Director, Leading on Opportunity

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In 2014, the Chetty Study ranked Charlotte last among the 50 largest US cities and Mecklenburg County 99 out of 100 counties in upward mobility. Access to economic opportunity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is far too often aligned with the zip code where one lives. We are a community that cares about all our children – regardless of their income, background, race or zip code – and where all of our children feel they belong, have big dreams and have the opportunities to achieve their dreams. In 2015, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force was convened to study economic mobility challenges in our region. In 2017, the Leading on Opportunity report was issued by the Task Force with recommendations to take a systemic approach to addressing the key determinants of economic mobility: early care and education, college and career readiness, and child and family stability, while simultaneously focusing on the cross-cutting factors of the impact of segregation and social capital. That same year, Leading on Opportunity was formed to coordinate implementation of the Task Force report.

Using the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force Report as the guide (as well as incorporating evolving research on the topic), the Leading on Opportunity Director will work with Foundation staff and the Leading on Opportunity Council to develop goals, priorities and frameworks to facilitate systems change. Additionally, the Director will work collaboratively to build a marketplace for evidence-based and community-informed change ideas, develop and continuously refine a framework for collective action, and serve as a hub for spokes of advocacy and action across multi-sector stakeholders in the community. The Director will build and manage a high-performing small team to guide the effective execution of strategies and leverage the community’s time, talent and treasure to carry out this critical work.

About you:
• An intense curiosity and expertise in discovering cutting edge research, evaluating its relevance, assuring efficacy, and applying the discoveries to achieve targeted outcomes
• Demonstrated leadership accomplishments working through influence vs. positional authority
• A deep understanding and evidence of effective leadership to create broad-based collective engagement in complex systems
• Proven results identifying and crafting systems change and/or process improvement strategies resulting in measurable outcomes

trategy, Leadership and Relationship Management
• Provide passionate leadership and create a sense of shared community commitment to the vision of the task force report
• Develop strong relationships and, in close partnership with the community, lead the crafting of a compelling vision for the community
• Establish long-term systems change goals and short-term, evidence-based and/or data-informed process improvement strategies for the opportunity work, along with key indicators to measure progress
• Collaborate with multiple and diverse stakeholders, including educational partners, governmental entities, existing program providers, funders, business leaders, grassroots organizations, faith communities and other partners throughout the community
• Convene community resources to create data collaboratives to track critical metrics, establish a shared dashboard to report relevant findings and outcomes, and ensure that data drives action across the community
• Serve as the public voice for the work and create a sense of common purpose and shared alignment across the county
• Encourage cross-sector collaborations and serve as a trusted advisor to others in the community on opportunity issues
• Monitor and incorporate the latest national research and best practices regarding economic opportunity, social justice, social change, and community engagement
• Advocate for appropriate systems changes at the community, program and policy levels (local, state and national)
• Effectively communicate complex issues to diverse audiences in all parts of our community
• Develop and implement external communications strategies based on the thorough evaluation of the most effective means to build trust, alignment, and partner engagement resulting in community support for the work and which fosters the identification of new opportunities
• Oversee development of a comprehensive communications strategy to help ensure success of the work
• Serve as primary spokesperson for LOO work with media, community events, conferences, etc.
General Management
• Develop, maintain and support a strong Leading on Opportunity Council and build Council engagement with strategic direction
• Direct a broad range of Council and committee activities including: developing meeting materials, identifying and/or delivering educational opportunities, preparing and/or delivering presentations
• Attract, lead, coach and manage a high-functioning, action-oriented, results-driven team and provide oversight for program evaluation and impact.
• Ensure effective development of systems to track organizational progress
• Build and provide guidance to community action teams
• Develop and manage the operating budget and define strategic funding needs
• Develop and implement a fundraising strategy to support the sustainability of the organization
• Provide support when requested for all Foundation activities
• Supervises assigned direct reports and works to develop skills and competencies; maintains high morale, team retention and productivity; accountable for required managerial tasks



• Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree desired
• 8-10 years of proven leadership experience in social justice, public health, education, public or nonprofit administration or philanthropic leadership that demonstrates a passion for this work
• Experience in community building efforts & knowledge of a broad range of issues addressed through this work
• Evidence of operational management experience to include budget responsibility
• Demonstrated ability to relate, build trust and engage with a variety of stakeholders and external partners such as civic leaders, community organizations, and families
• Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with other stakeholders
• Demonstrated skills in working with diverse groups of people
• Working knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of performance measurement, program evaluation and evidence-informed decision making
• Effective meeting facilitation and organizational skills
• Experience with public speaking, persuasion and advocacy
• Proven leadership, collaboration and coordination skills and experience
• Ability to multi-task, work under pressure and maintain deadlines
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
• Excellent computer skills including working knowledge of MS Office applications and ability to learn FFTC database applications
• General ability to perform the essential functions and overall physical and mental requirements of this position, including stamina to perform tasks over extended periods
• Occasionally moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite and/or workstation to another
• Working knowledge of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, including its neighborhoods, critical issues, key organizations, civic leaders, resources, etc.