Director of Direct Care Workforce Development - National Council on Aging (NCOA)

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is seeking a Director of Direct Care Workforce Development in its Arlington, VA/Crystal City office.

The Director of Direct Care Workforce Development oversees the Center for Benefits Access (CBA) portfolio comprised of programs, products, services, and initiatives that help older adults, individuals with disabilities, and other marginalized populations access health care and long-term supports and services (LTSS), with a primary focus on Medicaid beneficiaries and dual eligible populations that require the support of direct care workers and/or have limited income and assets.  The Director is responsible for portfolio management and operational oversight, including financial performance for the portfolio, supporting business and partnership development within the portfolio, staff mentorship and development, and setting and executing a strategy that builds NCOA’s capabilities, offerings, and brand in the market. 

The Direct Care Workforce Development team supports and collaborates with federal and state agencies, corporate partners and funders, and national, regional, and local nonprofits and CBOs.  Examples of key focus areas and partnership types include:

  • Advocating for and supporting programming that addresses the direct care workforce (DCW) crisis.
  • Leading and managing research, training, and policy initiatives focused on state systems-change and labor/workforce development.
  • Bridging the gap between the aging and disability communities.
  • Medicaid advocacy, outreach, and enrollment.
  • Reaching underserved populations.

The Direct Care Workforce Team also leads the implementation of The Direct Care Workforce Strategies Center on behalf of the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL).  In support of the Center the team is responsible for:

  • Providing high quality online tools and resources that help states and other relevant stakeholders address the DCW crisis.
  • Overseeing direct technical assistance programming to states that drives systematic change.
  • Marketing the Center’s resources, technical assistance offerings, and other programming.
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with the Center’s partners, contracts, and consultants.
  • Managing all financial and programmatic aspects of the 5-year cooperative agreement.

Positions at this level typically report to a senior director and require advanced knowledge and experience as well as strong management capabilities. Incumbents are required to exercise latitude and judgement within their scope of work and require minimal oversight.  Incumbents generally have eight or more years of experience in their discipline and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, as well as substantive experience at this level. 


  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization's strengths & weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Leadership - Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires and motivates others to perform well; effectively influences actions and opinions of others; accepts feedback from others; gives appropriate recognition to others.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem solving situations; uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Managing People - Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; makes self-available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products, and services.; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Focuses on solving conflict; maintains confidentiality; listens to others without interrupting; keeps emotions under control; remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Initiative - Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention.
  • Business Acumen - Understands business implications of decisions and profitability; demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; works with integrity; upholds organizational values.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process; makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; develops realistic action plans.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds a diverse & equitable workforce.


  • Serve as the Director and programmatic lead of the Direct Care Workforce Strategies Center that NCOA operates on behalf of ACL.
  • Provide a collaborative leadership approach that enables the partners of The Center to work together to develop programming and resources that contribute systems change in the direct care workforce at the state level.
  • Provide quality control and oversight of the technical assistance and resources created by The Center.
  • Provide successful and accurate planning, execution, and oversight of a growing multi-million-dollar portfolio of projects, which include numerous products, services, and initiatives.
  • Closely monitor and forecast financial performance and proactively take steps to mitigate risks, right-size teams, or take other mitigation steps when necessary.
  • Manage deliverables and proactively monitor performance across the portfolio to ensure NCOA meets or exceeds performance and outcomes for grants within the portfolio and across CBA.
  • Participate in strategic planning and visioning sessions and lead ad hoc strategic efforts. Manage and improve existing reporting systems with senior specialists to ensure quality assurance and proper documentation for grant compliance.  
  • Partner with the CBA leadership team to analyze market trends and identify opportunities/threats. Develop plans to achieve CBA’s and NCOA’s objectives related to its Equity Promise, revenue, presence, social impact targets, and other key measures. 
  • Embrace fiduciary responsibilities and model behaviors that demonstrate the professional pursuit of NCOA’s long-term financial goals and health.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with existing funders, philanthropic and corporate sponsors, clients, consumers, and partners to ensure their needs and expectations are met.
  • Work with the CBA Senior Director, NCOA’s Business Development team, and multiple other NCOA departments and staff to achieve growth in revenue and diversification among existing and across new funders, and enhance existing and cultivate new partnerships, with emphasis on portfolio area goals and in support of CBA- and NCOA- wide goals.
  • Lead initiatives that drive long-term growth, including new initiatives, pilots, and partnerships nationally and, at times, regional or local areas.  This includes developing new and enhancing existing programs, products, and services that are (1) evidence-based or guided by promising practices; (2) that show demonstrable impact on target communities and populations; and (3) for which there is sufficient evidence that the new or enhanced activity will add revenue to and be sustainable within CBA’s portfolio.
  • Prepare and deliver executive presentations to senior leadership teams within NCOA and to external partners.
  • Mentor and coach staff; maximize productivity, provide constructive feedback and guidance, identify and address performance concerns and areas for growth and progress, and support professional and career development.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree required; master's degree (e.g. MPH, MPP, etc.) highly desirable.
  • Minimum of 8 years of supervisory experience.
  • 8-10 years of relevant work experience related to Medicaid and Medicare, specifically on issues related to LTSS policy and programming.
  • 8-10 years of experience managing and leading federal and state contracts, corporate grants, sponsorships, contracts, and collaborative efforts with external partners. Experience with ACL is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge and direct experience with issues related the DCW crisis at the state and national levels as it relates to aging and disability populations.
  • Demonstrable experience with workforce development issues in the direct care sector, plus a strong understanding and connection to various state and local programs and policies across the country.
  • Experience working with or on behalf of dual-eligibles and disability populations with multiple barriers to the socioeconomic mainstream, such as those with limited incomes, BIPOC populations, and persons with disabilities, and understand the ways these groups are served by and access Medicaid.
  • Understanding of and passion for building trusted-advisor relationships with partner organizations at a state and national level to create tangible results.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with demonstrated intellectual and analytical rigor, including proven ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills, including exceptional presentation, public speaking, negotiation, and interpersonal skills. Assertive and persuasive communication with an ability to communicate technical concepts and ideas succinctly to partners, funders, and senior level executives.
  • Ability to manage a high level of daily communication with peers and junior teammates and be externally facing with a clear sense of audiences.
  • Solid professional presence and operational instincts; strong strategic skills and sound business judgment.
  • Financial acumen to manage budgets using diverse funding streams, with high command of federal and state procurement regulations.
  • Significant experience managing relationships with funders.
  • Proficiency in MS Office and SharePoint, Salesforce, project management platforms, web-based platforms, and other tools.
  • Willingness and ability to be actively present at the work location two (2) times per week as the role requires.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Frequently required to sit or use standing desk.
  • Occasionally required to walk.
  • Occasionally required to reach with hands and arms.
  • Frequently required to talk or listen.
  • Occasionally required to bend, lift or climb stairs.
  • Occasionally required to lift light weights (less than 25 pounds).


  • The noise level in the work environment usually is moderate.

NCOA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion. We are committed to a work environment that supports, inspires, and respects all individuals and in which personnel processes are merit-based and applied without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, military service status, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. NCOA believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

National Council on Aging
Date Posted: 
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Date Closing: 
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Contact Name: 
Katie MacPhail
Contact Email, Phone, or Address:
Full or Part Time: 
Full Time
Aging, older adults, seniors, direct care, home care, home health aide, therapist, Medicaid, equity, grant management, program management, staff management, entrepreneurial, start up, center for benefits access, Medicaid, long term supports and services, LTSS, Administration for Community Living, ACL, Administration on Aging, federal agency, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, HHS Office on Disability, Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, workforce, leadership, diversity, underserved populations, social impact