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Director of First Five Nebraska

Organization: First Five Nebraska
Date Posted: 7/24/2019
Date Needed: 10/1/2019
City: Lincoln
Location: Nebraska
Country: United States
Primary Category: Non-Profit
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's degree required
Experience Requirement: > 10 years

Description & Details

The Director of First Five Nebraska (FFN) is responsible for the progression of all early childhood policy, communications, and strategic partnership work that falls within the scope of FFN. Key responsibilities include providing strategic leadership and vision for FFN while supporting its policy and communications efforts; leading the development and monitoring of the FFN budget; developing work plans and proposals for start-up of new work; managing and submitting required funding and progress reports; building relationships with national and state partners; representing FFN on the early childhood State Advisory Council; and maintaining a working knowledge of research-based best practices in early childhood.



All duties are carried out with a minimum of supervision, and are done in accordance with the mission, vision, and priorities of First Five Nebraska.

  • Provides strategic vision for short- and long-term planning and leads identification of organizational priorities relevant to future needs;
  • Drafts and monitors annual budget based on capacity needs and expanded workload to accomplish organizational priorities;
  • Cultivates innovation by encouraging new and better ways for the organization to be successful;
  • Presents information to public groups, national and state partners, elected and appointed officials, top management, and boards of directors;
  • Builds relationships with national and state partners and works collaboratively to meet shared objectives;
  • Supervises policy staff, senior-level communications staff, office manager, and oversees contractual work under the auspices of First Five Nebraska;
  • Serves on the Executive Team of Nebraska Children;
  •  Coordinates the activities of First Five Nebraska with other departments of Nebraska Children;
  •  Primary interface with First Five Nebraska funder;

To be successful at this job, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Awareness of government systems, processes, and regulations and how they relate to or impact early childhood;
  • Keen interest in public policy and knowledge of the Nebraska Unicameral;
  • Knowledge of Nebraska’s political environment and sensitive to multiple viewpoints;
  • Excellent verbal and written skills and feel comfortable presenting to small and large groups representing First Five Nebraska;
  • Ability to assess and define problems and anticipate future roadblocks, make decisions in a timely manner, and communicate them effectively;
  • Ability to cultivate talents in staff and help them develop and perform as highly as possible;
  • Willingness to take initiative and pursue action independently with minimal oversight and direction;
  • Builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives;
  • Ability to interpret a variety of information in written or verbal form, prioritize work, and plan and manage multiple activities at once;
  • Ability to see the big picture and simplify complex ideas;

Bachelor's degree in social work, public administration, family or child development or related field, plus a minimum of 10 years of experience in strategic planning, government relations, policy development, lobbying, and/or the legislative arena.  Masters preferred but not required.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.  Must possess the talent and capability of leadership and be able to motivate staff related to the vision and mission of the organization.  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret documents such as state and federal legislation, professional journals, financial reports, state budgets, governmental regulations, and legal documents. Ability to write state and federal testimony, grant proposals, progress reports, speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format, as well as routine reports and correspondence. Ability to respond to common inquiries about the organization from the public, policymakers, and/or media.

Ability to interpret early childhood data, research, and graphical information for necessary stakeholders. Knowledge of budgeting and fiscal planning required. Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.

While performing the duties of this job, the Director of First Five Nebraska is regularly required to attend to and contribute to meetings (often requiring sitting, standing, walking, and analyzing information in team settings).  The employee will sometimes need to travel to locations within and outside of the state. Some travel will include overnight stays.

This is a full-time position based in Lincoln, Nebraska. During the legislative session, work hours will often be required outside of typical business hours.

How to Apply / Contact
Please submit cover letter and resume to Wendi Schulz at