First Things First
First Things First (Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board) is one of the critical state partners in creating a child and family‐centered, comprehensive, collaborative and high‐quality early childhood system that supports the development, health and early education of all Arizona’s children. Created by voter initiative in 2006, First Things First is governed by a state Board with 28 regional partnership councils. First Things First is a decentralized organization that engages diverse constituencies to accomplish its mission. Organizational values include a focus on accountability, transparency, coordination, collaboration and on the outcomes that will ensure young children start kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life.
First Things First is seeking a dynamic, visionary leader capable of spearheading and managing a statewide early childhood organization with budgeted annual expenditures of about $150 million. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated competence in the areas of systems thinking, early childhood policy and practice, organizational development and management, fund development and fiscal stewardship, public affairs and community engagement. First Things First places a particular emphasis on a proven capacity to operate within a multi‐faceted governance structure, which in the case of First Things First includes a Board, regional partnership councils, and program implementation through a coordinated, collaborative statewide service delivery system and public transparency and accountability. With a staff of 160 professionals and more than 300 volunteers engaged across Arizona, this individual must be able to inspire a collective vision, lead an innovative and accountable organizational culture, and steward over daily operations in pursuit of achieving that vision.
The Chief Executive Officer must be a persuasive communicator who can work effectively with people from diverse groups and disciplines, including staff, leaders from business and government agencies, elected officials, representatives of community organizations and tribal members. Other characteristics include but are not limited to the ability to build and sustain partnerships and networks and to foster collaboration among these diverse groups. S/he will be a passionate advocate for young children who brings ideas, positive energy and the motivation to work with others to find solutions and implement best practices. S/he will embrace the importance of First Things First’s mission and its focus on early childhood development and access to high‐quality early care, education and health.
The successful candidate may come from a host of backgrounds, including early childhood policy and practice, relevant government agencies addressing the birth to 5 population, private foundations that are interested in these areas, health or policy institutes, early childhood education, organizations working with vulnerable populations or non‐profit organizations dealing with early childhood issues. S/he should demonstrate evidence of excellent leadership skills, collaborative and interpersonal skills in teaming with colleagues and partners and a track record of commitment to diversity and to building diverse leadership teams. S/he should also understand Arizona’s culture and be able to work effectively within that culture as well as possess the capacity and desire to work with others on a national scale.
Duties and Responsibilities
Public Policy and Engagement
Leadership and Management
The State of Arizona offers an outstanding comprehensive benefits and retirement package. Benefits may be elected within the first pay period. Positions in this classification participate in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) with enrollment eligibility effective after 6 months of employment.
How to Apply
Review of resumes will begin on June 18, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. For consideration, please submit your cover letter, comprehensive resume and three professional references to:
JOB ID # 497022
The salary for this position is commensurate with the applicant’s background and experience and within the State of Arizona’s established salary range for this position; the midpoint is $145,000.