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Chief Operating Officer

Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future

Software Engineering
Boston, MA, USA · Oakland, CA, USA · Washington, DC, USA · Remote
Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2024

ABOUT JFF

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. Seeing that millions of people are unfairly shut out of quality jobs and the chance for a better life, our goal is to align education, workforce, and employment changemakers toward a shared North Star: In 10 years, 75 million people facing systemic barriers to advancement will work in quality jobs.

To achieve that goal, we design solutions, scale best practices, influence policy and action, and invest in innovation. JFF is a national impact platform uniquely situated at the center of multiple sectors, including education, workforce development, corporations, entrepreneurs, philanthropy and investing, and policymakers. We operate at scale across the country and serve as a galvanizing force for leaders seeking to make systemic change. We are nonpartisan and trusted by policymakers, funders, and decision-makers from different political and ideological perspectives.

With a staff of more than 350 people across the country working remotely from more than 45 states and in offices in Boston (headquarters), Washington, DC, and Oakland, California, we operate at the national, state, and local levels, forging deep partnerships with employers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and education and workforce development providers to break down barriers and reimagine what’s possible. We have an operating budget of $105 million, and we’re funded by dozens of leading government agencies, foundations, and corporations.

We’re on a path of ongoing growth and expanding impact. Learn more about JFF and join us as we build a future that works—for everyone.

DEIBW AT JFF

Diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and well-being (DEIBW) are core to JFF’s North Star and mission. We employ and build diverse teams across race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, age, and lived experiences and are constantly working toward ensuring these differences are celebrated and included. We aim to cultivate a culture that centers the overall care, well-being, and success of the employee through flexible work hours, balanced workloads, professional development, and equitable career advancement opportunities. Learn more about what DEIBW looks like in practice at JFF.

We seek to invest in and learn from those who represent the communities we serve, particularly individuals from populations who have been explicitly or implicitly excluded from the workforce. Knowing its importance to the success of our work and the engagement of our staff members, we aspire to attract and retain a diverse team and welcome people of all backgrounds to apply to our open roles. JFF is a fair chance employer and in alignment to our North Star, we strongly encourage individuals whose highest level of education attained is less than a 4-year degree; People of Color; and people with records to apply.

ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY

JFF is looking for an experienced, agile, and creative Chief Operating Officer (COO) to join us during this exciting moment in the organization’s history following a period of rapid growth. JFF’s recent reorganization, which is still being implemented and optimized, is designed for continued sustainable growth and maturity, enabling us to drive impact at scale as new opportunities emerge. This new leader will help set JFF on a course of sustainable growth and organizational health to accelerate impact on JFF’s mission in the future.

The COO will mentor and oversee a diverse set of leaders who manage People & Culture, Finance, Contracts, Operations/Office Experience, Information Technology, and Knowledge Management in support of JFF’s mission, for a total of more than 50 staff in all. The COO also has responsibility for oversight of JFF’s subsidiaries, such as our impact investment fund, JFF Ventures. The COO will partner with the CEO to identify and deploy new levers for impact that could include additional subsidiaries, new financing mechanisms, amongst other avenues for innovation and impact.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will be joining an Executive Team and broader organization that values creativity, nimbleness, efficiency, and passion for the mission in support of greater innovation and impact. The COO must therefore be a leader who is able to help others at JFF deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make their vision a reality. Working closely with the CEO and Executive Team, the COO will inform JFF’s strategic direction, drive organizational performance measurement, strengthen systems and a culture of accountability, and provide substantial operational leadership as the organization undergoes continued growth and transformation. They will provide creative ideas and solutions for the evolution of JFF’s financial strategy and funding model. Central to the COO’s priorities is ensuring that organizational capacity, resources, and processes are best aligned to JFF’s enterprise goals. As a core executive leader, the COO will also play a key role as a steward of JFF’s culture of inclusion and continuing efforts to become a best-in-class employer.

WHAT YOU’LL DO

Drive alignment and excellence in operations:

  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Team, and especially the Chief Strategy & Impact Officer, to refine the long-term strategic direction and goals of JFF and to lead the development and implementation of operating goals and budgets that reflect the organization’s long-term strategy. Oversee JFF’s annual budget planning and implementation processes.
  • Lead financial, technical and governance decision making for complex or innovative institutional partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions, or subsidiaries – including for-profit as well as nonprofit ventures.
  • Ensure that operational teams are delivering on their accountabilities at high levels of quality, responsiveness, accuracy, and initiative, including establishing and reporting on KPIs to gauge process effectiveness and efficiencies.
  • Drive the development and monitor the execution of JFF’s annual operating plan, in close collaboration with the chief strategy and impact officer.
  • Coordinate annual goal-setting for the Executive Team and ensure progress against goals.
  • Serve as a key strategic partner and advisor to the CEO [and a proxy for decision-making as needed].
  • In partnership with the VP for Finance, liaise with the Chair of the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors to manage the meetings of the Finance Committee; engage routinely with other members of the Board as needs and issues arise.
  • Ensure excellence in enterprise-level IT infrastructure, strategy, governance, and operation. Oversee the effective and efficient use of technology to support JFF’s needs.

Drive structural and organizational change at scale:

  • In partnership with the head of People & Culture, refine internal structures and ways of working to empower leaders across JFF to maximize the performance and impact of the organization.
  • Act as a change agent and drive organizational excellence by building and improving systems and processes in support of the organization's strategic priorities.
  • Proactively recommend, develop, and drive targeted process and technological improvements; organizational accountability; and effective standards of measurements. Ensure that JFF has the proper technological and operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, communication and knowledge sharing practices, and people systems in place to grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.
  • In partnership with People & Culture, drive change management initiatives. Shape and coordinate internal communications.
  • Work with the Executive Team to drive organizational culture change, leadership development, and colleague engagement across JFF.

Model inclusive leadership and steward JFF’s culture:

  • Steward an organizational culture that promotes inclusion and enables the professional growth of all team members.
  • Play a valuable role in collaborating across the Executive Team, building consensus to drive program and strategy.
  • Work effectively with diverse staff; build and steward a culture that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and well-being.
  • Empower leaders to manage increasing complexity with adaptability and a growth mindset.
  • Ensure JFF continues to thrive as a learning organization that fosters innovation and seeks strength in differences.

WHO YOU ARE

The qualifications listed within the job description are intended as a guide and we do not expect candidates to bring all experiences and skills listed. Research supports that self-selecting out of potential professional opportunities is particularly common among individuals with identities that are marginalized in professional spaces. So, if you believe that you can meet the overall expectations of the position, we encourage you to apply so that we have an opportunity to learn more about you and the unique strengths you would bring to the work.

  • You bring executive-level operations leadership experience within nonprofit organizations; experience in education or workforce-related sectors or the private sector is a plus (New hires at the Chief level at JFF typically bring 20+ years of prior professional experience).
  • You have a passion for operational excellence, as evidenced by an action orientation toward identifying challenges, establishing priorities, and implementing viable solutions. You are persistent in the pursuit of outcomes and steadfastly push to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations in support of the broader organization.
  • You have held accountability for developing and managing the financial strategy of an organization, including demonstrated success in managing significant financial resources with the ability to devise strategies for revenue and funding generation and deploying resources for sustainable initiatives, products, and services.
  • You are both a strategic thinker, able to chart the organization’s course in partnership with the ET and the Board, and a pragmatic tactical operator, able to operationalize strategic plans.
  • You have prior experience with change management, including success in helping teams, functions, and organizations navigate transformative and rapid change and growth.
  • You are a champion for change and innovation, act with speed and urgency, build and assess problem-solving skills in others, and lead quality and continuous improvement efforts.
  • You possess an outstanding relationship-building ability and keen understanding of the power of partnerships with the ability to build bridges and influence within and beyond the boundaries of our organization. You possess the ability to influence and impact the decisions and performance of senior stakeholders and their teams throughout relevant business areas.
  • You are an authentic, inclusive, and values-led leader who knows how to engage, inspire, develop, and manage others to achieve objectives; you bring experience leading large teams and managing effectively through layers of leadership.
  • You have experience with modeling and coaching others on open dialogue, receiving and giving feedback, and having difficult conversations that strengthen relationships and performance.
  • You are a curious, creative, and growth-oriented leader, eager to learn, adapt, and innovate in response to the ever-changing labor economy and social-political landscape.
  • You have high energy and passion for JFF’s mission and North Star, and the ability to apply JFF’s core values to all areas of your work.
  • You are energized by stewarding JFF’s DEIBW values and practices within your day-to-day work, including embracing the differences and celebrating the diversity that each individual brings to JFF.

WHAT WE OFFER

The hiring range for this role is $290,000 - $335,000 annually, in alignment to JFF’s Chief salary band and our compensation philosophy. Starting salaries for new hires will be determined based on a combination of the new hire’s relevant experience and market demands.

At JFF, we’re fueled by the desire to create a world where everyone has equal opportunity for economic advancement. Our team works hard to push the boundaries of what is possible, and in return, we provide a gratifying work experience, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits program that includes flexibility and choice as core values to support people wherever they are in their lives and careers.

JFF has offices in Boston, Oakland, and Washington, DC; employees are welcome to use JFF office space to work in-person or hybrid, or completely remote. To improve the employee experience and promote productivity while working remotely, JFF offers an annual home office stipend to all regular full-time and part-time employees. In addition, new employees receive office equipment as needed.

Divina Gamble

Managing Partner & Practice Leader

Global Nonprofit, Philanthropy & Social Enterprise

Telephone: (202) 955-0901

Email: divina.gamble@kornferry.com

Cristina Fisher

Senior Associate

Global Nonprofit, Philanthropy & Social Enterprise

Telephone: (202) 955-0910

Email: cristina.fisher@kornferry.com

Traci Robinson

Project Coordinator

Global Nonprofit, Philanthropy & Social Enterprise

Telephone: (202) 955-0902

Email: traci.robinson@kornferry.com

Positions at JFF are not eligible for employer-visa sponsorship or open to F-1 student visa holders.