Director, Innovation and Program Design job at AARP

Description of the business unit

AARP’s Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) advocates for the inclusion of technology for those 50 and older, offering digital literacy training and programs to seniors. OATS, with nearly two decades of experience and knowledge of how older people interact with technology, uses that knowledge to create world-class programs that form the basis for systems change.

The primary focus of this role is to brainstorm and design customer experience frameworks for two very different Senior Planet clients: individual seniors (60 years and over) who participate in Senior Planet program offerings; and professional or volunteer staff who work with seniors in a variety of organizational settings to deliver the in-person component of Senior Planet programs.

This leadership position is unique because the person who owns it will be at the heart of the design of customer journeys inspired by the vision, ethics and theory of change in which Senior Planet is anchored, and will imagine how to populate these journeys. intentionally and consistently. at every touchpoint, through different in-person settings and virtual delivery channels with Senior Planet elements, including editorial and educational content, technology, events and ongoing opportunities to achieve world-class experiences and transformative results.

• Demonstrate credible and inspiring leadership that combines boundless creativity and a design flair that keeps pragmatic execution in mind.

• Represent clients through an ideation process with cross-functional leaders in knowledge management and program implementation to identify client needs and preferences, generate new ideas, and design potential solutions for testing. This will involve transforming our Senior Planet Centers in Denver, New York and Palo Alto into “test kitchens” in which to imagine, prototype and pilot new program experiences that can then be scaled up nationwide;

• Use a design approach and best practices to “imagine” the overall Senior Planet experience, including conceptualizing a results-based framework for the customer experience, developing customer profiles, mapping the journey client to guide product development across multiple channels, developing and aligning low-mid and high touchpoints along the way, integrating new experiential opportunities into existing program structures, and utilizing user testing and program data to validate, learn and continually improve the experience.

• Supervise one or more key assistants who will ensure the management of teams within the ideation group that contribute to the program experience, including researching emerging consumer technologies and assessing their suitability for incorporation into the program. program, and a content creation group producing online and social media editorials, written instructional material, live streaming, recorded video segments, podcasts, and participant communications, such as email newsletters and periodic reports to clients.

• Develop an inspired annual program plan that aligns with the organization’s core strategies and priority areas.

• Confer and collaborate with the Director of Implementation and the Director of Impact Measurement to ensure that the vision embedded in programs through ideation and design is preserved with a high degree of fidelity when it is actually implemented, and the mechanisms for measuring program performance are designed into the program during the ideation phase.
Terms & Conditions

• Bachelor’s degree and 8 years or more of equivalent experience in a related field

• Strong understanding of design and orientation towards social impact;

• More than 5 years of experience in program development, ideally in a leadership role within a rapidly changing non-profit or client-oriented corporate environment;

• Demonstrated success in creating a program or vision, strategy, experience and business solutions and services – from ideation to launch;

• In-depth knowledge of the end-to-end iterative UX product design process, including how to develop and use personas, work stories, journey mapping, content modeling and other tools to implement a vision ;

• Extensive experience driving and applying user-centric design processes while working with cross-functional teams;

• A deep empathy for the user, with a strong passion for working with the elderly, an asset;

• Excellent communication and storytelling skills; you have the ability to help your team and your stakeholders understand the “why” behind your design logic;

• Personal qualities include high energy, maturity, creativity and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and position program discussions at the strategic and tactical levels;

• A sincere commitment to working collaboratively with various staff, program partners and Senior Planet participants.
Benefits and compensation

AARP offers competitive advantages with a 401 (k); Pension plan funded 100% by the company; health, dental and vision plans; life insurance paid time off to include company and individual vacation, vacation, sick leave, care and parental leave; performance-based and peer recognition; tuition reimbursement; among others. Visit for more information.

Due to the COVID pandemic, all interviews will take place virtually and all non-essential employees will continue to work remotely until further notice.
Equal employment opportunities

AARP is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and maintaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, ‘gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law.

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