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Chief Operating Officer, Urban Alliance

Washington, DC
Chief Operating Officer
Urban Alliance
Washington, DC
About Urban Alliance
Urban Alliance (UA) is building tomorrow’s workforce. With over 20 years of experience, UA’s evidence-based workforce development programming provides young people with the exposure, opportunity, support, and training needed to prepare them for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. As a national workforce intermediary, UA acts as a bridge across students, employers, and schools to build early, meaningful, and long-term workforce experiences proven to change a young person’s life trajectory. Urban Alliance’s signature program is the High School Internship Program (HSIP), which provides a nine-month paid internship to low-income high school seniors who successfully complete a six-week round of intensive pre-work training prior to placement.
Founded in 1996 to support youth in Washington, DC, UA has evolved into a national organization working in four additional locations: Baltimore, Chicago, Northern Virginia, and Detroit. Regional teams in each of Urban Alliance’s five cities work closely with major employers such as Bank of America, the World Bank, LinkedIn, Mastercard, American Red Cross, Marriott, and Quicken Loans to create workforce experiences that allow young people to build the socio-emotional learning skills, networks, and social capital needed to succeed in the world of work and ensure long-term economic success.   
Since its inception, UA has provided over 5,000 internships and provided another 20,000 students with workforce readiness skills. 90% of UA students are accepted into college, 80% of program alumni enroll in college, and UA students retain and remain comfortable with their learned soft skills several years post-program. Over the last decade, Urban Alliance has been consistently recognized as a leader in measuring and delivering outcomes that make a difference in the lives of high school youth.  UA’s work has been featured in the book Moneyball for Government, and by Nonprofit Quarterly, Forbes, the Urban Institute and the Obama Foundation. UA’s strong and consistent results, leadership in the outcomes arena, and increased national presence has led to increased funding and rapid growth in recent years.
Position Summary
UA seeks a Chief Operating Officer to support UA’s mission of providing economically-disadvantaged youth with the access to the exposure, opportunity, support, and training needed to prepare them for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. Reporting to the CEO and serving on the senior leadership team, the COO will drive key operational and administrative functions to ensure that UA has the infrastructure needed to continue the organization’s success and impact. Guided by the principle that students come first, the COO will also support and manage the internal leadership, systems, and culture across the national and regional offices needed to provide students with a true sense of belonging and new opportunities for their future.
Overseeing and directing the operations and administration of a $10M nonprofit with 65 staff in a redesigned role, the COO will have responsibility for Human Resources, Finance, IT, and Compliance in the national office. The COO will possess strong operational and financial acumen, enabling them to serve as a partner, coach, and manager to departmental leaders responsible for directing the organization’s internal operating systems. In addition, the COO will ensure the success of five affiliate operations plans in diverse regional offices. Finally, the COO will serve as a steward of UA’s values, supporting high performance, staff morale, and an unfailing dedication to the success of at-risk youth.
The ideal candidate is an experienced leader with strong interpersonal skills and an eye for the continuous improvement of organizational teams, systems, and processes. They will be deeply passionate about empowering at-risk youth and will have a track record of success coaching diverse teams to a common goal. The ideal candidate will also operate with a strong equity lens, ensuring that this is reflected in the organization’s lived values and culture.  
Strategic Leadership
  • With the CEO, Chief Impact Officer, senior leadership team, and Board, support the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan with a particular focus on financial sustainability and strong talent management
  • Bridge national and regional operations, ensuring that the whole organization maintains alignment with the strategic plan in collaboration with executive peers
  • Co-develop and monitor key performance indicators tied to organizational outcomes, supporting a success-oriented environment
  • Lead, mentor, and coach a team of 6 finance, HR, and operations professionals, developing strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Ensure that UA’s systems, processes, and infrastructure enable the top performance of national and regional offices
  • Oversee and support regional operations across five offices; lead, mentor and coach regional leaders in day-to-day operations and quality program delivery
  • Manage the vision and accountability for the annual performance of the organization’s operations team, promoting best practices that enable UA to deliver on its mission
  • Oversee Human Resources, Finance, IT, and Compliance
  • Lead, develop, and empower the team leaders to foster a culture of collaboration, learning, and support
  • Supervise UA’s risk management and compliance responsibilities, implementing policies and systems that ensure the organization is in full compliance with national, state, and local requirements
Human Resources
  • Carry out best practices in organizational management, performance management, leadership development, and workforce planning
  • Oversee the hiring, promotion, and termination process for staff, setting guidelines and ensuring UA has the human capital it needs to fulfill its mission
  • Cultivate a culture of high performance, establishing and monitoring staff performance and development goals including supporting annual performance evaluations
  • Lead UA’s culture, from guiding organizational norms and values to overseeing strategy for national and regional retreats
  • Assess, manage, and administer benefits, coordinating with staff and benefit providers
  • Create the framework for a value proposition to our employees, including our compensation, benefits, and commitment to developing talent 
Finance and Development
  • Oversee UA’s financial strategy, ensuring long-term sustainability and alignment to the organization’s mission and goals
  • Co-direct the development and implementation of short- and long-term fiscal planning and budgets, with a focus on the overall financial success of the organization
  • In collaboration with the Chief Development Officer and Director of Finance, review compliance on major grants for the regional and national offices and provide oversight of expenses, predicting needs, and ensuring fiscal responsibility
  • A passion for and understanding of at-risk youth and a deep commitment to empowering young people
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred
  • A minimum of five years of non-profit management experience overseeing multiple administrative departments
  • Experience supervising, coaching, and mentoring diverse teams
  • Keen analytic and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision making
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with diverse stakeholders
  • Significant experience with an organization that works with youth, education, and/or workforce development
  • Experience managing a geographically disparate team or organization is a plus
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