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Deputy Project Director, Federal Contract

About KIND

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 700 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen the protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

Position Summary

KIND vision and unwavering goal is that all unaccompanied children facing immigration proceedings in the U.S. have a lawyer at their side while the government adjudicates their immigration case. To achieve that vision, KIND (1) establishes and leverages public and private partnerships, which expands the organization’s ability to reach and serve migrant children; and (2) aims to deliver high-quality, trauma-informed services consistently and efficiently.

KIND is poised to serve even more children by virtue of a proposed federal government contracting opportunity stemming from a forthcoming Request for Proposals (RFP) from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. That proposed RFP will significantly increase post-release services for unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S.

KIND seeks a Deputy Project Director, Federal Contract, to support the Senior Project Director, Federal Contract, in managing a large, complex federal services contract. The incumbent will oversee referrals, coordinate legal services, and serve as the primary liaison for government and other stakeholders on programmatic questions regarding referring cases for representation. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that KIND provides eligible unaccompanied children with legal representation in accordance with this contract. This position reports to the Senior Project Director, Federal Contract.

This position is contingent upon KIND securing a contract pursuant to this proposed RFP.

Essential Functions

Coordinate Referrals and Legal Services

  • Serves as deputy to the Senior Project Director, Federal Contract overseeing a large, complex federal services contract.
  • Oversees referrals from a variety of stakeholders to ensure that eligible unaccompanied children receive legal representation, and that no duplication of efforts exists.
  • Serves as primary liaison for government and other stakeholders on programmatic questions regarding referring cases for representation.
  • Devises and operationalizes effective and efficient systems to assess and place unaccompanied children with legal representation under the contract through KIND, subcontractors, and pro bono volunteers.
  • Supervises and supports Regional Program Managers in overseeing legal service providers’ performance.
  • Develops processes and best practices for coordinating referrals and matching eligible unaccompanied children with legal representation.
  • Works with Regional Managers to ensure quality and consistency across all locations.

Oversee Program Performance and Data Management

  • Works with Regional Program Managers, Management and Evaluation Associate, and legal services providers to ensure the delivery of high-quality services; monitors performance metrics and goal completion, and complies with ORR reporting requirements.
  • Oversees data management for services to unaccompanied children under the contract (may require accessing unaccompanied children’s contact information in ORR databases to coordinate referrals for legal services).
  • Guides and monitors workloads, sets priorities, and establishes effective workflows to meet program deliverables.
  • Facilitates collection of quantitative and qualitative performance data for analysis and reporting.
  • Presents legal services activities, progress, and challenges to the project’s senior leadership.
  • Attains a high level of understanding of KIND’s mission and programmatic functions to communicate effectively with project senior leaders and stakeholders and provide advice.

Lead Internal Team and Oversee Program Administration

  • Oversees program implementation and administration, including liaising with Operations, Finance, Development, and Human Resources teams.
  • Works with the Senior Project Director, Federal Contract and Finance staff on budget monitoring.
  • Resolves conflicts effectively, while encouraging a healthy team environment.
  • Supports Senior Project Director, Federal Contract in convening internal contract-related meetings, including supporting agenda development, implementing project management and task-tracking systems, and setting clear objectives for all internal stakeholders overseeing work under the contract.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field required; minimum of 5 years of experience in legal services program management.
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.) preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in data management and oversight.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience overseeing performance and tracking deliverables, hiring, planning, and project implementation.
  • Willing to undergo background checks and/or security clearances, if needed, to access ORR databases.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Experience managing large, complex federal contracts, and/or significant state and local funded initiatives, and serving as the lead in project, program and/or portfolio management, strongly preferred.
  • Seasoned people manager with excellent leadership skills and proven ability to navigate successfully in complex, fast-paced organizations; experience managing large and cross-functional project teams.
  • Knowledge of project management methodologies and tools; operational experience with program/project metrics tracking and reporting, strongly preferred.
  • Direct knowledge of and experience working with the Administration for Children & Families, or the Office of Refugee Resettlement, preferred.
  • Experience working with nongovernmental organizations, ideally those working in the child welfare, refugee, or humanitarian immigration context, preferred.
  • Job requires 25% travel, including to Washington, D.C., for candidates not based in that metropolitan area.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites (such as Teams, Excel, Visio etc.).
  • Ability to work collaboratively and multi-task in our KIND environment, managing numerous priorities and emerging opportunities.
  • Excellent organizational skills with ability to work on multiple projects in a deadline-oriented environment. Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate as appropriate.
  • Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
  • Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
  • Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
  • Showing the ability to multi-task and work with a sense of urgency in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
  • Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
  • Experience working and communicating in a remote environment.

Salary Range: $112,000 - $140,000 dependent on experience

KIND requires all U.S. based staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.

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