Developmental Disabilities Institute

Chief Program Officer, OPWDD Services

To Apply

Developmental Disabilities Institute has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Dr. Jane Herzog, Senior Director or
Dr. Miriam Martinez, Senior Director
Harris Rand Lusk
260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, New York  10016

Email your resume and cover letter to mcoffey@harrisrand.com

Please put “DDI CPO” in the subject line of your emailed application

Developmental Disabilities Institute is a dynamic, non-profit, multi-site agency, each day serving hundreds of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, providing educational, residential, habilitative, vocational, transportation, and service coordination support. For over 60 years, Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) has been a leader in addressing the special education needs of children and has grown to the largest provider of its kind in Long Island.

The agency recognizes the unique needs of each person for whom it cares and maintains the highest standards of teaching for children, adults, and families, as well as training for its staff. DDI prides itself on using research-based methods across all agency programs.

The Developmental Disabilities Institute Chief Program Officer for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Services is a newly created position responsible for ensuring excellence in the day, vocational and residential services provided to children and adults in programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The CPO provides leadership to an interdisciplinary team delivering effective treatment services to students and adults that optimize their skills and opportunities to grow and flourish as adults. They are responsible for creating a culture of continuous quality improvement in all I/DD programs and services.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provides thought leadership to drive best practices in treatment and services for all children and adults, including those with complex conditions such as co-occurring mental health and/or medical issues.
  • Creates and ensures adherence to a framework for quality improvement and the use of tools such as the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act model, rapid cycle improvement, Six Sigma & Lean Management.
  • Oversees quality data analytics utilizing standard tools for Quality reporting (i.e., A3, run charts, control charts, Pareto charts, driver diagrams, spider diagrams, Pl project charter, etc.)
  • Utilizes dashboards to track organization-wide quality efforts.
  • Works collaboratively and ensures that the treatment team works collaboratively with parents/guardians, school districts, payers, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), NYS Department of Education (SED) and all stakeholders.
  • Supervises and mentors program directors, empowering them to be effective and influential in their respective disciplines.
  • Creates initiatives, systems, and best practices to recruit, develop, and train a diverse and high-performing workforce.
  • Builds an organizational culture across all program settings that supports effective advancement of the goals of each program/service.
  • Acts as a diplomatic change agent to introduce program administrative processes and quality improvement activities that help individuals to achieve optimal outcomes.
  • Oversees program budgets and position control.
  • Creates operating systems, processes and administrative workflows that achieve efficiencies and ensures accurate and timely results.
  • Serves as a member of the senior management team to help advance the organization’s mission and strategic objectives.
  • Maintains current regulatory expertise and ensures program compliance while promoting a culture that exceeds such standards. Achieves program recognition by voluntary accrediting bodies.
  • Continuously evaluates the program, working with all stakeholders to refine program goals and future strategy for the services.
  • Leverages the expertise of DDI’s programs as well as partner organizations to maximize DDI’s impact statewide and nationally by participating in grants, professional development opportunities, legislative activities, policy development and research projects.
  • Understands value-based reimbursement and has the skill set to move services toward a value based managed care delivery system.


  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in I/DD programs.
  • Experience leading quality improvement activities and applied knowledge of a performance improvement methodology, such as Lean or Six Sigma.
  • Experience with quality management tools and data analytics.
  • Sufficient seniority, including presence and gravitas to lead interdisciplinary teams.
  • Intellectual curiosity and the ability to build and possess a strong network of relationships including thought leaders, academic leaders, and other contacts in the autism and I/DD community within New York state and nationally.
  • Experience working in a high growth nonprofit organization preferred.
  • Professional, proactive attitude and approach; a sense of humor is a must.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including editing skills with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Experience managing and communicating organizational change.
  • A strategic thinker who is able to analyze and problem solve situations of both technical and personal nature.
  • Able to manage a diverse group of individuals across multiple program locations while promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization.
  • Significant management experience, including an accessible, direct, transparent, and collaborative working style that motivates and inspires staff and colleagues to work hard and well together, offers a clear sense of direction, and holds self and staff accountable.
  • Ability to achieve goals and align interests through cooperation and collaboration with other groups and cross-functional teams, even where no direct reporting relationship exists.
  • Relevant Graduate degree is required.
  • Experience in an organization that is accredited by the Council on Quality & Leadership (CQL), the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) or Joint Commission preferred.
  • Strong commitment to the agency’s mission, purpose, and values.


All positions at Developmental Disabilities Institute are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.


122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168