First Nations Seeks to Fill Two Senior Positions

First Nations Seeking Senior Program Officer
& Senior Communications Officer

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is a Native-led nonprofit organization working to strengthen Native American economies to support healthy Native communities. For nearly 39 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of a wide range of assets they own – whether land, human potential, cultural heritage, natural resources, etc. – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.

First Nations is now hiring for two senior-level positions — a Senior Program Officer and a Senior Communications Officer.

Senior Program Officer

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is responsible for the strategic planning and management of multi-year, complex projects, including a new fellowship program designed to support Native American knowledge makers and knowledge holders. The SPO will often direct the efforts of program officers and program associates to implement aspects of various projects. The SPO is also responsible for the management and supervision of direct reports (i.e., consultants, grantees and fellows) providing direction, setting goals, giving feedback and coaching, and ensuring professional development and training.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Master’s degree (MA/MS) in Social Work, Public Health, Public Administration, Business or related field.
  • Demonstrates a level of mastery of Senior Program Officer functions and competencies, inluding workplan development, evaluation plan and tool development, proactive budget management, effective management of project resources and consultants, design and implementation of training and technical assistance plans, and effective project management skills.
  • Has an extensive external peer network.
  • Ability to travel frequently as needed (up to 2-3 times monthly).
  • Knowledge of and/or familiarity with tribal sovereignty and the historical and contemporary legal development and workings/status of tribal nations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Exceptional customer service orientation.
  • Ability to present to and facilitate small and large audiences in training or conference settings.
  • Competent self-starter who will take initiative and work independently.
  • Excellent ability to organize and manage multiple projects/deadlines simultaneously, and work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated expertise in program management.
  • Strong computer skills, including but not limited to MS Outlook and Office applications (Excel, PowerPoint and Word) and selected other program/project management software.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Positive attitude, good people skills and ability to work closely with people at all levels of experience and proficiency.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Senior Communications Officer

The Senior Communications Officer leads and manages First Nations’ overall communications/public education function, and supervises other staff and/or consultants who are involved in supporting First Nations’ communications efforts. The Senior Communications Officer is an important part of the First Nations team, working with resource development, programs and the Executive Team to develop overarching strategies and tactics for effective communications about First Nations’ mission, programs and impact, as well as lifting up positive narratives and models of community development taking place in Native communities throughout the United States.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism or a related field. Master’s degree in these or related fields is highly desired.
  • Six to eight years’ related experience in Public Relations, Media Relations, Marketing Communications, Corporate Communications, Employee Communications or related fields. Both nonprofit and corporate experience is desired, as is having progressive responsibilities in managing these functions.
  • Exceptional writing, grammar and editing skills.
  • Supervisory skills and experience. This position directly supervises the Communications Officer and external consultants and vendors.
  • Experience managing graphic communications and/or directly using graphic design tools (e.g. Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) preferred.
  • Experience managing websites and email-distribution platforms, and/or working with website and other technology vendors and consultants, including WordPress and Salsa Labs.
  • Experience managing other related communications vendors, such as news-distribution services, media-monitoring services, printing services or brokers, photographers/videographers or suppliers.
  • Demonstrates strong verbal interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy in work. Strong time management and organizational skills.
  • Experience creating/managing project budgets.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of various software packages such as Microsoft Office.

To learn more about these position or to apply, please visit

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume and three references via email to Please note either “Senior Program Officer” or “Senior Communications Officer” in the email subject line.