Chief Program Officer (RHI)

For nearly 15 years, Red Hook Initiative (RHI) has nurtured young people in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to be inspired, resilient and healthy, and to envision themselves as co-creators of their lives, community and society. Dozens of participants in RHI programs have returned to RHI as staff, and have jump-started careers in youth development from there. RHI recently expanded its facility to increase its reach among youth in middle school through age 24, as well as its community building programs. The organization is rich with recognition - for excellence in nonprofit management, for serving as the epicenter of post-Hurricane Sandy relief, and for cutting edge approaches to bridge the digital divide. 

Position Summary

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) is a key member of the senior leadership team. The CPO works closely with senior leadership and program staff to articulate and carry out the strategic vision of the agency to ensure that Red Hook youth have access to opportunities, challenge social inequities and achieve employment and educational goals.

RHI’s model is one that combines youth development with community building and advocacy work. The Digital Steward program, for instance, trains young adults for jobs and careers in technology, and its participants have been instrumental in creating, maintaining and expanding a free wireless network for the neighborhood. The CPO has an externally facing role and manages partnerships with community groups, government agencies and local stakeholders. RHI seeks to facilitate and improve community engagement around policy decisions that impact Red Hook and young people in particular.

The CPO is a seasoned supervisor and coach, and is comfortable with and committed to fostering the development of staff. The ideal candidate is an experienced project manager and is looking for an opportunity to guide community-based work in a fast-paced and growing organization.

Reports to: Executive Director

Supervises: Director of Programs, Director of Technology, Director of Training & Evaluation, and Community Building Program Manager


Management and Administration

  • Develop, implement and manage effective internal operational systems for all of RHI’s programs
  • Foster a team-oriented, supportive, accountable work environment at RHI
  • Ensure effective roll out, implementation, and evaluation of new programs and initiatives
  • Contribute to grant writing and reporting process
  • Present programmatic elements of RHI in a compelling manner to prospective funders and other supporters
  • Oversee program budgets and support program staff to develop and manage their team budgets
  • Recruit and hire new staff members in keeping with the RHI model
  • Work closely with senior leadership team to ensure successful adoption of Salesforce database by program teams
  • Contribute to the ongoing development of the database used to track program outputs and outcomes
  • Collaborate with senior leadership team to implement special projects aimed at increasing program and organizational capacity
  • Lead staff meetings and other relevant team meetings 

Program Management

  • Oversee RHI’s youth development, technology, and community building and advocacy work
  • Oversee development and implementation of strategy for all programs and services
  • Lead staff in long-term program planning
  • Work with the senior leadership team and program teams to develop and evaluate program strategies and goals
  • Assist in developing strategies to engage young people and organizations from Red Hook in the programs and services offered by RHI
  • Provide hands-on supervision and coaching for staff
    • Analyze internal reports to evaluate program effectiveness using an outcomes-based approach and ensure the agency’s ability to anticipate and effectively respond to changing client needs

External Relations and Collaboration

  • Alongside RHI’s Executive Director, serve as a spokesperson and bridge-builder on RHI’s advocacy and policy work
  • Oversee community-driven campaigns on pressing local issues, e.g. anti-violence work, housing, and education
  • Work with external partners to within various networks of organizations to solve local issues through collaborative programming
  • Represent RHI at local events, community gatherings, or workshops and trainings
  • Work with external partners to harness resources for RHI and the larger Red Hook community, including but not limited to opportunities for employment, enrichment opportunities and enhanced educational opportunities

 Skills, Knowledge and Abilities 

  • Ability to effectively communicate and build relationships with a wide variety of constituents including teens, parents, health and human service professionals, community leaders, teachers, and school leaders
  • Ability to manage and balance multiple projects
  • Strategic thinker and leader with track record of achieving organizational objectives
  • Able to make decisions or intervene in difficult or complex situations and resolve problems as they arise
  • Demonstrated commitment to an interdisciplinary, collaborative team approach to work
  • Passion for supporting the organization’s mission and for maintaining programmatic excellence
  • Must demonstrate energy, enthusiasm and interest in advancing within a fast-paced, growing organization
    • Skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to the mission and to develop a performance culture among a group of diverse individuals

 Experience and Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree in public administration, education, social work or related field
  • A minimum of five years of leadership experience in a non-profit, school or philanthropy, overseeing multiple programs or contracts, ideally at an organization serving low-income youth or communities
    • At least five years of experience working directly with youth and/or community development or grassroots organizations
    • Demonstrated cultural competence as it relates to community-based work
    • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills
    • Experience with evaluation or participatory action research (experience with Salesforce a plus)
    • Knowledge of Red Hook community and RHI mission and vision
    • Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred

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