Executive Director

Remote Sacramento, CA

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the overall vision, strategic direction, executive leadership, and management of the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN), accomplishing PHI CWN’s mission by leading program and fund development to reduce health disparities and improve the nutrition and wellness status of the most vulnerable populations across the US. The ED develops and provides oversight of core relationships within a portfolio of multiple federal, state, local and private funders for both small and large contracts. The ED is required to demonstrate expansive knowledge of and experience with nutrition, food systems, and wellness initiatives, public health and community-based approaches, and chronic disease prevention programs.

PHI CWN’s vision is for a healthy nation where wellness is achievable for all individuals and communities, and its mission is to build capacity and leadership in communities and institutions to make optimal health accessible for all. PHI CWN’s work falls within the four primary areas of training, education, research and evaluation, and advocacy, all of which use a health equity framework to variously address the priority areas of increasing access to and consumption of healthier foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables; decreasing consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages and increasing consumption of water; increasing physical activity and preventing obesity and chronic diet related illnesses, and nutrition security.

CWN’s current portfolio totals over $10 million dollars annually and includes a wide range of food and nutrition security, health, wellness, capacity building, and community engagement projects and programs. One example includes a multi-million-dollar, multi-year contract with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to support the development and execution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Nutrition Education (SNAP-Ed) (aka CalFresh Healthy Living) specific deliverables and SNAP Outreach (aka CalFresh Food Outreach). Additionally, another PHI program, Roots of Change (ROC), is an affiliate program of CWN.

To advance CWN’s vision and goals, the ED has primary overarching responsibility and accountability for determining and implementing ongoing organizational strategy, and for furthering organizational development and stability through securing new projects and partnerships, promoting CWN’s accomplishments and expertise, and nurturing relationship with funders and external organizations.

The ED’s significant outward facing role includes:

  • presenting PHI CWN’s portfolio of projects, expertise, and capabilities to highlight relevant initiatives and policy priorities to partners, professional organizations and other intermediaries, and its capacity for building new partnerships to extend best practices; and,
  • preparing, promoting, and presenting a wide variety of written and oral communications, including administrative and research reports, media appearances, professional presentations, national conferences and webinars, and contributions to journal articles for publication.
  • developing and maintaining partnerships with state and federal agencies, foundations, and other donors, and promoting program sustainability.

The ED works closely with the Deputy Directors, as well as an additional leadership team, which includes the Director of Research and Evaluation, Director of Global Nutrition and Partnerships as well as Senior Managers, to execute the CWN mission, vision, goals, and strategic plan, all of which are guided by CWN’s Health Equity Platform. The ED typically works closely with the Deputy Director II on personnel and staffing decisions, funder and external organization relations, new business/funds development, executing strategic plans, bids, and proposals, and fiscal, operations and administrative matters. The ED works closely with the Division Director which typically includes reporting on the status of projects, project team successes and challenges, funder and partner priorities, and other program related needs.

The ED will be credentialed as a Principal Investigator at the Public Health Institute. This position reports to PHI’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Public Policy, and Government Relations.

Strong preference for California based candidates with consideration provided to candidates located elsewhere in the United States dependent on exceptional qualifications and experience. This position currently works remotely with regular business travel required including to the CWN program office in Sacramento, CA.

Full salary range for this position: $137,192 to $214,224 per year. The typical hiring range for this position is from $137,192 (minimum) to $175,708 (midpoint), based on 100% FTE. The starting salary is determined based on the candidate’s knowledge, skills, experience, as well as budget availability.

Employment Type: Full Time

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • 35% - Directs overall vision and strategic direction for CWN inclusive of programmatic priorities and fiscal management for CWN, including all programmatic and procurement processes and fiduciary obligations of contracts, with special attention given to the CDSS contract. Monitors progress on contract objectives and deliverables to assure timely program implementation; quality assurance of submitted deliverables and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local grant provisions. Directs the development of multi-year and annual expenditures with stratified projects for personnel, subcontracting, operating and general expenses. Negotiates strategic adjustments to contract deliverables, as needed.
  • 25% - Supervises and mentors senior managers and directors and leads twice per month leadership meetings to promote teamwork, transparency and cross communication and collaboration among program, operations, evaluation, training, and communications senior managers and directors. Provides leadership to senior managers and division directors on strategic planning and methods for increasing program efficiency, managing workload, innovation and effective strategies, and business development and innovation. Provides oversight of the development and approval of annual performance review process inclusive of requiring diversity, equity, and inclusion. As needed, may be required to develop, manage, and monitor Performance Improvement Plans for CWN staff and recommend appropriate development and disciplinary action in coordination with the Deputy Director.
  • 20% - Explores new and varied business opportunities both locally, statewide, and nationally for CWN. Secures new SNAP-Ed business opportunities nationally for CWN and PHI. Expands and diversifies existing funding portfolio, cultivates new partnerships, and identifies and pursues cutting-edge funding and programmatic opportunities in support of CWN. Liaisons with other PHI PIs on joint funding applications and strategic planning.
  • 10% - Implements key program activities in areas of core areas of expertise: nutrition security, community engagement and participatory action approaches, partnership and coalition building and policy, systems, and environmental change strategies to support CWN and funders needs. This may include providing expert testimony to decision makers, presenting to senior state and federal leadership, and supporting private funders in core areas.
  • 5% - Supports advocacy efforts at the state and federal level for key nutrition, agricultural, wellness, and global malnutrition (in concert with on staff global health experts) initiatives and policies related to CWN priorities.
  • 5% - Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • At least 10 years of related experience.
  • A strong leader with at least 7 years of experience as a manager in public health, program planning and evaluation, SNAP-Ed, and other nutrition and/or health-related programs. SNAP-Ed program knowledge and management experience, including working knowledge of SNAP-Ed Guidance, is required for this position.
  • 7+ years of experience handling program related budgets and funds management of multiple types of funders (federal, state, private) that total over $5 million.
  • 7+ years of experience in development, partnership development, and successful grant/contract awards.
  • Master’s degree in public administration/policy, organizational management, health education/public health, nutrition, or similar field; or substitute with Bachelor’s degree plus two additional years of related experience.

Other Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and engagement with the diversity of CWN projects and priorities; experience promoting and marketing public health programs and staff expertise to potential funders and partners.
  • Strong commitment to health equity and racial justice in-house with staff, through interventions and with funders and partners to support the reduction in health disparities among vulnerable populations. Knowledge and experience with community engagement and community participatory action approaches that lift community voice and share power.
  • Thorough understanding of and experience in the principles and techniques of population-based, placed-based public health program administration, including planning, development, and program implementation and fiscal functions on government and private contracts.
  • Ability to design novel, creative public health approaches. Same general knowledge in global sector is helpful.
  • Knowledge of and adherence to principles of equal employment opportunity in hiring and employee development, promotion, and discipline that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills: provide persuasive and skilled leadership to other staff in program management and evaluation; synthesizing findings for decision makers, and elevating project successes to partners, stakeholders, and potential funders.
  • Ability to be an attentive and discerning listener who is capable of thoughtful and insightful responses to advance constructive dialogue.
  • Ability to think independently and creatively.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive cooperative relations with professional staff and with officials of Federal, State, local, and private organizations alike; as well as be involved in professional organizations to build relationships, stay abreast of issues, and create additional visibility for the program’s accomplishments.
  • Ability to formalize the results of strategic planning, development, implementation, and reconciliation of budgets with diverse scopes of work in a multidisciplinary work environment.
  • Ability to apply professional management and scientific knowledge and administrative ability to resolve a variety of situations.
  • Ability to analyze situations accurately and take effective action, as well as to sometimes work under pressure.
  • Ability to execute decisions with tenacity and business acumen.



This position is classified as exempt based on the job duties. However, based on the FTE, salary level of the employee, or federal/state/local laws, the employee may be classified as nonexempt.



Per the PHI Workforce Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, it is a condition of employment for all domestic based employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they are granted a reasonable accommodation under applicable law.

New hires need to provide proof of full vaccination prior to their start date or apply for an exemption/accommodation within three business days after their start date. Depending on the circumstances, new hires who do not comply with this Policy, or who cannot be reasonably accommodated, will either have their employment suspended or terminated. Candidates who are non-compliant will have their offers rescinded.

EEO Statement

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.

ADA Statement:

The Public Health Institute is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Recruitment Team at least 48 hours in advance at Recruitment@phi.org.

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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 Recruitment@phi.org.

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