Director Of Program – Unified Sports

Albany, NY, Full time


Title: Director of Program, Unified Sports

Location: Albany, New York

Position: Full-time 

Compensation: $50,000 - $65,000 (depending upon experience)


Competitive athletes share certain qualities: drive; perseverance; confidence. For athletes with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics New York provides a training ground where those qualities are given room to grow. Special Olympics New York athletes compete on a level playing field and challenge themselves in fair and even competition. They develop character, make friends, and find unknown wells of determination within themselves


The transformative power of sports to instill confidence, improve health, and inspire a sense of competition is at the core of Special Olympics. Special Olympics New York provides inclusive opportunities for 68,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities to discover and unleash the champion within. Our athletes experience the thrill of competing in authentic sports, finding joy, confidence, and fulfillment on the playing field and in life.


Special Olympics New York is seeking candidates for the Director of Program, Unified Sports who can galvanize a community and help us as we grow. Successful candidates are comfortable leading initiatives and can see the “big picture” while also remaining attentive to the details. The ideal candidate is a relationship builder who is at ease being out from behind a desk and in the community, engaging with school personnel at all levels and regional colleagues.  This is an exciting opportunity to join Special Olympics New York while we build and grow our program, and help light the fire within New York’s striving, thriving athletes.


Our mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing them with ongoing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.


The Special Olympics mission remains as vital today as it did when the movement was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Special Olympics New York was incorporated in 1970, and today, Special Olympics New York is the largest program in the United States and one of the largest in the world.


The Position: 

Under the supervision of the Executive Director of Unified Sports, the Director of Program is responsible for supporting, coordinating, and monitoring all Unified program-related activities within the Hudson Valley and Capital Regions. Unified Champion Schools programming provides activities for the whole school community, bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities. The Director of Program participates in the development and administration of all program-related functions including coordination, communication, engagement, and education as they are relevant to schools, athletes, and volunteers and their relationship to Unified Champion Schools programming.


Collaboration and Relationship Building: Much of Special Olympics New York’s success is rooted in the strength of collaborative relationships, therefore the Director of Program models and fosters behavior that establishes a culture that values partnership and is consistent with the values, goals, and objectives of the organization to create an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, accountability, empowerment, and dedication to the mission. 

  • Cultivate connections and own relationships with existing customer base and grow the base with regional teams.
  • Prioritize interactions with school communities, school administrators, and school-based partnerships.
  • Collaborate with Special Olympics colleagues across the region to successfully execute events.
  • Immerse in collaborative relationships with the network of community assets - schools, athletes, families, and coaches. 


Communication & Education:  With a thorough understanding of the structure, function, and mission of Special Olympics New York, the Director of Program will act as a pipeline of information for others and be an expert resource, effectively communicating matters related to events, sports training, and coach education.

  • Lead training programs to educate, expand, and engage schools, coaches, and athletes.
  • Train and educate students to become inclusive leaders.
  • Provide regular communication and updates to colleagues, coaches, and stakeholders, ensuring engagement with, and connection to, events and competitions.
  • Initiate outreach with stakeholders and colleagues so that event preparations and timelines align with expectations.
  • Act as the regional Special Olympics ambassador onboarding interested schools and educating schools not yet engaged.


Project Management & Coordination: The Director of Program is a proven performer in administration, management, program planning, and program evaluation. Primarily guiding program efforts from behind the scenes, the Director of Program also participates as “boots on the ground” during competitions.

  • Manage and monitor all program committee activities employing advanced organizational skills and effective communication skills.
  • Facilitate interaction between multiple teams, regions, schools, and coordinating bodies.
  • Assist in event coordination by working with school-based coordinators to secure resources including facilities, officials, volunteers, and equipment.
  • Plan and troubleshoot logistics with regional colleagues to ensure successful execution of events.



  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in Physical Education, Sports Management, Recreations, Special Education is preferred.
  • Experience in a leadership, supervisory, or management position.
  • Experience working or volunteering in the field of Developmental Disabilities as a professional coach and/or Special Olympics volunteer is preferred.



  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong written skills, including a thorough command of proper grammar.
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively with efficiency.
  • General computer proficiency and competence with the full Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Flexible and patient with changing priorities and deadlines.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, salary history, and requirements to Sensa Recruiting at Please reference the job title in the subject line.  



Special Olympics New York is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, neurodiversity, age, parental status, socio-economic background, military service, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable law.

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