U.S. nationals: Chief Program Officer

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Position: Chief Program Officer (CPO)

Employment type: full-time, exempt

Location: Los Angeles, frequent travel

Total Compensation: salary competitive and commensurate with level of experience

Simply Put:

DigDeep is the only WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) organization serving the more than 2 million Americans who still don’t have a tap or a toilet at home.

DigDeep is growing fast. We won the 2018 US Water Prize for our Navajo Water Project, which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Now we’re expanding that work across the country. Our operating budget doubled this year to $2.6M; we’ve built new partnerships with impacted communities, and we’re developing WASH projects in Alabama, Texas and West Virginia informed by data from the first national study on water and sanitation access, which we’ve just completed.

Now we’re on the hunt for a dynamic, creative, and entrepreneurial WASH professional who can provide strong leadership across our project portfolio as we take our place as the national leader on this issue.

The Opportunity:

The Chief Programs Officer (CPO) leads and coordinates the planning, delivery and quality of all DigDeep’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities across the US. All Program Directors and their staff report to the Chief Programs Officer. This role requires a strong focus on outcomes, but the right candidate has the passion and skill to build unlikely coalitions, innovate on old models and develop strong community leadership.

The CPO is responsible for leading all planning, organizing, staffing, implementing and controlling activities, including monitoring and evaluation, for our WASH projects. The right candidate has a clear vision for how we can close the water access gap in America and loves leveraging lessons learned from WASH work abroad. Together, the CEO and the CPO, supported by the Chief Relationship Officer, our Board and a powerful team of passionate changemakers, will bring clean, hot and cold running water to every American.

This job is full-time and based in Downtown Los Angeles, at DigDeep HQ. It involves frequent travel to program sites across the US.

Key Responsibilities

This is what you’ll do once you join the team.

1. Plan Projects

You will plan our water, sanitation and hygiene projects—bringing the mission, vision and strategy of the organization to life.

  • Assume responsibility for the existing project portfolio; identify efficiencies and make improvements.
  • Develop new WASH projects in line with DigDeep’s Impact Model and strategic plan, by collaborating with the CEO and CRO.
  • Develop an annual budget and operating plan for all program locations (currently: Navajo Nation, Texas, Alabama, West Virginia).
  • Develop a program evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the program and to identify areas for improvement.
  • Counsel the CEO on major program decisions; help build new systems and processes to improve WASH outcomes.

2. Deliver Services

You will empower the communities we serve to improve their lives with access to water and sanitation. Through your leadership, you will model effective teamwork and problem-solving skills and maintain a proactive and positive attitude when faced with challenges.

  • Work through Program Directors and their staff to seek innovative approaches to domestic WASH challenges and deliver consistent and meaningful results.
  • Communicate with community leaders to gain support for the program, to facilitate meaningful local oversight, and to solicit input to improve the program.
  • Ensure that program activities operate within the policies and procedures of the organization and comply with all relevant legislation and professional standards; develop new internal standards and procedures as necessary.
  • Identify and evaluate the risks associated with program activities and take appropriate action to control and manage them.
  • Develop and implement health, safety and security plans for each program location.
  • Coordinate the delivery of services among different program activities to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Negotiate Indemnifications, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and other legal agreements governing the relationship between DigDeep and partners.
  • Routinely visit all partners and project sites.

3. Manage Talent

You will recruit, support and lead the first team of WASH professionals dedicated to ending the water crisis in the US.

  • Determine hiring priorities and timelines based on the strategic plan and budget.
  • Perform supervisory duties for the Programs team; write job descriptions; interview applicants for employment; review progress of assignments; conduct performance appraisals and recommend salaries; oversee contract status; resolve discipline problems and recommend termination as necessary.
  • Work with Operations to write, evaluate and update workplace policies; maintain confidential personnel records.
  • Design and implement a professional development and retention program to ensure your team members have consistent access to skill development and remain engaged and fulfilled.
  • Plan and facilitate regular staff meetings, both virtually and in-person; provide strong day-to-day leadership that bridges high and low communication contexts to ensure all team members and clients are heard and understood.
  • Engage volunteers for appropriate program activities using established volunteer management practices
  • Uphold the unique culture of DigDeep by implementing values-aligned operations and management strategies for our work; foster an environment that promotes trust and cooperation among staff, community members and partner organizations.
  • Handle all high-level concerns and complaints related to our programs to ensure satisfaction of stakeholders including donors and community members.

4. Monitor and Evaluate Progress

You will have an up-to-the minute understanding of our impact and performance across all project locations, and you’ll work closely with Finance staff to keep programs on time and under budget.

  • Monitor progress, cost and schedule across all program locations and make adjustments as needed to meet goals; develop key performance indicators, monitoring processes and records.
  • Monitor performance by Director and Manager-level program staff, and conduct review and improvement processes on a regular basis.
  • Monitor and approve all budgeted program expenditures; ensure that all programs operate within the approved budget.
  • Partner with the Finance Manager to monitor cash flow projections vs actual cash flow; analyze quarterly variances >5% and work with programs team to plan spending and improve forecasting; monitor monthly budget actuals; manage all project funds according to established accounting policies and procedures
  • Work closely with the Finance Manager to compile information for annual audit, grant and compliance reports.

5. Collaborate to Succeed

You will work closely with your partners across the organization and their departments to ensure alignment, uncover synergies and optimize DigDeep’s performance.

  • Represent DigDeep at relevant conferences and events and through regular writing and speaking engagements.
  • Facilitate effe3ctive collaboration between Program staff and colleagues from Operations, Finance, Education, Research, etc…
  • Grow and deepen relationships with Advisors, Water Council and Board Members; provide program data and insight in senior leadership meetings.
  • Work with the CRO to develop recommendations for strategic partnerships and collaborations in the WASH sector for DigDeep to strengthen national and international influence
  • Collaborate with the Development team to identify opportunities for investment; collect information for grant proposals/reports, source storytelling material, and plan and execute field visits.

As the organization continues to evolve, duties or tasks may change without impacting the overall Job Description.


Others describe you as:

  • Action-oriented – Takes an entrepreneurial, adaptable and innovative approach to completing tasks. Has an unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality work.
  • Builds Teams and Talent – Motivating leader who establishes a spirit of collaboration across all program locations, as well as with communities and partners. Attracts, engages, develops and rewards talented people to build individual and organizational capability needed to achieve desired impact.
  • Uses Critical Thinking – Has a broad perspective and sees possibilities and opportunities by thinking innovatively. Manages competing priorities and makes hard decisions with an eye towards getting things done.
  • Converts Strategy into Results –Translates business vision and strategy into winning tactics and plans to deliver excellent results for the organization.
  • Connects to the Mission – Embraces DigDeep’s mission and is passionate about advancing the dynamic role it plays leading the US WASH sector. Understands and demonstrates how own efforts impact on the larger organization and operates in alignment with the vision, values and strategic objectives of the organization.
  • Demonstrates Ethics and Integrity – Always behaves ethically and in alignment with the values of the organization. Consistently follows through on commitments and lives our values of equality, transparency and experience.
  • Manages Ambiguity – Identifies, supports and champions opportunities for change and continuous improvement. Trusts the judgment of field staff and local communities. 
  • Demonstrates Cultural Awareness – shows empathy, a high comfort level in low-income or culturally diverse contexts, and unquestionable integrity; able to engage the wide range of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Connects with Others – Demonstrates exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Exceptional networker, key influencer and comfortable representing DigDeep across a wide variety of audiences.
  • Self-confident – Demonstrates humility, a mature confidence and the courage to innovate and lead. Is unafraid to take risks and find new ways to achieve the organization’s desired impact. 

Skills and Qualifications

  • You have a bachelor's degree in international development, public health, engineering, business or related discipline or equivalent experience; advanced degree preferred.
  • You have 5+ years of experience in international development with a background in water, sanitation and health (WASH) projects; 3+ years of experience in a developing country preferred
  • You have 5+ years managing a staff and a budget.
  • You communicate clearly in English; Spanish fluency is preferred.
  • You have the flexibility to travel up to 30% of the time and attend meetings and events outside of regular business hours.
  • You have advanced computer proficiencies on both PC and Mac, Slack, Google Business suite, Microsoft Office suite, and relevant project management software.
  • You have experience collaborating with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • You have very polished written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills; you’re able to motivate your team to produce quality materials within tight timeframes and simultaneously manage several projects.
  • You're a highly organized multi-tasker with a project management mindset; you believe anything is figure-out-able;
  • You like to track your performance and continuously improve.
  • You're driven by a desire to make our country (and our world) a better place to live.

Compensation and Benefits

At DigDeep, we believe that great work requires a great job. We pride ourselves on creating industry-leading employment opportunities for our team across the United States. We’re a supportive environment that values creativity, diversity and quick-thinking. Here’s how we’ll support you in your work:

  • Salary competitive and commensurate with level of experience
  • Generous paid vacation and sick leave
  • 6 weeks parental leave at full pay
  • Medical insurance, 100% employer paid
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • One Medical membership
  • Life insurance, 100% employer paid
  • Monthly cell phone allowance
  • Executive coaching and fully-paid capacity building offerings
  • Domestic travel
  • 401k retirement plan

We Are DigDeep

The DigDeep Right to Water Project is the only WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) organization serving the nearly 2 million Americans who still don’t have a tap or a toilet at home.

Founded in Los Angeles in 2012, DigDeep believes access to clean water is a human right. Today, we run several nationally-recognized programs that empower communities to build their own water and sanitation systems. We won the 2018 US Water Prize for our Navajo Water Project, which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. We’re also leading an effort with Michigan State University, the US Water Alliance and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the root causes of domestic water poverty in 6 “hotspots” around the country, including the California Central Valley, the Four Corners Region, the Texas border colonias, Appalachia, rural Alabama, and Puerto Rico. We’re poised to begin working in these areas, leveraging our relationships with philanthropy, industry, media, local communities, and a deep bench of more than 14,000 individual donors across the country.

DigDeep is built on the principles of equity, transparency and the power of human experience. Your work will improve the daily lives of real people – people you’re likely to meet. Every American should have the clean, running water they need to thrive. Join us, and we’ll close the US water gap in our lifetimes.

2018 Annual Report

2018 Financials


Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume to: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We will respond to all applicants. Please note that Note: DigDeep cannot provide immigration sponsorship for this position. Thank you.