Program Director

Position Summary

This job description reflects the general level and nature of the job. It is not intended to be all inclusive.


The Program Director reports directly to and works with the Executive Director to drive the development of VIA’s initiatives and participant experiences in Asia and the US through experiential programs and ongoing community engagement. As part of a team, the goal of the position is to provide programmatic content leadership, coordination of participant engagement, and oversight in developing new programs in line with our strategic plan.

Primary Duties / Responsibilities

Program Design & Implementation (35%)

  • Maintain a program portfolio, including short-term and exposure programs, workshops, virtual courses, and other forms of engagement.
  • Develop program content and timeline, short-term and long-term program strategies, and objectives for program portfolio that are in line with VIA’s intended learning outcomes, strategic plan, and overall mission.
  • As needed, run or assist with programs in Asia and the US (including virtual and in-person programs).
  • Analyze past program designs and assessments to evolve the program; maintain a record of the programs’ evolution.
  • Scaffold programming to maximize participants’ learning outcomes.
  • Evaluate each program according to VIA’s core curriculum objectives and content-specific programmatic goals and objectives.
  • Work with the Director of Operations to assess each program according to VIA’s strategic success indicators and grant/internal reporting requirements.

Program Logistics (20%)

  • Arrange program logistics, including activities, organization/company visits, transportation, lodging, and meals.
  • Identify program staffing needs and work with the Director of Operations to recruit, onboard, and train seasonal staff and volunteers.
  • Work with Executive Director and Director of Operations to evaluate and manage risk factors, maintain Emergency Response Plan, and provide information and training to seasonal staff, volunteers, and participants on risk mitigation and crisis response protocols.
  • Work with the Executive Director and Director of Finance to create/update budgets and set benchmarks for program funding mix, including grants, fees, scholarship allocation, etc.
  • Manage program budget and submit financial reports within set deadlines.

Participant Recruitment & Enrollment (15%)

  • Provide content to the Director of Operations to update promotional materials, website, application, and other platforms.
  • Work with the Director of Operations to determine recruitment, screening, and enrollment timeline and processes.
  • Coordinate with the Director of Operations to update application and screening tools as needed.
  • Travel to partner institutions as needed for program promotion and recruitment.
  • Host information sessions (including virtual and in-person sessions) and respond to inquiries from potential applicants and partner contacts.
  • Review applications, conduct applicant interviews, and send out acceptance/rejection notices.
  • Coordinate with Director of Operations to collect pre-arrival information and documents from participants.
  • Design and implement pre-arrival orientation content and activities. 

Partnership Development & Communication (10%)

  • Work to identify and approach appropriate potential partners and build relationships, with support from the Executive Director.
  • Work with Director of Operations to prepare appropriate marketing materials to share with potential partners and track partnership lead development.
  • Maintain communication with partner organizations sending participants and with partners hosting program-related activities to share program/recruitment timeline, marketing materials, and arrange logistics as needed in coordination with the Director of Operations.
  • Travel to partner institutions and other locations as needed for relationship building and program development.

Secondary Duties / Responsibilities

Organizational Development (10%)

  • Provide opportunities for partner representatives, donors, and alumni to engage with programs, e.g., panel discussions, program observations, social events, etc.
  • Assist in searching grant funding/sponsorship opportunities and contribute narrative content and quantitative/qualitative data to support grant proposals and reports.
  • Maintain database by updating participant and donor information.
  • Contribute time, expertise, and perspective as a member of working committees focusing on specific projects.
  • Dedicate time to assisting other program directors in a supporting/advisory capacity.

Alumni/Supporter Engagement (10%)

  • Maintain communication with program alumni and supporters through social media, email, newsletters, and annual reports.
  • Encourage alumni to share program opportunities to support recruitment.
  • Collaborate with other program directors and Strategic Relationships Director on increasing and supporting alumni engagement activities.
  • Assist in developing and implementing activities that help sustain the “VIA Experience” for alumni after the program.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities – Required

  • Commitment to VIA’s mission to nurture the next generation of social impact leaders through innovative experiential learning programs.
  • ​​Minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • At least 3 years of professional experience, or combination of experience and post-graduate education, in relevant field(s).
  • A strong team orientation, with ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent detail-oriented, multi-tasking, logistical skills in planning programs and travel.
  • Effective communicator with excellent verbal communications skills and writing skills for professional correspondence.
  • Experience leading international education programs.
  • Experience working with students and young professionals.
  • Experience with social media for outreach and promotion purposes.
  • Work or education experience in Asia, especially East and Southeast Asia.
  • Excels as a trainer, facilitator, teacher, or mentor.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends during programs and other travel periods.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.
  • California resident.
  • Valid passport and ability to travel as needed to Asia, occasionally to remote areas.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively with business and technology applications, including, but not limited to, Microsoft Office, Google Workspace (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, etc), Salesforce, Slack, Canva, and Zoom.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities – Preferred

  • Experience leading or managing a team.
  • Experience with risk management, emergency response coordination, and travel due diligence.
  • Japanese language skills (N2 or higher); experience using Japanese in a professional setting.
  • Chinese, Indonesian, Burmese, or Vietnamese language skills also beneficial.
  • Formal program design and monitoring and evaluation training.
  • Experience or familiarity with social innovation, problem analysis, and design frameworks, including Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Systems Thinking, etc.
  • Coaching or counseling experience and demonstrated experience handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field such as international relations, international development, education, international education management, Asia Studies, etc.

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements listed are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Regular and consistent attendance and the ability to sit and work with hands and arms for at least 8 hours per day and 5 days per week.
  • Physical ability to stand, reach, lift, bend, kneel, stoop, climb, walk, crawl, push and pull items weighing up to 20 pounds.
  • Work overtime occasionally.
  • Have consistent and reliable attendance.
  • Proficient interpersonal relations and communicative skills in English.
  • Interpret a variety of instructions furnished in English written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Write routine reports and correspondence.
  • Meet daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and other deadlines consistently.
  • Work under pressure with changing, ambiguous priorities.
  • Communicate effectively and promptly to clients or employees of the organization.
  • High level of manual dexterity to adeptly type and use computer equipment.
  • Auditory and visual skills – Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.


This is a mostly remote position with some programs/tasks requiring to be present in person. On occasion, the employee may also be expected to travel or attend meetings in person.

Expected Hours of Work

The employee will be expected to work 40 hours weekly and must be available during the “core” work hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary range: $60,000-$63,000 (starting salary commensurate with experience)
  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance
  • $1200 contribution from VIA to a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) if enrolled in VIA’s health package
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • 11 paid holidays
  • Paid vacation days (accrued monthly up to 21 days)
  • Sick and kin care leave
  • Discretionary time off
  • Annual professional development funds
  • Cell phone allowance
  • Option to enroll in 403(b) savings and investment plan (not matched)
Hire Period: Priority Deadline is September 18, 2022. Preferred start date is late October 24, 2022. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.
How to Apply: Click the blue APPLY button to start your application. Create a login so that you can save your progress, make changes, and view your completed application. The form includes a few basic information questions and a place to upload your resume (no more than two pages) and letter of interest.