Director, Program Development and Policy Advocacy

Heartland Alliance International
  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 23

Position description

The Director of Program Development and Policy Advocacy leads the institutional (primarily bilateral and multilateral) revenue generation for HAI in connection with it strategic objectives and growth strategy. The incumbent would leverage HAI’s programmatic areas and expertise in mental health and psychosocial support, gender equity, access to justice and stigma-free HIV prevention and care to deepen and expand its portfolio of donors.

Reporting to the Executive Director, this position collaborates closely with technical teams and the Program Quality unit, the External Relations team, and regional and country office leadership in identifying, developing, coordinating proposal submissions and maintaining HAI’s relationships and partnerships with the US Government and other institutional donors, partners and peer organizations.

The Director of Program Development and Policy Advocacy is responsible for the organization’s DC presence and interpreting and advancing key policy initiatives in line with HAI’s strategic plan. Performance in this position will be measured by successful development and attainment of fiscal resources to support execution of program development plans, maintenance and growth of current portfolios, diversification of funding and partner organizations, and facilitation of new contracts and grants within the United States, UN, and European Commission and beyond.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Organizational Growth & Program Development:

  • Leads all stages of the program development life cycle which includes identifying and prioritizing opportunities; establishing an active pipeline of bids; facilitating the development of effective program concepts and designs; coordinating with program and technical teams to incorporate key intelligence; negotiating grant agreements, strategic positioning; and proposal management and follow-up.
  • Works in collaboration with the Program Teams and Finance to ensure timely development of all proposal budgets and annexes.
  • Facilitates internal review processes that ensures all submissions are strategic, aligned with key priority areas of focus and are of high quality.
  • Oversees (and adapts as necessary) HAI’s program development strategies, ensuring that growth and financial targets set forth in HAI’s strategic plan and annual budget are met.
  • Facilitates the design of new projects through the use of industry and organization-specific tools and methodologies; consults with country and key program leadership, program quality and regional teams to draw learnings from high-impact projects into new program development efforts globally.
  • Analyzes HAI’s win-loss database to foster an organization-wide culture that facilitates learning and informs future business and program development strategies for the organization.
  • Remains current on developments in service areas and donor trends to inform organizational and business development strategic planning.


Strategic Partnerships, Collaboration and Relationship Management:

  • Maintains and builds new relationships that leads to new funding opportunities from donors such as USAID, the US State Department, and European donors – to identify and prioritize program development priorities, particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
  • Develops strategic donor and relationship mapping to ensure every institutional donor and key prospects have internal stakeholders who ensure routine and proactive donor engagement, cultivation and ongoing communication.
  • Works in collaboration with Country Director’s and Kovler Center program leadership to develop local/country specific program development strategies and approaches to further global program development goals.
  • Work in collaboration with the COO and Program teams to ensure that proposed program development efforts can be achieved and operationalized successfully in a timely fashion to ensure successful program implementations.
  • Represents programs internally and externally to potential donors and peer agencies: establishes productive, ongoing relationships with high-level administrative and professional personnel in relevant service fields, both private and public; presents at conferences and educational meetings; and leads professional seminars and meetings.
  • Cultivates new donor and peer relationships to diversify HAI’s funding base.

Policy Advocacy:

  • Works collaboratively with country teams, technical advisors, HA, and external stakeholders to develop and implement strategies to ensure that HAI strengthens its global reputation and brand as a preeminent voice on key policy issues (e.g. trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for survivors of rights abuses).
  • Increases and sustains HAI leadership within key Washington, DC based coalitions and other influential networks nationally and globally.
  • Collaborates with and represents HAI in Heartland-wide policy efforts, including participation and leadership within the Policy Advisory Group and other efforts headed by HA’s Senior Director for Research and Policy.


  • Oversees HAI’s program development team/staff; provides ongoing coaching and mentorship at all levels of the organization on donor engagement, project design and strategic partnerships.
  • Guides, edits and authors proposals/applications as necessary, depending on strength of team and volume of submissions.
  • Provides leadership, support and training on proposal development processes to field offices and agency staff in U.S. and country offices.
  • In conjunction with HAI’s senior leadership team, coordinates the development of long-term and short-term strategic program development plans aligned with program focus areas and regional/country development strategies.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, appropriate professional associations, and private funding sources.
  • Must be able to travel domestically and internationally as needed to lead this function
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • 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.
  • Preferred: A Master’s Degree or other advanced degree in any of the following fields: Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, 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.
  • At least six years of experience with program development, including project design, proposal coordination, and technical writing;
  • Demonstrated experience managing applications multi-million dollar grants and/or contracts;
  • Experience securing funding from US federal agencies including by not limited to USAID, Department of State, Center for Disease Control, Department of Labor, Foundations, EC, UN and other Foreign Government funding;
  • Experience with mental health, access to justice, protections and/or gender programs a plus;
  • Experience working with and living with diverse cultures and social economic conditions;
  • Superb oral and written communications skills, including a demonstrated capacity to present programs at conferences and to donors;
  • 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.


Other Competencies:

  • 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.

Language Skills:

  • Excellent oral and written English language communication skills
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish preferred
  • Demonstrated competency in public speaking

Computer Skills:  

  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems


Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.


Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Application instructions

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