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Director, Program Development


A Shared Vision

Service Year Alliance believes that a service year should be a common expectation and opportunity for every young American, and works everyday to realize that vision. The force of service years at scale can repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. It could unite the most diverse nation in history, binding people of different backgrounds through common cause. It can inspire young Americans to serve for a year, and in the process, forge them into the leaders for life our nation needs.

Our North Star

On the path to our vision, our aim is that, within a generation, every year, one million young Americans engage in a service year, solving important problems while transforming their own lives.

Why Now: Broken Citizenship and Pressing Challenges

Today, the need for a common experience of citizenship in our country is more poignant than ever. We are drifting apart. Contrary to the illusion of constant connectivity, Americans are isolated from one another—geographically, ethnically, economically, religiously, and culturally. Traditional forms of civic participation have atrophied. Many Americans’ sole contribution to the country is through paying taxes—not nearly enough to bind people to their communities. Only one in three eligible voters turned out in the last election. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the military. There’s a chance—right now—to inspire a renewed sense of citizenship capable of solving our biggest challenges and creating the leaders our nation needs.

Neither the idea of national service nor our vision are new, but this moment in time tells us they are both deeply needed and never before more achievable.      

Position Description

Developing programs and helping them move rapidly from startup to stability and ultimately replication or scale is imperative to growth of the service year field. The Director, Program Development is responsible for leading this work—from identifying ways to connect service years to new areas, spurring innovation of new models of service year programs, supporting organizations in their efforts to scale, replicate, or create new programs, and sharing best practices identified through our work to larger networks of community leaders. The Director, Program Development is a critical member of the Growth and Organizational Learning (GOL) Team. This position works collaboratively with other GOL team members and reports directly to the Managing Director, Growth.


  • Work with organizations to develop strategies to replicate, scale, and/or develop new service year models.
  • Spur innovation of sustainable models of service year programs.
  • Identify barriers to entry and develop resources that accelerate new program development, replication, and/or scaling-up.
  • Work with Service Year Alliance leadership to recruit and select partners for program development.
  • Determine feasibility of pursuing particular program development opportunities.
  • Identify promising and/or high-impact models leading to the creation of templates for program development and/or replication.
  • Research trends and growth opportunities for service year positions.
  • Strengthen the knowledge base of how to start service year programs and help organizations make use of that information.
  • Identify, document, and share lessons learned and best practices that foster program development, conditions for growth and/or higher-quality programs.
  • Make recommendations on how to modify and improve program development resources.
  • Create a system to train and credential consultants who can help develop new programs.


  • 5-7 years professional experience in program development (program design and implementation, consulting, or new business development) focused on diverse issue areas or equivalent education and experience.
  • Knowledge of logical frameworks (logic models, theory of change) or other program design concepts.
  • Deep belief in service years to tackle our most pressing challenges, transform the lives of those who serve, and change the course of our country. Previous program development experience in the service year field is strongly preferred.
  • Humble leader with tremendous professional resolve.
  • Comfort with ambiguity.
  • Track record designing and building new things (start-up, new business unit, new initiative, etc.).
  • Bias for taking initiative to create and own new opportunities.
  • Strong learning mindset.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and organization skills.
  • Ability to pull together diverse partners to do big things.
  • Demonstrable ability to interact with people at all levels and types of organizations.
  • Comfortable gathering, analyzing, and drawing actionable, conclusions based on quantitative and qualitative data
  • Familiarity with CRM systems such as Salesforce a plus.
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