Team Development Specialist

AFS-USA Intercultural Programs
  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 05

Position description

AFS-USA is part of a worldwide network of AFS partner organizations that work together to advance global education and foster meaningful connections across cultures. As the network’s largest partner, AFS-USA works to increase the global competency of U.S. citizens by providing a variety of international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities. We are proud of our Staff of approximately 200 dedicated individuals, working from our national office in New York City as well as home offices across the county, who collaborate with our more than 4,000 AFS-USA Volunteers to deliver high quality programs and global education resources. These include: immersion based study abroad experiences in over 40 countries worldwide; opportunities to host foreign AFS exchange students; and global learning workshops and curricula for educator, schools and businesses.


The Team Development Specialist (TDS) works in partnership with the existing volunteer leadership in a Team (or cluster of smaller teams) to support the development, maintenance and growth of healthy teams of AFS volunteers in AFS-USA. This partnership contributes to the team functioning at a level that would ensure the successful delivery, support and growth of AFS programs, fulfillment of the AFS mission, and result in the highest satisfaction of AFS participants, families, schools, and volunteers in the team.

While the TDS should not replace the volunteers in activities that fall under their purview, the TDS is responsible for ensuring that AFS programs are delivered locally in full compliance with all AFS International and CSIET standards and U.S. State Department regulations. The TDS is also responsible for ensuring that their volunteer team(s) is structured and operates in accordance with all AFS USA policies and procedures and successfully meets its annual hosting and sending goals. A key role of the TDS is to spearhead collaboration between AFS USA national staff departments and volunteer teams to ensure alignment with AFS USA organizational priorities. Finally, the TDS works with his or her team(s) to ensure that AFS USA is able to maximize its presence locally by establishing relationships with new schools or additional community organizations, building new chapters, and continually growing and developing the local volunteer force.



  • Collaborate with leadership volunteers to develop annual hosting and sending plans with the team to ensure achievement of program goals with maximum volunteer involvement and in full compliance (including the Department of State, CSIET, AFS, and IRS).
  • Ensure that the volunteer team is informed about and has access to all tools, materials, and resources made available to them by AFS-USA.
  • Monitor team progress towards Sending and Hosting goals throughout each program cycle and work with volunteers as needed to revise plans and activities.
  • Monitor team compliance indicators throughout the program cycle, ensuring appropriate processes are in place and appropriate interventions occur when needed.
  • Ensure emergency, temporary, and replacement host families are identified as needed for participant moves throughout the program, serve as the final authorizer of student moves into fully screened families and ensure move notification email are sent promptly to the President and Chief Government Relations and Sponsored Programs Officer.
  • Ensure that any critical situation or problem arising from the Customer Service Evaluations or annual AFS USA Team Quality Assessments, or any other source is properly managed by the team leadership.

Volunteer Team Growth and Health

  • In conjunction with volunteer leaders, complete the team assessment and planning template and develop team goals for volunteer recruitment, program growth, compliance improvements, community and school outreach, new chapter development, fund-raising, etc. The team assessment and planning document is reviewed with the team twice each year, in the fall and in the spring in conjunction with hosting and sending recruitment planning.
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of the volunteer team(s) present in assigned areas ensuring accurate and complete data in Global Link.
  • Identify gaps in the volunteer team where more volunteers are needed and implement volunteer recruitment and integration activities to fill these gaps.
  • Work to build a strong leadership function within the team(s) ensuring at a minimum the team has a Chair and Treasurer and ensuring sufficient leadership in other key functions such as Hosting, Sending, and Support.
  • Ensure that there is a process in place for volunteer leadership development which includes succession planning, mentoring and development of new volunteer leaders in the team(s).
  • Ensure that the volunteer roles and tasks required in key functional areas such as hosting, sending, support and orientations are clearly defined and communicated within the team so that the work is well distributed among individuals, volunteers know what is expected, and new volunteers can be well integrated into the team throughout the program cycle.
  • Ensure the presence of a strong volunteer participant support team including a Support Coordinator, Liaison Coordinator (for larger teams), Liaisons, and emergency families.
  • Ensure that all Chapters within the team are actively engaged in the delivery of the AFS program within the team. This includes close coordination and collaboration among the volunteer leaders, involvement in planning for the team, and providing the chapters with sufficient support so that they are able to work effectively.
  • Implement organizational projects and strategies, which will lead to the development of new chapter(s) in the assigned team.
  • Ensure volunteer recruitment plans include a focus on diversifying the volunteer team to include people of different ages, races, gender, etc., aiming to have the volunteer team reflect the make-up of its surrounding community.
  • Establish processes within the team to ensure that new volunteers are oriented, registered and trained for whatever tasks or roles they take on.
  • Oversee volunteer performance and ensure implementation of the Volunteer Management Policy as needed.
  • Develop a process for Returnee integration which begins from the time applicants are recruited and continues throughout the returnee life cycle.
  • Maintain strong team health through ensuring consistent and varied communications, meetings, and social events. Etc.
  • Promote and facilitate appropriate volunteer recognition efforts within the team.

School Relations and Community Outreach

  • Ensure a school relations strategy is employed in alignment with the OEAG National School Strategy recommendations.
  • Ensure that data on schools is up to date and accurate in Global Link.
  • Ensure team plans and activities for Fundraising, public relations, Marketing, and promotion all remain in alignment with AFS USA National strategies and campaigns.
  • Ensure that internal and external team communications and promotions are in alignment with AFS branding standards.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for serving as a Back-up Duty Officer in the AFS after hours emergency system at least once every 3 months and one holiday per year.


  • 3-5 years work experience in volunteer management/development, community organizing, organizational development or other related field, including experience recruiting, orienting and integrating volunteers into established teams or to begin new teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and organize diverse groups of people to achieve common goals
  • Ability to effectively monitor plans to ensure progress on goals, an ability to define qualitative and quantitative success indicators for plans and an ability to make quick course corrections as needed as plans are implemented.
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating group meetings, delivering training content, and making presentations.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills as well as excellent computer literacy skills, including ample proficiency with MS Word, Excel, Power Point and database programs. Proficiency with Google applications, Skype, and web meeting technologies preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, ability to maintain good rapport and cooperative relationships with other staff members and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated success and ability to manage conflict in a positive and timely manner. Ability to resolve complaints in a quick, professional manner.
  • Self-motivated with strong organizational skills and ability to multitask.
  • Willingness and ability to travel, up to 40% of the time.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information acquired pertaining to staff and volunteers
  • Commitment to the mission and principles of AFS Intercultural Programs.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Bachelor's degree or beyond preferred
  • Previous supervisory experience preferred.
  • Broad knowledge/experience of AFS or other intercultural student exchange program or cross cultural experience preferred.

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

follow us on Twitter