Creating Career Opportunities In Early Childhood Education

See All Jobs

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Carole Robertson Center for Learning (the Center) seeks to hire a visionary, seasoned, strategic, and process-minded COO. The COO’s primary responsibilities will be to grow the capacity of the Center, lead with impact, and develop a performance culture among a team of diverse, passionate, and talented individuals. The COO will support others at the Center towards delivering measurable, effective results that are actionable and attainable. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, the COO will propel tremendous impact by focusing on the refinement and optimization of day-to-day operations through the organization.

The COO will be a strategic and results-oriented leader, charged with establishing and implementing internal systems and processes to drive growth, efficiency, effectiveness, collaboration, and continuous improvement across the organization.This position will serve as a key partner to the CEO, providing input to the ongoing development of services and support of the organization’s strategic initiatives.

The COO will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each team member brings to the Center’s mission. The COO will bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity and growth of the organization, critical to retaining and building on the Center’s current trajectory.

POSITION LEVEL: Senior Executive Management
POSITION REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer
POSITION LOCATION: 1111 S. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Apply Now

  • Oversee the Human Resources, Operations, Information Technology, and Facilities departments within the organization.
  • Serve as a thought partner to the CEO and executive leadership team, working closely with them to achieve the vision as well as maintain partnership and effective lines of communication.
  • Provide effective and inspiring leadership by being actively involved in all programs and services and developing a broad and deep knowledge of community needs and alignment to the Center’s programs.
  • Provide a vision for the operations of early childhood and youth development landscape to support the future well-being of programs and services as we adapt the organization to the changing landscape.
  • Ensure the continued financial viability of Center’s operational departments through sound fiscal management.
  • Identify opportunities for the Center to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and/or to address organizational challenges.
  • Champion a spirit of collaboration and open communication across all organizational departments and operations to advance systems integration and foster trust among team members.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain Center’s high-performance senior management team with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic analysis and planning, and program budgeting.
  • Promote a culture of high performance, service excellence, accountability, and continuous improvement that values learning, diversity and inclusion, accountability, and a commitment to high-quality services.
  • Develop and execute innovative strategic growth plan and track progress through metrics and dashboards.
  • Work closely with CEO and Board of Directors on board planning, board recruitment and high priority initiatives.
  • Build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and with the various external constituencies including the Board of Directors, and the full range of partner organizations and stakeholders.
  • Monitor internal operational processes and procedures and lead change management efforts where necessary to achieve operational excellence.
  • Utilize data and analysis through metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives.
  • Maintain organizational efficiency while allowing for the building of consensus and recognition of teamwork.
  • Serve as a catalyst for change and growth – inspiring others to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Change Capacity – ability to pivot and respond to increasingly unpredictable and disruptive situations by leading in the development and implementation of processes, tools and techniques used to advance desired organizational outcomes.
  • Results-Proven Track Record – demonstrable ability to exceed goals with a bottom-line orientation; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness.
  • Strategic Vision and Agility – ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan.
  • Capacity Building – ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly.
  • Leadership and Organization – exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed.
  • Action and Results Oriented – enjoy working hard and looking for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance to leadership and take unpopular stands when necessary.
  • General Management – thorough understanding of finance, operations, systems, and human resources; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, and human resources.
  • Minimum Master’s Degree from accredited college/university in business, education, nonprofit management, and/or human services field required.
  • Minimum 7-10 years of experience in executive management within the non-profit and social services sector.
  • Minimum 7-10 years of experience overseeing operational growth, strategy, and development in complex structural environments.
  • Previous experience leading Human Resources, Operations, Information Technology, and Facilities functions.
  • Proven track record of effectively leading operations within a direct service organization.
  • Must be action-oriented, entrepreneurial, agile, and nimble.
  • Must possess innovative approaches to operational management.
  • Must possess excellence in organizational management with an ability to coach senior level employees to manage and develop high functioning performance teams.
  • Ability to be a strategic thought partner.
  • Ability to prioritize and communicate to team members key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals.
  • Ability to develop and implement quality programs and data-driven program evaluation strategies.
  • Ability to leverage strengths across multiple program areas.
  • Ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results.
  • Ability to point to specific examples of having led organizational change management, transformation projects and program development.
  • Ability to engage and influence a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent public speaking skills.
  • Strong financial acumen in the creation and monitoring of budgets including procurement activities.
  • Unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrates passion, humility, integrity as a leader.
  • Exudes a positivity, compassion, and care in every facet of the role.

Carole Robertson Center for Learning is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. Carole Robertson Center for Learning evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally protected characteristics.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should
call (312) 243-7300 ext. 226 with their request.

Apply Now

Educate. Enrich. Empower. 

We’re looking for passionate individuals who share our vision to help members of our community and the empower our youth.

Learn About Our Mission


Since 1976, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has been dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children and families through comprehensive child and family development programs.