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UMEZ Chief Administrative Officer

Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
New York, United States
$200,000.00 - $200,000.00
Closing date
Dec 8, 2023

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To sustain the economic revitalization of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments, and small business assistance.



Are you inspired to strengthen the economic vitality of local underserved communities? To promote a healthy economy for business growth and sustainability?

Are you driven to strengthen operational systems and maximize efficiencies to ensure effective delivery service and outcomes?

Do you think big? Are you committed to help grow a robust comprehensive community development financial institution?

Are you energized to oversee and ensure the financial health of the organization – establishing budget and planning strategies and using data to ensure that financial controls are secure?

Are you a team player and an open communicator committed to being a part of a collective effort to facilitate and build upon a culture that values equity, mutual respect, and collegiality?

If so, we invite you to keep reading and think about the untapped opportunities to play an instrumental role in rebuilding neighborhoods.



Designated an empowerment zone under federal legislation, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) was founded in 1995 to administer $249 million of government empowerment zone funding to bolster the economically distressed communities of Upper Manhattan.

Currently, UMEZ facilitates economic development in Washington Heights, Inwood, and Central, West, and East Harlem neighborhoods with plans for geographic expansion. As part of this growth, in 2017, UMEZ became a recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), part of a national network promoting economic growth by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.

To date, UMEZ has invested $259 million and leveraged more than $1.5 billion of private and public capital for Upper Manhattan, and this commitment has created approximately 12,000 direct jobs.

UMEZ is an independent nonprofit corporation with an annual budget of $4 million and a staff of 20. UMEZ sustains the economic revitalization of communities in Upper Manhattan through a wide breadth of initiatives including financing for mixed-use developments, small business and nonprofit lending, cultural investments, and structuring and designing workforce development initiatives. UMEZ is located in the heart of Harlem on West 125th Street.

UMEZ’s hybrid policy requires new hires to be in-person 5 days a week for the first 90 days of employment before being eligible to work a hybrid schedule. After 90 days, eligible staff members can work in person on a three-day in-office and two-day remote basis. Your predetermined hybrid schedule must be approved by your manager, and she or he can decide on additional in-person workdays based on department needs.

All staff and incoming new hires are required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination, which includes either: (a) proof of both doses from either Pfizer or Moderna; or (b) proof of one dose from Johnson & Johnson. Boosters are recommended but not required at this time.

UMEZ reserves the right to make changes to these protocols.



Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will provide leadership, management oversight, and support for company internal operations, ensuring efficient and effective processes. The CAO will work hand in hand with the CEO to define and implement the organization’s strategic goals. They will also play a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the CDFI, with ambitious plans to enter new geographies.

The areas of focus for the CAO are:

  • Operational Management – Provide administrative leadership to the operational team, ensuring smooth and efficient execution of all activities within the CDFI. Foster a collaborative and high-performance culture that aligns with the organization’s values.
  • Staff Management – In collaboration with the CEO, establish individual professional development plans for managers and staff to achieve organizational goals. Support senior leadership’s implementation of annual department plans.
  • Support of CEO – Provide strategic direction to teams. Assist with internal departmental challenges and projects. Ensure all operational policies and practices are followed by staff and improvements are implemented where needed.
  • Human Resources – Work closely with the HR department to attract, retain, and develop top talent. Encourage professional growth and foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • Compliance – Oversee loan compliance and administration to ensure the organization complies with all relevant laws, regulations, and CDFI reporting requirements. Streamline loan servicing and data collection for compliance reporting. Prepare reports for internal and external stakeholders including funders, Board committees, and regulatory bodies.
  • Expansion Planning – Collaborate with the executive team to develop and execute a well-defined lending expansion strategy, assessing market opportunities, potential risks, and competitive landscape. Streamline internal processes to improve operational efficiency, which is essential for expanding service area. Strategize and implement methods to expand company’s brand.
  • Financial Management – With CFO, oversee financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting processes. Monitor financial performance and make data-driven decisions to ensure the CDFI’s financial stability and growth.
  • Risk Management – Implement risk management protocols to safeguard the organization’s assets, reputation, and long-term sustainability. Stay informed about regulatory requirements and compliance issues relevant to CDFIs.
  • Information Technology – With IT department, ensure that computer systems and software platforms lead to efficient and smooth workflow. Ensure technology systems and upgrades are aligned with CDFI objectives.
  • Process Improvement – Continuously evaluate and enhance internal operational processes and workflows to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and maintain high-quality services for clients and stakeholders.
  • Performance Metrics – Develop and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the CDFI’s performance against organizational goals and objectives. Use data-driven insights to identify areas for improvement.
  • Board Reporting – Provide regular reports to the CEO and the Board on operational achievements and challenges. Lead coordination of Board materials for meeting. Support the Board committees.



Candidates should have strong experience in the field of community economic development and lending, and ideally should be:

  • A leader with an unwavering commitment to economic and community development, advancing sustainable job creation and business development with knowledge of mixed-use and small business lending and/or community development financial products.
  • An executive with proven senior-level managerial, problem-solving, strategic-planning, and growth-oriented skills and commensurate fiscal management and analytical strengths.
  • Experienced developing and implementing a business model to grow a complex multifaceted organization into a robust enterprise.
  • An effective leader and catalyst skilled in setting priorities, delegating, and guiding investment in people and systems. Able to facilitate a process and motivate and engage others.
  • An individual with a strategic mindset and an ability to think years ahead and analyze outcomes based on complex courses of action, anticipating needs, obstacles, and opportunities and imagining appropriate solutions.
  • A seasoned executive with successful change management experience who can draw teams together towards a “new normal” while constructively obtaining buy-in.
  • A results-driven leader with a proven ability to conceive, articulate, measure, and motivate the attainment of meaningful outcomes. A leader who holds themselves accountable for the bottom line.
  • An individual with a naturally consultative and inclusive management style, able to listen well, catalyze diverse ideas respectfully, and bring the team together toward the common good. Someone to ensure strong internal communications and coordination with staff. Adept at recruitment, retention, and promotion of staff with a mechanism for goal setting and performance evaluation.
  • Flexible and able to work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment while driving toward clarity and solutions in a timely and decisive manner.
  • Knowledgeable on how to assess and measure organizational effectiveness.
  • Proficient with technology.
  • Experienced developing working relationships with boards of directors, gaining their trust and confidence.
  • A person with a high level of character, integrity, and personal commitment to company mission.
  • An emotionally mature lifelong learner.



The estimated annual salary for this position is $200,000. UMEZ offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package.


UMEZ is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.


Applications, including cover letters and resumes, and nominations should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at


For further information about UMEZ, please visit


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