Chief Program Officer [Newark, New Jersey]

Position Title:  Chief Program Officer (CPO)

Department: Program

Location: Newark, NJ

Reports To: CEO

Salary:   Highly Competitive Salary and Benefits Package Commensurate with Experience

Overtime Status:  Exempt

Number of Directly Supervised Staff: 2-5

Number of Program Team Members: Approximately 25



“If there is no struggle, there is no progress,” Frederick Douglass. Rooted in the belief that an effective and thriving program staff is a critical driver to manifesting ultimate progress in social justice within our communities, the CPO will be an internally-facing leader who excels in the diurnal management necessary for larger impact. With an ultimate goal of showing the world the brilliance of our children, the CPO will lead us to become one of the highest quality Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) programs in the nation through data-driven, passionate, customer-focused leadership.

The CPO will oversee all aspects of program including our Community-Based, School-Based and e-Mentoring models, through the Program Leadership Team (PLT) who manage 20+ partnership, enrollment and match support staff in delivering exceptional customer service to volunteers, youth, families, and community partners. In alignment with the BBBS Standards of Practice and Service Delivery Model, this position also ensures child safety, efficiencies in procedure and practice, and adherence to the Agency’s mission in the community-based and school-based program functions consisting of Recruitment, Customer Relations, Enrollment, and Match Support. They will work with schools, groups, agencies, and other nonprofits in the community in order to provide effective solutions for youth and families, contribute leadership ability within the community, and promote BBBSEHU and its services.

This position, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will also play a key strategic role in focusing on agency goals and structures required to meet and exceed objectives, helping to position the agency for immediate growth. This is a senior management role; a successful candidate will be a member of and collaborate closely with the Leadership Team and PLT, as well as potentially Board members, government and community partners, and donors, as appropriate and under the direction of the CEO. The CPO must be motivated to foster a positive organizational culture ensuring a professionally thriving workforce where employment tenures increase alongside improved staff effectiveness and grounded in our values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and trauma-informed practices.

Job Responsibilities

The following statements reflect the general duties, responsibilities and competencies considered necessary to perform the essential duties a responsibilities of the job and should not be considered as a detailed description of all the work requirements of the position. BBBS may change the specific job duties with or without prior notice based on the needs of the organization.



Leadership, Management, & Accountability

  • Serve on the Leadership Team, fostering strong, cohesive partnerships across agency      departments.
  • Lead, manage, and inspire a program, including PLT members, toward accountable, goal-based outcomes.
  • Serve as the staff liaison to the Program Committee of the Governing Board, as needed.
  • Oversee and lead hiring of all team members within Program team and ensuring Directors and Managers provide effective, high quality training, development, supervision and evaluation of those employees.
  • Oversee and manage all aspects of program staffing administration and human resources, including keep appropriate written human resources documentation, development plans and accountability structures.
  • Foster positive organizational culture and attainment of our mission and demonstration of our values (e.g., DEI). In partnership with others, identify needs, ensure compliance, and implement solutions for staffing, training, development, and succession.
  • Monitor programs to ensure performance targets (qualitative and quantitative), compliance and contractual obligations are met and ensure accountability to individual and team metrics and Agency Program goals.

Program Strategy & Planning

  • Achieve significant program growth through immediate data-driven accountability in order to meet agency goals.
  • Advance the mission and vision of the Agency, ensuring integration through Program strategy and implementation.
  • Develop long-range and annual plans and budgets, ensure organizational planning and alignment across teams, and create and execute program strategies and plans that are evidence-based and/or leverage best practices to meet outcomes and impact goals.
  • Oversee integration of Matchforce (Salesforce CRM) into agency practices and partner with other relevant staff to enhance reporting and insight (e.g., analyzing trends, creation of dashboards/data) to all levels of the organization, including the Board, to enable identification and recommendation of program, and operational improvements over time.

Program Oversight & Child Safety

  • Evaluate and strengthen policies and ensure dynamic processes in all phases of the Program Service Delivery Model – from recruitment to match closure. Pull-through across the organization to enhance outcomes, effectiveness, and efficiency, comply with state and federal laws, meet agency goals and comply with national Standards of Practice.
  • Ensure enrollment and match support processes are maintained including accurate records within departments and in accordance with Agency and National Standards of Practice, including a. Appropriate screening and matching of volunteers, youth and families with a focus on child safety, and including professional communication with all interested parties. b. Excellent customer service, supervision and coaching of matches to encourage strong relationships, positive outcomes, and ensure child safety.
  • Develop, align, and implement all programming consistent with our strategic plan.
  • Ensure high Quality Assurance standards are met by working with the QA team and PLT to stay abreast of results, trends and concerns within quality of service delivery.

Partnership & Grants Management

  • In collaboration with CEO and Director of Partnerships, develop and cultivate community relationships and partnership with providers and stakeholders, including schools, corporations, foundations, and other partners, to ensure strong relationships are maintained at all levels. Ensure match goals are met and programs are executed with a high degree of excellence within those partnerships.
  • Work closely with Chief of Staff and Development team to manage programmatic compliance with grants, and communicate regarding new proposals, grant deliverables and grant reporting requirements.
  • Ensure Program Team is on track to fulfill obligations to partners and funders and assist in communicating any challenges or successes.


Academic: Minimum – Bachelor’s degree is required; master’s degree strongly preferred

Professional: Minimum of 10 years of professional experience overall, with a minimum of eight years of senior-leadership experience supervising seasoned staff operating multiple human services programs across a broad geography. Management and supervisory experience in a non-profit environment, ideally in a youth-serving / human service environment preferred. High degree of experience with human resource and grants management.  Ability to work with many diverse constituencies. The successful candidate will display a record of leadership and accomplishment with a proven track record with customer service deliverables.

Skills: Exemplary interpersonal skills with a strong customer/client focus are essential, along with the ability to engage effectively with families, sophisticated volunteers, and donors. Attentive and active listening skills, organization, flexible thinking, ability to function well in a fast-paced environment. Proficiency in Microsoft Office and CRM/Case Management packages required (Salesforce preferred).

Personal Attributes: Must be flexible to accommodate job responsibilities (including ability to work evenings/weekends as required); willing and able to travel, when necessary, with daily and dependable access to a car, valid driver’s license, and meet State-required automobile insurance minimums.

Results/outcome orientation with a proven track record of exceeding goals, strong written and verbal communication skills, ability to think strategically and anticipate future consequences, action-oriented and promoter of operational agility to meet changing client/constituent needs/environmental changes.

Strong relationship builder and communicator with experience leading diverse work teams, developing an organization-wide strategy for program excellence, engaging community partners, and partnering with a CEO.

Sees our communities full of abundance and potential and holds a no-excuses attitude to ensuring bold qualitative and quantitative goals are developed and met.

Strong yet collegial management style reflecting the ability to manage and lead people and groups, develop leaders and teams, and build organization and staff capacity and promote individual and organizational success. Unwavering commitment to quality programs, data-driven program evaluation, and evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth are expected.

Our best employees 1) set the bar high 2) are intentional and thoughtful about their choices 3) collaborate as a means to community solutions 4) are positive, can-do, and solution-oriented 5) embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, and 6) are accountable and get it done.

Travel Requirements: 5-10% annually


(Describe any specific workplace conditions and/or physical abilities that are related to and/or required by this job)

Minimal physical requirements to include walking, standing, sitting at workstation, normal office environment. Ability to effectively transition to a work-from-home set-up, as needed.


Critical Job Specific Competencies / High Performance Indicators





Able to encourage a culture of constant reflection, peer sharing and improvement; minimize barriers to accomplishing the team’s work; hold others accountable for identifying and removing obstacles that negatively affect quality; monitor the group’s process for quality and efficiency issues that become targets for improvement; establish and document measures / benchmarks to track individual and/or team performance.
DECISIVENESS & JUDGEMENT Able to consider both the short- and long-term impact of decisions; plan for how the consequences of decisions affect the team; coach others to make effective decisions; hold others accountable for making sound decisions; make and act on decisions even if they are unpopular. Able to establish resources and/or processes to gather information/data for problem solving or analysis; create an environment that supports cross-functional analysis and problem solving; ensure that organization-level decisions are based on data and sound reasoning.
DEVELOPS CAPABILITY Able to proactively coach others to help improve their contribution; provide positive as well as constructive feedback on an ongoing basis; take responsibility for conducting regular coaching and development discussions with team members; delegate assignments which provide others learning opportunities; reinforce the value of active learning and highlight its organizational impact for others; seek ideas from others in improving the team’s capabilities; ensure that others are taught key skills.
FLEXIBILITY & ACHIEVING CHANGE Able to help others overcome their resistance to change; gain others’ willing participation for change initiatives; help others translate new change goals into practical implementation steps and adapt to change without disruption of productivity; coach others in accomplishing goals in an unstructured environment. Able to pursue and generate innovative ideas that further the group or team’s goals and foster an environment that encourages innovation.
GETS RESULTS Able to create an environment of accountability for meeting agreed upon expectations; hold others accountable for managing the performance of a group; eliminate barriers to group performance; lead/champion efforts that increase productivity and goal accomplishment throughout the group or team; drive the implementation of systems that reward employees for contributing to group or team goals.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT Able to ensure that all systems in the group or department are aligned toward achieving strategic goals; continually communicate and reinforce the highest priority initiatives to keep the group or department focused on the right things; hold others accountable for meeting the needs of the group or department rather than optimizing the performance of only their function; ensure that the group or department has broad strategies and plans that focus on community needs; set and articulate a compelling vision for the group or department.  Able to focus team on delivering services in a way that enhances / maximizes performance.
VALUING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Able to make diversity/inclusion an integral part of overall long-term plan; sponsor/mentor individuals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives; communicate and enforce a department-wide zero-tolerance policy toward inappropriate, illegal or discriminatory behaviors; make departmental or team changes that enhance workforce diversity. Able to communicate internally and externally that diversity/inclusion is an integral part of how our organization does business.


This position is open to internal and external candidates. Please submit your cover letter and resume here.


Equal Employment Opportunity

BBBS provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap or disability.


Americans with Disabilities Act

Applicants as well as employees who are or become disabled must be able to perform the essential duties & responsibilities either unaided or with reasonable accommodation.  The organization shall determine reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable law.