Bay Area Program Director




 Position is now closed.




The Outward Bound California Bay Area Program Director provides overall leadership and strategic vision for the Bay Area Program, and is responsible for program quality and safety, business administration, and local operations that support courses in the Greater Bay Area. The Bay Area Program Director reports to the Director of Program & Safety.

The ideal candidate will have a thorough working knowledge of experiential-based programming through challenge course and expedition based activities; a commitment to providing outdoor access to local schools, youth-serving organizations and under-resourced community partners; competency managing program finance and operations that steer the strategic vision; and a passion for developing and mentoring a team of dedicated staff. We are looking for someone with a deep connection to the Bay Area community who is ready to lead and inspire a team of dedicated staff to connect youth and adults to experiential education that changes lives through challenge and discovery.

Who We Are


Outward Bound California is part of a national network of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults. We use the inherent challenge of the wilderness and urban outdoor spaces to teach people of all ages to be compassionate leaders, serve their communities, and build character to ultimately reveal the full potential within all of us.

With a 50 year history in the US, we provide extended, expeditionary style rock climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, urban, and service courses, serving ages 12 and up, including adult and veteran programs. As a non-profit, more than 2/3 of our students receive partial or full scholarships to go on a course with us in the High Sierra, Joshua Tree and in the Bay Area.

Who You Are
Knowledge & Skills
  • Knowledgeable about and experienced with experiential education programs 

  • Visionary leader, partnership builder and staff motivator 
  • Understanding of institutional and systemic barriers. Committed to expanding access to the outdoors for under-represented communities 
  • Extremely detail-oriented, with excellent organizational skills
  • Flexible, adaptable and open to change
  • A creative problem-solver
  • Able to manage and track budgets and make informed forecasts 
  • Able to prioritize and manage multiple tasks successfully within tight timelines
  • Able to work both independently and cooperatively as a team member and to give and receive both positive and constructive feedback
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and ability to present to diverse audiences, communities and identities
  • Proficient user of Microsoft Office Suite (Word and Excel), Adobe, and G Suite (Gmail and Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar) Familiar with Salesforce
  • Hold a current WFR, CPR, CA Epi Card, and Food Handler certification (or willing to obtain prior to start date)
Education & Work Experience
  • Previous managerial experience or equivalent experience
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or 6+ years experience in the outdoor education/experiential learning field, or any similar combination of education and experience
Physical Requirements
  • Ability to observe programming in the field, as needed; may require hiking on uneven surfaces in adverse conditions and the need to carry a backpack up to 40 lbs
  • Able to maintain composure, exercise sound judgment and decision-making, and assess and mitigate risk under extended periods of stress
  • Comfortable sitting or standing at a desk or computer 90% of time or greater
  • Ability to work non-traditional work schedule requiring availability during off hours and weekends at times

Bonus if you…

  • Have familiarity with Outward Bound California philosophy, activities, and course areas
  • Have familiarity and/or direct experience working in a traditional school setting
  • Are fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, and/or Cantonese
  • Have prior experience leading challenge course activities and/or team-building programs for youth, adults and corporate professionals
  • Hold current ACCT accreditation
  • Are an alum of Outward Bound or other expeditionary experience
  • Experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds


Program Leadership
  • In collaboration with Director Of Program & Safety (DPS) and the OBCA Senior Leadership Team, develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with OBCA’s strategic programmatic goals.

  • Oversee delivery and course quality of all programs so that courses are true to OB mission, core values, design principles, outcomes, and vision of program excellence.
  • Role model cultural competency with an awareness of personal power and privilege; identify and remove barriers to access for both staff and students; and foster an inclusive work environment.
  • Provide Bay Area Program Team with oversight, development, and support. Directly supervise a team of five.
  • Partner with Outreach and Sales team to direct program offerings. Cultivate community partnerships and oversee vendor relationships.
  • Represent the Bay Area program as a member of the OBCA Program Leadership Team, with a focus on organizational decision making, strategy, and sustainability.
  • Coordinate and ensure an open culture of feedback for staff and program. Implement program improvements, as needed. 
  • Develop annual program calendar. Collaborate on enrollment and capacity decisions in consultation with other departments.
Safety and Risk Management
  • Oversee execution of local Emergency Response Plans and Charter Operating Procedures.

  • Collaborate with Student Services team about medical, behavioral, and motivational issues.
  • Proactively manage hazards and minimize risks of Bay Area program operations. Ensure accurate and complete incident reporting for all courses. 
  • Ensure that the content of course safety briefings mitigate risks and remain culturally relevant and responsive.
  • Ensure basecamp operations and staff housing are in accordance with local Workplace Safety expectations and policies.
  • Act as a member of the OBCA Program and Safety committee.
  • Act as designated ‘On Call’ staff member, as assigned, available for field staff 24 hours a day as a first responder to issues that may arise (emergency and non-emergency).  Serve as a Mandated Reporter.
  • Conduct supervisory visits to field operation sites as needed.
Business Management
  • Support Human Resources dept, including hiring, performance evaluation, and disciplinary actions.
  • Develop, track, and hold accountability for Bay Area program budget ($1M) and expense tracking.
  • Track and report field staff days worked for semimonthly payroll processing by HR Manager.
  • Manage all local operational manuals, standard operating procedures, and protocols.
  • Participate in other duties as assigned.

Compensation, Benefits and Location

  • This is a Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, 12-Month position.

  • Starting pay range of $54,700 - $67,000 annual salary, depending on experience
  • A competitive benefits package, including comprehensive health insurance with generous employer contribution, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), four weeks of Paid Time Off (PTO) and 10 paid holidays, and 401(k) plan enrollment 
  • Highly energetic, flexible, and supportive work environment at a mission-driven organization
  • Opportunity to attend Outward Bound adult course
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • ProDeal, an opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at a discounted price


  • This position is located at our Bay Area program base in the heart of the Presidio in San Francisco, California, just minutes from Baker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge.  
  • The offices include a gear room, kitchen, and access to nearby trails.

Outward Bound California is an equal opportunity employer and works to include diversity among its staff. Outward Bound California values the inclusion and collaboration among employees of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Outward Bound California prohibits discrimination against, and harassment of, any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of the disability, or any other category which may be protected under applicable state or federal law. Outward Bound California also promotes respect for all people, and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics nor on differences based on gender identity or expression.

As we strive to reflect the communities we serve, people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.


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