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Program Director, Los Angeles Emissary


True Colors United implements innovative solutions to youth homelessness by focusing on the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth. Through an array of training & education, advocacy, and youth collaboration programs, True Colors United ensures that every LGBTQ+ young person, wherever they live, is celebrated for being their authentic selves. 

Job Description

True Colors United is looking for a program director in the Greater Los Angeles area to support the work of the Los Angeles Emissary, a body of young people in Los Angeles County with lived experience of homelessness working to advance housing justice for youth and young adults. Reporting directly to the Chief Programs Officer, the Program Director will provide coordination, oversight, and coaching to a team of eight LA-based staff while working alongside the team to:

  • build and strengthen multi-system coordination;
  •  grow youth power in homelessness/housing systems leadership and
    decision-making; and
  •  attain long-term sustainability as a youth-led entity in Los Angeles County advancing housing justice for youth and young adults.

This is not an entry level position.


This role is dynamic in scope, with responsibilities including but not limited to:

Personnel Management

The Program Director will be responsible for the coaching and supervision of a team of eight staff members, providing support and professional development and engaging in ongoing performance management using a collaborative, strengths-based approach that encourages growth in leadership and decision-making across the team.

  • Works individually with each team member to set realistic goals for professional growth and development and provide coaching and support toteam members in their pursuit of those goals.
  • Builds and models a culture of accountability in which feedback is given
    proactively and regularly, there are clearly defined shared expectations
    between the director and supervisees, and individual team members are supported in growing their own comfort with giving and receiving feedback to/from peers across the team.
  • Serves as a mediator between team members when conflict arises, using leading practices in conflict transformation to support team members in navigating challenging conversations and using those conflicts as an opportunity to strengthen relationships and build trust.

Program Management, Monitoring, and Evaluation

The Program Director will be responsible for identifying impact metrics, capturing relevant data, and facilitating strategic decision-making alongside the Emissary team in order to grow the impact and sustainability of the program. They will track progress and report outcomes to the appropriate internal and external partners —including staff leadership, funders, supervisors, and others.

  • Oversees program budget and expenditures, timeline, project roles and grant deliverables for projects within the Los Angeles Emissary portfolio.
  •  Provides coaching and professional development to the Emissary team on project management methods, tools, processes, and ideologies.
  • Provides consistent, ongoing review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Los Angeles Emissary portfolio, troubleshooting gaps between goals and outcomes.
  • Works with the rest of the Los Angeles Emissary team to co-design impact metrics and ways to capture and analyze relevant data to improve outcomes.

Relationship Management

The Program Director will be overseeing a body of work that is happening beyond the Los Angeles Emissary staff team, across an expansive network of partners in Los Angeles County. They will be responsible for maintaining strong relationships with current funding partners, building relationships with new and emerging funders, and representing the Los Angeles Emissary work to leaders in the field — including national and local nonprofit organizations, service-providing organizations/agencies, system partners in child welfare and the continuum of care, and regional tables within Los Angeles County.

  • Maintains strong relationships with current funding partners and builds relationships with new and emerging partners to secure future funding and advance sustainability goals for the program.
  • Communicates (and supports Los Angeles Emissary team members in communicating) proactive updates across the network of partners, ensuring that information is shared transparently and key people and organizations/agencies are kept informed of upcoming events, meetings, and other opportunities for engagement.
  • Works alongside the full Los Angeles Emissary team to build community among the partners, building consensus toward shared goals, securing and strengthening buy-in, and aligning partners around the values of authentic youth collaboration, leadership of young people with lived experience of homelessness, system accountability, and LGBTQIA+ and racial justice.

Key Skills and Qualifications

The successful candidate will have at least eight years of professional experience, with at least five years of experience as a supervisor and program manager. Additional requirements include:

  • Dedication to and fluency in racial justice and LGBTQ+ justice, consistent use of LGBTQ+ and racial justice lens in program and personnel management
  • High level expertise in using project management tools like Airtable and Google Suite, and project management methods like SWOT analysis and SMARTIE goals (Strategic, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, Time-bound, Inclusive, and Equitable)
  • Direct experience partnering with young people through an anti-adultist lens and using leading practices in authentic youth collaboration
  • Very strong relationship management skills and the ability to build relationships with partners, including staff, external partners, and funders
  • Familiarity and experience with the homelessness system and other youth-impacting systems in Los Angeles County
  • Ability to use radical imagination and practical knowledge to develop long-term vision and strategy
  • Willingness to be bold and take strategic risks
  • Ability to rally their team around shared vision
  •  High level subject-matter expertise in homelessness and housing justice

More Information

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in a fast-growing, highly-respected organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. True Colors United is prepared to offer an attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, retirement, life insurance, and vacation benefits. This position will be based in Los Angeles with some mandatory travel. We are accepting applications from residents of Greater Los Angeles with a preference for residents of Los Angeles County.
True Colors United is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people of color, people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, women, and people with lived experiences of homelessness to apply. The starting salary for this position is $90,000 annually. Exceptional candidates may be eligible for a higher starting salary. Please submit a one-page cover letter and resume to In your cover letter, please highlight in particular why you would like to work at True Colors United.