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Chief Executive Officer, Urban Alliance

Urban Alliance
District of Columbia, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Mar 24, 2023

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Position Type
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
About Urban Alliance
Urban Alliance (UA) is a national evidence-based nonprofit that is building a diverse next-generation workforce by providing underserved young people of color with skills training and mentoring, and connecting them to paid work experiences to increase their economic mobility. With over 25 years of experience, UA connects the young people it serves with the skills, social capital, and career exposure needed to overcome systemic barriers to economic opportunity. 

UA provides a bridge between students, employers, and schools to build early, long-term, and life-changing workforce experiences. UA’s signature High School Internship Program (HSIP) provides comprehensive soft skills and digital literacy training, paid internships with local employers, mentoring, case management, and post-high school planning support to ensure that participants enroll in college, secure living wage work, or enroll in continued career training after high school. 

Founded in Washington, DC in 1996, UA has since evolved into a national organization with nearly 70 staff, $15M annual budget, and regional operations in four locations: Baltimore, Chicago, the Greater DC area, and Detroit. Through partnerships with major employers such as Bank of America, the World Bank, LinkedIn, Mastercard, the American Red Cross, and Rocket Central, UA has served nearly 30,000 students since 1997, with almost 6,000 of these students completing the HSIP. The flagship High School Internship Program (HSIP) has been externally validated through a six-year Randomized Controlled Trial completed in 2017 by Urban Institute, which found that 1) young men who completed the program were more likely to enroll in college by 23 percentage points; 2) students in UA's target GPA band (2.0-3.0) who completed the program were more likely to enroll in a four-year college by 18 percentage points; and 3) UA participants demonstrated greater comfort and retention of soft skills.

UA’s proven impact (the organization has completed two randomized controlled trials) and national visibility has fueled rapid growth in recent years. As a recognized leader in measuring and delivering significant outcomes for underserved youth, UA has been featured in Moneyball for Government and several national media outlets, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, NPR, and Forbes. It has also been featured by the Obama Foundation and Urban Institute

Position Summary
UA seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to drive its mission of connecting young people with the skills, social capital, and career exposure needed to overcome systemic barriers to equitable economic opportunity. Building on a 25-year foundation and in collaboration with talented national and regional leaders, the CEO will unite a cross-functional team of almost 70 personnel around the vision of ensuring that every young adult has equitable access to economic opportunity. The CEO will inspire, empower, and manage a team of eight direct reports, amplifying their work on the regional and national stage and ensuring the organization’s sustainable growth.  They will also collaborate with program leaders to ensure a broad community of workforce partners and funders, and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to advancing racial equity, ensuring this principle is reflected in the organization’s strategy, lived values, and culture.

The CEO will possess strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to empowering team members, enabling them to inspire staff at all levels in support of fulfilling the organization’s critical mission through high-quality programs, continuous innovation, and significant impact. 

The ideal candidate will bring 10 or more years of executive leadership experience, a deep passion for empowering young people of color, an ability to advocate on issues related to UA’s constituencies, and a successful record of fundraising, corporate engagement, and managing growth and change.  They will also demonstrate strong experience leading diverse teams through a values-based lens that centers equity in all aspects of organizational culture. They will be a proven developer of strategic partnerships who is comfortable speaking with diverse groups of stakeholders across the public and private sectors, including youth, community leaders, public school leaders, business leaders, media, and philanthropy. 

Key Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership

  • Lead UA’s strategic direction, collaborating with the Board, executive leadership team, staff, and key stakeholders to set, implement, and track goals aligned with the organization’s mission. 
  • In close partnership with the executive leadership team, oversee the development and execution of strategic organizational priorities, ensuring short- and long-term stability and development of infrastructure necessary to optimize current operations and future significant growth. 
  • Maintain a strong 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. 

Team Leadership 

  • Ensure the continued improvement of UA’s programs, consistent with its mission and budget, informed by relevant industry trends, and rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • 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, equitable, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy, operational methods, and data collection needs. 
  • Support and motivate the organization’s staff. 

Fundraising and Financial Oversight

  • Oversee UA’s finances, ensuring strategic and sustainable financial management, reporting, and compliance at the national and regional levels, in collaboration with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer. 
  • 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. 
  • Ensure financial priorities and budgets sustainably and appropriately reflect programming needs. 

Strategic Communications and Engagement

  • Build and maintain diverse relationships with key stakeholders, including corporate, philanthropic, and government funders, and other nonprofit and community partners 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 to strategically amplify the organization’s profile through standardized materials.  
  • Serve as the principal spokesperson for UA and a passionate advocate at the local, regional, and national level for effective policies to empower young people from underserved communities to access lifelong economic opportunity.
  • Incubate and implement strategic partnerships that support systemic change, including by leading the organization in identifying policy and advocacy work to continue positioning UA as a thought leader in youth workforce development and amplifying its programs as a replicable model across the nation. 

Desired Qualifications

  • Passion, empathy, and a deep commitment to empowering young people of color
  • At least 10 years of executive leadership experience with a strong track record of building, leading, and inspiring diverse cross-functional teams
  • Track record of building and growing successful revenue-generating corporate and strategic partnerships
  • Experience managing budgets and demonstrated financial acumen 
  • A strong, proactive problem solver who can bridge the gap between strategy and execution
  • 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 collaborate with UA’s diverse constituencies, including youth and their families, staff, business leaders, volunteers, senior government officials, community leaders, and funders
  • Experience managing a geographically disparate team or organization
The compensation range for this role is $220K - $250K and includes generous benefits including 401K, health care, and a generous leave policy.

Washington, DC region preferred.
Urban Alliance has a hybrid work model.

About the Search
UA has retained the executive search firm LeaderFit to manage the CEO search. Interested candidates should upload a cover letter and resume before March 30, 2023.  LeaderFit is working with the Urban Alliance Search Committee to identify the next CEO in mid-May.

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