Chief of Staff
Salary range: $175,000 – $200,000
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for people with low incomes and people of color. We advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels that reduce poverty, improve the lives of people with low incomes and advance racial and economic justice. CLASP understands that poverty in America is inextricably tied to systemic racism. Our solutions directly address the barriers that individuals and families face because of race, gender, ethnicity, low income, and immigration status.
Over more than 50 years, we have kept our vision alive through our trusted expertise on policy and strategy, deeply knowledgeable and committed staff, partnerships with directly impacted people and grassroots leaders, and approaches to economic, gender, and racial justice that are bold, innovative, and inclusive. Racial equity is a core value at CLASP. We are committed to centering racial equity in all aspects of our organizational culture and the way we think about and approach our policy, issue, and advocacy areas.
In recent years, CLASP has grown significantly, creating the need for an expanded Senior Leadership Team (SLT), especially to communicate internally more effectively, affect culture, build cohesion, and lead and execute cross-cutting and organization-wide initiatives. CLASP is seeking to hire its first Chief of Staff to partner with the President/Executive Director and Senior Leadership Team to support the broader Leadership Team, ensure equitable and transparent organizational decision-making, conceptualize and execute cross-team collaborative work—such as collaborations between Communications and Policy teams, Communications and Development teams, and Racial Equity and Operations (Finance, Administration, and Human Resources) teams. In addition, this role is designed to broadly support the President/Executive Director in his responsibilities engaging with the Board of Trustees, CLASP staff, and external stakeholders, including federal/state policymakers, funders, coalition partners, and allies.
About the Position
CLASP’s SLT is comprised of five positions that share senior leadership responsibility with the unified position of President/Executive Director. The Chief of Staff will be one of these positions, reporting directly to the President /Executive Director and serving as a key thought partner to that person, taking on a number of responsibilities currently held by the President/Executive Director or by other SLT or Leadership Team (LT) members on an ad hoc basis.
The Chief of Staff will help lead collaborative efforts that cut across the teams reporting to distinct Senior Leadership Team members, while managing and facilitating both the Senior Leadership and Leadership teams and organizational decision-making, as well as overseeing Board engagement. Depending on the candidate, the Chief of Staff may help oversee the Development team. The Chief of Staff will partner/coordinate with Communications on all President/Executive Director external engagement/speaking opportunities, as well as on official internal communications, e.g., all-staff notes.
As background, the following positions comprise the current SLT, along with the President/Executive Director:
- The Deputy Executive Director of Policy leads and coordinates policy work across teams, supervises the Legislative Affairs Director, and offers strategic direction and guidance to the organization’s policy agenda and staff.
- The Chief Operating Officer (COO) oversees internal operations, including supervising the Finance, Administration, and Human Resources teams. The Chief of Staff likely will help lead some organization-wide initiatives in partnership with the COO.
- The Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Strategic Communications leads the Communications team, which provides broad editorial, media, engagement, and digital strategies to support executive leadership and policy team priorities, including by strengthening CLASP’s profile, visibility, and voice with external audiences on core policy issues.
- The Deputy Executive Director of Racial Equity leads and guides on issues of racial equity externally and internally, serving as senior advisor to the SLT and broader LT, Board, and Racial Equity Steering Committee to improve organizational best practices and have a greater impact on public policy.
The LT consists of the members of the SLT, plus the five Directors of the policy teams and the Directors of Human Resources, Development, Communications, Legislative Affairs, and Finance and Administration.
The Chief of Staff Position, which will report directly to the President/Executive Director, will have at least two reports:
- Senior Manager for Special Projects and Board Governance, who also supports the President/Executive Director, as well as the COO on some projects; and
- Executive Assistant to the President/Executive Director.
Stewarding CLASP’s vision and mission
- Develop and implement systems and processes for incorporating strategic goals and a focus on impact into CLASP’s ways of working and its culture to ensure the organization’s success with continued growth and evolution, policy advocacy, and advancement toward the mission.
- Ensure and facilitate the development of annual team workplans and goals to ensure that the organization’s vision and mission are centered.
- Respond, in real-time, to changes in the outside context and translate this into internal strategy, coordination, and collaboration between teams.
- Collaborate with Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Communications—and as appropriate with the COO and other SLT members—on external and internal communications strategy and implementation of that strategy.
- Represent President/Executive Director internally and externally, including with funders, as needed.
- Refine and track progress against the strategic goals and vision for the organization in close coordination with the SLT.
- Explore and potentially execute a strategic planning process and help implement a new strategy.
Shepherding Internal Collaboration
- Oversee internal, cross-initiative collaboration between operational and non-operational teams, with the aim of supporting CLASP and its external impact.
- In collaboration with members, develop and update charters of responsibility for SLT and LT, facilitate annual work planning decision-making processes, and facilitate meetings to keep cross-cutting projects on time and achieve intended goals.
- Develop and support organizational decision-making processes that are equitable, transparent, and timely.
- Support building trusting relationships between and within the SLT and LT to foster better internal collaboration.
- Participate actively in SLT and LT and provide timely and thoughtful input.
- Explore customer relationship management or other tracking platforms to efficiently meet the needs of multiple teams, especially Development, Communications, and all five policy teams.
- Model and support a culture of learning, growth, and equity within the organization.
Serve as a transparent and flexible leader who can engage and inspire people at all levels of the organization.
Engaging with the Board
- Oversee, and backstop as needed, engagement with the Board, including by fostering effective relationships within the Board and between the Board and key leadership, staff teams, and external audiences.
- Develop, with the Senior Manager for Special Projects and Board Governance, processes for onboarding new Board members and, in partnership with the Deputy Executive Director of Racial
- Equity, for providing all Board members with a baseline understanding of racial equity.
- Ensure, in collaboration with the Senior Manager for Special Projects and Board Governance, that the Board is provided all key information in a timely manner, including materials in advance of
- Board meetings.
With the Executive Director and Senior Manager for Special Projects and Board Governance, raise opportunities to better engage Board members and leverage their expertise.
- Manage the Senior Manager for Special Projects and Board Governance.
The successful candidate will be a proven senior organization leader who is an effective champion of racial, gender, and economic equity.
This individual will value strategic alignment and bring notable intellectual curiosity, a steady presence, and outcome-oriented leadership to advance the organization’s goals.
The incoming Chief of Staff will be committed to responsiveness, accountability, and continuous improvement and have a high level of emotional intelligence, empathy, and humility.
Additional Requirements/Qualifications include:
- Bachelors degree and 8 – 10 years of leadership experience at a non-profit organization in a similar capacity.
- Thoughtful changemaker with a track record of conceptualizing and implementing strategic planning in the face of rapid change.
- Knowledge or experience related to one or more areas of CLASP’s policy work.
Evident commitment to racial and gender equity.
- Senior executive leadership of a complex organization.
- Proven experience attracting, retaining, and inspiring talented and diverse staff and building high-performance teams.
- Familiarity reporting to or serving on a non-profit board.
- Candidates must be based in the Washington, D.C. area or be willing to relocate.
Full COVID-19 vaccinations are required for new hires effective February 2022 or weekly negative COVID test (for non-vaccinated employees) with documentation shared with Human Resources.
The salary for this position will be $175,000 – $200,000 depending on relevant experience and qualifications.
CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including several health insurance options (most that currently require no employee-paid premiums). In addition, we provide the following benefits that currently require no employee-paid premiums: dental and vision insurance, life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and long-term care insurance. Additionally, we offer a 403(b) retirement program with employer contributions, flexible spending accounts, and a no-cost gym onsite at our D.C. office. Finally, we provide generous vacation (4 weeks in the first year), paid sick leave (3 weeks annually), two personal days a year, paid family and medical leave, and holiday schedules.
Please upload your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest in CLASP’s mission and why you are the best candidate for this position. Incomplete applications will not be considered. You must send all materials requested and follow the instructions outlined above to be considered. NO PHONE CALLS, please.
CLASP is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.