Executive Director
First 5 Marin
San Rafael, CA
Salary Range: $140,000 – $170,000
executive director job at First 5 Marin

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First 5 Marin seeks a strategic, forward-thinking, and highly collaborative leader to serve as its next Executive Director. In close collaboration with the First 5 Marin Commission and partners, the Executive Director will co-develop and execute the vision that every child in Marin County will thrive in supportive families and communities that nurture their greatest potential. This is an outstanding opportunity for a dedicated and passionate executive to build upon the existing foundation and reputation of policy and systems change leader, convener, and influential voice for all children and their families. 

First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission guides the investment of Proposition 10 funds throughout Marin County for the benefit of all children, prenatal to age 5. Passed in 1998, Proposition 10 levied a special tax on tobacco sales with proceeds distributed to each First 5 Commission. Each county has a First 5 Commission, making 58 Commissions. 

Under the leadership of the First 5 Commission, a diverse group of nine community stakeholders, the Executive Director will lead the implementation of the refreshed vision for the future of Marin County’s children and families and build upon the existing innovation, relationships, and successes over the course of First 5 Marin’s history. With a new strategic plan, successful policy forums, and implementation of Help Me Grow, the next Executive Director will be responsible for sustainability minded financial planning, relationship management, and overall strategy development to support these continued efforts and emerging priorities. 

The ideal candidate is expected to have a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of progressive experience working with community-based organizations, anchor institutions, and/or policy-setting groups to further positive social change. An advanced degree or related certification is desirable but not required. This includes success in designing and developing innovative demonstration projects, experience working with boards or commissions of complex organizations, and proven ability in building and maintaining cross-sector collaborative partnerships. A proven track record of strong organizational financial management and planning, such as institutional budget setting or grant management/reporting, is a must. A background in early childhood development, policy and systems change, early care and education and/or health is ideal, but those with a strong passion for young children and families and a commitment to social, racial, and health equity are encouraged to apply. 

Previous experience working in a complex organization, preferably in collaborative environments (associations, networks, coalitions, etc…) is highly desired, as is the maturity to successfully navigate and collaborate with a variety of organizations and community leaders with different missions. The successful candidate should be a strong relationship builder. Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills are necessary, including the curiosity and open-mindedness to work with diverse communities and advance new ideas. Strong verbal and written communications skills are required. A personal and professional commitment to equity, liberation and inclusiveness is vital. 

First 5 Marin 

Founded in the aftermath of Proposition 10’s passage, First 5 Marin is known as a state leader in advocating for young children and their families. Over the last 23 years, First 5 Marin has funded a myriad of programs, projects, and partnerships throughout Marin County. It has built a reputation for its early adoption of advocacy and public policy efforts, working closely with County leadership and local leaders to raise awareness of issues facing Marin children. 

To explore First 5 Marin’s recently adopted 2022-2030 Strategic Plan, see here. For more information about Help Me Grow, see here. 

Executive Director 

First 5 Marin Commission has launched the search for the next Executive Director and aims to select a final candidate soon in order to allow for a seamless transition. Collaborating with leaders across Marin County, the Executive Director will leverage current partnerships and build relationships to create programmatic and policy opportunities to best serve Marin children and families. The Executive Director will be responsible for: 

Financial and Administrative Management 

  •   Sound financial management of current funds and planning for Commission responsibilities, including staff/consultant contracts and grants 
  • In an environment of declining revenue from tobacco sales – both a win for community health and challenge for First 5s across the state – the next Executive Director will also be charged with building partnerships that leverage community and state resources to pursue both future program sustainability and possible new opportunities for funding. The Executive Director will need to bring experience in financial management and planning to effectively capitalize on current revenue streams and emerging funding models. 

Management and Leadership 

  • Serve as an passionate and thoughtful leader on issues facing young children and their families and the organizations that serve them throughout the Marin Community. Provide strategic coordination for all First 5 Marin program, project, and policy initiatives. 
  • Supervise and develop First 5 Marin’s staff, including a Policy & Communications Manager, Help Me Grow Manager, and Help Me Grow Case Manager, and network of consultants, with an eye toward continued professional development, continued growth, and strategic deployment of resources. 
  • Guide, monitor, and document staff performance and ensure the team is meeting role expectations. 
  • Ensure the highest quality, originality and impact of the organization’s activities and educational materials, and strengthen its capacity to measure and evaluate the results of its work. Ensure compliance on funded programs with donor or government requirements. 

Strategic Relationship Building, Network Development & Thought Leadership 

  • Work closely with the First 5 Marin Commissioners and key influencers in the children and families arena to dynamically assess the strategy and vision for First 5 Marin taking into account shifting landscapes in political climate, funding sources, populations served, and changing issues/needs in ways that are both responsive and sustainable. 
  • Identify, develop, and provide ongoing support to Commission members to maximize Commissioner engagement and input 
  • Build and maintain relationships with key community stakeholders and leaders, especially in County

Government and in the community-based organizations most impactful on Marin children. 

  • Raise the profile and visibility of First 5 Marin through enhanced outreach and collaboration focusing on programs and relationships that help to amplify the organization’s work. 
  • Develop relationships with other First 5 leaders in other countries, the statewide First 5 Association, and state policy leaders in order to coordinate and promote structural solutions to issues in addition to local programs and initiatives. 
  • Stay informed of emerging themes in the early childhood programmatic and policy space of California and the country to help identify new ideas and opportunities for mission fulfillment. 


  • A Bachelor’s Degree and at least seven years of working in a complex environment working toward community change. An advanced degree (MPA, MPP, MSW) or related certification is desirable. Demonstrated program management and development success. 
  • Experience managing a complex program or organizational budget. Proven capacity to develop strategic and responsive financial and administrative planning processes that are inclusive and adaptive to changing priorities. 
  • An understanding of child development, education, community health, social determinants of health, and the unique dynamics of working with local government. A passion for helping communities work toward progressive and equitable change. 
  • Success in coalition-building and working effectively with diverse groups of people, including the acumen and humility to work in a cross-cultural manager. 
  • Knowledge of California public policy and advocacy environments, especially as it relates to children and families. 
  • A sophisticated understanding of building relationships across different sectors, fields, and geographies in order to identify and advance common visions of success. 
  • Ability to respectfully and adeptly communicate, interact, and facilitate conversations with institutional leaders, policy leaders, and community members alike, especially those from differing backgrounds. 
  • Possess the ability to think strategically and creatively, critical thinking and analysis skills, and the ability to transform new ideas into executable and successful programs. 
  • A strong interest in and commitment to the work of First 5 Marin and its partners. 
  • Experience managing staff, and monitoring, documenting, and communicating performance. 
  • Excellent verbal and interpersonal communication and writing skills critical for communicating with a broad and diverse audience. 
  • Bilingual Spanish/English preferred. 


The salary range for this role is $140,000-$170,000 and is set by the First 5 Marin Children and Families Commission. First 5 Marin provides comprehensive benefits and relocation expenses 


To Apply 

For consideration, interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Please ensure that the cover letter addresses the required experience and expertise. Please send materials to Stacy Nelson & Associates-Leadership Search Partners at [email protected] with subject heading: First 5 Marin Executive Director.  Interested individuals are encouraged to apply immediately. Please visit First 5 Marin for more information about the organization.


First 5 Marin is an equal opportunity employer.