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Director, State-Level Initiatives

Director, State-Level Initiatives

Stamford, CT

Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) was founded by philanthropist Steven A. Cohen, who made a $275M commitment to launch a network of mental health clinics in April of 2016 to serve post-9/11 veterans and families. Having already opened and now operating 15 clinics, CVN expects to have opened a total of 25 clinics across the country and served more than 35,000 veterans and their family members by 2021.

Through its client-centered, customized outpatient care, CVN supports veterans and their families as they begin their next mission: healthy and happy lives. CVN’s model of care was built with several core elements in mind, including access, low wait times, treating the entire military family, and serving veterans regardless of role or discharge status.

As early adopters of telehealth, CVN moved quickly this spring to ensure that its clients were able to continue to receive vital mental health care services online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Each of the 15 clinics is enabled to offer care virtually, via CVN Telehealth.

In order to extend the impact of Steven A. Cohen’s significant founding pledge, CVN is actively building out a long-term financial sustainment strategy to sustain, advance and endow the Cohen Clinics now and into the future. As a not-for-profit, CVN will never profit from delivering mental health care to veterans and their families. Clients without insurance are provided with mental health care at no cost. Clinics collect insurance from clients who have it. All funds collected go immediately back into providing care for clients at Cohen Clinics.

In addition to funds collected through reimbursements, CVN’s financial sustainment strategy includes public funding. Across its first five years, CVN had a limited focus on securing public funding. Moving forward, CVN recognizes the importance of having a robust public funding engagement strategy given the significance that these funds and relationships will play in the Network’s ultimate sustainability and mission success.


The Role

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of State-Level Initiatives will be responsible for designing, directing and implementing a robust strategy for identifying and securing available public funding to support the clinics and the Network’s strategic initiatives and sustainment goals. S/he will do so in partnership with the Cohen Clinics and on behalf of the Network.

This is a new role. Depending on the level of experience the finalist candidate possesses, the title of Director of State-Level Initiatives may evolve.

Key Duties:

  • Tracks existing and reviews evolving sources of veterans’ mental health funding that directly support CVN’s mission and works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and CVN senior leaders to develop strategies for Network engagement.
  • Oversees and implements all aspects of CVN’s response to state and local government grant opportunities. Coordinates public grant-writing efforts by clinic staff, CVN staff and others, and contributes directly to public grant-writing efforts, as required.
  • Develops and implements strategies for engagement with public agency funding partners; defines targets and tracks progress toward public funding opportunities.
  • Monitors existing and emerging state and national funding opportunities that directly impact the work of the Network. Monitors and coordinates the Network’s portfolio of priority public grant opportunities. Keeps clinic leadership and other Network staff informed of trends, priorities, and opportunities on the public funding horizon.
  • Collaborates with CVN team members on initiatives related to government funding opportunities; i.e. Pay for Success, Matching Funds, etc.
  • Develops, maintains, and/or coordinates with other Network and Clinic staff and key stakeholders of public agencies and associated programs.
  • Develops and implements an annual work plan and budget for the Executive Office and ensures coordination and integration with the Advancement team of plans, activities, budget and resource needs with organization-wide capacities and functions.

Other Duties:

  • Manages the funding reporting process and requirements, including coordination with Finance Department, CEO’s Director of the Executive Office and as needed, with others.
  • In coordination with the Chief External Affairs Officer, develops strategies and crafts talking points for engagement with the media and other external audiences on topics related to public funding grant awards.
  • Coordinates with Network staff as appropriate to identify and coordinate expert opinion opportunities, enhancing the Network’s position as a thought leader in the veterans and military family’s mental health community and the local communities in which the clinics reside.
  • Ensures compliance with all state, legal, and regulatory obligations for non-profits receiving state grants.


Candidate Profile

CVN seeks an accomplished leader who will be implicitly driven by the need to ensure that every veteran and family member are able to obtain access to high-quality, effective care that enable them to lead fulfilling and productive lives. The Director will possess a comprehensive understanding of state and federal agencies and public funding sources. S/he will be ambitious and partner oriented. The Director will exhibit confidence, empathy, humility and hustle, and possess a passion for excellence. S/he will thrive in an environment of operational growth and hands-on collaboration.

Additionally, this individual must have:

  • Experience promoting mental health programs by coordinating with public agencies and others.
  • Knowledge of current trends across mental health, military, and veterans, and ability to apply this knowledge to set and achieve CVN funding objectives.
  • Experience in some or all of the following: government and non-government contracting and grant applications and program development. Experience in state grant applications preferred, ideally with a non-profit mental health system; veteran-focused a plus.
  • Business experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and budgets and implementing strategic program goals.
  • Demonstrated experience in MS Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Office 365 Suite of Apps, Salesforce, and Project Management Software.
  • Graduate degree in public policy, public administration, political science, government affairs, or a related field preferred.

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Setting Strategy

  • The ability to create and articulate an inspiring vision for all state-level initiatives across the Network and the clinics.
  • The inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others with the organization’s overall strategy.
  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas.
  • The ability to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.

Executing for Results

  • The ability to assemble, assess and organize public funding information, to conduct analyses, and to report findings clearly on complex technical issues.
  • The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
  • A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in his/her approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for the organization.

Leading Teams

  • The ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
  • The ability to persevere in the face of challenges, and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards, which commands respect from followers.
  • A leader who is self-reflective and aware of his/her own limitations; leads by example and drives the organization’s performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.

Relationships and Influence

  • Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively. Excellent public speaking, presentation, and written/oral communication skills.
  • The ability to inspire trust and followership in others through compelling influence, powerful charisma, passion in his/her beliefs, and active drive vs. a direct authority. Ability to work with others in a non-adversarial, professional and diplomatic manner.
  • Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team.
  • Creates a sense of purpose/meaning for the team that generates followership beyond his/her own personality and engages others to the greater purpose for the organization as a whole.


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