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Job Description: Director, Center for Family Voice

Position: Director, Center for Family Voice

Reports to: Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer (CTO) Classification: Full-time/Exempt Location: Columbus, Ohio


Groundwork Ohio is the leading early childhood policy, research, and advocacy organization in the state of Ohio. Our mission is to champion early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families, and communities.

The Center for Family Voice (hereinafter “the Center”) is one of three “Centers of Excellence” at Groundwork Ohio. The Center is dedicated to authentically engaging Ohio parents and families with young children in the policies and practices that impact the healthy development of their children. The Center was created as an innovative response to the lack of authentic family voices in the development of policy and practices that deeply impact Ohio pregnant women, young children, and their families.

The Center will drive programmatic, policy, and practice changes at local, regional, and state levels by integrating family voice into the decision-making process of Ohio’s family-serving systems.

Position Overview:

The Director of the Center for Family Voice will oversee Center activities and drive the Center’s work to elevate the voices of families with young children in early childhood policy and advocacy to achieve programmatic, policy, and practice changes at local, regional, and state levels.

This position description details the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications for the Director of the Center.


  • In collaboration with the CTO:

    • Develop the strategy for the Center’s planned work to elevate family voice and build a family engagement infrastructure in early childhood policy, advocacy, and program implementation.

    • Create a structure and process for embedding and emphasizing family voice in all “Centers of Excellence” and across Groundwork Ohio’s work.

    • Cultivate, identify, and evaluate new opportunities and partnerships to further the Center’s vision.

    • Monitor and evaluate the Center’s activities to ensure alignment with and progress towards achieving the Center’s vision and set objectives.

  • Lead implementation of the Center vision and strategy, including the creation, build out and support of a high functioning and effective Family Action Network and Family Leadership Fellowship.

  • Serve as an internal expert to advise senior leadership and the Directors of other Groundwork Ohio “Centers of Excellence” on how to authentically engage and elevate family voice in early childhood policy and advocacy.

  • Develop effective partnerships and relationships between Groundwork Ohio and families, community organizations and local stakeholders across the state to support shared early childhood policy and advocacy goals.

  • Collaborate with the Directors of the Center for Maternal and Young Child Health and the Center for Early Learning in furtherance of Groundwork Ohio’s mission and the Center’s vision.

  • Provide updates to the Board and other key stakeholders on the Center’s work, milestones, and planned activities.

  • Operate as the Center’s leader and steward including, as needed, serving as an effective speaker for Groundwork Ohio at both Groundwork-led and select external events.

Center program development and management

  • Under direction of the CTO, create, maintain, and/or oversee systems and processes to ensure effective management of the Center’s work and activities, including the creation, implementation and tracking of progress on project work plans and timelines.

  • Develop and implement programming, trainings and other activities that build and enhance the capacity, skills and knowledge of families, community organizations and other local stakeholders working with families to engage in policy advocacy.

  • Develop and implement outreach activities, campaigns, and strategies to cultivate family relationships, community awareness and increased engagement with the Family Action Network and other relevant coalitions.

  • Embed family engagement and outreach, coalition-building and other relevant best practices across Center activities and identify ongoing partner learning opportunities.

  • Implement Center work in accordance with project budgets and work with the CTO and COO to identify needs for any budget revisions.

  • Support resource development, including identification of new funding sources, grant identification, proposal writing and coordination.

Research, writing, and analysis

  • Conduct research, including primary data collection and analysis, such as key informant interviews, document review, focus groups, online survey research, including planning, questionnaire development, facilitation, data entry, coding, and analysis.

  • Research, identify and develop a database of family engagement, community outreach, coalition-building and other relevant best practices to implement in the Center’s work.

  • Develop written product outlines that are logical in structure, identify a clear purpose and have a clear set of objectives.

  • Author and/or contribute to high quality and effective products, including reports, briefs, abstracts, fact sheets, webinars, testimony, blog posts, social media content, resource pages, tools and other written or online products that communicate out and support Center activities.

  • Develop presentations, graphics and other visual tools that communicate out and support Center activities.

  • Execute, review, and provide feedback on Groundwork Ohio products to ensure they are high quality, adhere with organizational branding, the “Center vision” and clear communication to targeted audience(s).

Staff management

  • Supervise, coach, and collaborate with the Leadership team to support Center staff’s individual and team success.

  • Oversee Center staff productivity, including conducting regular staff performance evaluations.

  • Build a highly inclusive culture ensuring Center staff thrive and Center goals and outcomes are met.

General Qualifications:

  • A minimum of five years of leadership experience specializing in community outreach, engagement, and advocacy including program development and implementation.

  • A minimum of three years of direct supervisory or management experience.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related area of study; advanced degree is highly preferred

General skills and attributes

This position requires:

  • Passion for the vision and mission of Groundwork Ohio and the ability to communicate this passion to others.

  • Expertise in and demonstrated commitment to operationalizing diversity, equity and inclusion and cultural and linguistic competency principles and practices.

  • Demonstrated ability to research, write and compile data for planning, evaluation, and reporting purposes.

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and oral, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies.

  • Strong relationship-building and facilitation skills with the ability to find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including families from diverse backgrounds.

  • Strong multi-tasking ability and work ethic.

  • Proficiency in office software, including but not limited to, MS office, Outlook, Survey Monkey, virtual meeting, and shared drive platforms.

  • Ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcome-driven, and entrepreneurial environment.

Other requirements

  • Must have the ability to work both in a traditional office environment and/or from home as needed.

  • Must be able to travel across the state to facilitate and build relationships with families and key stakeholders (up to 40% of the time).

  • Requires routine use of standard office equipment such as computers, monitors, phones, copiers and filing cabinets.

  • Requires ability to be stationary and sedentary for extended periods of time.

  • May occasionally require standing, bending and light lifting (less than 15 pounds)

Competitive Benefits:

Groundwork Ohio is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prospective applicants ready to collaborate with an awesome and highly effective team of professionals are encouraged to send a resume with cover letter to Reem Aly at with subject line: Center for Family Voice Director by Monday, April 4, 2022.


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