
  • Able to read and interpret documents, and communicate with others as necessary to perform job duties effectively.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, with a high-level of attention to detail. 


  • Possesses a high degree of professionalism and integrity.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and build, lead, motivate, and manage teams.
  • Possesses cross-cultural awareness, humility, and interpersonal awareness.
  • Time Management – Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time and complete projects in a fast-paced, changing environment with minimal supervision.
  • Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively.
  • Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.


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