Chief Operating Officer

Foster America
Flexible; Bay Area, Los Angeles, or Boston home base is preferred
Mission Statement: 

Imagine if we could bring the same innovations that pervade every other part of our lives to child welfare. This is Foster America’s vision. Foster America recruits diverse talented professionals who have the skills needed to address old, persistent problems in our child welfare system in new ways: skills in data and technology, design and marketing, strategy and planning, and finance. We prepare these professionals to serve as full-time fellows at public agencies across the country, where they lead major child welfare reform projects. Foster America is committed to examining and dismantling racism within the child welfare system, within our own organization, and within ourselves - through the values we embrace, the child welfare reform projects we help create, the talent practices we evolve, and the ways in which we will show up and stand up for every single one of our teammates, fellows, and partners with humility and respect.

Position Description: 

At a time of growth and experimentation, Foster America is seeking a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to provide leadership in organization building, ensuring we have the best practices, systems, and culture to propel our work forward. This person will play a pivotal role in advancing our strategic vision, ensuring operational effectiveness, and fostering a culture that centers people, impact, and equity at its core. Specifically, the COO will:

  • In partnership with the executive team, set and operationalize a strategic vision that furthers Foster America’s mission, promotes growth, innovation and impact, and ensures long-term organizational sustainability.
  • Provide leadership in the development and adoption of an enhanced business model and organizational structure designed to support programmatic expansion and impact, increase financial stability, and optimize how teams are set up and led.
  • Develop and execute actionable plans to infuse equity and justice into all aspects of the organization. Promote a culture of accountability and personal growth; steward an organization-wide journey toward becoming an anti-racist organization.
  • Supervise and guide the work of a highly talented team inclusive of 3 director-level staff in operations and planning, finance, and talent. Serve as a thought partner and resource to ensure direct reports are empowered to lead their respective areas.
  • In partnership with the Director of Operations and Planning, create and refine an infrastructure that supports the needs of a geographically dispersed and growing team, with systems that drive collaboration, transparency, accountability, inclusive decision making, and operational excellence.
  • Oversee measurement and evaluation of program performance and impact, guiding and supporting the work of the Director of Planning and Operations.
  • In partnership with the Director of Talent and Director of Planning and Operations, oversee core human resources activities inclusive of talent acquisition and staff on-boarding, talent development, team-wide training, payroll and benefits, employee satisfaction and engagement, employee relations, and fellowship recruitment.
  • Spearhead the design and implementation of a performance management system and compensation structure, leveraging data and best practices in creating fair, equitable, and effective systems.
  • In partnership with the Director of Finance, oversee the annual planning/budgeting cycle, cash flow management, risk management, compliance, contracting, internal controls and external reporting.
  • In partnership with the Executive Director, Chief Program Officer, and Director of Operations and Planning, prepare for and present at quarterly board meetings, engaging the board as thought partners and advisors in strategic planning, budgeting, and fiscal management.
  • Above all, provide leadership that supports staff during a time of growth and change. Ensure that organizational culture and values are upheld and lived as the organization continues to evolve.
  • A purpose-driven leader who is committed to Foster America’s mission and values. You are motivated and inspired to build a movement to transform the child welfare system. You thrive in a start-up, fast-paced environment that values relationships, feedback, continuous learning and experimentation, and a deep commitment to social justice and racial equity.
  • A senior organizational leader with at least 10+ years of relevant work experience, of which 5+ years were in a leadership position. You have served in a Chief Operating Officer, Director of Strategy, and/or a similar role with responsibilities in organizational development, strategic planning, and infrastructure building. Experience leading through change at a start-up, growing organization is a plus.
  • A “big picture” thinker with the ability to translate strategic plans into work streams and tactics. You approach challenges and opportunities through an analytical lens and take a hands-on approach to translating strategy into tangible activities. You create structures, processes, and procedures that help organizations do their best work.
  • An inspirational and emotionally-astute people leader that fosters a sense of purpose and community. You are successful in motivating, coordinating, and directing others towards a defined vision or goal. You connect easily with others and practice deep listening to understand others’ perspective and needs.
  • A catalyst for DEI and anti-racist culture building. You are energized to join an organization that is on a journey toward becoming an anti-racist organization. You are committed to dismantling racism within yourself and your colleagues. You seek out ways to infuse anti-racist principles in organization practices, policies, and systems.
  • A positive force for organizational growth and change. You embrace and lead through change, modeling adaptability and a high level of awareness of how change impacts others.
  • A skilled people manager who empowers others to succeed. You promote the growth and development of direct reports through empowering, advocating, and differentiating support.
  • A creative thought-leader who is excited by growth and big goals. You are action-oriented and willing to run with new ideas. You apply focus and vision for how to get from Point A to Point B.

The following experiences and skills are strongly desired but not required:

  • Experience overseeing finance function
  • Experience overseeing HR/talent function
  • Advanced degree in business, public administration, or a similar field
$115,000 – $130,000.
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Instructions: 

If this opportunity calls out to you, please click here to submit 1) a tailored, authentic cover letter that explains why this mission excites you and why this particular role is a fit for you, and 2) your resume. Please address your cover letter to Sherry Lachman, Executive Director. We review applications on a rolling basis and strive to get back to applicants within two weeks.

Position Level: 
Country/US Territory: 
United States