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Associate Director, Public Health Practice & Community Engagement

San Diego State University Research Foundation
San Diego, CA
Closing date
Sep 20, 2023

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Organization Type

This is a joint position between San Diego State University (SDSU) and Scripps Research Translational Institute. The salary for this position is $7,250-8,750 monthly depending on experience and is non-negotiable.

The Institute for Public Health (IPH) serves as a bridge between the public health academic community and public health practice. It supports the development of mutually beneficial partnerships between the SDSU School of Public Health (SPH), public health agencies, and private organizations. Our academic-practice partnerships are national, statewide, regional, and along the international border. These partnerships are primarily focused on program development, program evaluation, providing technical assistance, continuing education, agency capacity building, and dissemination of health data and information. The IPH is a values-driven organization.

The IPH also serves as the cornerstone for SDSUs partnership with Scripps Research Translational Institute. The IPH Associate Director will also serve as the Associate Director of Community Engagement for this organization. The goal of this partnership is to reduce health disparities and promote health justice and equity in collaboration with Scripps Health, Scripps Research, and Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute (SWDI). SWDI serves as the Community Engagement Core for the Clinical Translational Science Award housed at Scripps Research.
Overall: The Associate Director of Public Health Practice & Community Engagement will support both IPH and the SWDI. Within the IPH it will have three primary responsibilities: scientific and budgetary oversight of the public health practice portfolio and grant/contract development. Within SWDI, primary responsibilities will include project administration, partner outreach and engagement, and academic collaboration.

Primary scientific oversight of ongoing IPH projects related to public health practice and community engagement includes projects such as needs assessments, professional education, strategic planning, program development, program evaluation, quality assurance/improvement, coalition building and maintenance, and technical assistance.

Grant and contract development includes researching available sources of practice funding, coordinating the writing of grant and contract applications, negotiating contracts, the establishing and monitoring scientific components of scopes of work, negotiating budgets with community partners, interfacing with the San Diego State University Research Foundation to ensure compliance with all programmatic and scientific grant and contract obligations.

At SWDI, the Associate Director of Community Engagement will also manage activities related to community advisory board development and providing consultation to trainees and researchers on the principles of community engagement. Additional responsibilities will include project administration, partner outreach and engagement, and academic collaboration.

Project administration includes supporting strategic program planning and management; working with project teams to promote community engagement; project reporting; designing and managing evaluation systems; convening advisory board meetings; and presenting and co-authoring publications on community engagement work.

Partner outreach and engagement includes engaging with health equity stakeholders to promote partnerships and excellence in research, clinical care, and public health practice; assisting in the development and implementation of health initiatives to reduce health inequities.

Academic collaboration includes acting within the Scripps-SDSU partnership to leverage and enhance internal and external partnerships aligned with its mission, vision, and values; supporting scientist and trainee development in the context of community engagement; and supporting colleagues to incorporate community engagement into existing curricula and learning outcomes.

Under the direct supervision of Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, IPH Director, and supervision of SWDI roles by Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, the person hired to this position will:

Organizational Planning and Project Administration (25%)
  • Assist the Director, Finance & Operations Manager, and the IPH management team in determining and implementing a strategic plan for the Institute for Public Health
  • Lead IPH and Community Engagement meetings to discuss the progress and needs of IPH and Community Engagement projects
  • Ensure that staffing levels, funding levels, and pursuit of funding opportunities are balanced
  • Provide direction, expertise, and oversight to principal investigators, programmatic staff, and administrative staff

Obtaining and Maintaining Funding (20%)
  • Negotiate the programmatic, scientific, and budgetary components of contracts, grants, and scopes of work
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of public health practice and community engagement projects
  • Seek and apply for appropriate funding opportunities

Community Relations (20%)
  • Build and maintain active relationships with community partners and stakeholders
  • Participate in appropriate boards, task forces, and other advisory groups

Institutional Relations (25%)
  • Liaise with Scripps leadership to plan and implement community engagement activities
  • Communicate with SDSU Research Foundation related to programmatic and scientific issues
  • Promote the Scripps-SDSU partnership with investigators across institutions

Other Duties (10%)
  • Perform other related duties as required

Knowledge and Abilities
  • Program management or coordination experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of applied research and/or evaluation
  • Ability to independently organize, oversee, coordinate, and assume responsibility for a variety of ongoing projects
  • Ability to analyze administrative problems and recommend effective action
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to occasionally work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends
  • Ability to follow through on assignments with attention to detail
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in accordance with Information Security standards
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and ability to work well with a variety of contacts in the health care and public health fields
  • Demonstrated experience developing and writing funded grants and contracts
Required Education
  • PhD, DrPH, or ScD in a health-related field
  • 3+ years of progressively responsible program management experience.
  • Experience partnering with community-based organizations
  • Public health practice experience
  • Ability to effectively network and advocate
  • Strong grasp of health equity and justice concepts


Ability to travel locally to meetings, and nationally as needed for presentations, professional conferences, and contract requirements.

  • Candidate must reside in California or live in a commutable distance from SDSU at time of hire.
  • Job offer is contingent upon satisfactory clearance based on Background Check results (including a criminal record check).
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer

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