Join the Leadership Team of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs

We change lives every day! At the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, our Core Values are more than just words, they're the fabric of our mission.  We’re looking for people with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic, an ability to identify and resolve problems, a demonstrated commitment and desire to help people with disabilities, and excellent interpersonal skills.

The Organizations:

The Guide Dog Foundation ( and its sister organization, America’s VetDogs (, train and place service dogs for those with physical disabilities; guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing, and facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals.

Each organization is a separate 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that serves clients from across the United States and Canada and are both accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.

The Position: Chief Program Officer 

The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs have a unique leadership opportunity for the Chief Program Officer of our assistance dog programs at our campus in Smithtown, NY (Long Island).  Our organizations are unique in the assistance dog industry providing both guide and multiple types of service dogs.

Overall Summary: 

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) serves as a member of the chief executive leadership team and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs.  In partnership with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the CPO is responsible to establish a strategic vision and principles that will inform short- and long-term goals for all canine programs and monitor the progress towards those efforts.  The CPO provides leadership, supervision, oversight, and management of the agency’s programs and services directly or through a program director or manager.

The CPO is also responsible to ensure that all programs and services are in compliance with the accreditation standards of the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.

Position Summary & Responsibilities: 


  • Work with other members of the chief executive leadership team and direct reports to advance GDF and AVD’s mission, vision and values, set strategic goals and support implementation through Directors and Managers.
  • Engage the Board of Directors frequently under the direction of the CEO.
  • Focus on growing and building programs.  Identify and develop new programs that align with the strategic plan and monitor progress towards those goals.
  • Overall responsibility for all direct program staff, their management as well as program administrative/support staff.
  • Deploy resources effectively toward organizational goals, working with staff to balance workload and effort, and provide regular feedback so that key staff can continuously improve their supervision and mentoring skills.
  • Promote clear communication and collaboration between all departments throughout the organization to ensure progress towards current goals.
  • Represent GDF/AVD on relevant committees and task forces as well as speaking engagements, conferences, etc.

Programs & Outcomes

  • Develop policies and procedures that align service delivery with the mission as required by the organization.  Support Program Managers through implementation.
  • Establish annual programs, departmental and staff goals and objectives and track results against these goals.
  • Strengthen community partnerships to promote external resources and internal program development.
  • Review and remain up to date with other provider programs (US and International) to support improved systems and best practice implementation.
  • Coordinate and analyze the appropriate data to inform the programmatic and operational decision-making process.
  • Determine staffing plans to achieve program goals and objectives and participate in hiring decisions for new program staff.
  • Manage program budgets to ensure appropriate allocation of program funding.
  • Keep current with legislative proposals and effects they may have on programs to ensure we are able to advocate accordingly.
  • Pursue education and training opportunities for program staff to strengthen overall service delivery.

External Relationships

  • Build and maintain external relationships and partnerships with other organizations to broaden services.  Identify potential new relationship targets and strategize with the CEO.
  • Manage and prioritize relationships with key partner organizations.  
  • Support fundraising and marketing efforts and assist in relationship building, donor visits, program presentations, special events, media opportunities, and grant participation.
  • Share program and client success stories throughout the organization and externally in an effort to keep staff and partners motivated and informed about GDF/AVD.

Position Requirements:

  • A minimum of 5 years leadership experience in a non-profit, or social work-related field, overseeing multiple programs ideally at an organization providing support services for people with disabilities. 
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team to include professional development and mentorship.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of program planning, organizational structure, budgeting, strategic planning, administrative operations, and fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex data for planning and reporting purposes.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common purpose, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment.

If you are interested in this position, please send your cover letter and resume to:

Our organizations embrace a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. Applicants with a disability that may require assistance applying for a job should contact Human Resources.