Job Description

Payroll Title:
CANCER CENTER/Smokers Helpline
Salary Range
Commensurate with Experience
Greenwich Drive
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday

As a federally-funded institution, UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free campus. New employees are subject to drug screening.

#111607 Program Director

Filing Deadline: Thu 9/23/2021

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit:

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 9/23/21. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


The California Smokers' Helpline (Helpline) is a statewide counseling service operated through UCSD Moores Cancer Center. The Helpline was established in 1992 and currently provides telephone-based cessation counseling in English and Spanish for all California residents, and through the Asian Smokers’ Quitline, counseling in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Korean, and Vietnamese for the whole country (N=30,000 enrollees/year). The Helpline is renowned for its quality intervention research that has consisted of large randomized trials testingvarious counseling protocols designed to help smokers quit smoking. These trials have repeatedly proven the effectiveness of the standard telephone counseling protocol as well as more targeted protocols such as for pregnant smokers, teens, Asian-language speakers. The Helpline has also been the setting for testing the efficacy of novel interventions such as using financial incentives to increase counseling adherence among low-income smokers, helping smokers quit through intervention with non-smokers, or determining the role of nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers quit smoking. The Helpline also conducts ongoing evaluation of a random sample of enrollees to assess satisfaction and quitting outcomes. These evaluations have been analyzed and findings published in peer reviewed journals to strengthen the literature related to quitlines and their capacity to address tobacco disparities in traditionally underserved populations such as those with mental health issues, African-Americans, and American Indian/Alaska natives. The Helpline is expanding its intervention model to include internet-based protocols. The Helpline is currently supported by contracts and grants in excess of $10 million annually.

Dr. Shu-Hong Zhu, an internationally renowned tobacco researcher is the Principal Investigator for the Helpline. The Helpline is co-located with Dr. Zhu’s research team that also conducts population studies related to tobacco control. The Helpline Program Director is expected to contribute to both the service and research aspects of the Helpline as well as to the population research more generally.

Under the general direction of the Principal Investigator (PI), the Program Director administers the California Smokers' Helpline, a large complex national and international telephone-based public health service and research organization encompassing several programs with a combined annual budget of over $5 million from federal, state, and private sources and a large and growing staff of over 100 academic, career, casual, and student employees. In consultation with the PI, assumes primary responsibility for overall administration of the Helpline, managing priorities between program components, allocating budget, staffing, and other resources as appropriate. Provides general direction for and facilitates communication between the managers of Service Delivery, Outreach, Information Services, and Administrative Services. Through them, indirectly supervises 70+ employees. Assesses and plans for future physical and human resource needs and ensure the protocol of University programs and services. Through the Service Delivery Manager, ensures that the services provided by the Helpline meet its contracted deliverables, follow study protocols, and make efficient use of the resources available. Through the Communication Manager, ensures that incoming call volume is appropriate to the Helpline’s capacity for Service Delivery, sufficient to meet its contracted deliverables, aligned with the program’s mission to reach underserved populations, and responsive to subject recruitment needs. In coordination with the IT Manager, ensures that the Helpline’s use of technology provides a reliable foundation for efficient operation in all functional areas, and that technological improvements keep pace with evolving needs. Provide strategic leadership for conceptualizing new or enhanced technological products to improve Helpline services and aligns resources to support technological progress in excess of the minimum requirements of contracts and grants. Through the Administrative Services Manager, ensures smooth and efficient office functioning. Selectively develops relationships with state, federal, and non-governmental organizations for the purpose of positioning the Helpline for future growth and development, advancing the PI’s research agenda, contributing to the improvement of quitlines nationally or internationally, promoting tobacco cessation, or supporting partner organizations. Through the Administrative officer, coordinates the pre- and post-award administration, develops budgets and work plans, negotiates contracts, ensures compliance with terms, writes progress reports, ensures that funds are expended as budgeted, and advises the PI on budgetary issues. Participates in Helpline research by helping with research questions and implementation, assists the Research Director in determine process indicators to be used to evaluate programs, reviews process data that have a bearing on studies or overall program evaluation, and uses these data to determine the need for changes in resources allocation, and presents program results at conferences.

Responsible for managing the administrative operations of a school, OR a medium to large academic department, OR several small departments within a college, OR a medium to large non-academic department. Typically includes all or most of the following functions: IT, facilities, student services, contracts and grants, budgetary financial management and/or human resources. Manages a professional staff, typically large, and/or comprised of professionals in various fields. Assumes accountability for decisions made by subordinates. Performs long and short term planning for function. Erroneous decisions or failure to achieve goals results in additional costs and personnel, and serious delays in overall schedules.


  • Eleven years of related experience, education/training, OR a Bachelor’s degree in related area plus seven years of related experience/training

  • Broad knowledge of the organization's processes, protocols and procedures with a focus on budget, account and fund management and/or personnel management under labor contract(s) and personnel policy.

  • Broad knowledge of financial analysis and reporting techniques; human resources and risk management planning; and/or accounting and payroll.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to influence/ persuade all levels of staff.

  • Skills in organization and customer service to effectively manage multiple important priorities. Proven ability to organize department work functions in an efficient and effective manner.

  • Broad knowledge of common organization-specific and other computer application programs.

  • Skills to work collaboratively with other locations. This includes working with partners outside of the university

  • Proven skills to quickly evaluate complex issues and identify multiple options for resolution.

  • Demonstrated management and conflict resolution skills to effectively lead and motivate others.

  • Demonstrated skill in administering a large, complex organization with multiple programs and areas of focus, a dynamic structure, and constantly evolving priorities.

  • Demonstrated ability to form effective partnerships.

  • Demonstrated skill in strategic planning for evolving organizations.

  • Demonstrated working knowledge of University policies and procedures, especially those addressing personnel management, pre- and post-award administration, and contracts and grants.


  • Strong understanding of the communication environment including development in recent technology to influence health behavior.

  • Knowledge of tobacco cessation, the literature pertaining to quitlines, and the evolving field of quitline research and practice.

  • Experience successfully communicating and implementing change within a complex, matrixed organization.

  • Current UC San Diego Health Sciences employee.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Our facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, and several outpatient clinics. UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is a designated Level I Trauma Center and has the only Burn Center in the county. We invite you to join our dynamic team!

Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

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