Director, Special Initiatives

New York, New York
Mar 10, 2023
Apr 09, 2023
Full Time

Older Adults Technology Services from AARP (OATS) advocates for technology inclusion for the 50-plus, providing digital literacy training and programming to older adults. With nearly two decades of experience and insights on how older people interact with technology as well as its flagship programs like Senior Planet, OATS uses its resources to create world-class programs that form the basis for systems change.

The Director, Special Projects directs the development and implementation of key digital equity initiatives funded by federal and state governments and other entities. Subject matter and activity areas include affordable connectivity efforts, age-friendly program design for older adult technology programs, commissioning research reports and developing guidance documents for state and local jurisdictions, and collaborating within and across OATS and AARP to coordinate national and state-level initiatives designed to help more older people in America gain access to technology assets and build digital skills. This is a high-visibility and varied role requiring excellent relationship management and communications skills, and a focus on producing results that can be measured.


  • Develops, executes, and implements new engagement programs that align with the organization's goals and objectives. Lead the development and implementation of large scale, systemic and sustainable solutions. Sets strategies, identifies opportunities, and develops and implements projects and programs to support and market to the community.
  • Manages and analyzes voice-of-the-customer (VOC) data using industry VOC platforms to understand member experience delights and pain points. Utilizes human-centered design techniques, such as journey mapping, concept development, customer validation, and iterative testing to understand customer experience needs and to develop and implement new experience solutions. Designs and implements programs, services, products, and/or interactions that are part of a customer's experience. 
  • Leads the planning and orchestration of frequent and ongoing delivery to customers of highly visible programs in virtual (online and call center) and in-person settings. Tasks include program selection, scheduling, staff assignments, and program performance tracking and reporting.
  • Advises individuals and teams on how to best utilize tools to drive better outcomes for projects and teams. Provides direction and input into strategic planning including management, monitoring and updating objectives, strategies and action plans. Conducts staff planning, hiring, management, and coordination.
  • Collaborates with cross-functional teams on strategic business unit objectives. Identifies opportunities for efficiencies in organizational processes or programs and resolves challenges to optimize results. Manage relationships with key stakeholders including external funders, partner organizations, and leadership and staff of different internal disciplines required to plan and deliver programming 
  • Organizes, problem solves, raises issues, and integrates initiatives, solutions, and actions for management. Acts as a liaison to resolve problems and to ensure successful implementation of company initiatives. 
  • Establishes and improves systems related to program quality, metrics tracking, program personnel scheduling and assignment, and budget planning and management. 


  • Bachelor's degree in related field; Master's degree preferred.
  • 7+ years leading organizations or large-scale projects, serving as the internal champion of key initiatives.
  • Experience working across multiple disciplines of an organization, providing direction and support to multiple internal stakeholders.
  • Excellent external communication skills and experience managing committees or other advisory groups leading to tangible outcomes.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Independent judgement and discretion requiring the employee to compare and evaluate various courses of conduct and make a decision (or recommend a decision to be made) after various possibilities have been considered.

Additional Requirements:
  • Regular and reliable job attendance.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Exhibit respect and understanding of others to maintain professional relationships.
  • Independent judgement in evaluation options to make sound decisions.
  • Home office environment with the ability to work effectively surrounded by moderate home noise.

Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA)

AARP observes Mondays and Fridays as telecommuting workdays, except for essential functions. Remote work and telecommuting can only be done within the United States and its territories.

Compensation and Benefits

AARP offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including a 401(k); 100% company-funded pension plan; health, dental, and vision plans; life insurance; paid time off to include company and individual holidays, vacation, sick, caregiving, and parental leave; performance-based and peer-based recognition; tuition reimbursement; among others.

For this position, we anticipate offering a salary between $103,500.00 to $120,000.00 per year. This role is also eligible to participate in an annual incentive plan with a percentage up to 15%. Bonus eligibility is dependent upon organizational and individual performance.

Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.