Posting for Executive Director Position



The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc. (COHI) seeks a mission-driven Executive Director to be the key advocacy voice in statewide oral health policy, coalition-building and community education.  The Executive Director will lead COHI’s strategic planning, fund development and overall management and must have excellent networking, communication and project implementing skills.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone seeking to use leadership skills to make a positive social impact.

About COHI

COHI works to create a Connecticut in which everyone has access to oral health services.  Oral health is more than just a pretty smile - it is essential to overall health and well-being. 

COHI advocates, builds coalitions and educates across Connecticut to raise the public’s awareness of the need for oral health for all.  It works to reduce racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in oral health delivery and outcomes.  It leads and participates in health advocacy coalitions and government policy groups.  It serves as an expert resource on oral health policy and disseminates evidence-based analyses and recommendations.  

Significant COHI activities in the past year have included:

ADVOCACYCOHI’s successful advocacy with government decision makers, in collaboration with other health care advocates, has improved and sustained Connecticut’s victories for oral health and has reduced health disparities.  Working with others, COHI achieved:

  • Restoration of Medicaid eligibility for parents and vulnerable adults;
  • Preservation of funding for School-Based Health Centers;
  • Implementation of Oral Health assessments for school children;
  • Expansion of permissible public health settings for services provided by dental hygienists; and
  • Establishment of legislators’ access to Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements to reveal how proposed legislation potentially worsens or resolves any racial and ethnic disparities.

OUTREACH AND EDUCATION: To raise the public’s awareness, COHI has conducted:

  • Oral health advocacy trainings;
  • Continuing education on cultural competency and child oral health data;
  • The “Let’s Talk Teeth” campaign;
  • Project coordination of Connecticut’s “Every Smile Counts” report; and
  • Presentations at Health and Social Justice Fairs.

STRONG FISCAL DEVELOPMENT: COHI continued its record of strong fund development through its diversified funding strategy, which includes private foundation funding, donor/membership drives, fundraising events (annual dinner and a golf tournament), continuing education and state contracts.

New Executive Director’s challenges and opportunities

The new Executive Director will lead and personify COHI’s successful work to expand a broad understanding of the vital importance of oral health to the state’s residents.

By elevating stakeholder and decision-makers’ recognition of the importance of oral health, the new Executive Director will drive private and public efforts to protect and expand programs that increase access to oral health, and to reduce disparities in the delivery of oral health.

COHI is a small organization with the opportunity to grow in size and influence.  The new Executive Director will:

  • Speak effectively in halls of government for policies that promote oral health and reduce disparities;
  • Collaborate and build common purpose with a broad range of stakeholders involved in oral health, general health, community health, government policy, and education;
  • Sustain and diversify COHI’s funding base through grant-writing, fundraising events, a donor/member campaign, and government and other contracts;
  • Expand COHI’s operations by generation of new and diversified fund sources;
  • Recruit for and develop COHI’s Board of Directors, so they continue to be effective partners in the work of the organization. 

The outgoing COHI Executive Director has been a highly visible and respected leader over the past six years.  The new Executive Director will build upon a strong foundation, while exploring new approaches, directions, campaigns and collaborations to further enhance Connecticut’s efforts towards access to oral health.

Key Responsibilities of the COHI Executive Director

The new Executive Director will:

  • Uphold COHI’s vision  and mission with strategic thinking to drive its organizational success and impact in an ever-changing environment;
  • Through outreach, collaboration, and advocacy, elevate stakeholder and decision-maker understanding of the impact of oral health on the health and economic outcomes for Connecticut residents;
  • Sustain and establish partnerships to expand access to oral health;
  • Support and build the COHI Board in its work to advance the organization’s mission, assist with fundraising, and carry out its responsibilities for organizational oversight;
  • Manage and expand a $160,000 budget by generation of new and diversified fund sources.
  • Manage a small group of staff, interns and volunteers, expanding operations as funds become available.
  • Sustain COHI’s non-profit fiscal and compliance structures.

Desired Skills, Characteristics, and Competencies

The new Executive Director must:

  • Demonstrate strategic thinking and vision;
  • Stand up for core principles;
  • Be effective at creating coalitions and building collaboration; 
  • Demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Be able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs; and
  • Manage, prioritize and implement a complex list of projects.

The new Executive Director must have either a background in oral health and/or public health, or the ability to quickly master knowledge about the science and business of oral health, its broad impacts of oral health, and the nature of disparities in health outcomes. 

The new Executive Director must have either experience or the ability to quickly learn:

  • How to navigate and impact governmental decision processes;
  • How to apply for grants and build a donor-base; and
  • How to run non-profit business structures, manage a budget and ensure compliance with government and funder requirements.

A Bachelor’s degree is required.  (Relevant post-graduate degree is preferred.)

Location and travel requirements

COHI’s office is located in Hartford, Connecticut.  The Executive Director must be able to drive/travel to meetings and events as needed.

Compensation package

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualification. Compensation includes health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

How to apply for the position (or to send us a suggestion of someone who might be a great candidate):

  • Candidates must provide:
    • a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position; and
    • a résumé.
  • Applications and should be sent by email to COHI also welcomes your suggestions of possible candidates for the position.
  • Applications will be accepted through July 13, 2018.
  • The name and contact information for suggested candidates should also be sent to

The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


COHI Job Announcement Executive Director

Connecticut Oral Health Initiative

175 Main St., Hartford CT, 06106

p. 860.246.COHI(2644)
f. 860.246.7744