Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement

Organization Summary

Upstream USA is a fast-growing, national nonprofit working to expand opportunity by reducing unplanned pregnancy across the U.S. Upstream partners with states to provide training and technical assistance to health centers, increasing equitable access to the full range of contraceptive options. Our transformative approach empowers patients to decide when and if they want to become pregnant, a critical step towards improving outcomes for parents and children.

Upstream is growing rapidly and is on track to achieve nationwide impact. After launching our first statewide initiative in Delaware in 2014, we have since launched projects in Washington state, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. By 2023, Upstream will have partnered with health centers that serve over one million women of reproductive age annually across these states.

Upstream is funded primarily through philanthropic individuals and foundations, and does not accept funding from pharmaceutical companies. Upstream’s budget has grown from $1.7 million just three years ago to approximately $25 million in 2019. Upstream’s work has also garnered attention from many leading publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, Vox, Forbes, and Marie Claire.

Upstream Rhode Island is a statewide initiative to expand best-in-class contraceptives by 2022. Many Rhode Island women still lack same-day access to the full range of contraceptive options, and almost half of pregnancies each year are unplanned. Our Rhode Island team will work in communities across the state to improve birth control access, helping more Rhode Island patients become pregnant only when and if they want to.

Position Summary

The Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement develops and oversees Upstream’s health center recruitment, partnership and community engagement  strategy, in support of our goal of reaching women of reproductive age across Rhode Island. The Director is responsible for: developing and executing a strategy for successfully building partnerships with health centers and hospitals participating in Upstream’s training and technical assistance program; developing a grassroots  ‘Community of Care’ approach with Upstream’s stakeholders and partners in the state; and leveraging relationships with state government and health policy partners whose work will provide the long-term, sustainable underpinning to successfully transform the delivery of contraceptive care in Rhode Island.

While this is a time-limited position anticipated through at least Q4 2022, there may be future opportunities within Upstream.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop long-term and annual plans that meet goals for recruitment of health center partnerships in Rhode Island by 2022
  • Develop the annual and long-term strategy for health center and stakeholder engagement, and effectively manage the execution of those plans, including troubleshooting, issue escalation, and creative problem-solving with your team to help them “get to yes” in both health center and stakeholder relationship management
  • Build grassroots community relationships and work collaboratively with key organizations in the state to design and build the Upstream program
  • Support team members managing outreach to health center and stakeholder partners by developing and/or improving team processes, systems and tools that efficiently and effectively ensure progress to goal in partner recruitment
  • Foster a positive, collaborative team culture in line with Upstream organizational culture
  • Support the professional growth and success of each team member by communicating regularly with team members, providing feedback, and coaching
  • Maintain seamless communication and collaboration with Upstream sister departments that depend on or support health center recruitment, including the Quality Improvement, Training, MEL and Communications & Marketing teams
  • Work closely with the Executive Director through the duration of the project
  • Proactively seek diverse perspectives and voices to inform Upstream’s work in the state.

Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability

  • Proven track record in successful client or partner relationship management, maintaining excellent client or partner relationships
  • Experience working with or within Rhode Island’s healthcare community
  • A minimum of 8 years of professional experience, including sales, business development, healthcare administration, or outreach work, ideally in healthcare-related industry.
  • Proven experience successfully creating process, policy, or attitude changes in organizations or systems
  • Frequent travel throughout the state expected (limited overnight travel)

Valued Non-Essential Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Ability

  • Demonstrated success in a growing organization through the start-up and early growth phase.
  • Experience in grassroots organizing or coalition-building
  • Interest in working at a mission-driven organization


  • Persistence and drive. Determination will be required in tackling the challenge of organizing local stakeholders to participate in Upstream’s community of practice, and state government agencies to adopt new processes and systems.
  • Confidence and the approach of a proactive self-starter who is skilled in taking initiative and working well independently.
  • High degree of adaptability. Ability to work in a fast-growing, start-up organization.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to build and maintain positive, productive relationships with colleagues and clients and build joy into the work of the team.
  • Ability to generate momentum and excitement for Upstream’s work across a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Solid work ethic and a team player attitude.

Upstream Careers

At Upstream, we embrace diversity. We nurture it and we thrive on it because it benefits our organization, our partners, and our community. Our goal is to attract, develop and retain exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential.  Upstream is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, genetic information, gender identity or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know. Learn more  about working at Upstream, our values, and our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Upstream is an E-Verify employer.

Upstream Headquarters: 426 17th Street, #200, Oakland, CA 94612

No phone calls please.


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