Executive Director

Executive Director


New York, NY   |   January 14, 2022

Read and download the Position Profile here.


STRIVE is a national leader in creating pathways to economic opportunity for predominantly low-income Black and Brown communities. Serving young adults and adults of all different ages, genders, races, and justice-involved backgrounds, STRIVE’s proven model accelerates graduates toward career advancement and upward mobility. Since its founding in 1984, STRIVE has helped more than 80,000 graduates prepare for career success through our free programs. See the STRIVE Difference in this 3-minute video or learn more at strive.org.

STRIVE operates in New York City and Atlanta, and through licensed partners in cities across the country. In 2019, STRIVE embarked on an ambitious growth plan to expand our impact in current and new cities and opened STRIVE Atlanta in 2020. Due to the success of our programs, STRIVE partners with leading employers, funders, corporations, and community leaders locally and nationally.

The Opportunity

STRIVE seeks a dynamic, strategic, and innovative leader who will be responsible for leading the growth of STRIVE’s flagship site – STRIVE New York. Reporting to the CEO, the Executive Director will join a strong organization that has experienced recent growth and expansion.

This leader will have substantial experience in programs, management, finance/operations, and fundraising from various revenue sources, including restricted and unrestricted grants from government agencies (city, state and federal), private foundations and individual donors.

The Executive Director leads all external relations for STRIVE New York, including fundraising, community engagement, and program strategy to achieve success in Upper Manhattan and across New York City. The Executive Director will lead and develop a team of 6 direct reports and a $3-5 million budget to execute and advance our career pathway training model.

In order to be successful in this role, the ideal candidate will thrive in a fast-paced environment where the ability to manage multiple relationships and a range of small and large-scale projects at once is vital. The next Executive Director will be highly motivated, growth-oriented, and experienced, with the ability to work collaboratively with the CEO and the Executive Team to meet the organization’s goals. This position is based in STRIVE’s headquarters in Harlem, New York.

Key Responsibilities

Program Leadership

  • Lead the implementation of STRIVE New York’s evidence-based career pathway model, including the Career Path program, the STRIVE Fresh Start program for returning citizens, and the STRIVE Future Leaders program for justice-involved young adults.
  • Ensure high-quality delivery of our career pathway training to new STRIVE students and alumni.
  • Develop and implement new training initiatives in response to local demand.
  • Cultivate and nurture a pipeline of employers in the NYC community to invest in training.
  • Increase awareness of STRIVE’s program to targeted communities.
  • Develop strategic alliances with other local service providers, local and state education and human services agencies, and organizations to expand STRIVE’s implementation and presence.
  • Ensure that all program goals are met or exceeded, including outcomes tracking and reporting using STRIVE’s performance management system and other platforms.

Team Leadership

  • Motivate and maintain a diverse and cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication, coordination, accountability, and inclusivity.
  • Build and lead a team and facilitate regular performance management, professional development, coaching, and team meetings.
  • Represent NYC programs as a part of the Executive team and during engagement with board of directors.
  • Serve as the NYC site’s primary liaison with STRIVE’s national support services, including program, finance, communications, development, and human resource teams.
  • Follow local and national workforce, business, and tech industry trends to inform student and employer partner needs.
  • Prepare, manage, and grow the annual program budget.

Fundraising & External Engagement

  • Serve as the “face of STRIVE” in New York City, representing STRIVE in external meetings, conferences, panels, and media opportunities.
  • Lead STRIVE’s New York’s local fundraising strategy in partnership with STRIVE’s national Development team.
  • Prospect, cultivate, and generate local operating revenue through a diverse range of fundraising activities targeted at individual, institutional, and public sources.
  • Partner with national Development team to generate grant requests and reports.
  • Build and staff a new STRIVE New York Advisory Council to advise on strategy and support employer, funder, and community partnerships.
Candidate Profile

With the understanding that no one person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

  • Stand behind STRIVE’s mission, believing that individuals from all communities should have access to careers with family sustaining wages, that talent should be recognized and recruited from many diverse sources, and in the life changing power of employment.
  • Experience in workforce development, employment training, and work readiness programming.
  • An understanding of the foundation, corporate, major donor, and government funding landscape in New York City with demonstrated fundraising and development success.
  • Demonstrated ability to build C-level relationships and convert them to partnerships.
  • A commitment to building a culture of evidence-building, performance management and continuous improvement.
  • An inclusive philosophy with experience working with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse communities.
  • The ability to effectively manage people and teams, with an understanding of what it takes to build a supportive, collaborative work culture.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate and effectively interact with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Excellent conversational, public speaking, presentation, and writing skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a creative, inventive, entrepreneurial, and fast-paced environment with people who are passionate about their work and mission.
  • Data-driven, results-oriented, and forward-looking catalyst for social change.
  • Collaborative and flexible work style; excited to work both cross-functionally with other departments and independently.
  • Detail-oriented, with exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability and experience engaging multiple stakeholders and rallying them around a common purpose.
  • A minimum of 7-10 years of relevant professional experience and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent related experience.

Personal Characteristics and Attributes

  • A deep and demonstrated commitment to advancing equity and economic opportunity in historically marginalized communities.
  • A person who is creative and inspiring; able to actualize and communicate ideas and strategies.
  • A champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion with program participants, staff, board members, and external partners.
  • A leader who leads with honesty, transparency, excitement, and humor.
COVID-19 Policy

STRIVE believes in protecting the health and safety of employees, program participants, communities, guests, and others with whom they engage. All offers of employment are contingent on the candidate showing proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to pass the pre-employment requirements.

Compensation & Benefits

STRIVE offers a competitive annual salary for this role, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include health, dental, disability, and life insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave.


Molly Brennan and Martens Roc of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials via Koya’s online portal here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.



STRIVE is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

STRIVE prides itself on the diversity of its workforce. STRIVE is committed to equal employment opportunity to all job applicants and employees without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, medical condition, disability, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other unlawful criteria.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.