Learn More ad

cfc ad


Career Center 

To Apply:

Director of Equity Initiatives and System Innovations

Company: NASDDDS
Location: Alexandria, VA


Director of Equity Initiatives and System Innovations

The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) represents the nation's agencies in 50 states and the District of Columbia providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.

NASDDDS promotes visionary leadership, systems innovation, and the development of national policies that support home and community-based services for individuals with I/DD and their families.

One of NASDDDS' top priorities is to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion within our association and to assist our members in their respective efforts to identify and remove systemic barriers and biases within their service delivery systems supporting individuals with I/DD. NASDDDS is committed to assisting states to devise innovations within their service delivery system that address racial and social equity,  cultural and linguistic competency and cultural humility while improving widespread opportunities for meaningful community engagement for all individuals with disabilities. For the purposes of this position, NASDDDS embraces the definitions and frameworks set forth by the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University.1

NASDDDS is seeking a leader that can help infuse the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all facets of our association efforts, engaging with stakeholders and national thought leaders to ensure a comprehensive approach to our efforts. This leader will simultaneously assist member state agencies with strategies for system innovation that further these objectives while improving community-based service options and service modernization.


The Director of Equity Initiatives and System Innovations will be responsible for leading NASDDDS efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within our association and to support our members in similar efforts, including cultural and linguistic competence. This is a unique opportunity to work with a talented, passionate, dedicated team on issues of state policies to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and the communities in which they live while assisting in the meaningful transformation of all of the Association's work to ensure a sustained commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This position also will help states think strategically about broad system transformation opportunities and support them in the steps necessary to achieve them, often within a Medicaid construct.

The Director of Equity Initiatives and System Innovations will engage in direct communications (including but not limited to structured interviews, focus groups, and facilitated discussions) with state association members, federal partners, individuals with lived I/DD experience, and other research and advocacy groups, to learn, educate and advocate for changes necessary to positively impact the landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly for individuals with I/DD. This position will support the executive director and the board of directors in developing a tangible multi-year plan for improved equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts for the Association and our membership. In addition to health and access issues, this position will help identify priority areas of focus for the association, to help reduce disparities within our systems (federally and at the state level). This position will also provide technical assistance to states on many system issues, including Medicaid and I/DD systems architecture considerations.


Essential Functions

Equity Initiatives

  • Develops and facilitates topic-related member educational opportunities, including those focused on the importance and use of data-informed decisions and interventions, in a multimodal fashion. Gathers feedback from and facilitates discussions with member state agency staff through various means, including virtual affinity groups or other vehicles, related to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Assist state member agencies to define, reach consensus, and devise strategies to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion within their systems.
  • Serves as liaison for the association with federal partners and others on issues related to inclusion, equity, and diversity that directly or potentially impact state systems supporting individuals with (I/DD).
  • Develops strategy for NASDDDS programmatic and administrative team members to understand and apply principles and practices furthering equity, diversity, and inclusion within each body of work within the association. Develops or facilitates the availability of educational materials with regular periodicity for staff.
  • Identifies, cultivates, and maintains relationships with federal officials, national DD act partners and advocates, other potential partners, government contractors, and others with key roles germane to equity, inclusion, cultural competence, and diversity within I/DD systems (with an overarching aim to educate policymakers regarding the necessity of I/DD systems' input in efforts impacting long-term services and supports).
  • Collaborates with the executive director and project team leads (SELN, CoP, NCI, Culture of Quality, and technical assistance) to identify and/or develop tailored and targeted strategies to infuse the priority of cultural and linguistic competence and cultural humility into all strands of NASDDDS work.
  • Develops annual budgets for consideration to further the association's equity work and foster innovation in work and work processes.
  • Establishes a method for the organization to continuously identify opportunities for innovation and improvements related to cultural and linguistic competency within the association's operations and member services, including metrics for success.

System Innovations

  • Provides broad-based and targeted technical assistance to state partners on system innovation strategies, including, but not limited to the use of Medicaid authorities to achieve state-identified systems goals.
  • Provide strategies for states to detect and remove racism, ableism, and other “isms” that impeded individuals with I/DD from full access to meaningful community engagement
  • Serves as a key team member for the provision of technical assistance to states and or partners on issues related to I/DD system design and quality.
  • Participates in NASDDDS projects as assigned to further the goals of the association.


Master's degree or higher preferred. Bachelors may be considered in conjunction with significant related experience.

Must demonstrate professional judgment and discretion that comes from at least three years working in the field of human services, with experience in developmental disabilities.

Proven experience in serving underserved and/or marginalized communities, including demonstrated success in targeted and/or system-wide strategies to improve meaningful engagement of such communities.

Knowledge of state systems supporting individuals with I/DD; Medicaid knowledge a significant plus.

Knowledge of health and mental health disparities,  social determinants of health, and the political determinant of health and how they manifest among the diverse population of persons with I/DD and their families and the communities in which they live.

Must be collaborative, resilient, flexible, diplomatic, confident, patient, and possess a professional presence.

Ability to manage multiple projects.

Ability to learn about and actively engage in shaping the agency's core product offerings and development needs, including membership relationships.

This position requires an individual who has experience devising and leading effective, accessible efforts to improve cultural and linguistic competency and who has excellent written, listening, and oral communication skills. The ability to communicate effectively with a wide array of audiences is a plus.

The position requires the ability to think creatively and demonstrate innovative thinking for the development of current and future solutions to the Association’s needs. A successful candidate has proven knowledge and experience in establishing initiatives and sourcing strategies.

This full-time position may be offered to the right candidate for a remote work arrangement. The association offers a competitive benefits package; salary negotiable commensurate with experience.

Some travel is required.


Send a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and relevant work samples by September 15, 2021, to Karol Snyder, Director of Administrative Services at ksnyder@nasddds.org.