Chief Executive Officer
- Experience Level
Oliver Scholars prepares high-achieving Black and Latino students from underserved New York City communities for success at top independent schools and prestigious colleges. Oliver provides crucial support for its Scholars, so they can realize their full potential and ultimately give back to the city, the nation, and the world.
Founded in 1984, Oliver Scholars is distinctive among access programs for its commitment to providing transition support for the whole family, developing students’ social-emotional skills, and instilling an ethos of giving back. The Oliver experience includes up to 12 years of one-on-one support, after-school and summer coursework, and pre-career training. Oliver provides free wraparound support for exceptional students from low- and middle-income families in New York. Oliver’s cutting-edge, multi-year curriculum is comprised of academic enrichment, real-world learning opportunities, leadership skills development, and a focus on community service.
Oliver’s admissions process focuses on identifying talented and motivated students who will make the most of the Oliver opportunity. Oliver invites nominations from high-achieving Black and Latino students in seventh grade from throughout the five boroughs of New York, and in fourth grade from New York City School Districts 4, 5, 6, and 7. Approximately $6 million in financial aid is awarded to Scholars each year by Oliver’s partner schools. 100% of Scholars graduate from high school and nearly 90% of Scholars attend a college or university on a U.S. News & World Report top 100 list.
The Chief Executive Officer Role
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oliver Scholars will set the standard for Oliver’s programs, operations, and culture as it moves into its 35th year of changing the lives of Scholars and their families. They will oversee Oliver’s continuum of programming, administrative and financial operations, fundraising, and communications. The CEO will be the primary spokesperson of Oliver Scholars to funders, partners, and Scholars and their families.
The next CEO of Oliver Scholars will have a huge impact on the lives of Black and Latino students, affording them opportunities to elevate themselves and change the world around them. The CEO will report directly to the Board of Trustees of Oliver Scholars and supervise the senior management team. The CEO will lead a team of 25 committed full-time staff members. The CEO, in concert with the Board of Trustees, will strategically manage Oliver’s growth over the next several years. Oliver’s current annual operating budget is approximately $4.5 million. Oliver’s office is located on Maiden Lane in the Financial District of Manhattan.
The Chief Executive Officer’s primary areas of responsibility are:
Leadership and Communication
- Collaborate closely with Trustees around Oliver’s overall strategy.
- Lead Oliver’s staff in the pursuit of programmatic and operational excellence.
- Evaluate the organizational structure and configure senior management positions as needed.
- Develop a deep knowledge of Oliver’s core programs and operations.
- Lead, motivate, and assess a team of staff who have a wide array of diverse experiences and programmatic skills.
- Ensure that Oliver evaluates and effectively communicates the results of its programs.
- Establish effective decision-making processes that will enable Oliver to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives.
- Review, revise, and create the strategic plan as necessary.
- Maintain and cultivate relationships with Oliver volunteers, Trustees, Junior Board, Alumni/ae, staff, Scholar families, partnering organizations, and funders.
- Directly supervise the senior management team.
- Craft and direct the implementation of Oliver’s marketing, communications, and fundraising strategy in consultation with the relevant staff and Trustees.
Development and Board Relations
- Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Trustees.
- Work closely with Trustees, the Development Committee, and the Director of Development to develop relationships with Oliver’s current individual, foundation, and corporate donors and develop strategies to increase current donors’ commitment, engage new donors, and broaden the revenue streams.
- Ensure successful oversight of Oliver’s annual gala planning and execution.
Finance and Operations
- Oversee the management of the financial planning and forecasting, budgeting, and resource allocation for Oliver.
- Oversee the development of the annual budget and ensure that appropriate internal financial controls are in place.
- Work closely with Board and the Finance Committee to provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on revenues, expenses, and an agreed-upon set of financial, operational, and/or programmatic indicators of success.
- Ensure effective oversight of human resource administration functions, staff professional development activities, and performance management to ensure that the best talent is sought, hired, and supported.
Candidate Profile and Key Qualifications
The Chief Executive Officer must be a dynamic and versatile individual with an eye for detail and strategy who shares the organization’s commitment to changing the lives of Scholars and their families. The CEO must value diversity and demonstrate comfort and competence working with diverse stakeholders. They must be a passionate, authentic, ethical, and mission-driven leader. They will possess a self-awareness of their own leadership and management style. They will be an external and internal ambassador on behalf of Oliver and its Scholars, families, alumni/ae and staff. Ideally, the CEO will have an advanced degree (but at a minimum a Bachelor’s degree), with 7 to 10 years of experience leading multiple team members.
Ideally, the CEO should be a person who:
- Has a clear passion and commitment to preparing high-achieving Black and Latino students from underserved New York City communities for success.
- Understands or can quickly grasp the landscape of urban education, including independent schools and colleges.
- Excels in team leadership, organizational management, clear communication, and short- and long-term strategic planning.
- Exhibits comfort managing the growth trajectory of a similarly-sized organization or operation.
- Is an effective fundraiser.
- Can speak credibly and convincingly about education, inequity, disparity, and opportunity, and tell Oliver’s story to audiences of all sizes and composition including media outlets.
- Is skilled in working with a Board to ensure governance best practices and to develop and recruit Board members.
- Enjoys and places high value on managing people, leading teams, listening, and affording people opportunities to grow.
- Supports the continued development of the work culture at Oliver.
How to Apply
This search is being conducted by Schall & Russo Planning Works, LLC. Interested candidates should email (noting “Oliver Scholars CEO” in the subject line) a thoughtful cover letter and resume, in confidence, to: Steven Schall, Schall & Russo Planning Works, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Oliver Scholars strongly believes in attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining the most diverse, qualified candidates. Oliver Scholars is an Equal Opportunity Employer and seeks a diverse pool of candidates for this position.