Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

Washington, DC   |   October 31, 2019

About The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (The Leadership Conference) is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals. The Leadership Conference is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. It is the nerve center for fighting discrimination in all its forms and expanding opportunity and fairness for all Americans.

The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy. It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund (The Education Fund) is a 501(c)(3) organization that complements this work by building public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all people in America. Its campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States.

Programming priorities for both The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund are focused on:

  • Democracy: Including work on the 2020 Census, courts, and voting rights
  • Justice: Including work on immigrant rights, justice reform, and policing
  • Inclusion & Opportunity: Including work on economic security, education, fighting hate and bias, and media and technology

The Leadership Conference was originally founded as the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights by A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins of the NAACP; and Arnold Aronson, a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. Their visionary leadership was grounded in their commitment to social justice and the firm conviction that the struggle for civil rights would be won not by one group alone, but through coalition.

While many marched in the streets, sat-in at lunch counters, and refused to ride in the back of the bus, The Leadership Conference worked to get Congress to pass legislation that would protect the civil and human rights of all people in America. The Leadership Conference lobbied for and won the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and also helped to organize one of the defining events of the 20th century — the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963.

For more information on The Leadership Conference, please visit https://civilrights.org.

The Leadership Conference is seeking a new Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer to lead finance and internal operations for the organization, ensuring that its finances, policies, and procedures are sound and effective, enabling teams do their work most effectively.

Position Overview

The Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (EVP & COO) is a highly-skilled operational leader, thought partner, and culture builder who manages the following departments/teams: Human Resources, Finance, and Information Technology. While the CEO manages the Development department, there is also a dotted line relationship to the EVP & COO. The EVP & COO serves as a key member of the Senior Leadership Team, providing guidance and counsel across the organization.

The EVP & COO directly manages the Vice President of Finance, HR Director, IT Director, and the Manager of Executive Operations. The EVP & COO serves the main liaison to The Education Fund, coordinating and aligning initiatives, while also providing governance and other guidance to the Board of Directors.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Departmental Management

  • Serve as a thought partner and resource to executive staff in their realms of responsibility, including on issues related to the management of their teams and in the strategy and execution of their departmental goals and work
  • Increase operational effectiveness through coaching, training, and targeted interventions to address developmental areas
  • Cast long-term vision and strategy to support The Leadership Conference’s administrative, financial, and operational systems to ensure long-term organizational health following three years of rapid staff growth and mission expansion
  • Oversee reviews of the culture and operations of the organization and ensure its currency and relevance
  • Provide both strategic and tactical leadership around all HR-related issues, ensuring that HR policies comply with federal, state, and local regulations while also strengthening a culture of equity and inclusion; Liaise with external counsel as needed regarding employment law and other needs
  • Oversee a robust talent development program that systematically augments the knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities of colleagues – all in support of the organization’s mission
  • Ensure the design and implementation of a long-range strategy in order to: maintain financial health and implement policy priorities in an effective and efficient manner; ensure the organization meets its annual budget goals; and implement sound financial practices to preserve the integrity of the financial systems and audits

Organizational Leadership

  • Partner with the President & CEO, Board Members, and Senior Leadership Team colleagues to develop, articulate, and implement overall organizational strategy
  • Work closely with Executive Vice Presidents on issues that have implications for staff across the organization
  • Develop and execute organizational systems in partnership with the President and CEO and Senior Leadership Team to match needs as a growing organization and drive cross-departmental initiatives; Create and sustain new internal systems and structure (e.g., robust performance management systems) to match organization growth
  • In consultation with the senior leadership team, build systems and tools for cross-departmental communication and engage staff at all levels in problem-solving and strengthening organizational communication
  • Provides support and resolution to staff-level conflicts, applying best managerial and HR practices and race, gender, and class equity principles
  • Manage organization-wide annual budget and systems to track goals and accomplishments for sound operations, financial health, and fundraising
  • Working with Development team, ensure that projects and initiatives align with budgets and any grant restrictions/requirements
  • Serve as a strategic, efficient, and creative leader of all staff meetings and all-staff retreats, and coordinates organizational health and effectiveness work
  • Provide operations support to the Board of Directors for both The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund, ensuring good governance, oversight, and coordination of both organizations
Candidate profile

Ideal candidates will offer the following professional and personal characteristics:

  • An understanding that strong operations and people development are the foundations of organizational success and the skills and experiences required to instill policies and practices that lead to continued growth and impact
  • Proven experience successfully leading the operations, administrative, and/or financial functions of a mid- to large-sized organization
  • A drive to make things happen with proven experience managing high-performing, racially diverse teams; rigorous standards for success; and a healthy impatience for progress
  • Exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with excellent judgment and a strong ability to communicate in writing and in person
  • Proven ability to listen deeply to what people are saying (while understanding what they aren’t) to identify and resolve challenges
  • Ability to make tough and strategic decisions when confronted with difficult choices and in highly complex situations and in fast-moving environments
  • Proven ability to lead organizational change, with a keen sense for getting to an enduring result and through a process that strengthens trust and organizational relationships
  • Ability to quickly build trust, credibility, and goodwill, with executive staff, staff as a whole, and Board Members, working across lines of identity and affiliation
  • Experience working in a matrixed structure and developing effective internal systems, communication, and processes to enable productive collaboration and teamwork
  • Unimpeachable integrity and moral compass, with refined discernment and emotional intelligence to ensure that internal organizational culture is consistent with highest ideals of equity
  • Demonstrated ability to manage up and sideways successfully, to determine the needs of high-level stakeholders, and the capacity and ability to deliver on them
  • A personal passion for and commitment to The Leadership Conference’s vision and mission

The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights (The Leadership Conference) has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan or Shelby Woods here.

The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual expression and identity, veteran status, national origin, age or disability. The Leadership Conference strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.