Los Angeles County seeks to reduce reliance on incarceration and increase care for those who encounter the justice system. A new department has been created to oversee projects related to this vision. The department needs a system to ensure high-value projects are prioritized and resources allocated for maximum impact. The Executive Fellow will lead an effort to create a project portfolio management system to help the department be successful.
Fellowship Dates: July 24, 2023 – July 22, 2024
Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
In 2022, Los Angeles County launched a new county agency, the Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department (JCOD) that aims to transform the county’s justice system and reduce its reliance on incarceration. The department aims to improve outcomes for individuals and their communities who are affected by the justice system. Its broad mandate includes a focus on diverting and facilitating the constructive re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as breaking down silos between the justice system and other services — such as behavioral health, housing, social services, and workforce development.
JCOD is functioning as a startup within the county government, aiming to balance and address long-standing concerns about the criminal justice system, incarceration, and public safety in the community through a variety of innovative, cross-functional programs.
The JCOD is a recently formed department, with senior leaders managing a wide array of projects. JCOD needs a better way to understand and evaluate progress across many projects and initiatives, ensure that projects are aligned with the departmental priorities and have adequate resources to succeed and that the projects will have a significant impact on achieving JCOD’s mission.
As priorities shift, strategies are refined, and stakeholder input is considered, JCOD will need to shift time and resource allocation between projects accordingly. JCOD’s success depends on its ability to manage this portfolio of projects to maximize its collective impact on the department’s mission. Departmental leaders also need to be able to communicate the status of resources assigned and the impact of those projects.
The Los Angeles County Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department (JCOD) will partner with FUSE Corps to develop a project portfolio management system. The FUSE Executive Fellow will lead the development of a project portfolio management system. The Executive Fellow will need strong project management skills, strategic thinking abilities, and the ability to collaborate with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders. The successful Executive Fellow will be instrumental in helping the JCOD and Los Angeles County succeed in its transformative vision of Care First, Jails Last.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the executive fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work may be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE fellow and the host agency.
JCOD has been tasked with transforming the way Los Angeles County deals with people who encounter the justice system. However, the Department’s range of initiatives and activities presents significant management and communication challenges.
JCOD leaders will need tools to be able to ensure that projects align with departmental priorities, sufficient resources are available, and enough value is created to justify the use of limited county resources. Project and departmental leaders must be able to easily communicate the status of those projects to internal and external stakeholders. Finally, JCOD leaders must clearly explain to stakeholders why resource allocation decisions are made and why some projects have been prioritized over others. The ability to effectively and efficiently analyze resource allocation will significantly contribute to the success of the department’s mission and the vision Los Angeles County has adopted to reduce its reliance on incarceration.
By July 2024 the Executive Fellow will have led the development of a project portfolio management system. This work will include the following:
- Engage in a listening tour to seek input from internal and external stakeholders. These will include JCOD managers, leaders in other county departments, and community stakeholders.
- Develop — potentially in an iterative or agile manner — a project portfolio management system. The system might be developed using existing software JCOD already has or some other pre-existing project portfolio management tool. Ideally, the system would include project status, resource allocation, risks, and value information.
- Implement processes to ensure the project portfolio management system is maintained and updated. The Executive Fellow would also help create processes to ensure that JCOD leaders and others can use the system to communicate clearly and timely with other stakeholders — within the department, within Los Angeles County government, and across the community.
- Executive Sponsor – Judge Songhai Armstead, Interim Director; Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department
- Project Supervisor – John Franklin Sierra, Principal Analyst; Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in project management with a human services focus is strongly preferred for this project. Knowledge of the justice system is helpful but not required.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to complex challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
- Communicates effectively verbally and in writing and excels in active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision-making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with diverse stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, particularly community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground. Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE Corps is an equal-opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.