Chief of Strategy of Impact

Washington D.C.
Polaris offers a competitive and robust total compensation package.
Dec 18, 2020
Jan 17, 2021
Job Function
Advocacy / Lobbying
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Position: Chief of Strategy and Impact

Department: Executive Team 

FLSA Status: Full-Time, Exempt 

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer 

Direct Reports: Director of National Human Trafficking Hotline, Director of Strategic Initiative on Sex Trafficking, Director of Strategic Initiative on Labor Trafficking, Director of Strategic Initiative on Financial Systems, Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy, Director of Learning, Innovation and Data Systems

Location: Washington, DC (remote until Polaris returns to in-person operations)

Date Issued: December 18, 2020


The Mission  

Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem - 25 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work. 

For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable, and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, we use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible. 


The Opportunity 

The Chief Strategy and Impact Officer will be an integral member of the executive leadership of Polaris, working in partnership with the CEO to ensure Polaris is impactful and effective in pursuing our vision for a world without sex and labor trafficking.  

Specifically, they will be the executive leader of the program division, ensuring high quality, impactful programs are implemented and appropriately resourced and managed; providing strategic prioritization of major initiatives and projects to ensure Polaris meets its programmatic goals while also staying closely aligned with our operational needs. 

With a strong background in program strategy and design, a bias toward action, and a track record as a stellar manager and mentor of diverse, high-performing teams, the CSI will oversee multiple teams reporting to six directors, working across seven programmatic areas: 

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline
  • Strategic Initiative on Sex Trafficking
  • Strategic Initiative on Labor Trafficking
  • Strategic Initiative on Financial Systems 
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Learning Innovation and Data Systems
  • Survivor Empowerment


Leadership and Management

  • Partner closely with the CEO to execute and deliver key organizational initiatives that range from programmatic to operational;
  • Participate as an active member of the seven-person Executive team to lead the organization  (CEO, Chief People Officer, Chief Communications Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer); 
  • Coach and collaborate with department leaders as they implement their strategic plans and drive day-to-day program operations. Mentor and manage a team of six high-performing program directors; ensure roles, responsibilities and professional development opportunities align to Polaris’ strategy as well as individual team member career growth and fulfillment;
  • Promote a highly engaged organizational culture of excellence and continuous improvement that values learning and innovation, agility and entrepreneurship, an unwavering commitment to quality, organizational cohesion, inclusion, and equity, and professional growth.



  • Serve as a key sounding board to the CEO and Executive Team, with a keen eye towards weighing risks and rewards; providing strategic thought leadership to ensure Polaris is optimizing trends  and opportunities in a rapidly growing field;  
  • Lead the design and rollout of new program initiatives;
  • Drive organization-wide annual planning and partner with the CFO to lead annual budgeting, building on existing internal systems and grant-funded work plans for tracking and reporting on the progress and impact of strategic plans and organizational initiatives; 
  • Drive coordination and clarity across program initiatives to ensure cohesion, progress towards ambitious goals, and high quality programming; Identify, address, and resolve barriers to ensure effective implementation within and across teams. 


Board Engagement, Public Engagement, Fundraising

  • Present critical organizational matters at Board of Directors meetings and Board committee meetings; 
  • Represent the organization externally to donors, partners, communities and the media;
  • In partnership with the CEO, Development team and Program team, ensure programs are appropriately resourced to deliver impact. 


Required Qualifications 

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned, strategic, and process-minded leader with experience creating nimble internal processes that drive impact.  They must bring a blend of business acumen, sensitivity, compassion and composure, and an unflagging commitment to excellence, with an eye towards execution and efficiency.  

  • Minimum 15 years of professional experience, with a senior-level track record scaling the impact of a nonprofit with complex programs. Must bring an understanding of systems-oriented program design and implementation, strategic planning and evaluation; minimum 2 years of executive leadership experience; 
  • Proven track record of success facilitating organizational change and development; brings wisdom and sound judgment in both roles of thought-partner and decision maker;  
  • Proven track record designing and delivering complex social justice programs for affected communities that engage multiple stakeholders; commitment to survivor-centered approaches;
  • Sophisticated level of business and operational acumen; adapts and balances program delivery with budgetary realities in an evolving field; 
  • Excellent problem solving skills, resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding  investment in people and systems;
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills; effectively interfaces at all  levels and adapts to different audiences; translates complex ideas into actionable language;
  • BS/BA degree required; an MBA, MPA, or similar graduate degree preferred. 


Leadership Style  

  • Calm, focus, and maturity, with the ability to organize complex work by a variety of contributors and to remain gracious under pressure; 
  • Self-aware, self-reflective, well-grounded, energetic, flexible, collaborative, positive, resilient, good sense of humor and proactive; must bring a passion for Polaris’ mission.  
  • Demonstrated ability to build a well-supported, carefully nurtured, and high-performing team with diverse backgrounds and skill sets;
  • Develops and empowers exceptional leaders, enforces accountability, resolves conflict, adapts and adjusts leadership priorities as necessary, and differentially positions team members to succeed
  • Flexibility and creativity in a fast-paced, evolving environment;
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and a track record of building JEDI culture on to teams;
  • Ability to effectively build strong relationships, both internally and externally, through strong interpersonal skills; and
  • Comfort with interacting and engaging a wide diversity of stakeholders.



Working Conditions 

  • Typical office setting (currently remote/work from home operations due to COVID-19)
  • Occasional international and domestic travel 


Organization Background  

VALUES: Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs and strives to model and embody these values in all that it does.  

  • We work with humility and a spirit of service. We serve a mission that is bigger than ourselves, and we recognize that we cannot do this work alone. We foster a caring community of mutual support, and we actively pursue collaborations and partnerships to expand our reach.
  • Victims’ and survivors’ experiences ground our efforts. We honor the dignity, agency, and resilience of victims and survivors of slavery, both past and present. We serve, work alongside, and stand in solidarity with those who have been most affected by modern slavery.
  • We strive for inclusion and equity. We engage different perspectives to inform our decisions, actions, and positions. We create opportunities that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and circumstances. We acknowledge the structural inequities that lead to human trafficking and modern slavery, which drives us to create just and equitable solutions.
  • We approach our work with courage. We promote a culture of inquiry, innovation, risk-taking, and continuous learning. We are resilient and evolve when faced with obstacles or failure. We recognize that what is typical or traditional is not always optimal.
  • We create positive impact and achieve results. We leverage and cultivate the strengths of our staff, and we work with discipline, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. We embrace a measurement culture to track our progress. We view impact holistically, considering multiple sectors and the effects on individuals’ lives, as we pursue systemic and social change to eradicate modern slavery.



Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and to restore freedom to survivors. Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of its work and its organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world. This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both its team and across every part of its work, Polaris strives to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices. This is a living commitment. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work Polaris does, the decisions it makes, and the way staff treat each other and the people they seek to serve. This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. Polaris will not check boxes and consider it done. The organization will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each individual contribution. 

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