Chief Operating Officer

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About the Organization:

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), based in Washington, D.C., launched in 1969, is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization developing and advancing policy solutions that work for people with low incomes and people of color. CLASP advocates 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. Our solutions directly address the institutional barriers faced by individuals and families face because of race, ethnicity, gender, low income, and immigration status and identity.

Within its broad anti-poverty mission, CLASP’s policy work is currently organized around five teams: Child Care and Early Education; Education, Labor & Worker Justice; Income and Work Supports; Immigration and Immigrant Families; and Youth Policy. We also work across teams on racial equity, reform of the criminal legal system, and mental health. Our policy development and advocacy efforts are supported collaboratively by legislative, communications, finance, administration, and development teams.

About the Position:

This is an exciting and important time for the organization’s growth, therefore, come join a team of professionals dedicated to advancing economic and racial equity!

CLASP is seeking an experienced, visionary, strategic, flexible, and innovative individual to become the organization’s next Chief Operating Officer (COO). The successful candidate will be responsible for the development and implementation of effective operational, administrative, talent management, financial, cultural, and other organizational practices and procedures to continuously improve the functionality and sustainability of the organization.

The COO is a key member of the senior leadership team and reports directly to the President/Executive Director. This position will also work very closely with our new President/Executive Director (who began in June 2022) to ensure that CLASP operates efficiently and at an optimal level, helping effectively manage organizational change processes.

The COO will be focused on the internal work of the organization while the President/Executive Director focuses much of his attention on external affairs. The successful candidate also must be adept at garnering the trust and confidence of other members of the CLASP leadership team and staff.

 Key Objectives

  • In collaboration with President/Executive Director, the COO will be responsible for driving organizational vision, ensuring alignment internally, and leading and overseeing operational strategy through the creation of policies and procedures that center racial equity—all in partnership with other members of the Senior Leadership Team in particular.
  • Strategically set actionable steps for growth and implement goal setting for the organization.
  • Analyze internal operations and identify areas for process enhancement.
  • Facilitate and support cohesion among and across teams.
  • Review and update policies and procedures to ensure that CLASP is operating in accordance with federal, state, and local business requirements, enforcing compliance and taking action when necessary.

Additional Functional Areas of Responsibility

Finance and Administration

  • Lead financial operations and communicate the financial status of the organization to the Board and staff in a clear and concise manner. Communicates with the Board on an ongoing basis in coordination with the President/Executive Director.
  • Oversee daily operations of the organization and directly supervise the Finance and Administration and Human Resources departments.
  • The COO will work very closely with the Senior Human Resource Manager to ensure that CLASP’s recruitment, onboarding, professional development programs, performance management, and other human resource systems are working effectively to support and develop both new and existing staff.
  • Periodically review fringe benefits, holidays, and other aspects of total compensation to ensure sustainability, equity, and competitiveness.
    • Ensure effective recruiting, onboarding, professional development, performance management, and retention occurs through the creation and refinement of systematic policies and procedures.
    • The COO does not need to be a tech guru, but a successful candidate should understand how technology impacts an organization. In addition, the COO should be willing to be innovative to ensure that CLASP is making full use of technology to advance the organization and improve how staff performs their work.

Organizational Culture

  • CLASP currently has 55 full-time staff persons, more than 50% of whom have started since March 2020 when, of course, the organization started working remotely. The organization currently operates in a hybrid work model where each staff person is expected to work up to four (4) days a week from home and at least one (1 day) in the office, on average. There are few fully remote staff. The COO will play a major role in deciding the work model of the organization for 2023 and beyond.
    • The organization’s next COO has a unique opportunity to refine, create, and implement systems that improve communication across departments as well as the culture of the organization going forward while remaining true to CLASP’s values.

Policy and Advocacy

  • The COO doesn’t need to be an expert in the policy or advocacy space, but it is important that a successful candidate has a solid understanding of the role of a policy and advocacy organization in the broader social justice ecosystem and can work to keep lobbying efforts in compliance and in alignment with CLASP’s mission.

Leadership and Development

  • The COO should be a leader from Day 1. Beyond exemplifying an array of their own leadership qualities such as having decisive decision-making skills, the next COO at CLASP should be able to design innovative ways to foster and support staff throughout the organization. In addition, the COO should work to forge partnerships with other COOs in the policy/advocacy space to create additional developmental opportunities for both the organization and individual staff.
  • The COO will interact directly with the diverse Board of Trustees, and play a key role helping update—and generally communicating with—the trustees at and between periodic board meetings.

Internal Communication  

  • Working in a remote world can create challenges around communication and collaboration. Therefore, the COO will be responsible for ensuring that internal communication among various departments occurs in a systematic, inclusive, and transparent manner. The COO will also work to create additional opportunities for staff to provide feedback and have a larger voice within the organization.
  • The COO must be skilled at communicating with individuals across the organization. CLASP is looking for a person who is personable, accessible, empathetic, takes time to listen, and communicates transparently (as appropriate) and always with integrity. The ability to build trust among staff will be vital to the success of the individual in this role.

Commitment To Racial Equity

  • The COO must center equity in every component of their work. The COO will work with others, including the current Deputy Executive Director for Racial Equity, to help realize the organization’s Racial Equity Transformational Change Plan. More information on CLASP’s commitment to racial equity can be found HERE.

Additional Requirements/Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, or a related field.
  • Must have experience leading the financial operations of an organization.
  • At least 10+ years of leadership experience at a non-profit organization in a similar capacity.
  • Must have stellar decision-making skills and have the ability to delegate effectively.
  • Must have strong project management and organizational skills and be able to see multiple initiatives from inception to completion simultaneously.
  • Must have executive-level communication skills and experience in building consensus among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Candidates must be based in the Washington, D.C. area or be willing to relocate.

COVID Policy: We have a mandatory vaccine policy as a condition of employment (applicable accommodations apply).


Salary Range: $175,000 – 220,000

Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including several health insurances options, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b)-retirement program, and flexible spending accounts, as well as generous vacation, paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and holiday schedules.

Application Process

CLASP has partnered with The Job Plugs, a diversity executive search firm, to recruit for this opportunity. Interested parties should submit their resume and cover letter to with “CLASP COO” in the subject line.

Apply through: The Job Plugs – Chief Operating Officer – The Center for Law and Social Policy