The Joyce Foundation (Joyce) is a private,
nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and
strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the
next generation in the Great Lakes region. Joyce supports policy
research, development, and advocacy in six program areas: Culture, Democracy,
& Economic Mobility, Environment,
Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, and Journalism. The
Foundation focuses its grant making primarily in Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, while also exploring
promising, evidence-informed policy solutions nationally and at the
Joyce seeks nominations and applications for the newly
created position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). After a
recent review of finance, operations, and governance functions,
this new position was created to bring together essential
functions/teams into one unit. This new position will be
responsible for leading this integration for greater synergies and
Reporting to the President and working in close partnership with
the Chief Investment Officer and other members of the senior
leadership team, the COO will build and steward strong, integrated
systems and practices in support of the Foundation’s mission. This
person will be a strategic thinker and proven implementer in
bringing about organizational, technical, and service enhancements,
and leading change across organizations. The COO will lead and work
closely with a dedicated team responsible for finance, grants
management, technology and information management, facilities, and
talent and culture to continually strengthen the Foundation’s
internal systems for impact, agility, and sound stewardship. The
COO will also serve as Secretary to the Board of Directors,
performing delegated fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of the
Board. Past experience working inside philanthropic institutions
and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders are
crucial along with the ability to inspire and manage
high-performing teams. Along with the executive management team,
the COO will help to advance the Foundation’s commitment to
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, reflecting Joyce’s core
values in all aspects of the Foundation’s work.
OPPORTUNITIES AND EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEW
Ensuring the effective functioning of Finance, Grants
Management, Technology and Information Management, Facilities, and
Talent and Culture, the COO can expect to engage in the following
Operationalize and Optimize Strategy Implementation Across
- Bring a sophisticated understanding with an organization-wide
leadership lens on where/how to maximize efficiencies and
strengthen systems across the organization.
- Assess enterprise-wide risks and set parameters for risk
mitigation; identify financial, operational, and compliance gaps
and fill those gaps with best-in-class practices from the
philanthropic sector, combined with Joyce’s internal wisdom, to
support mission achievement.
- Establish and consistently communicate organizational
priorities as part of Joyce’s executive management team and ensure
alignment and cross-cutting integration of ideas, problem solving,
and execution of work.
- Provide insights and leadership to the ongoing improvement of
organizational systems, structures, policies, and talent to enable
the highest level of programmatic quality and effectiveness.
Integrate and Strengthen Financial, Operational and
- Ensure that efficient systems, processes, and practices are in
place to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Foundation’s
mission; develop plans for high-quality, cost-effective
maintenance, development and implementation of services, systems,
and tools to support effective grant making, legal and policy
compliance, and overall organizational effectiveness of the
- Lead, in partnership with the Controller, all aspects of
financial oversight including planning and budgeting, accounting,
audit, corporate filing, and compliance. Provide financial systems
and tools for generating real-time forecasts, supporting sound
business decisions, providing philanthropic support, and building
capacity to review programs from a budgeting perspective.
- Maintain subject matter expertise of, advise, and ensure
foundation-wide compliance on a broad range of corporate, employee,
regulatory, and compliance matters; promote training, processes,
procedures, and controls to mitigate compliance risk as
- Provide for operational policies that align with organizational
values, reflect best practices, and guide consistent practices,
spanning vendor management, talent management, and other
- Oversee the integration and functioning of Finance, Facilities,
Grants Management, Technology and Information Management, Talent
and Culture, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
- Provide general contractual oversight and coordinate external
legal counsel and support as required to address the Foundation’s
- Participate in all Board meetings and serve as Secretary to the
Board, performing delegated fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of
Steward Culture and Ongoing Organizational
- Model through own leadership and support a culture in which all
team members feel valued and recognized as vital to advancing the
Foundation’s mission and goals and are encouraged to grow
- In partnership with the President and executive management
team, take a highly visible leadership role to offer an inclusive
approach to contributing to a trusting and collegial organizational
- Establish short- and long-term goals, develop strategies and
plans, and facilitate change management activities to ensure
organizational alignment with Joyce’s strategic direction.
- Develop programs and practices to support individuals and
teams, manage work allocation, provide performance feedback and
professional development, and support positive team dynamics.
- Display the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap
into the power that each member of the team brings to the
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to Joyce’s mission
and understand the critical role that philanthropy plays in
advancing social change. While no one person will embody all the
qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many
of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes,
- A minimum of 10 years of strategic leadership and career growth
in finance, operational and compliance functions at a similarly
complex philanthropic organization.
- Demonstrated track record of delivering quality services,
organizational improvements, and excellence in strategic,
organizational, and budget management along with outstanding
stewardship of financial, physical, and human resources.
- Demonstrated body of work that reflects a commitment to
organizational excellence and efficiency, servant leadership,
management of collaboration and effective teamwork, and promotion
of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Clear strategic and operational vision and exceptional skill in
synthesizing information and translating vision into action steps
for the long and short term.
- Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, navigating
change management, and proposing new ways of achieving desired
outcomes with inclusive approaches to planning, problem solving,
and decision making.
- Combined experience, maturity level, and flexibility to
interact with a broad set of stakeholders, including the Board of
Directors, executive management, and staff across the
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the
demonstrated ability to research, synthesize, and analyze
information, compose documents, and present data in a clear and
concise manner to appropriate personnel, including top management,
program staff, and Board of Directors.
- Highly developed facilitation, coaching, and engagement skills;
comfort with managing diverse group dynamics and leading toward
common desired outcomes.
- Highly developed emotional intelligence and demonstrated
ability to use interpersonal skills and political acumen in
respectful, collaborative, and diplomatic ways.
- A strong, intuitive communicator, skillful at managing through
influence; demonstrated ability to connect and inspire across
- Passion for the mission-driven sector and the role philanthropy
can have in addressing some of society’s most challenging
- Experience with nonprofits, foundations, and working directly
with a private foundation Board of Directors a plus.
More information about The Joyce Foundation may
be found at: www.joycefdn.org
This search is being conducted with assistance from Linh Nguyen and
Emily Wexler of
NPAG. Due to the pace of this
search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as
possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their
interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s
The Joyce Foundation is an
equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. We
encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.