Chief Program Director
The Chief Program Director (CPD) of Blue Shield of California Foundation (the “Foundation”) is responsible for developing and implementing the Foundation’s strategy and programmatic efforts. As a member of the executive team, the CPD also assists in managing Foundation operations, fiscal and administrative matters, legal issues, Board of Trustee (the “Board”) relations, and special projects as assigned by the CEO. The CPD manages a program staff of 12 people and leads grantmaking and programmatic work grounded in the following Foundation values: integrity, partnership, possibility, and equity and dignity.
• Lead the overall design, implementation, evaluation, and management of the Foundation’s program strategy. Manage performance and impact of the Foundation’s programmatic investments. Act as the primary content knowledge expert to colleagues on grantmaking, grants management, initiative design, evaluation coordination, and field expertise.
Program Oversight, Design, and Measurement
• Ensure high-quality execution of the Foundation’s grantmaking process. Responsible for implementing, refining, and recommending grantmaking goals, strategies, and protocols. Ensure investments advance the Foundation’s programmatic strategy and are in compliance with all policies and regulations.
• Ensure strategic alignment of overall grant portfolio and make recommendations to increase the effectiveness of grantmaking program.
• Manage program staff efforts in building and implementing yearly programmatic work plans, quarterly dockets, and periodic initiatives that advance Foundation strategy.
• Lead and manage program staff efforts to create and implement evaluation and learning approaches aligned with Foundation goals and annual performance metrics.
• Oversee development and monitoring of the Foundation’s programmatic budget.
Leadership and Management
• Able to objectively recognize opportunities and recommend solutions that increase the overall effectiveness and encourage continuous improvement of the Foundation across all business areas as a member of the executive and leadership teams.
• Lead, direct, manage, and provide oversight of program staff performance and provide coaching and guidance as well as on-the-job learning and professional development.
• Externally recognized and visible representative of the Foundation in the philanthropic field.
Partnership and Thought Leadership
• Represent the Foundation regionally and nationally by speaking at and attending conferences and meetings, maintaining a strong network of funder, community, and public sector contacts throughout each region, and facilitating networking among and between grantees and other community organizations.
• Oversee the program team’s contribution of written articles and reports and support development of Foundation publications, Board materials, communications, and public relations initiatives. Drive strong collaboration of messaging to increase awareness and visibility of Foundation grantmaking.
• Foster and generate new ideas and innovation supporting the needs of the Foundation.
• Oversee a process for continuous learning regarding Foundation grantmaking. Work with program staff to maximize the effectiveness of grantee relations by focusing on strategy, influencing skills, assessment approaches, and experience working with challenging grantees.
• Supervise program staff by setting clear expectations of grantmaking function, sharing information about the program strategies, priorities, and objectives, and providing opportunities for professional growth as appropriate.
• Work collaboratively with the Foundation President and other staff on strategic Foundation issues. Contribute to the development of a supportive and collaborative work environment through active participation in internal projects, teams, and activities.
The CPD will embrace and have a true passion for the mission of the Foundation along with a commitment to the Foundation areas of focus. Driven by the Foundation goals, s/he will have the character and dexterity to innovate and lead the grantmaking and evaluation functions while working closely alongside a strong leadership team to achieve the greatest possible impact for continued and future success. S/he will embody the values of the Foundation and will inspire and motivate others.
The CPD will be a strategic thinker with the vision, capacity, and experience to understand and balance a complex array of needs. S/he will be an intuitive planner with a demonstrated ability to set priorities, develop and implement clear, action-oriented thoughtful strategies, and assess risks in a timely manner while keeping the best interests of the Foundation and its impact in focus. S/he will have robust analytic skills and the ability to think creatively and collaboratively about the Foundation’s philanthropic goals while continuing to actively solicit feedback.
The CPD will act with humility and agility and will be able to navigate the Foundation’s multiple priorities, knowing when to change direction and focus and will be able to make practical, data-driven decisions in a timely, thoughtful way. S/he will have the strength of character to work effectively with other strong leaders at the Foundation in positive partnership and will be seen as an expert in this area. A superior project manager with clear, well-supported ideas, the CPD will express his or her opinions thoughtfully and with poise, helping to guide various Foundation stakeholders to consensus.
The CPD will be a decisive, results-oriented leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style. S/he will have a proven record of visible and effective management and the demonstrated ability to build, nurture, and retain a strong team of professionals that is focused on impact, excellence, accountability, and efficiency. This individual will also be a fervent motivator able to inspire shared vision, quality performance, and strong morale. S/he will empower and cultivate staff through active and effective communication, feedback, and delegation and promote intra- and interdepartmental teamwork and collaboration while maintaining a leadership style that is fluid, open, and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities.
With an approachable, yet direct style, the CPD will be a natural relationship builder with an innate ability to shape and sustain excellent relationships. S/he will continually be an excellent advocate for the Foundation, its strategic priorities, and its mission both within the Foundation and with varied external constituents. The CPD will form a strong bond with the leadership at the Foundation, including the Board and Foundation President and CEO, and will be able to remain firm and steady in delicate situations and high-level strategic discussions. An excellent, attentive listener, s/he will naturally earn trust. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values and is someone who can be trusted without reservation.
The CPD will be a dynamic, exceptional communicator with strong interpersonal skills and an ardent ability to articulately present the Foundation’s priorities to a range of audiences in a manner that energizes and inspires. This individual will have an inherent ability to listen intently, think clearly, and respond effectively to a variety of inquiries and challenges. Using accessible language to communicate strategy, information, and process, s/he will be able to synthesize input, make decisions, and share information to a broad group of constituents in order to build consensus for action with a clearly articulated vision. S/he will deeply understand the nuances of creating and delivering compelling and meaningful communications such as proposals, reports, and updates. The CPD will produce effective and persuasive presentations on topics of importance to senior leadership, staff, Board members, external partners, and stakeholders with complete transparency and accuracy.
Master’s degree required, with a preference for a degree in public health, public policy, or related area. A minimum of seven to ten years of senior grantmaking experience that demonstrates expertise and deep knowledge of philanthropy, Foundation operations, grantmaking, grantee relations, and process design.
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Blue Shield of California Foundation (www.blueshieldcafoundation.org) is one of the largest healthcare grantmaking organizations in California. The Foundation was formed by Blue Shield of California (BSC), a mission-based, not-for-profit corporation. BSC is the state’s third-largest health plan with four million members, $18 billion in annual revenue, 6,000 employees, and 20 offices throughout California. The Foundation offices are located in San Francisco.