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Assistant Director of Translation Services & Research, Bureau of Communications

Assistant Director of Translation Services & Research, Bureau of Communications

Posted on: 09/14/2023
  1. Full-time



  1. No exam required


Public Information

$82,506.00 – $82,506.00

Job Description

This vacancy has now expired.

Established in 1805, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the NYC Health Department) is the oldest and largest health department in the country. Our mission is to protect and improve the health of all New Yorkers, in service of a vision of a city in which all New Yorkers can realize their full health potential, regardless of who they are, how old they are, where they are from, or where they live.

As a world-renowned public health agency with a history of building transformative public health programming and infrastructure, innovating in science and scholarship to advance public health knowledge, and responding to urgent public health crises from New York City’s yellow fever outbreak in 1822, to the COVID-19 pandemic we are a hub for public health innovation, expertise, and programs, and services. We serve as the population health strategist, and policy, and planning authority for the City of New York, while also having a vast impact on national and international public policy, including programs and services focused on food and nutrition, anti-tobacco support, chronic disease prevention, HIV/AIDS treatment, family and child health, environmental health, mental health, and racial and social justice work, among others.

Our Agency’s five strategic priorities, building off a recently-completed strategic planning process emerging from the COVID-19 emergency, are:
1) To re-envision how the Health Department prepares for and responds to health emergencies, with a focus on building a “response-ready” organization, with faster decision-making, transparent public communications, and stronger surveillance and bridges to healthcare systems 2) Address and prevent chronic and diet-related disease, including addressing rising rates of childhood obesity and the impact of diabetes, and transforming our food systems to improve nutrition and enhance access to healthy foods
3) Address the second pandemic of mental illness including: reducing overdose deaths, strengthening our youth mental health systems, and supporting people with serious mental illness
4) Reduce black maternal mortality and make New York a model city for women’s health
5) Mobilize against and combat the health impacts of climate change

Our 7,000-plus team members bring extraordinary diversity to the work of public health. True to our value of equity as a foundational element of all of our work, and a critical foundation to achieving population health impact in New York City, the NYC Health Department has been a leader in recognizing and dismantling racism’s impacts on the health of New Yorkers and beyond. In 2021, the NYC Board of Health declared racism as a public health crisis. With commitment to advance anti-racist public health practices that dismantle systems that perpetuate inequitable power, opportunity and access, the NYC Health Department continues to work in and with communities and community organizations to increase their access to health services and decrease avoidable health outcomes.

Program and Job Description:

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is a world-renowned health department with a long tradition of protecting and promoting the health of New Yorker's in the nation's most culturally and linguistically diverse city. The Office of External Affairs manages many of the agency's most critical interactions with the public, from raising awareness of and promoting healthy behaviors to advancing policies and responding to health emergencies. The Bureau of Communications, within the agency's Office of External Affairs, serves as the agency's in-house publisher; develops public health marketing campaigns and related collateral; provides materials and services in languages for limited-English proficient New Yonkers; maintains the agency's website and its social media platforms. Within Communications, the Language Services unit coordinates the delivery of interpretation services including ASL and real-time captioning to inform New Yonkers of health information including that related to public health emergencies. The Unit also provides professionally translated materials to ensure that Limited English Proficient New Yonkers have equitable access to information and services that the NYC Health Department provides. The Bureau of Language Services is seeking an Assistant Director of Translation Services & Research position.


Under administrative direction, with very wide latitude for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment, the Assistant Director of Translation Services and Research will be expected to perform professional and responsible consultative, supervisory and/or administrative scientific and investigative work on Health Communications Research and Techniques by engaging in the following duties and responsibilities on a daily basis:
Support the agency in its efforts to comply with Local Law 30: The Citywide Policy on Language Access to ensure the effective delivery of City Services and meaningful access to City programs and activities for all City residents regardless of their English proficiency.
Research the most effective communications media outlets that should be utilized to disseminate messages and materials related to a broad range of public health topics, issues, initiatives and intervention methodologies across multiple divisions/bureaus.
Assist in supervising independent investigations and research on the most appropriate public health communications strategies for Limited English Proficient audiences.
Strategically design research evaluation metrics and objectives to ensure timely tracking and assessment of the effectiveness and success of agency-wide public health messages especially in other languages, while keeping abreast of the latest health communications science research that can facilitate the identification of novel and advanced approaches within platforms to reach Limited English Proficient New Yorkers.
Support the planning, developing and executing interagency research activities with a primary focus on health literacy, language access and cross-cultural communication among diverse and underserved communities within the five boroughs of New York City by partnering closely with external agencies such as the Mayor's Office of Immigration Affairs as well as engaging in collaborative research on demographic data and language needs in the City's communities. This interagency collaboration on diverse health communications strategies will bridge language barriers by providing culturally appropriate information in the City's top spoken languages, about health-related topics that are reflective of their respective cultures.
Supervise in-house translators in the management of translation projects and providing and implementing technical assistance and training techniques.
Routinely lead health communications research, analysis and investigation on language data collection for the Health Department to ensure that the agency's programs are meeting the needs of Limited English Proficient New Yorkers, while simultaneously optimizing the agency's health literacy, social and cultural sensitivity, and increasing its overall health communication effectiveness.
Develop research methods to assess the existing language services provided by the Health Department to New Yorkers and generate reports to be shared with divisions/bureaus as applicable based on programmatic operational needs.
Develop and maintain project management systems to track and trend the progress of various health communications research projects that are related to translation and interpretation service requests.
Ensure that translated materials and interpreter services are effectively addressing New Yorkers' language needs. Accordingly, research, prepare and monitor budget needs, as well as the spending for contracted services to ensure that timely and accurate payments are made.
Participate in emergency preparedness work as required by ensuring that educational materials are readily available during health emergencies in the top languages spoken by Limited English proficient New Yorkers, as well as performing other health communications research duties and other tasks as assigned.
Utilize evidence-based methodologies to help improve data disaggregation in the Agency to better support the needs of all limited English proficient communities in New York City.

Minimum Qualifications

1. For Assignment Level I (only physical, biological and environmental sciences and public health) A master's degree from an accredited college or university with a specialization in an appropriate field of physical, biological or environmental science or in public health.
To be appointed to Assignment Level II and above, candidates must have:
1. A doctorate degree from an accredited college or university with specialization in an appropriate field of physical, biological, environmental or social science and one year of full-time experience in a responsible supervisory, administrative or research capacity in the appropriate field of specialization; or
2. A master's degree from an accredited college or university with specialization in an appropriate field of physical, biological, environmental or social science and three years of responsible full-time research experience in the appropriate field of specialization; or
3. Education and/or experience which is equivalent to "1" or "2" above. However, all candidates must have at least a master's degree in an appropriate field of specialization and at least two years of experience described in "2" above. Two years as a City Research Scientist Level I can be substituted for the experience required in "1" and "2" above.

Probationary Period
Appointments to this position are subject to a minimum probationary period of one year.

Preferred Skills

Demonstrated proficiency and knowledge in the design, development and execution of scientific and social science investigative research that revolves around health communications, cultural competence, and reduction of language barriers and increase of language access Excellent judgment, editing, writing and interpersonal skills Ability to translate complex messages clearly and simply to highly diverse New York City audiences Ability to supervise, delegate and provide consultation and technical assistance to individual program components on language services Leadership abilities in developing and motivating professional staff, including developing in-service training and resources to enhance performance Capacity to identify new strategies and the agency's mission. NOTE: This position may be eligible for remote work up to two days per week, pursuant to the Remote Work Pilot Program agreed to between the City and DC37.
Residency Requirement

New York City residency is generally required within 90 days of appointment. However, City Employees in certain titles who have worked for the City for 2 continuous years may also be eligible to reside in Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, or Orange County. To determine if the residency requirement applies to you, please discuss with the agency representative at the time of interview.
Additional Information

The City of New York is an inclusive equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and providing a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based upon any legally protected status or protected characteristic, including but not limited to an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, or pregnancy.

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Assistant Director of Translation Services & Research, Bureau of Communications

Posted until


  1. Experienced (non-manager)

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Work location

42-09 28th Street

  1. Health