Vice President, Program Strategy and Impact

Vice President, Program Strategy and Impact

The Opportunity Agenda

New York, NY   |   November 22, 2019

About The Opportunity Agenda

The Opportunity Agenda is a social justice communication lab that works with social justice leaders, groups, creative artists, and movements nationwide to advance the impact of the social justice community and ensure that the United States lives up to the promise of opportunity for every person who lives here. Through a combination of communications expertise, cultural engagement, research, and policy advocacy, The Opportunity Agenda partners with groups that span diverse issues and constituencies to move hearts and minds, and to drive lasting policy change for a more just society.

The organization’s current multi-year initiatives are Economic Opportunity, Criminal Justice Reform, and Immigrant Human Rights. Equity based on race, gender, sexual identity, and other characteristics is central to the work of the organization, as is intersectionality across issues, identities, and communities. Programmatic activities include public opinion and media research, narrative and messaging guidance, communications training, strategy convenings, cultural engagement, news media placement, and social media outreach.

Through its active partnerships, The Opportunity Agenda works with advocates, organizers, researchers, policymakers and others dedicated to a greater and more equal opportunity to:

  • Use communications and media to build public support for expanding opportunity;
  • Synthesize and translate research on obstacles to opportunity;
  • Train and support social justice leaders; and
  • Identify and advocate, through effective, values-based communication, on behalf of policies that expand opportunity for all.

Established 13 years ago to fill a gap in the social justice space, The Opportunity Agenda is now a respected, formidable non-profit with a $5M budget, and approximately 20 employees. The Opportunity Agenda is in a moment of evolution and transition, under the leadership of a new President, Ellen Buchman, who stepped into the role in 2019. The staff is comprised of committed leaders with a passion for justice and lasting change. Diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental values of the internal organization as well as the fabric of its external work.

For more information on The Opportunity Agenda, please visit

The Opportunity

The Opportunity Agenda seeks a seasoned leader with a proven track record of impact and high-level management to join its senior leadership team. Leading a team of five senior-level direct reports, the Vice President, Program Strategy and Impact (“the Vice President”) will serve as the organization’s senior programmatic leader during a period of significant growth, change, and opportunity. Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President will have strategic and operational responsibility for all program areas, including program leadership, planning, delivery and evaluation; knowledge management and internal program learning; and relationship-building throughout the sector.

The Vice President will bring a strategic focus to the development of multi-faceted advocacy plans and create structures that build internal collaboration and strength across programs; promote strategic communications that furthers policy goals; and, cultivate an inclusive climate that promotes excellence and an engaging organizational culture.

This is a full-time position based in The Opportunity Agenda’s New York City headquarters.

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

Manage a growing programmatic staff and its operations to ensure we reach our ambitious goals.

  • Direct and oversee all aspects of program strategy, planning, and delivery.
  • Elevate the organization’s programming by engaging the staff in planning processes that increase the organization’s focus on making strategic decisions that are reflective of the larger social justice and advocacy landscape.
  • Promote collaboration, synergy, and effective communication to encourage cross-program planning and a participatory and empowering culture while supporting staff during organizational growth.
  • Supervise and support a talented team of program staff by mentoring and fostering professional growth of individual staff members. Collaboratively leverage staff skills and expertise to ensure that the organization remains a cutting-edge innovator within the social justice sector.
  • Expand and manage relationships with partner organizations from advocacy, public policy, pop culture, philanthropy, research, and other spheres.

Oversee program learning, evaluation, and staff development in order to sustain a culture of excellence.

  • Articulate and establish measurable goals, objectives, and metrics for assessing, reporting, and improving impact.
  • Develop and enhance the management, evaluation, learning, and improvement of organizational strategies, systems, infrastructure, and practices to support The Opportunity Agenda’s goals.
  • Ensure that staffing and onboarding are aligned with strategy and equity work; continue to monitor, evaluate, and assess impact of skill-building, and professional development in consultation with the President.

Serve as a key member of The Opportunity Agenda’s senior leadership team.

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner and advisor to the President, providing support and different perspectives on ways to achieve the organization’s short, intermediate, and long-term goals.
  • Actively participate in Steering Committee meetings and relations.
  • Participate in fundraising from idea generation to donor stewardship to proposal development to organizational promotion and accountability. Collaborate with senior and management staff to ensure integration of program and resource development and support efforts to create and maintain an organization-wide culture of philanthropy.
  • Participate in annual processes such as budgeting, goal-setting, and performance review.
  • Serve as an ambassador, spokesperson, and high-profile organizational leader before a range of stakeholder audiences and in the media.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate is a leader among leaders with experience planning and executing successful social justice communications campaigns at the state, regional, and/or national level, who can positively guide both strategic and tactical goals and initiatives. The successful candidate will bring a proven record of effective leadership, supervision, strategy, and relationship-management experience, along with a demonstrated commitment to advancing social justice.

While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Demonstrated commitment to The Opportunity Agenda’s mission, vision, values, and articulated theory of social change.
  • Excellent and proven management techniques as an experienced, collaborative, and energetic manager, coupled with a demonstrable record of success in leading, implementing, and managing organizational and programmatic strategies that support a bold mission.
  • Strong project management skills; ability to drive simultaneous, complex projects to measurable success and to align with the organizational strategy.
  • A consensus-builder and collaborator with proven ability to listen, discern challenges, and identify solutions; seeks and supports different perspectives and values a range of viewpoints but also comfortable making a final decision.
  • Clear understanding of policymaking with high-level policy engagement.
  • Familiarity with different types of social change actors, including advocates, organizers, policymakers, researchers, and cultural leaders.
  • An understanding of relevant emerging trends, including in social movements, the media landscape, demographics, framing theory, and policymaking. Fluency with digital and social media platforms as instruments for social change.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including written and verbal skills and media-readiness, with the ability to interact effectively with diverse colleagues, partners, and communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects, achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Successful participation in past foundation and/or major donor fundraising efforts.
  • Enthusiasm for organizational change and learning, and patience to serve as a leader in the change process.
  • Optimistic outlook with humor, integrity, compassion, and comfort with working in an entrepreneurial nonprofit environment.
  • Willingness and ability to travel.
  • Spanish or API language fluency is highly desired.
Compensation & Benefits

Competitive salary commensurate with experience and generous benefits package that includes an employer-paid medical and dental plan (for full-time employees and their qualified dependents) and retirement benefits.


The Opportunity Agenda has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Shavon Bell. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

The Opportunity Agenda, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer, dedicated to the idea that our nation should be one where everyone enjoys full and equal opportunity.

Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit