Chief Equity Officer - REMOTE DC

Friends of the Children is seeking a passionate, committed leader with strong collaborative leadership skills to guide our journey with equity and inclusion toward justice for all staff and the people that we serve. Our model is proven to impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with salaried professional mentors – 12+ years, no matter what. As our Chief Equity Officer (CEqO), you will have the full support of the National CEO to bring your expertise to an organization that is committed to dismantling barriers and advancing justice for the children and families we serve.

Our CEqO will serve as a leader and steward, ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do. They will be responsible for the co-creation of organizational-wide equity initiatives, incorporating network and community feedback to embed DEI in the national organization’s operational structure through resource-sharing, learning opportunities, and personal development work. They will have the opportunity to respond to the diverse needs of our 24 (and growing) locations. They will be passionate about social justice and operationalizing practices that build justice and equity for all marginalized groups. They will understand the nuances and bring experience in working with urban, rural, frontier, and tribal communities, especially with regard to the application of shared organizational values. They will have a deep understanding of our core model as it relates to both the incredible potential of every child and family and also, the significant barriers facing children and families impacted by foster care.

The ideal candidate will establish, lead, and reinforce an inclusive culture in our national work across the Friends of the Children network. They will ensure that Friends of the Children is positioned to dismantle barriers to success for children and families in our program, will work to facilitate an organizational culture that enables staff to fearlessly be themselves at work, and advances equity in the communities we serve. They will have proven experience successfully managing diverse stakeholders and realizing strong outcomes. The candidate will build internal and external bridges and provide strong, creative, collaborative, and energetic leadership to support the national team, chapters and board members as we bring together different experiences, skills and backgrounds to provide opportunities to overcome personal, systemic and institutional barriers in better serving our children and families.

Are you this amazing leader? Here's what we have to offer you:

  • Opportunity to help evolve an organization that demands equity from ourselves and from our community. We insist that all people have the necessary support to achieve all of their hopes and dreams.
  • Opportunity to partner with a diverse, growing network of independent chapters to implement long-term, sustainable change.
  • A comprehensive benefit package.
  • Compensation commensurate with experience: $120k to $130k + 10% incentive.
  • Most of all, you get to lead meaningful initiatives for an exceptional organization that helps children facing incredible odds change their life stories every day.

Want to know more? See the job description below:

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not intended as a comprehensive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Chief Equity Officer (CEqO) is a national leadership role, reporting directly to the CEO. The Chief Equity Officer serves as a member of National Executive Team, partnering with other senior leaders to develop and drive forward the key strategies of the national organization that impact youth, families, and staff across the country. The Chief Equity Officer leads Friends of the Children’s commitment and strategy to be a diverse, antiracist, equitable, and inclusive national organization positioned within a network of geographically diverse, independent local chapters. They are responsible for collaborating with national leadership and the network to set and implement frameworks of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for Friends of the Children—at the programmatic, administrative, and governance levels. The frameworks will seek to eliminate systemic organizational marginalization and promote inclusion and anti-racist practices that supports the community-based work of our chapters. This will be evidenced through our structures, culture and leadership. The CEqO will coordinate with all national leadership to ensure they are incorporating and elevating DEI practices in their operations. The CEqO will be an interdisciplinary thinker with a current understanding of and experience leading racial healing and justice efforts in a community-based context as well as perspective on the related national and regional policies and systems. The CEqO needs to have a thorough knowledge of systems change, and the sound judgment and demonstrated ability to identify and orchestrate levers of change in in urban, rural, frontier, and tribal communities.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

 A Visionary and Strategist

The Chief Equity Officer defines the overarching vision, identity, and strategy to become a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization in support of a growing network of independent, community-based chapters:  This includes:

  •  Defining – rooted in research, best practice, and community voice – an equity identity and lens, and what our vision of success is for applying them to all that we do.
  • Ensuring that our business strategies are fully reflective of and inspired by an equity lens, and reflect our equity identity.
  • Collaborating with leadership and the network to develop and monitor metrics, and analyze and share observations regarding programmatic practice and innovation, internal and external DEI metrics, and organizational culture and practice.
  • Monitoring progress toward our DEI vision and achievement of our DEI goals as well as the execution of strategies that map toward those goals.
  • Partnering with the Quality Improvement team and network to ensure continuous learning and quality improvement regarding the program, DEI metrics, and organizational culture and practice.
  • Collaborating with experts and the network to evaluate Friends of the Children’s practices, stay current on DEI research and best practices.

A Skilled Leader and Manager

The Chief Equity Officer works closely with all programmatic and administrative teams, to ensure that organizational culture, practice and leadership development programming are anchored in our vision for equity and inclusion.  To this end, the Chief Equity Officer:

  • Serves as intermediary between the National Executive Team (NET) and equity-related working groups, all within the national staff team, in driving equitable strategies and building equity practice and culture.
  • Offers equity-related coaching to the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Examines Friends of the Children’s policies, procedures and practices and identifies what needs to evolve, be changed, or initiated; this applies to the national team and set-up of new chapters, and will be made available to existing network upon request.
  • Provides strategic leadership in the development of culturally specific and culturally responsive policy.
  • Develops, oversees implementation, and reports on the organizational equity plan in partnership with organizational stakeholders.
  • Facilitates various aspects of alignment among the National board of Directors, National Executive Team, and network. 
  • Works closely with Human Resources to design and implement strategies for recruiting and retaining leaders of color to senior leadership positions.
  • Collaborates with Human Resources to develop equitable training and onboarding.  
  • Leads bi-monthly, optional Allyship calls with network.
  • Co-Leads bi-monthly Board of Directors Racial Equity Committee Meetings with Board Committee Chair.
  • Other activities include participating in grant writing, drafting messages, facilitating meetings, planning outreach events, and participating in various working groups or committees.
  • Assumes responsibility for developing and maintaining strategic external partnerships with funders, foundations, businesses, governmental agencies, and other key decision-makers to further the Friends of the Children’s mission.

A Gifted Communicator

The Chief Equity Officer shapes Friends of the Children’s equity strategy and guides our efforts; they support our efforts to improve, and they also hold us accountable when we fail. This work requires superb communications skills, both written and verbal, and strong diplomacy skills. The CEqO is a strong listener and able to build robust partnerships across the national organization and throughout the Friends of the Children network and communities to achieve DEI goals. More specifically, they need to:

  • Develop consistent communication and feedback mechanisms to ensure we are able to identify, discuss, and address equity issues impacting our children, families, and staff.
  • Develop communication systems to share best practices, highlight bright spots, and keep staff, board, and network leaders apprised of key initiatives and activities.
  • Partner with leadership to respond to events that impact Friends of the Children communities, weighing in on public policy priorities and strategies.
  • Manage and strengthen Friends of the Children’s relationships and collaborations with external partners to ensure they remain equitable.   
  • Co-lead strategic engagement with the Board of Directors Racial Equity Committee, including but not restricted to bi-monthly committee meetings, board reports, and collaboration on equitable strategies.
  • Reports weekly to National Executive Team and quarterly to Board of Directors on Equity activity. 

SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

  • Ability to engage with diverse staff and leadership to promote trust, collaboration, and partnership between departments and levels of leadership.  
  • Exceptional leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated track record in challenging and influencing peers to approach all work with an equity lens.
  • Ability to develop and monitor indicators of organizational culture and engage employees and senior leadership to create organizational change.  
  • Strong background of managing change throughout a distributed system of entities and teams.
  • Deep content knowledge of the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness research base and best practices for organizations striving to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; able to quickly establish credibility to develop and manage productive relationships with internal and external individuals and agencies.
  • Strong management expertise; able to manage multiple projects and to move quickly from one to another.
  • Ability to create/design adult learning and teaching of the content and skills associated with operating with an equity lens.
  • Strong ability to present and write publicly about our work.
  • Proven track record of success engaging with communities of color and LGBTQ+ and different abilities communities. 
  • Ability to remain solution-focused and respectful in all interactions with staff, coworkers, vendors, and clients.
  • Ability to manage time and meet deadlines
  • Ability to maintain accurate records and necessary paperwork
  • Ability to provide support and training to national and network  staff  and national and network board of directors.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Requires a minimum of a BA/BS in social work, psychology, business, education or related field. Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience advocating for and implementing change within a multi-cultural environment.  
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience developing and implementing diversity/equity/inclusion programs.
  • Direct service, nonprofit experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding of cultural values and norms of various communities, particularly of communities of color, LGBTQIA+, and different abilities communities. 
  • Understanding of culturally-specific resources and how to identify and access them across the country.
  • Effective intercultural communication skills and ability to advocate/address issues of diversity.
  • Sensitivity and understanding of specific barriers that may lead to lack of access and engagement.
  • Experience supervising and leading cross-functional teams.
  • Experience developing and implementing trainings.  

Friends of the Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends of the Children provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. Friends of the Children hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.

Friends of the Children is growing rapidly as communities across the country are experiencing the power of how “One” changes a child's story: One Friend. One Child. 12+ years. No matter what. #ThePowerOfOne

Learn more at friendsofthechildren.org or find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @FriendsNational.