Organization: Roca

Location: Boston, MA

Express Interest


Roca Boston works with high-risk young men to change their behavior, and shift the trajectories of their lives to move towards the outcomes of economic independence and living out of harm’s way. Established in 1988, Roca’s mission is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people transform their lives using a nationally-recognized, evidenced based intervention model that engages high-risk youth in long-term behavior change, and skill-building opportunities.

Roca’s Intervention Model is a cognitive‐restructuring and skills development model that was developed and implemented to address the high‐risk, underserved population of 17‐24 males who are either:

  • aging out of the juvenile justice or juvenile probation systems with a strong propensity for re-incarceration as an adult;
  • connected with the adult justice system; or
  • are high‐risk members of the community who have a strong propensity for incarceration as an adult.

The Roca Boston Director will collaborate with the Roca team of Eastern MA to coordinate programming, work crews and job placement, for high-risk young people in various communities across Massachusetts, including young parents, immigrants, and youth involved in gangs.

This is a full-time position located in Boston, MA. For more information on Roca please visit

The Opportunity:

Roca seeks a Boston Director with strong strategic, management, and interpersonal skills to lead the implementation and management of the Roca Intervention Model for high-risk young men served by the Boston site. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Roca Boston Director will have oversight of all aspects for programming in Boston, and work with senior and development staff on positioning, fundraising, partner development and growth of the organization.

The Roca Boston Director will have demonstrated success in attracting, mentoring and retaining high-quality talent and building vibrant, empowered teams. S/he will be a focused, results-oriented leader who is deeply invested in leading with values and achieving bold goals with young people who are in active crisis and are not ready, willing, or able to participate in programs or jobs. Key qualifications for the Boston Director include strong relationship management and communication skills to work effectively and build consensus among diverse constituencies within the high-risk youth community. Direct community experience, strong supervisory skills, and extensive knowledge of youth development, street/gang dynamics and the criminal justice system is preferred.

The Roca Boston Director will be responsible for the following essential responsibilities and tasks:

Leadership and Management

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Boston site, and participate in organization-wide problem solving and strategic direction to fully implement the Intervention Model.
  • Lead, motivate, and manage the Program Team to aim for excellence through active participation in a collaborative and team-oriented culture.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations, reporting requirements, program budget and grants, asset management, and related deliverables.
  • Partner with the executive team and key staff to set clear goals for organizational growth; develop and implement comprehensive strategies that enhance and expand existing programs.
  • Lead the effort to cultivate a culture of driving social change, by effectively mentoring, coaching, and growing team leaders and ensuring a supportive environment in the face of highly challenging roles and responsibilities.
  • Reflect on and adjust as necessary, practices that drive ongoing improvement and development of a transformative organization culture consistent with the Roca mission, core values and operating norms.
  • Effectively assess and mitigate risk related to target population, community changes, and political agendas.
  • Identify and develop managers, program staff, and partners to foster pipeline for succession planning.
  • Use Efforts To Outcomes (ETO) data and reports to drive a culture of performance, and ensure progress toward programmatic benchmarks and outcomes.

Communications and Partner Engagement

  • Build, manage, and grow relationships and partnerships with diverse coalitions of stakeholder organizations and leaders across mental health partners, police, parole, DOC, probation, DYS, court system, and members of the judiciary.
  • Collaborate with the executive team and staff to determine appropriate relationships with engaged institutional partners.
  • Identify and implement opportunities to leverage and build Roca’s brand and extend its reach among key influencers and the public. Working in partnership with the Director of External Affairs and the senior management team.
  • Represent Roca to a wide array of current and potential partners and other key stakeholders, by effectively conveying Roca’s mission and Intervention Model to external audiences.

Program Implementation and Results

  • Develop clear and measurable goals and outcomes for Roca Boston. Design a plan for tracking progress towards Roca’s annual and long term goals, and perform and assign tasks required to achieve those goals.
  • Support and assist administration with the coordination of daily operations, including programming, Roca Boston youth work crews, outreach, emergency and critical incident responses, youth transportation and schedules.
  • Lead and participate in regular discussions regarding youth data and outcomes; coach Roca management and staff to utilize data to inform goal setting.
  • Ensure Roca Boston’s activities and deliverables are timely and in compliance; lead and support daily, weekly, and monthly use of data reporting to drive performance and fidelity.


The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

  • Passion for and commitment to the mission of Roca.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as education and/or equivalent experience.
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience, preferable in a supervisory role, including experience in leadership-level positions within youth development and high-risk youth focused entities, or related organizations.
  • Skilled staff manager, with experience building and leading teams and guiding staff growth and development.
  • Strong listening and communication skills; a presence that earns trust, confidence and respect; and the ability to lead by influence and example.
  • Proven record of strong organizational management, including staff development, succession planning, and administrative operations in a dynamic organization with a diverse staff.
  • Top-notch organizational skills and attention to detail, coupled with high-energy, and the ability to work effectively and in collaboration with diverse partners.
  • Strong analytical abilities and proven accomplishment in a position requiring independent planning and efficient utilization of resources.
  • Strategic thinker, adept at managing and completing multiple complex projects and tasks simultaneously with thoroughness, accuracy, timeliness and good humor.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, organized and self-managed, with a track record of being able to strategize at a high level, while also executing that strategy on the ground.
  • Strong logical reasoning skills and business intelligence, with the ability to develop strategies for effective data analysis.
  • Demonstrated stance on organizational learning and individual professional development for both you and your staff (i.e. use of data to improve operations, identification of coaches and mentors, identification of professional development activities).
  • Deep resilience and a sense of hope in the face of challenges, and a belief in change and personal growth. Track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through creativity and teamwork.
  • Ability to manage conflict and complex interpersonal dynamics, with a desire to work with disenfranchised and underserved youth.
  • Evidence of well-developed emotional intelligence with the attributes of a mentor or teacher, who will embrace the ‘hands-on’ nature of the mission and this leadership opportunity.
  • Some travel required – valid MA Driver’s License and current driving record.
  • Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours, and holidays/weekends as needed.

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Roca has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Shavon Bell here.

Roca is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education 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, visit