The Washington Bus: Program Director

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The Washington Bus: Program Director

Program Director

The Washington Bus is a statewide organization that engages young people in the civic process and builds political power for our generation. We empower young people of color, LGBTQ youth, first generation college students, and young people from working class and immigrant communities. We activate our generation through education, civic participation, and hands-on democracy, and work to put the young people most often excluded from the political process at its center. The Washington Bus is creating a more equitable Washington by building a democracy that works for all people.

We focus our work through three core areas of work:

● People: we invest in developing the skills and opportunities of young people, whether they are first-time volunteers, new voters or effective legislators;

● Participation: we register thousands of young people to vote, educate them on the issues, and turn them out to vote;

● Policy: we see good legislation and policy as both an opportunity for young people to learn about civic life and a necessary tool for moving Washington forward.


The Bus is seeking a highly motivated person to lead our Program Team. The Program Director designs, manages and leads the Bus’s programmatic work. The Program Director supports Program staff members with their work, including field campaigns, volunteer and young voter outreach, and innovative political organizing. As a member of the Bus’s Director’s Team, the Program Director will be involved in organizational strategy and decision-making.

The successful candidate will have experience managing and developing staff and young leaders, designing and implementing field organizing efforts, and has a commitment to social justice, youth empowerment, and undoing institutional racism. This is a full-time, exempt, permanent position with varied evening and weekend requirements. This position also requires travel throughout the King County region, Bellingham, Eastern Washington, and Pierce County. The Program Director reports to the Executive Director. This is an excellent opportunity to join a dynamic learning organization with a passionate staff. The Bus requires a high level of initiative and provides exceptional opportunities for growth and leadership.


Job Responsibilities:

Building and Supporting the Team: As a department Director, a strong, focused team is a top priority. The Program Director will recruit, support, and develop a highfunctioning program staff team.  

● Building: Work with the Executive Director to conduct hiring processes. Determine team structure in accordance with organizational work plan and team capacity, including promotions or job transitions within the team.

● Cultivating: Cultivate a team that works together in efficient harmony. Build team cohesion and collective purpose through shared goals, culture, accountability, and communication.

● Personnel: Manage and support implementation of staff development plans to support staff as growing professionals. Help resolve interpersonal conflicts. Conduct regular check ins with staff to help shape work priorities, support a healthy work environment and culture of self care, and advise on strategy implementation.


Organizational Leadership: Work with the Directors Team to set the Bus’s long term strategy, manage internal policies, and set organizational culture.

● Director’s Team: Represent the Program department on the Director’s Team; regularly assess organizational health, coordinate strategy, and share relevant information and planning across departments.

● Organizational initiatives: Lead or participate in major organizational initiatives and policy development as needed (e.g. equity planning, tech assessment, data overhaul).

● Internal communication: Effectively communicate organizational decisions to Program team; ensure that all staff are engaged in key strategic choices, and that processes are transparent.

● Board: Staff the Bus board’s Political Committee, attend monthly board meetings as needed, and communicate key programmatic updates to the Bus’s board.


Departmental Leadership: Work with Program staff and board to develop seasonal, annual, and multi-year strategic plans that set clear goals, and guide program development and execution.

● Program planning: Develop the Bus’s strategic approach to achieving its annual goals, and support Program staff with writing field and work plans in each program area.

● Metrics and accountability: Coordinate with team members to set ambitious and achievable metrics. Keep the Program team accountable to reaching their goals. Report metrics to the Development Team, Board, and the organization regularly.

● Manage evolving strategy: Identify new opportunities as they arise throughout the year and work with Program and Directors teams to assess and manage field plan adjustments as needed. Provide proposals, metrics, and information as needed for funding opportunities.

● Equity: Ensure that the Bus’s equity vision is being implemented throughout our programmatic work, and that our work is actively undoing systems of oppression in the political system.

● Budget: Manage the departmental budget, and approve any shifts within individual program budgets. Represent the Program department during quarterly financial reviews. Work with the Operations Director to lead the annual budgeting process for the Program team.


Partnerships and Policy: Lead strategy and advocacy efforts around relevant campaigns and policy initiatives, and build relationships with partner organizations to develop strong coalitions for our issue work.

● Political strategy: Maintain relationships with local and national partner organizations and elected officials to identify political opportunities, and shape the Bus’s advocacy and campaign priorities.

● Youth Voice: Advocate vocally for young people and our generation’s interests in mainstream political spaces.

● Relationships and Partnership building: Actively cultivate relationships with key stakeholders including elected officials, partner organizations, community leaders, and organizers.

● Coalitions: Serve as the representative of the Bus, and the Bus community, on key coalitions including the Washington Voting Justice Coalition and others as they arise.

● Political Committee: Staff the Board political committee. Work with the committee to oversee the candidate endorsement process, set the Bus’s legislative agenda, and lead the organization's issue and campaign decision-making process each year.

● Bus Federation: Manage the program relationship with the Bus Federation, including metrics reporting, and national programs such as National Voter Registration Day, and the Great American Voter Guide.


Required Skills: To be successful in this position, you will need to demonstrate a mastery of these skills and abilities:

● Enthusiasm and belief in the Bus’s mission to engage young people in the political and civic process.

● Personal passion for undoing institutional racism, specifically within the U.S. political system.

● A commitment to the social justice and equity values of the Bus.

● Highly effective communicator, able to share vision and planning clearly, and with cross cultural sensitivity to the needs of diverse audiences.

● Demonstrated ability to self-manage, set priorities, take initiative and collaborate with others to move projects forward in a fast-paced environment. 

● Experience with developing, implementing, and managing large scale field and campaign operations.

● Experience with managing, supporting and developing a diverse team including: interpersonal conflict resolution, accountability toward goals, professional development, and culture setting.

● Experience and proficiency with giving clear and direct feedback to staff you manage.

● A track record of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with and among a diverse group of stakeholders.

● Positive attitude, team spirit, and focus on problem solving through challenges.

Preferred Qualifications These are additional qualifications that are desirable, but not required:

● Proficiency in using the Voter Activation Network, Form Assembly, Google Drive and Excel

● Knowledge of voting rights issues and prior experience in a legislative and campaign environment

● Demonstrated understanding of how power and privilege manifests in our political system and experience with undoing institutionalized racism within an organization, institution or system


How to Apply

Please submit a resume and job application demonstrating your relevant experience, as well as at least two professional references, to - please include “Program Director” in your subject line. Applications submitted by January 5, 2017 will be given priority consideration. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis, and this position will be open until filled. Compensation is $47,500 annually. This role is not eligible for overtime pay. The Bus offers a comprehensive benefits package, including ORCA pass, 100%-employer paid premium for medical/dental/vision coverage, generous paid-time off, and a flexible work environment with opportunities for professional development.

The Washington Bus is an inclusive organization, fostering and drawing on leadership from communities of color, recent immigrant communities, and emerging young leaders. The Washington Bus is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Employment and program policies of the Washington Bus are nondiscriminatory in regard to race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

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