Tribal Liaison for First Things First

Jan 24, 2020

First Things First (Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board) is one of the critical state partners in creating a child and family‐centered, comprehensive, collaborative and high‐quality early childhood system that supports the development, health and early education of all Arizona’s children. Created by voter initiative in 2006, First Things First is governed by a state Board with 28 regional partnership councils. First Things First is a decentralized organization that engages diverse constituencies to accomplish its mission. Organizational values include a focus on accountability, transparency, coordination, collaboration and on the outcomes that will ensure young children start kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life.

First Things First values its government-to-government relationships with Arizona’s tribes and Tribal Affairs is an integral part of the agency’s work. Arizona’s tribes can participate in First Things First in one of two ways: by electing to have their tribal lands treated as separate regions by the statewide FTF Board, or by electing to have their tribal lands treated as part of the FTF regions in which their lands are geographically located. To date, 19 federally recognized tribes have elected to participate in First Things First (10 as separate regions, and nine as part of the region in their geographic area). More information on FTF Tribal Affairs is available at

Job Summary

In its mission to serve all Arizona children, FTF recognizes that Arizona’s tribes are sovereign nations with complete authority over all activities occurring on their tribal lands, including services provided, work performed by the tribe’s departments and employees, and research and data collection conducted on their lands. Under the supervision of FTF’s Senior Director for Tribal Affairs, the Tribal Liaison will support First Things First’s ongoing commitment to continuous consultation and open dialogue with tribal governments regarding all proposed or actual FTF-funded activities on tribal lands, including potential studies on which to collaborate as well as on specific tribal approval processes necessary for programmatic implementation and evaluation (including the corresponding data collection). This position assists the Senior Director of Tribal Affairs in carrying out a variety of activities to enhance Arizona’s relationships with tribes; build awareness of the importance of early childhood among stakeholders working in and with tribal communities; and enhance the cultural responsiveness of early childhood programs. In addition, the Tribal Liaison is responsible for coordinating with regional, program and evaluation staff to request appropriate tribal approvals for data collection, analysis and publication (e.g. regional needs and assets, programmatic data and research and evaluation).

Distinguishing Characteristics

The ideal candidate will enthusiastically support the vision and mission of First Things First and possess the personal qualities of integrity and credibility. The Tribal Liaison will have the proven ability to work within teams to accomplish multiple tasks and keep multiple projects organized and progressing. The Tribal Liaison will also have demonstrated capacity to work in a fast-paced environment, and the proven ability to deal with sensitive situations with efficiency, diplomacy and tact. The Tribal Liaison must have strong knowledge of and experience in working with tribes in the areas of planning, program implementation, program evaluation and/or data collection protocols and processes on tribal lands. In addition, the Tribal Liaison must have strong research, analysis and critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and apply those skills to the development and implementation of the First Things First Evaluation Plan and funded programs.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

The Tribal Liaison is part of the Public Affairs unit and reports to the Senior Director of Tribal Affairs. The Tribal Liaison will have the capacity and desire to work within teams to accomplish multiple tasks and keep multiple projects organized and progressing towards successful completion. The Tribal Liaison will work as a collaborative partner with FTF cross-divisional teams and community partners to promote the effective implementation of funded programs and data/evaluation activities with Arizona tribes. The position requires the ability to communicate effectively, work as a contributing team member, and share expertise and findings with colleagues and partners.

  • The Tribal Liaison supports the Senior Director of Tribal Affairs in the successful implementation of the following Tribal Affairs priorities: 
    • Developing and fostering effective communication between FTF staff and staff members from tribes and nations. 
    • Training FTF staff and others in the area of tribal relations through ongoing education. 
    • Working with tribal partners, such as the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona and the Indian Health Service, to provide information and resources related to the work of First Things First. 
    • Facilitating partnerships and educating both the public and private sectors on FTF programming in tribal communities.  
    • Providing training to FTF grantees who provide services in tribal communities. 
    • Formulating and recommending policies, programs and initiatives impacting tribes. 
    • Planning and implementing events to build awareness of early childhood development and health in tribal communities (e.g. FTF Early Childhood Summit and Tribal Connections). 
    • Planning and implementing Statewide and Regional Tribal Consultations. 
  • The Tribal Liaison will assist FTF senior staff and regional directors in coordination with tribal authorities and external partners to request and obtain data permissions (including obtaining tribal resolutions, Memoranda of Agreement/Understanding, tribal IRB approval, etc.) for data collection and usage in tribal communities. 
  • The Tribal Liaison will assist regional directors in locating and obtaining existing data for tribal communities related to regional needs and assets reports. 
  • Ensuring ongoing communication with tribal governments and tribal partners by responding to requests for information and providing technical assistance as it relates to projects assigned. 
  • This position will also be responsible for adhering to all FTF policies and protocols related to data collection and security, and will provide oversight of the proper completion of all security, reporting, and communication requirements as agreed to in data permissions, tribal IRB approvals or other authorizing processes for data usage and collaboration with tribal governments. 
  • This staff member will also provide technical assistance, as necessary, to establish partnerships and promote coordination with external agencies, governments and tribal communities regarding data, especially data related to regional needs and assets reports in tribal communities. 
  • In collaboration with the Senior Director of Tribal Affairs and the Research and Evaluation Division, this position serves as a resource for FTF staff and other stakeholders on the use and interpretation of tribal data; and works with regional FTF staff to update regional councils and tribal authorities regularly on the status of data. 
  • This position participates in regular conference calls and other meetings with the FTF Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) or any other meetings as required. 
  • This position manages the Tribal Affairs contacts database, develops correspondence and prepares reports. 
  • The position assists with other administrative support and other office duties, as needed. 
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in research methodology, evaluation, child development or related field combined with practical experience is required. 
  • A minimum of three years of experience working with American Indian tribes. 
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with tribal data policy development or implementation and/or with tribes and their data resources. 
  • General knowledge of effective practices of research design. 
  • Strong problem solving, leadership and analytical skills. 
  • Knowledge or understanding of tribal early childhood systems. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Strong interpersonal relations and oral communication skills necessary to effectively articulate evaluation goals with sensitivity to cultural and local community differences. 
  • Ability to promote and achieve a broad diversity of thought, background and perspective in providing assistance and resources. 
  • Commitment to uphold high ethical standards and promote sound business practices. 
  • Projects a professional, resourceful image. 
  • Ability and capacity to work within a fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities. 

******This position requires day and evening travel within and outside of Maricopa County*****

Review of resumes will begin on January 27, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. For consideration, please submit your cover letter, comprehensive resume and three professional references to:
Job ID #53171

In the AZ State Personnel System, the position is classified as a Grade 23 and has a hiring salary range of $47,500 – $55,000. The position is not covered under the State of Arizona Merit system rules. The State of Arizona offers an outstanding comprehensive benefits package.

Arizona State Government is an EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer. During all phases of the selection process, people with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter, by contacting FTF’s Human Resources Office via e-mail at

Category: Jobs


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