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Chief Executive Officer, Urban Alliance

Washington, DC
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Alliance
Washington, DC

About Urban Alliance

Urban Alliance (UA) is a national, evidence-based nonprofit building a diverse next-generation workforce by empowering students of color to connect to lifelong economic mobility. With nearly 25 years of experience, UA provides high school students from under-resourced communities with the skills, social capital, and career exposure needed to overcome the systemic barriers that prevent equal access to educational and professional opportunities.  

UA acts as a bridge between students, employers, and schools to build early, long-term, and life-changing workforce experiences. UA’s signature High School Internship Program provides comprehensive soft skills and digital literacy training, paid internships with local employers, mentoring, case management, and post-high school planning support. The goal is to ensure that students enroll in college, secure living wage work, or participate in continued career training after high school. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as schools and employers have closed their doors, UA has adapted its program to be delivered virtually, serving 500 students across eight school districts in partnership with hundreds of employers.

Founded in Washington, DC, in 1996, UA has since evolved into a national organization with regional operations in four additional locations: Baltimore, Chicago, Northern Virginia, and Detroit. Through partnerships with major employers including Bank of America, the World Bank, LinkedIn, Mastercard, the American Red Cross, and Quicken Loans, UA has provided over 5,700 students with internships and delivered skills training to an additional 22,000 students.  UA’s proven impact (the organization completed a six-year randomized controlled trial in 2017) and increased national visibility has led to increased funding and rapid growth in recent years. As a recognized leader in measuring and delivering significant outcomes for underserved youth, UA has been featured in the book Moneyball for Government, as well as the Chronicle of Philanthropy, NPR, Forbes, the Urban Institute, the Obama Foundation, and more. 

Position Summary
UA seeks a Chief Executive Officer to drive its mission of providing youth from under-resourced communities with the training, exposure, and support needed to prepare them for economic self-sufficiency and expand their access to economic opportunity. Building on a strong foundation and in collaboration with an experienced team, the Chief Executive Officer will serve as the public face of UA and lead the organization’s strategic direction, ensure its long-term financial sustainability, and develop new and existing corporate and philanthropic partnerships.

In addition, the CEO will have an unwavering commitment to advancing racial equity, ensuring this principle is reflected in the organization’s strategy, lived values, and culture.

Reporting to the Board of Directors and leading an organization with a $10M+ budget and a talented team, the Chief Executive Officer will have the overall responsibility for carrying out the organization’s vision and critical mandates including setting its strategic direction in collaboration with the Board, ensuring continued quality and innovation, increasing its profile on the national stage, and overseeing fundraising efforts for a broad range of programs from both corporate and philanthropic partners. The CEO will possess strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to empowering team members, enabling them to inspire staff at all levels. 

The ideal candidate will bring ten or more years of executive leadership, a deep passion for empowering young people of color, the ability to serve as an advocate on issues related to UA’s constituencies, and a successful record of fundraising and corporate engagement.  They will be a proven developer of strategic partnerships who is comfortable speaking with diverse groups of stakeholders, including youth, community leaders, business leaders, media, and funders.

Strategic Leadership and Management
  • Lead UA’s strategic direction, collaborating with the Board, senior leadership team, staff, and key stakeholders to set goals that are aligned with the organizational mission
  • In close partnership with the Chief Operating Officer, oversee the development and execution of strategic organizational priorities, ensuring short-term and long-term stability, and necessary infrastructure is in place to optimize UA’s current operations as well as future growth.  
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board and ensure open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals for local and national operations
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and fidelity; rigorous program evaluation; and consistent high-quality finance, administrative, fundraising, communications, and other systems
Fundraising and Financial Oversight 
  • Oversee UA’s finances, ensuring strategic financial decision-making and management, reporting, and compliance
  • In close collaboration with the Chief Development Officer, steward existing funder relationships and implement expanded funding strategies that generate new revenue from diverse sources including corporations, foundations, individual donors and government agencies to ensure organizational sustainability
  • With the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Director of Finance, ensure regional and national offices are operating with utmost fiscal responsibility in accordance with UA’s mission
  • Set financial priorities and budgets accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff
Communications and Public Relations
  • Build and maintain diverse, multi-faceted relationships with key stakeholders, including funders, nonprofit and community partners, and government agencies to advance UA’s mission nationally
  • In collaboration with the Chief Development Officer and Communications Director, formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies that will ensure internal and external consistency 
  • Serve as the principal spokesperson for UA and a passionate advocate at the local, regional, and national level for effective policies to support youth from under-resourced communities
  • Incubate and implement strategic partnerships that lead to systemic change, including leading the organization to execute more policy and advocacy work with the goal of establishing UA as an expert in its field; communicate program results with an emphasis on the successes of the local program as a model for regional and national replication 
Team Leadership and Management
  • Ensure the continued improvement of UA’s programs, consistent with its mission, values, and budgetary considerations
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain UA’s high-performing senior management team and empower senior leaders in the organization to accomplish their respective mandates.  
  • Facilitate cross-departmental collaboration and strengthen internal communications with staff to cultivate strong, trusting working relationships at every level. 
  • Create and promote a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy, operational methods, and data collection needs
  • Support and motivate the organization’s staff
  • Passion, empathy, and a deep commitment to empowering young people of color to succeed
  • At least 10 years of executive leadership and a strong track record of generating significant revenue through the cultivation of major institutional donors, philanthropy, and corporate partners, including by securing multi-year commitments in excess of $1M
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred 
  • A strong problem solver who is capable of bridging the gap between strategy and execution.  
  • Demonstrated leadership ability, strong management qualities, financial acumen and proven success in building and leading diverse teams
  • Significant experience with an organization that works with youth, education, and/or workforce development, and/or the understanding of and ability to maneuver in the education, workforce, and social service sectors across the country, as well as with City, State and Federal government agencies
  • Ability to communicate with and relate to UA’s diverse constituencies, including youth and their families, staff, business leaders, volunteers, senior government officials, community leaders and funders
  • Track record of building and growing successful revenue-generating corporate and strategic partnerships
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and proactively across a diverse portfolio of programs
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, inspire, and empower a diverse team
  • Experience managing a geographically disparate team or organization 
This position is based in Washington, D.C. and requires 30% travel when it is safe to do so.
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