Associate Director, Programs

May 3, 2023

About the Peterson Foundation

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation (“Foundation”) is working to secure a healthy, growing economy by addressing America’s long-term fiscal and economic challenges. The Foundation partners with leading decision-makers in government, policy, academia, media, business and issue/constituent groups to build support for solutions to put America on a sustainable fiscal and economic path. As a non-partisan organization, the Foundation engages in grant-making, partnerships and research to educate and involve Americans from a variety of perspectives.

Department Summary

The Programs Team develops and implements strategic programs and initiatives, collaborating across the organization and with external partners and grantee organizations to advance the Foundation’s mission in both traditional and emerging areas of engagement. The team manages grant-making portfolios and several signature programs and identifies, funds and scales new ideas and approaches to achieve organizational goals.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President, Programs, the Associate Director will lead the development, design and execution of current and brand-new strategic initiatives and programs that support the mission of the Foundation and strengthen our impact and reach. These initiatives will address a variety of traditional and emerging issue areas for the Foundation and other Peterson organization entities. The work of the Associate Director will be cross‐functional and interdisciplinary, involving a unique blend of grants, partnerships and internal efforts. One immediate priority will be to devise and lead the Foundation’s programmatic strategy to engage young people (ages 16-25) in fiscal issues, as well as to oversee a significant and growing multi-million dollar portfolio of next generation related grants and partnerships in various stages of development. Key responsibilities include:

Strategy and Management

  • Create, launch, and manage programs and initiatives. This will include managing and expanding current projects within the next generation portfolio, launching initiatives already in the pipeline, and developing new programs beyond the Peterson Foundation’s current focus areas.
  • Lead iterative research, landscape analysis and ideation processes to identify and develop strategic recommendations for new areas of engagement.
  • Strengthen and oversee the Foundation’s programmatic youth engagement strategy (ages 16-25), as well as lead existing youth engagement programs, including Up to Us, Student Debt Smarter and What We Do Now.
  • Manage an internal team of 2 employees – a Manager and Associate.

Program Development and Execution

  • Set and track program objectives, goals and deliverables. Lead internal brainstorming and planning conversations, establish responsibilities among internal working groups, and facilitate a process to track the status of various projects, internal and external partners involved, necessary follow‐ups, and next steps.
  • Lead exploration, sourcing and due diligence of potential grantees and proposals.
  • Develop and execute on program design and implementation plans.
  • Write and present well-researched, clear and concise memos, updates, and strategic investment recommendations to the VP and executive team.
  • Evaluate impact of programs, including managing grantee, partner, and consultant evaluations, renewals, and administrative processes.
  • Manage relationships with existing and potential grantees, partners, and consultants, peer funders and issue area experts.
  • Set programmatic priorities, including identifying times for executive engagement, necessary decision points, and key dates and/or deadlines.
  • Research and synthesize trends, key organizations and projects, policy developments, and other relevant considerations to guide current projects and identify and analyze new opportunities for impact.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to learn from, collaborate and build new external relationships with peer funders and leaders in fields of interest to the organization.

The Successful Candidate

Professional Experience:

  • Twelve plus (12+) years of experience in program or project management, strategy, public affairs, or related experience; prior strategy development or program design experience is strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required and Master’s degree preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as both a program manager and part of a team.
  • Experience managing individuals and/or teams is strongly preferred.
  • Strong analytical, writing and organizational skills and impeccable attention to detail.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and prioritize and manage numerous projects at once as they evolve and change.

Personal Attributes:

  • Demonstrated ability to be proactive, take the initiative, have a strong sense of urgency, and thrive in a fast‐paced environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with clear, concise, and accurate writing, editing, and proofing skills.
  • Ability to lead and collaborate with multiple parties both internally and externally.
  • Familiarity with development of integrated communications and marketing campaigns.
  • Critical, creative and strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Flexibility, adaptability and comfort with ambiguity.
  • Interest in and passion for the Foundation’s mission.
  • In order to build productive relationships across the organization and to ensure effective collaboration, this role requires in-person presence in accordance with the organization’s hybrid schedule of working in the office three days per week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday).

Salary and Benefits

We anticipate that the starting base salary range for this position will be $135,000 to $140,000, plus eligibility for an annual discretionary bonus. In addition, we offer a generous benefits package designed to support employee health and well-being, including comprehensive health insurance, a substantial 401k match, paid time off, a hybrid work schedule and other flexible work policies.

To Apply

We are a dynamic, growing organization that embraces critical thinking, problem solving and innovative ideas. If you have relevant experience and qualifications, please send your resume to

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply to our organization. We offer a welcoming community that respects each individual and fosters a diverse set of experiences, perspectives, skills and ideas. We are committed to building a workplace in which every team member can thrive personally and professionally and contribute to our mission.

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