Program Director, Strategy, Performance, and Learning (SPL)

Social Impact
Arlington, VA, USA
Full time Staff

Position Description:

The Program Director (PD) reports directly to the SPL Division Head and performs four primary functions:

  • Portfolio Oversight. The PD will oversee a sub-portfolio of SPL projects. The PD will be accountable for the financial performance, technical quality, client satisfaction and contractual compliance of the sub-portfolio. A critical component of this portfolio oversight will be to engage in client relationship management activities to ensure that SI always maintains an effective channel of communication with our clients.
  • Technical Service Delivery. The PD is expected to be directly billable in senior technical or management roles on projects within their assigned portfolio and on other SI projects.
  • Business Development. The PD will contribute to business development as a technical lead and reviewer for a portfolio of proposals, and may contribute to technical writing, strategy development, and bid decisions.
  • Personnel Management. The PD will manage a team of project management professionals and support their professional development.

The PD will have an expected billability target of 70 percent.


  • Directly oversees an assigned portfolio of projects.
  • Represents SI with key clients and provides regular check-ins with clients in his/her portfolio.
  • Accountable for the technical quality, financial performance, client satisfaction and contractual compliance of his/her assigned portfolio.
  • Provides senior-level management support on SI projects in a variety of roles.
  • Supports business development (BD) activities by serving as technical lead, technical writer, or reviewer on numerous proposals. Contributes to staffing, partnering, technical, and pricing decisions on assigned bids in consultation with the Division Head and across the organization.
  • Represents SI at key marketing and outreach events and seeks out new opportunities to market the company.
  • Supervises up to six staff.

Portfolio Management

The Program Director will directly oversee a sub-portfolio of projects and will be accountable for the financial performance, technical quality, client satisfaction and contractual compliance of that portfolio. He/she will need to work across the organization in collaboration with other Program Directors to coordinate the best use of management, technical and support resources to ensure project success. The PD will provide advice and support on general project management and contracts, customer relationship management, personnel, financial and risk management issues when such issues are escalated by the Project Manager.

Business Development/Revenue Generation

The PD is expected to spend a portion of his/her time supporting revenue generation activities. This includes championing and overseeing marketing, proposal development related to new bids and broader business development opportunities. The PD will serve as an advisor on key bid/no bid decisions, support capture efforts and serve or identify team members to serve as the lead management section writer for some of those bids, reviewing draft proposals, identifying staff to be included in proposals, and working with the pricing team to review and approve final proposal budgets.

Service Delivery

The Program Director is expected to be billable for approximately 70 percent of his/her time. Billable services include management oversight on an SI project in a senior role or as a team leader or team member for select contracts. The PD will also provide support/guidance to Project Managers as needed on projects and take the lead on more complex management tasks as needed.

Personnel Management

The Program Director will be responsible for managing staff.

Personnel management responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting the creation of an emotionally safe environment in the SPL division where staff are comfortable in open exchange and disagreement.
  • Building strong relationships with all supervisees to ensure the PD’s ability to provide feedback effectively.
  • Serving as a coach and mentor to assigned staff, providing career advice, facilitating professional development and advocating for staff interests.
  • Advising staff on professional development opportunities, approval of professional development time, conference attendance and/or funds within the firm’s professional development policy.
  • Carrying out ongoing and annual performance appraisals for assigned staff, seeking input from other managers and staff who have worked with the staff member.
  • Recommending staff for promotion based on their performance during the end-of-year appraisal process.
  • Aligning staff interests and expertise with projects and organizational needs.

The Program Director will also work with peer Program Directors, Deputy Directors and senior management on personnel management issues, including:

  • Assessing workloads, identifying personnel resource needs through forecasting, and approving resource leveling or hiring decisions.
  • Making final decisions in collaboration with the SPL Division Head and other SI executives on the hiring of new staff.


  • Master’s degree in international development or other related social sciences.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience, including 5 years in a management and oversight position.
  • Demonstrated experience managing large and/or complex donor contracts.
  • Thorough knowledge of performance evaluations, including quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Ability to contribute to other SPL division technical services such as strategy, performance management, assessments and CLA.
  • Thorough knowledge of government and/or donor contracting practices, required.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervising personnel, co-workers, field office staff, donors, supervisees, business professionals, and the general public.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and manage multiple complex projects simultaneously and provide advice and guidance in a timely fashion.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment and communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Experience working with USAID, Department of State and/or other donor agencies and foundations to produce useful and accurate products.
  • Extensive demonstrated experience as an evaluation team leader, team member, and/or advisor.
  • Demonstrated experience managing personnel, providing mentorship, and/or conducting resource planning.
  • Proficiency in a second language a plus.
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, management, and writing skills required.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, growing business environment.
  • Willingness to travel on assignment approximately 20% of the time.

Come join our energetic and innovative team!  We offer you the opportunity to work as part of a creative and committed team, while playing a role in the growth of our company and contributing toward advancing development effectiveness.

To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website:

SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Closing date: 
31st July 2019