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The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc. (COHI) seeks a dynamic, equity-focused advocate to lead our non-profit organization.  The Executive Director will lead the staff and provide a compelling voice in statewide oral health policy, coalition-building, and community education.  The Executive Director will lead fund development and overall management and must have excellent networking, communication, and project implementation skills.


This is an exciting opportunity for someone seeking to use leadership skills to make a positive social impact and build on the strengths of a visible organization, its staff, and its Board.


About COHI

COHI’s vision is for all Connecticut residents to have equal opportunity, through equitable health delivery structures, to obtain and maintain good oral health.


COHI advocates, builds coalitions and educates across Connecticut to raise the public’s awareness of the connection between oral health and general health, and of the need for oral health for all.  It works to reduce racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in oral health delivery and outcomes through research, education and policy advocacy.  It serves as an expert resource on oral health policy and disseminates evidence-based analyses and recommendations.  It works directly with the community to understand the real barriers to adequate oral health, and communicates that vital information to policymakers.  COHI is the only organization in Connecticut devoted solely to improving access to oral health services for those with inadequate access to care.


Currently, COHI carries its work forward through two full time staff (including the Executive Director) and numerous contractors and contract employees.  It currently has a budget of approximately $300,000 per year.


New Executive Director’s Challenges and Opportunities

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


By increasing community 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,  reduce disparities and advance equity in the delivery of oral health.


COHI is a small organization with the opportunity to grow in size and influence.  Depending on some pending grant process, the new Executive Director may have the opportunity to hire a third employee. 


The new Executive Director will:

  • Speak effectively, and with impact, in halls of government for policies that promote oral health and reduce disparities;

  • Collaborate and build common purpose with a broad range of communities 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;

  • Manage a small group of staff, interns and volunteers, expanding operations as funds become available;

  • Sustain COHI’s non-profit fiscal and compliance structures.


COHI has elevated its advocacy and visibility in recent years.  The organization is currently being supported by an Interim Executive Director, a Community Engagement Specialist and an Office Manager.  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 equity and access in oral health.


Desired Skills, Characteristics, and Competencies

The new Executive Director must:

  • Demonstrate strategic thinking, innovation, vision, and action;

  • Have a passion for equity and justice;

  • Demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills;

  • Be able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs to build a community of practice;

  • Be extremely well organized in order to manage, prioritize and implement a complex list of projects;

  • Have the experience and skill to effectively lead and supervise staff and interns.


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

The expected salary range is $80,000 - $100,000, depending on experience and qualifications. Our benefit package includes retirement benefits (4% contribution), health coverage, and generous 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:

    1. a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position; and

    2. a résumé.


  • Applications should be sent by email to our Interim Executive Director, Steve Eppler-Epstein, at . COHI also welcomes your suggestions of possible candidates for the position.


  • The position is open until filled; we hope to begin reviewing applications in October 2022.


For additional information about COHI, please visit


The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative welcomes applications from people of all identities and backgrounds.  We work to build diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization, throughout our work, and in partnership and allyship with the communities we serve.

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