Deputy Director of Operations and Growth

Oakland, California
$125,000 - $140,000 plus generous benefits.
Sep 03, 2019
Oct 03, 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level



THE POSITION: Movement Strategy Center (MSC) seeks an exceptional individual to join our team as Deputy Director of Operations and Growth. This newly created position will oversee and lead the financial, risk management, HR, and IT operations of the organization while strengthening the systems and practices needed to support recent and longer-term growth. The successful candidate will be a mission- and values-aligned leader who brings deep expertise in guiding and developing cross-functional teams, business planning, forecasting, and operationalizing systems for progressive foundations or nonprofit organizations.  Most importantly, they will be a kind, strategic, and creative thought partner who can hold a sharp view of MSC’s priorities and progress while identifying strategic opportunities, crafting elegant solutions, and inspiring and supporting individual staff and teams to execute with joy, a learning-orientation, and rigor.

ABOUT US: Movement Strategy Center (MSC) was founded in Oakland in 2001, as a movement building intermediary and technical assistance provider, as well as a research and resource hub for advancing intergenerational social justice organizing efforts. In 2009, building on our early learning and success, we expanded and intensified our work on a national stage to “build the progressive social justice movement by increasing the capacity of individuals, organizations, alliances, and sectors to be more strategic, collaborative, and sustainable.”

Today, our mission – our North Star is to cultivate the power necessary to accelerate a just transition from a world of domination, extraction, and violence, where the few live at the expense of the many to a world of interdependence, liberation and resilience, where the many govern for the benefit of all.   Working collaboratively with over 300 grassroots partners nationally and a wide circle of cross-sector movement builders, Fellows, and associates – we center frontline individuals, systems-change leaders, organizations, networks and alliances that invest in, support, and prioritize low income, people of color, immigrant, LGBTQ, indigenous, and formerly incarcerated communities, as well as youth and young adults emerging from all of these communities. 

MSC understands that transformative movements change the way we think, our structures and systems, the way we live, and even who we are. We recognize that we are whole people, and whole communities, and because the issues and problems we face are interconnected, our systemic solutions and movements must be interconnected as well.  The way we achieve our goals and with whom are just as important as our outcomes. We harness our individual and collective strengths from the inside out -  engaging together in transformative practices that generate powerful movements while bonding us in purpose and deep relationship.

Our values and approach reflect that understanding and are grounded in four elements that are the core of transformative movement building: leading with audacious vision and bold purpose; deeply embodying the values at the heart of the vision; building radical and deep connection; and using all of that – vision, embodiment, and connection – to strategically navigate towards the just transition we and our partners seek to achieve.

For a comprehensive description of our work, initiatives, programs, and resources visit our website.

THIS MOMENT: MSC is in an exciting and pivotal moment in our growth and evolution. We’ve launched bold new initiatives and programs, most notably a) our Transitions Initiative: a community of over 150 multigenerational grassroots organizations and alliances that we bring together in one place to unite and work on common issues, and b) our Innovation Center which supports bold experimentation, strategic growth, and scalable models of impact through seeding, incubating, accelerating, and being the fiscal home to ground-breaking projects,  social enterprises, and emerging practices.  This means we now manage a total budget of $20+ million, of which our Innovation Center incubated organizations represent $16 million; and a total staff of 150, of whom 31 are staff of our core programs and initiatives, and 119 are staff members of our incubated organizations.

This period of rapid growth has not only allowed us to expand our capacity in service of our movement partners, but has also ignited our own institutional strengthening work to ensure that our operational systems, teams, and leadership are strongly in place and well supported as we: 1) catch up with recent growth; 2) take our Innovation Center to the next level in our role as an Accelerator of Transition; and 3) prepare for longer term expansion and impact.

The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will join a dynamic and committed team, serving as a partner to our Executive Director and as a key member of MSC’s executive team along with our Deputy Director of Organizational Development, Director of Strategic Innovation, and our Director of Advancement. They will report to the Executive Director and partner with and oversee a talented and dedicated staff of 31, and an Operational Leadership team including 3 direct reports (MSC’s Finance Director, HR & Compliance Director, and our Innovation Center Program Manager). 

KEY AREAS OF FOCUS: As MSC looks to accelerate and leverage our scale and impact, we are committed to ensuring that robust and efficient infrastructure, systems, and practices are integrated throughout the organization. The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will be central to this work.

We look forward to bringing on a skilled practitioner who sees possibility, brings a creative and curious mindset and collaborative spirit to our opportunities and challenges while also knowing how to propose and make wise choices. Specifically, they will:

Anchor cohesion and synergy across MSC’s strategic initiatives. The new Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will help develop and synthesize annual priorities, integrating and aligning programmatic objectives with the operational needs of the agency. They will lead in developing a capacity building strategy to meet our evolving organizational systems needs within the context of an organization that has recently almost tripled in size with fiscally sponsored projects ranging from $30K to $3M. They will strengthen cross-team communications, feedback loops, and collaboration while holding the directional north star and working with teams to co-create annual roadmaps towards it.

Support our teams to grow, thrive, and innovate. The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will work collaboratively with our Deputy Director of Organizational Development to model strong and facilitative leadership. Together they will spark forward moving energy and foster learning opportunities that support the capacity of team leaders to deploy effective, values aligned, and impactful management practices. The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will be excited by the opportunity to inspire and support staff to utilize and apply the tools, resources, and infrastructure that makes this work possible.

Further develop and lead our infrastructure strategy to transition MSC into the organization that our scale is calling for. The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will anchor strong practices across finance, personnel, and operations teams. They will support the Innovation Center Operational Leadership Team in setting priorities & developing work plans to build and strengthen tools and practices with strong intra-agency collaboration. They will support the Operations Team to innovate and model ways of providing core infrastructure that lift up the essential value of administrative work and will support the Facilities Team to develop a strategy for community engagement through shared office space and short-term meeting space rentals.

Engage in high-level strategy, organizational change and transformation, organizational and systems design, financial planning, and goal setting. The Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will advise and partner with the Executive Director and executive team on operational infrastructure needs and priorities with an eye to ensuring systems and resources are robust, rigorous, and flexible to achieve annual and longer-term goals, and emerging opportunities. They will identify & manage risks and opportunities that could have organization-wide impact and will lead budget forecasting and long-term financial and sustainability planning in collaboration with senior leadership. They will work closely with the CFO to develop the annual budget and will support team leaders to manage their budgets skillfully. They will also help to create and sustain an inclusive work environment where all are valued, and our work and relationships continue to deepen and thrive.

Manage Institutional Partnerships. In consultation with the executive and leadership team, the Deputy Director of Operations and Growth will coordinate activities between MSC and the MSC Action Fund and key operational partners. They will work with MSC’s Directors and Innovation Center staff to assess, inform, and ensure its administrative excellence.

QUALIFICATIONS AND QUALITIES OF OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE: We seek candidates with as many of the following qualifications and qualities as possible:

  • 5+ years executive/senior level experience as a COO, VP of Operations, CFO, or equivalent title in a foundation or nonprofit organization of a similar size and complexity; plus at least 5 years in other progressively responsible finance, administrative, human resources, or operations positions.
  • Senior level finance or operations experience in an organization or foundation that acts as a fiscal sponsor, incubator, or intermediary. Knowledge and preferably deep experience with a variety of organizational forms, including 501c3, 501c4, LLCs, start-ups, and incubators.
  • MBA, CPA, or CFA a plus, but not required.
  • High degree of experience in evaluating and overseeing the effective use of systems and software tools for project management, financial planning, talent and HR management, and technology.
  • Experience and appetite for guiding rapid and significant organizational growth, change and transformation, and investment in people and systems aligned with mission and values.
  • Proven ability to lead budget forecasting and long-term financial and sustainability planning in collaboration with senior leadership.
  • Proven ability to lead the development of collaborative, cross-functional teams and ability to support and inspire the leadership capacity of team members to innovate and achieve high impact.
  • Strong relationship builder, strengths-based leader and communicator who values equity and justice, collaboration, partnership, accountability, and learning.
  • Appreciation for and/or practice related to creative arts, dance, yoga, meditation or other mind-body work and/or willingness to participate in their application to deepen and enhance our work and relationships.
  • Self-aware, culturally competent, emotionally intelligent, optimistic, creative, and resourceful.
  • Grounded, strategic and flexible thinker and disposition with a high degree of integrity and transparency.
  • Able to travel occasionally for meetings and conferences. 

COMPENSATION: This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position based in Oakland, CA. Salary will be in the range of $125K to $140K. Benefits include employee and dependent coverage for health, vision, and dental insurance (requires 30-day waiting period and a per paycheck employee contribution); 100% employer sponsored basic life, short-term and long-term disability coverage; access to a 403b retirement plan; and access to FSA and Commuter Benefits. Paid time off: sick (12 days), vacation (20 days), personal (2 days), and holidays (12). One-week paid MSC family and medical leave after one year of service; additional week of paid leave for each additional year of service - up to 4 weeks.

HOW TO APPLY. Our search is being supported by Cory Pohley and Paula Morris of Bandwidth Consulting who will confirm receipt of applications and keep candidates updated on the process. To apply submit your resume, together with a substantive and thoughtful cover letter describing your interest in MSC and making the case for the relevance of your experience to the position. Please also tell us how you learned of the opportunity.  The resume and cover letter must be submitted no later than September 27th, 2019 in PDF format to: with the subject line: DDOG Position Application. Applications without tailored cover letters will not be considered. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: MSC supports diversity in staffing and values. MSC complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.

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