Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)—founded 50 years ago in Washington, D.C.—is a nonpartisan, nonprofit anti-poverty organization advancing federal, state, and local policy solutions for people with low incomes. We view all our work through a racial-equity lens, addressing the barriers people face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status.

Today, people with low incomes are under greater threat than at any time in CLASP’s history. Responding to this urgent need, we’ve grown considerably in the past two years. We’ve gone from 30 staff members to 45, and our budget has grown to $8 million.

This includes a chief operating officer (COO), CLASP’s second-in-command, who provides internal leadership across all aspects of our work and directly supervises the finance and administration, development, and human resources teams.  The COO also plays a central role in leading CLASP's internal and external racial-equity agenda (in partnership with a staff committee).

CLASP is seeking a special assistant/project manager to support the COO, providing administrative support and managing special projects. The special assistant will have considerable autonomy under the COO’s general supervision, including representing the COO and leading meetings on her behalf.

This position is a great fit for people interested in future nonprofit leadership positions. The special assistant will gain exposure and experience across every function of a respected nonprofit, including administration, staff development, and policy advocacy.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide primary administrative support to the COO.
  • Manage COO’s schedule, responding to all requests for meetings and appointments.
  • Coordinate logistics for internal and external meetings and speaking engagements, including event logistics, set up, clean up, and run of show.
  • Attend and participate in meetings on behalf of the COO, including facilitating/chairing meetings as appropriate.
  • Manage travel logistics, timesheets, and expense reports.
  • Provide briefings, research, and background documents for meetings, events, and trips as needed.
  • Develop systems to help the COO stay on top of demands and manage workflow.
  • Oversee special projects with general oversight from the COO. This includes:
    • Developing a timeline and plan, with input from the COO, and track progress.
    • Taking responsibility for major steps in the plan, such as defining the problem, identifying options, recommending solutions, or solving specific implementation challenges.
    • Identifying and resolving conflicts independently or with input from the COO, as appropriate to the issue.
    • Providing written and oral recommendations as well as coordinating implementation. 


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2 years of related experience.
  • Work or educational experience in at least one of the following areas:
    • Administrative support of a COO or other senior leader in a nonprofit.
    • Nonprofit management (particularly human resources, development/fundraising, or financial management).
    • Project management in a nonprofit context (for example, managing a grant-funded research, advocacy, or direct services project).
    • Organizational change initiatives.
    • Administrative support of a COO or other senior leaders in a nonprofit.
  • Ability to provide administrative support and services.
  • Able to complete complex tasks with strong organization and attention to detail.
  • Able to manage and make progress on multiple projects simultaneously as well as use a work plan to undertake and track projects.
  • Sound judgment and discretion when handling sensitive information.
  • Can build and manage strong relationships with stakeholders.
  • Able to adapt communication style to various audiences, make technical information accessible, and collaborate with others to produce strong written deliverables.
  • Able to work cooperatively and inclusively with others to achieve shared goals, including knowing when and how to compromise, being willing to proactively help colleagues, and sharing knowledge in various media.
  • Enthusiastic about stretch and development opportunities, including the ability to accept feedback and use it to improve performance.
  • Willing to be flexible and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
  • Able to take ownership and be creative, solutions-oriented, and entrepreneurial when encountering challenges that don’t have obvious answers, including knowing when to elevate challenges as well as possible solutions.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Salesforce.


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


The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer, and people of color are encouraged to apply. Resumes will be accepted until position is filled.