- Position Description Turnaround Chief Operating Officer Organization Turnaround for Children ( Turnaround ) is a growing not-for-profit organization based inMessage 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2009View Source
Chief Operating Officer
Turnaround for Children ("Turnaround") is a growing not-for-profit organization based in New York City
that partners with school districts and a wide array of funders to help high-poverty, low-performing public
schools transform into centers of teaching, learning and academic achievement.
Turnaround first began working with the New York City Department of Education in 2001 as part of the
Partnership for Recovery in the New York City Schools, which was formed to address the emotional and mental health needs of children in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Through this work, Turnaround discovered that a meaningful percentage of students in low performing schools were in need of treatment for unaddressed mental health, emotional or behavioral problems that pre-dated 9/11 and that were impeding their own learning and causing them to disrupt the learning of others. At the same
time, school staff lacked the procedures, resources and, often, training necessary to support the diverse
learners in their classrooms and create an environment in which all students could succeed academically
and grow personally. In response, Turnaround began to develop its Intervention.
Since then, the Turnaround Intervention has evolved into a comprehensive, multidisciplinary model for
change in high-poverty schools. Over the past seven years, Turnaround has worked with over 50 of the
highest-need, lowest-performing schools in New York City and has identified or developed principles,
skills, tools and systems that directly counteract the effects of poverty on schools and their students.
Turnaround acts as a partner to schools, providing a structured, hands-on consultation process carried
out by a team of experts from the worlds of education, mental health and social work, highly trained in
best practices for success in high poverty schools. The core of the work is a simultaneous focus on
building systems of support for students in schools, integrating these with social service and mental
health systems outside the school and restoring a commitment and capacity for high academic
This is a time of incredible opportunity for Turnaround. The need for Turnaround's work in New York City
continues to be enormous, and we would like to grow to accommodate this. Further, Turnaround has
received a number of inquiries from outside of New York City calling for us to expand. Finally, funding for
serious efforts to address the situation of underperforming public schools is now on the national agenda.
As a result, Turnaround is seeking a Chief Operating Officer to play a central role in helping the
organization realize the incredible opportunities for impact that it now faces.
Please refer to our website, www.turnaroundusa.org for more information about us.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a new position at Turnaround, and will lead all aspects of the
organization's programs. He or she will report to Dr. Pamela Cantor, President & CEO, who manages
relations with the Board of Directors, develops major funding and strategic relationships, directly oversees
fundraising and development and provides overall leadership for the organization. The COO will work in
partnership with Lawson Shadburn, the CFO, who provides strategic guidance on organizational financial
strategy and oversees budgeting, financial management, technology, human resources, facilities
management, contracts and compliance activities.
Ensure that the Turnaround model delivers increasingly effective results across all programs, in particular,
· The Turnaround model is implemented with fidelity across all programs;
· Programs are effectively measured and evaluated in a process that supports program
improvement and meets the needs of funders and other stakeholders for information and
· Learning from program activity is rapidly and effectively captured, incorporated into the model and
used in the program.
· Learning from around the country relevant to creating high performing, high poverty schools is
identified and appropriately incorporated into Turnaround's work.
Provide overall leadership for the staff of the organization on a daily basis, including:
· Leading and mentoring the senior program staff of the organization, comprising the following staff
o Field Operations, led by the Senior VP for Program Implementation;
o Metrics and Research, led by the VP for Program Metrics and Research;
o Mental Health, led by the VP for Mental Health; and
o Any additional program departments created.
· Creating effective benchmarking and performance management systems and ensuring their
effective administration in partnership with the CFO.
· Developing and managing systems, in partnership with the CFO, to ensure the recruitment,
training, development and maintenance of a highly qualified staff who act in alignment with the
organization's goals and values.
· Nurturing the development and maintenance of a culture aligned with Turnaround's values and
goals, in particular valuing the positive development of children and all people, and working
creatively and flexibly in an accountable manner.
Organizational Change Management:
The COO will continuously drive and manage change in the organization, through:
· Overseeing new program development. The CEO will generally lead the process of opening new
relationships with major funders and other partners, while the COO will oversee the actual
development of new Turnaround programs. This will include:
o Outreach to assemble new cohorts of Turnaround schools in New York City;
o Assessment, planning and implementation of new programs outside New York City; and
o Building and maintaining the relationships with key funders and partners that are central
to each program.
· Guiding the creation and implementation of a Knowledge Management and Professional
Development department (or two separate departments), and lead and mentor the department
head(s) to ensure:
o That learning from Turnaround's experience is captured and translated into effective
o That Turnaround identifies, obtains and deploys high quality training materials relating to
best educational and youth development practices necessary to ensure success for
teachers and students in high poverty schools;
o That Turnaround trainings are well organized, well delivered, well attended and judged as
effective by clients and Turnaround field staff.
· Implementing the strategic growth plan. The COO will be the leader in implementing a strategic
growth plan being developed during the fall of 2009 (and will participate in that plan dependent
upon the timing of hiring). This plan is expected to lead to modifications in the organizational
structure that may change details of this job description but not the essential nature of the
· Guiding the overall structuring and restructuring of the organization over time, in collaboration
with the CFO, to ensure program effectiveness and financial viability.
The COO will support the overall success of the organization through these additional activities:
· Supporting the timely development and approval of the annual budget by leading an annual
program planning process and through partnering with the CFO in producing the budget.
· Supporting fundraising and other development activities through:
o Overseeing both program and metrics staff to ensure that information on programs and
data on outputs and outcomes is available, accurate and up to date and provided to the
development department; and
o By facilitating school visits by funders and other stakeholders.
· Ensuring that the organization develops and carries out an effective communication strategy to
provide necessary information to its Board and staff, as well as to external constituents.
· Carrying out such other activities as may be necessary to ensure the success of the organization.
· 10-15 years of relevant experience, including 5+ years in a senior operations leadership role in a
dynamic, complex organization undergoing rapid growth or change.
· Experience in a professional services environment, especially understanding how decisions are
made and how to re-enforce behaviors that lead to transformational cultural change.
· Hands-on, highly professional leader with gravitas; Successful track record implementing visible
solutions to establish his/her credibility and assume key responsibilities through the respect
· Excellence in performance management with the proven ability to set and manage toward clear
individual and organizational goals, enacting mid-course corrections quickly and efficiently when
· Has managed multiple high-priority projects often requiring cross-functional cooperation,
demanding strong matrix management/influencing skills.
· Success creating a culture of distributed leadership, designing the systems that support positive
cultural changes and developing a pipeline of leaders that embrace mentoring as a crucial
element of managing.
· Collaborative, but not to a fault. Knows when decisive actions required, when results must be
· Has operated successfully in a shared decision making model, where decisions are fact-based
and rooted in what is best for the organization.
· Communications, listening and presentation skills must be superb, understanding the audience
and operating with a sense of respect and collegiality in all matters.
· Strong organizational builder and change agent that can translate strategy into tactical realities.
· Superior management skills: ability to inspire, motivate, influence and engage.
· Highly intelligent, with strong analytic skills plus ability to quickly come up to speed with practices,
technology and innovations.
· A self-directed, creative leader with ego in check, ultimately focused on supporting the firm's
mission, not personal gain.
· Has thought through what it means to be a COO, grasping the scope of responsibilities and
prepared to attack the role with the energy and enthusiasm required.
· Tireless work ethic, leads by example in all matters.
· Willingness to debate enthusiastically, but accepts and embraces chosen path.
· Common sense, street smarts and resourceful.
· Knows when to push, when to pull back and remains grounded in the face of demands.
· A passion for Turnaround's mission; familiarity with ongoing initiatives in education reform a big
· Ethics and integrity must be impeccable
All applicants should email a cover letter and resume directly to TurnaroundCOO@...
Our client respectfully requests that all candidates use this email and not contact them directly.