Join Our Team: Chief Operating Officer (COO)
United We Dream (UWD), a multi-ethnic immigrant youth-led organization committed to achieving dignity and humanity for all immigrants and people of color in the U.S by empowering, organizing, and developing our members’ leadership, is looking for a talented and solutions-oriented Chief Operating Officer (COO).
UWD is building a sustainable grassroots movement by organizing and advocating at the local, regional, and national levels from a racial justice and intersectional analysis while also providing transformative leadership development, tools and resources to support our leaders and member organizations.
With a monthly online reach of 4 million activists and supporters, more than 265,000 members as well as 48 local groups, UWD is made up of fearless youth fighting to improve the lives of our members and their families. Our vision is a society that celebrates our diversity and believes in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial intersectional path to getting there.
Founded in 2008, UWD utilizes organizing, advocacy, and storytelling to create a sense of community and opportunities to heal, grow, and thrive while concretely changing the daily lives of its leaders and members. We have secured in-state tuition in 20+ states; expanded health access; improved ICE practices affecting LGBTQ immigrants in detention; stopped 600+ deportations; trained 10,000+ educators to support undocumented students; and driven the narrative in the immigration debate to one that humanizes the issue and changes hearts and minds.
In 2012, UWD won the biggest immigration policy advance in 25 years: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides relief from deportation and work permits to 800,000 undocumented youth. To ensure maximum potential of DACA, we launched Own the Dream (OTD), a program that provided DACA application assistance to more than 30,000 undocumented youth. Most recently, working with criminal and racial justice allies, we ended the largest 287(g) program in the country, in Harris County/Houston (a program under which local police cooperate with immigration enforcement. We are now one of the leading organizations in the fight to Save DACA.
The UWD environment has earned a reputation for grooming immigrant youth as leaders in their communities as well as nationally. It is, at its core, an environment that sparks both inspiration and passion among staff and leaders, alike. Whether we’re organizing in the streets, providing immigration services, building cutting-edge technology to assist those we represent, opening doors for LGBTQ immigrant youth, clearing pathways to education, stopping deportations or creating alliances across social movements, UWD puts undocumented immigrant youth in the driver’s seat. UWD is a fast paced, dynamic organization that has become a leading voice in social change.
We are driven by the priorities and needs of our members, have trained thousands of individuals and have supported countless local organizing groups. Our grassroots driven approach has a proven track record of success and we’re looking for talented folks to join our team!
UWD is rapidly growing and is looking for a mission-focused, experienced, strategic, and results-minded leader with experience scaling an advocacy organization, leading a management team, and developing a performance culture among a diverse and talented staff. UWD seeks a Chief Operating Officer (COO) who embraces the vision of the organization and helps others deliver measurable results that make the vision a reality. While it is essential that the COO bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, it is also critical that the team retain the creative spark that drives UWD and has made it successful.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the COO will lead all internal operations and will have the following responsibilities:
- Work in partnership with the Executive Director and Deputy Director for Programs to implement UWD’s strategic plan.
- Serve as the internal leader of the organization to implement the priorities of the Executive Director:
- Coordinate the annual operations plan and budget;
- Lead the performance management process that measures and evaluates progress against goals for the organization;
- Lead the process to set annual organizational goals and quarterly evaluations; and
- Provide strong day-to-day leadership; propose the agenda for all staff, senior staff and leadership calls and meetings; bridge national and regional operations and program and administration operations; and support an open-door policy among staff that contributes to high morale.
- Lead and manage UWD’s department directors who have the following responsibilities:
- Finance, Human Resources, and Internal Technology
- Cultivate the values of UWD within the organization.
- Instill a professional development and “coaching” culture within UWD.
- Drive effectiveness and expediency in administrative, human resources, and operational services.
- Assess and develop human resources functions in keeping with the organization size and mission including: training, development, onboarding, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation, policies, recruiting, and retention. ▪
- Ensure that the accounting system provides the Executive Director with quick access to financial information and enables strategic budgeting and expenditure feedback. Maintain an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures.
- Address internal security/technology needs and make necessary improvements to the financial systems to support the growth of specific programs and UWD overall.
- Assess and upgrade logistics and operations support for all program events and activities to include professional development of program staff in planning and budgeting skills.
- Fund Raising – While this function reports directly to the Executive Director; the Development Director collaborates with the COO on:
- Development and implementation of systems for reporting, measurement and supporting revenue generation;
- Administrative aspects of proposal preparation and grant writing; and
- Coordination across departments for online and event fundraising.
- Under the direction of the Executive Director, work with the Board of Directors: present to the Board at meetings and serve as liaison to several Board committees.
The successful candidate will have management experience with an advocacy organization and experience successfully managing a growing “values driven” organization. UWD is looking for someone with:
- Proven track-record of exceeding goals and achieving results: Ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis that matches the culture of the organization; wisdom, experience, and judgment; understanding of goals and mission of the organization and the type of systems and operations appropriate to support those goals and mission.
- Solutions-oriented: Strong ability to proactively develop effective solutions to challenges and collaboratively work with staff to ensure those solutions are implemented.
- Measurable experience providing executive level support to Executive Director: Understanding of the elements of a successful professional relationship with the Executive Director and effective guidance/feedback/ reporting mechanisms for implementation of the Executive Director’s goals and strategic priorities.
- Financial acumen: Experience with successful P&L management; managing 501(c)3 , 501(c)4 expenditures, experience with audits, the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget and creating buy in on budget responsibility, problem solving, project management and creative resourcefulness.
- Strategic Vision and Agility: Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends and work with the Executive Director to incorporate them into the organizational plan.
- Proven ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity: Developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly.
- Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people: Ability to connect with staff both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to ensure accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to develop necessary skills.
- Action-Oriented Approach to Management: Enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available, not afraid to take charge of a situation; can work effectively with an ambitious, but less experienced staff, and take unpopular stands when necessary.
- General Management: Thorough understanding of finance, systems and HR: broad experience with the full range of business and financial functions and systems, including strategic planning and implementation, budgeting, financial controls and audits.
- Education Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree preferred, but UWD prioritizes experience, leadership, and technical skills.
TO APPLY: send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: United We Dream – COO.
UWD is an equal opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. UWD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic background, citizenship status, religion, political orientation, genetic information, sexual orientation, age or disability.