Position Description

Program Manager - New Haven Harm Reduction Strategies Coordination
Location United States
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include non-communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, overdose prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific; the Overdose Prevention Program is our first initiative in the U.S. Please visit our website at www.vitalstrategies.org to find out more about our work.


In 2019, Connecticut experienced a 20% increase in overdose deaths, reaching a record high of 1,200. New Haven, a city with a relatively robust network of harm reduction and health services for people who use drugs, is among the cities with the highest rate and numbers of overdose mortality in the state.

The continued increase in preventable overdose deaths calls for a rigorous assessment of current overdose prevention and response services in order to identify service gaps and opportunities for new and strengthened interventions.

Vital Strategies is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of Program Manager for New Haven's Overdose Prevention and Response taskforce/team/collaborative. The program manager will be seconded to of the City of New Haven’s Community Service Administration and will work under the general direction of the Community Services Administrator (CSA), the Health and Human Services Director for the City of New Haven. The program manager will be responsible for developing a a plan for stakeholder engagement and coordination. The program manager will be tasked to organize a productive group comprised of community-based organizations, healthcare and treatment providers, government leaders and academics working on issues related to overdose prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and social services. The program manager is expected to collaboratively develop, complete, initiate, and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive harm reduction informed action plan.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, this position will begin as remote work, with the expectation to transition to in-person work when circumstances allow.This is a limited time grant which is set to end on September 21, 2021. Funding renewal is possible, but not guaranteed. 


Seeking a creative, self-starter who is familiar with the New Haven service landscape and will ideally have relationships with groups working within this issue area.

The Program Manager will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Creating and executing a strategy for ongoing stakeholder engagement.
  • Coordinating and facilitating stakeholder meetings.
  • Regularly review, compile and disseminate information obtained via stakeholder engagement into documents that are coherent and readily accessible.

Review, synthesize and summarize historic documents to inform strategy

  • Synthesizing information and developing the harm reduction informed action plan that has purposeful overdose prevention interventions and addresses the needs of marginalized community members who are most vulnerable to overdose.
  • Consult with stakeholder groups to align vision, strategy, and resources around projects and programs developed during the collaborative process.
  • Implementing and monitoring the harm reduction informed action plan created through the stakeholder engagement process.
    • Collecting and reporting outcomes and other relevant information as needed.
  • Support the development of a funding and sustainability strategy
  • Staying abreast of relevant research and best practices and support the communication needs of government officials.
    • Function as a technical expert to relevant government staff as needed.


  • Excellent writing, communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills
  • Ability to provide leadership and coordination to a diverse multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to navigate various interests and a operate in a dynamic and complex political environment
  • Ability to balance the drive for action with an inclusive process
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships with persons of varied backgrounds
  • The ability to apply a race and gender analysis to all produced work and proposed interventions.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in public health, public policy or other related field, with minimum 6 to 7 years experience and progressive responsibility, or Bachelor’s degree with 8 or more years experience.
  • An experienced community organizer with expertise in facilitating, building or leading community collaboration projects.
  • Experience with program and strategic planning.
  • Self-starter with the capacity to work collaboratively with offsite managers and effectively communicate tasks and critical project updates.
  • Knowledge of harm reduction practices and theory and the ability to organize and effectively collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders including people who use drugs.
  • Working knowledge of New Haven neighborhoods, resources, social services.
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