Job Description

The Whatcom County Executive’s Office is seeking to hire a Special Programs Manager for Strategic Initiatives  to lead and provide project management and administrative oversight for the County’s strategic initiatives, addressing key challenges facing Whatcom County.

This position will be responsible for managing County initiatives aimed at a number of high priority community-wide issues involving but not limited to child care, climate change, behavioral health and housing, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. Emphasis will also be given to administrative process improvements.  Current initiatives include the Justice Project, implementation of the Healthy Children’s Fund, Nooksack Water Adjudication, Flood Hazard Mitigation, Wetlands Bank, and the Comprehensive Plan.

These initiatives are complex, sensitive and highly technical in nature, demand a high level of community involvement, and require engagement by outside agencies at local, state, and federal levels of government. The Special Programs Manager will collect, develop, analyze, interpret, and deliver technical information; coordinate internal and external specialists and consultants; ascertain policy; and manage public relations for emerging initiatives. The position demands a high level of independent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality.

The Special Program Manager partners with the County Executive and County Council and works in collaboration with departmental leaders, other jurisdictions, community partners, advisory boards and advocacy groups to provide proactive problem solving and a standardized approach to these key issues while also addressing their inter-relatedness.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Project Management, or a related field;
  • 5 years of progressively responsible related experience managing complex projects and programs within the public sector and involving intergovernmental relations;
  • 3 years of supervisory experience.

Requires knowledge of:

  • Regional community health challenges; the social and economic drivers of community health.
  • Racial equity principles and their integration into public sector administration.
  • Environmental challenges in Whatcom County, particularly climate change, water quality and security, and land-use regulation.
  • Project management best practices (certification preferred).
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