First Light is hiring a Director of Programs

Director of Programs

 Job Description 

Position: Director of Programs 

Reporting to: Executive Director 

Direct Report(s): Program Coordinators 

Location: First Light Friendship Centre Inc. 


Formerly known as the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, First Light is a registered non-profit that has been serving both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in St. John’s since 1983. The organization provides programs and services rooted in the revitalization, strengthening, and celebration of Indigenous cultures and languages in the spirit of trust, respect, and friendship. 

The Program Department supports a culturally connected environment by creating spaces and strengthening relationships in response to the needs of the community. 

The Director of Programs is responsible for advancing First Light’s social, cultural and community development programs. This involves direct oversight and management of the cultural, recreational, employment, youth and family programs. 

This role will require strong program planning & evaluation skills, proposal writing experience, budget planning and management, visionary leadership and expertise in Indigenous community programming. 

Core Skillset 

  • Visionary leader with the proven ability to create and deliver on a multi-year program strategy 
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills 
  • High level of initiative and self-motivation 
  • Ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously 
  • Demonstrated ability to secure and manage multi-year funding agreements 
  • Indigenous or a strong awareness of Indigenous culture with a passion for the mission and vision of First Light 
  • Seasoned senior leader who has led teams through various growth and change cycles 
  • Strong financial business sense with an analytical and detailed mindset 
  • Strong program planning and evaluation experience 

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Work closely with the senior leadership team to ensure strategic direction of First Light, by developing and implementing goals of the organization’s strategic plan 
  • Manage and support First Light’s social, culturally, and community development programs providing leadership, budgeting, funding development, program evaluation, and cultural guidance to ensure the sustainability and advancement of First Light programs. 
  • Oversee & manage all program funding agreements acting as the executive manager ultimately responsible for legislative compliance, programming and efficient operations. 
  • Evaluate, propose and recommend expansion and growth plans for core programs ensuring that First Light stays ahead of industry, provincial and national trends and remains innovative and relevant to the community’s needs. 
  • Lead the development of a multi-year program strategy for First Light, working closely with local, provincial and federal Friendship Centres, the community and executive to ensure buy-in, feasibility and sustainability of expansion, including forecasting of financials and personnel needs. 
  • Advance the profile of First Light in the area of cultural, social & community development programs by sitting on external committees, attending/presenting at conferences and building relationships with key funders, policy makers and government agencies. 

Reporting Responsibilities 

  • Report monthly in writing and/or dashboard report on progress of programs 
  • Report weekly to Executive Director (as required) 



  • Minimum 5 years’ in a similar role 
  • Bachelor or Masters level degree in Business or related field 
  • Proven experience advancing and leading similar programs 
  • Proficiency with MS Office, advanced skills with Excel 
  • Strong communicational and organizational skills 
  • Ability to meet deadlines 
  • Strong attention to detail, accuracy and analytical skills 
  • Critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills 
  • Positive attitude and commitment to continual process improvement 

How to Apply 

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter outlining your interest in and qualifications for the position, along with your resume and a writing sample, to Stacey Howse at [email protected] by March 22nd, 2021. 

First Light celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of our team. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of Indigenous identity or status, national or other origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, or other characteristics. We’re committed to supporting candidates throughout the application process by accommodating any disability-related requests.