Safely Opening Schools Managing Director

Posting Number: #105-21

Position Title: Safely Opening Schools Managing Director

Closing Date: Until Filled

Location: Remote ( Oakland, CA)

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The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.

Position Summary

In January 2021, PHI launched the Safely Opening Schools (SOS) program with major funding from The California Endowment and with additional support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and others through PHI’s Together Toward Health Initiative. The SOS program supports 10 California school districts implementing a routine rapid antigen COVID-19 testing model for onsite staff and students as part of the districts’ safer reopening plans. It is now expanding its services to provide training and support to other high-needs districts across California and potentially in other states. SOS provides virtual and onsite training and technical assistance to districts, coordinates on knowledge and implementation with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and partners with a data platform provider to register users and report testing results.

Initially launched as an 8-week pilot, SOS has drawn interest from the California Department of Education (CDE) and school districts across the state. As a result, PHI is looking for a Managing Director who will work with the Principal Investigator to lead the program, successfully complete implementation and wrap up the initial pilot phase, work with evaluation partners and with PHI leadership and partners to develop a strategy for ongoing support to California’s schools, in particular through training districts on the SOS rapid antigen testing model. In addition, the SOS Director is responsible for fostering strong relationships with school districts, CDPH and CDE, SOS funders, and other key stakeholders and supporting the scale-up of safe and effective screening programs in schools.

The SOS Managing Director will report to the SOS Principal Investigator and will directly manage SOS staff including the SOS Program Manager, Senior Trainer, and other training consultants.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Program Leadership and Management – 80%

  • Work with SOS Principal Investigator, PHI leadership and external partners to ensure that current SOS goals and objectives are met and to develop a strategy for ongoing SOS programming.
  • Work with the SOS team to provide and continually improve ongoing training and technical assistance.
  • Work with the districts to ensure proper procedures and testing flow
  • Work with CDPH to ensure that districts have the tests they need and adequate resources
  • Work with our data platform provider to ensure data is being collected and disseminated as expected
  • Work with our external evaluator to conduct an overall pilot evaluation.
  • Work with PHI leadership and partners to develop a strategy for ongoing engagement with and support for California schools beyond the pilot including conducting training with districts identified as priority districts for CDE and other interested districts.
  • Oversee the SOS philanthropic budget, and if needed, develop a fee-for-service service delivery model for larger scale-up (for example, packaging and pricing a set of SOS services – training, tools, strategic partnerships – that can be provided to CA school districts for a fee beyond the life of the pilot term).
  • Manage SOS staff including the Program Manager, Senior Trainer, and other trainers.
  • Coordinate with CDPH to implement a collaborative and complementary approach to supporting school districts.
  • Represent SOS to funders, districts, and State government departments as needed.
  • Serve as operational lead for SOS including administering expense reports, invoices, and managing contracting processes as needed.
  • Ensure all systems are in place and streamlined, and develop systems as needed, for SOS operations to run smoothly.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Strategic Outreach and Communications – 20%

  • Lead and oversee development and implementation for SOS including outreach, communication, and engagement across the state.
  • Coordinate with PHI Communications Team and Funders’ communications teams.
  • Develop and sustain strong working relationships with the SOS
  • Assume primary responsibility and serve as the content lead for the production of SOS products including tools, resources, website, and social media communications.
  • Facilitate meetings and calls with districts and partners

Minimum Qualifications

  • Five years’ experience working with school districts and/or the education sector or in public health work involving schools, testing, or related fields with a minimum of 3 years project management experience with some supervisory responsibilities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and track record of conducting outreach and fostering strong working relationships with people and organizations.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Experience developing and delivering training or presentations in-person and/or online.
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously; outstanding reliability and follow-through.
  • Ability to think creatively, work independently, and be proactive in proposing new and better approaches to the work; entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Must be willing and able to travel within California for onsite training with school districts and other key in-person meetings.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in communications, education, public health, public policy, business, nursing, public administration or related field or two years of professional experience equivalent.
  • One year of management-level experience is preferred. It can be substituted with knowledge/experience related to leadership.
  • Lived experience relevant to the Districts represented in the SOS Pilot desirable.
  • School health background.

Important Information

  • This is a full-time, time-limited position that is expected to last 6-18 months.

Commitment to Racial and Health Equity

SOS is committed to advancing racial equity in health and education across California, and will prioritize pilots where reopening is most urgent, i.e. schools serving: large numbers of children of essential workers; predominantly Black and Latinx communities hardest hit by COVID-19; students requiring special education and other special needs; and those not doing well with remote learning.

The Public Health Institute is committed to a policy that provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and to make all employment decisions so as to further this principle of equal employment opportunity. To this end, the PHI will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are offered employment and employees are treated during employment without regard to these characteristics.

To apply for any position, you must create an account on the Public Health Institute’s job application site. After creating your account, you may search the open positions and apply for the specific position that interests you. Please note, mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted.

We’re so pleased the Public Health Institute is an organization you would like to work with. Do you have questions about this opportunity? If so, email our recruitment team at

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