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Chief Program Officer

Drive Change NYC
Brooklyn, New York
$95,000 -115,000 + Benefits
Closing date
Apr 27, 2024

Chief Program Officer Role Candidate Profile

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) will play a critical role in executing strategic organizational vision and goals through programmatic and operational leadership and innovation, helping to position Drive Change for future growth.  This individual will bring a minimum eight (8) years of nonprofit experience, with hands-on, progressive programmatic development and oversight responsibility. In addition, they will bring five (5) years of progressive leadership and management experience, with a proven track record of cultivating high-performing teams dedicated to mission impact.

The CPO will be a creative and organized educator, and advocate for social justice. This individual will possess intellectual curiosity and be willing to push their own growth both personally and as a leader. The ideal candidate is a driver and can manage complex issues and ambiguity.

The CPO will draw upon leadership experience in innovating and scaling capacity to grow the organization's existing program and service areas while simultaneously identifying new areas of impact. This leader will be adept at developing shared and measurable goals and creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging programs and strategies that lead to positive impact.

The Chief Program Officer will have a passion for Drive Change’s mission. Driven by the mission and motivated by issues of economic and social injustice, in Black and brown communities and how the lack of diversity spills over into the hospitality industry.

Motivated by a commitment to our mission and fueled by concerns regarding economic and social inequities in Black and brown communities, the CPO is propelled to address the repercussions of insufficient diversity within the hospitality industry.


Strategic Leadership

  • Participate in the implementation of the organization's strategic plan with a focus on all program related activities and service deliverables. Engage external business and industry experts to support and grow Drive Change’s programming strategies [Fellows Culinary Program, Hospitality for Justice [HSJ] and Culinary Access Relief Events [CARE], constantly remaining forward-thinking about opportunities/innovations. Collaborate with leadership in developing and executing a vision and strategy for current and future program evaluation and lead efforts to ensure impact, sustainability, and cost effectiveness. Lead the development and expansion of Drive Change’s Employer Partner and HSJ network, including partner terms, communication, corresponding gatherings, and benefits. Ensure new and existing programs are conducted within an environment of financial viability and regulatory compliance. Represent Drive Change and its programs to external audiences (provider coalitions, workgroups, community organizations and other forums) in service of the organization's mission.

Administrative Leadership

  • Direct and lead Drive Change's programs, including the Fellowship, HSJ, and CARE initiatives, to ensure peak performance and programmatic success. Coach, manage, evaluate and develop direct reports and department leadership to ensure a high performing team dedicated to service and meeting deliverables in a timely and professional manner, in accordance with the organization’s strategic goals. Facilitate collaboration between internal teams to inform and drive a more systemic approach to aligning funding, resources, and capacity to serve the young adults, employer partners.

Program Leadership and Innovation

  • Lead the development, implementation and evaluation of program strategies aligned with Drive Change’s mission, strategic goals, and values. Ensure programs are inclusive, accessible, culturally responsive, and engaging for fellows. Strategically direct the program evaluation and reporting process to assess effectiveness, impact and opportunity for program improvements that are aligned with programmatic goals. Stay informed about industry trends and identify opportunities for innovation and program refinement. Support the team in preparing and presenting regular reports on program outcomes and impact to internal and external stakeholders including Drive Change’s leadership and Board of Directors. Direct the recruiting, application and interview processes for fellowship cohorts. Training the program team to leverage tools to limit bias.

Team Leadership and Management

  • Inspire, lead, and mentor a team of five (5) programming professionals to deliver exceptional results, fostering positive collaboration, open communication, and an inclusive work environment. Provide performance evaluations, check-ins and professional development opportunities for team members that motivates and empowers them to reach for their full potential. Identify organizational talent needs at the program level and develop long-term acquisition strategies. Recruit, onboard, and train program staff in accordance with Drive Change’s culture, policies, and standards, to ensure diversity and equity throughout the hiring and onboarding process. Respond effectively to crisis situations and exhibit sound judgment while minimizing risk to clients, staff, and the agency.


  • A minimum of eight (8) years of leadership experience in a nonprofit, government workforce development or philanthropy overseeing multiple programs ideally with an organization serving justice involved and/or economically marginalized youth or communities.
  • Bachelor’s degree in management, human services, or related field (preferred); advanced degree preferred.
  • 3 years of experience as a program director/manager in workforce development.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team in a multicultural, structure to include professional development and mentorship.
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration amongst team members.
  • Ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes driven environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusiveness, empowerment.
  • A belief in second chances.
  • Passionate about food justice, food security, and structural inequality.

Please submit the following to


  • Resume
  • Answers to the following questions (in lieu of a cover letter):
  • What aspects of this role are you most motivated by and why?
  • How does your personal and/or professional experience illustrate your commitment to working towards racial and economic justice? How do you anticipate that experience to aid your ability to accomplish the expectations of this role?
  • What does the Drive Change tagline, "Reimagine Justice, Reimagine Service" mean to you?
  • Describe a group, community, or team that you have been a part of. How did your skills or experience contribute to the overall success of the group? How do you believe your skills or experience would contribute toward the success of this organization?

Drive Change is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status. Drive Change values diverse experiences, including with regards to educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

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