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29 Nov 2021

Operations / Administration Chief Operating & Talent Officer

National Association of Charter School Authorizers

Job Description

The National Association of Charter Schools (NACSA) is seeking an experienced senior leader to serve as its first Chief Operating & Talent Officer. The Chief Operating & Talent Officer will help NACSA create more effective educational options driven by family aspirations and create a more diverse field by driving organizational effectiveness through leading NACSA’s operations and talent functions. As we embark on the implementation of a new strategic plan, this newly created role will provide the necessary leadership, vision, and management to effectively lead the organization in achieving its strategic plan goals and accomplishing its mission.


NACSA advances and strengthens the ideas and practices of authorizing so students and communities – especially those who are historically under-resourced – thrive. Quality authorizing is key in determining the type, quality, and equity of educational opportunities afforded to students and communities. Over time, the quality of schools that students and communities access has everything to do with the decisions authorizers make.

NACSA works to improve authorizing by developing and growing the authorizing profession, shaping state and federal charter policies, and building an evidence base to improve educational opportunities for students and communities.


Reporting to the CEO and serving as a strategic thought partner to members of NACSA’s leadership team, the Chief Operations & Talent Officer is responsible for creating the conditions for NACSA team members to thrive and achieve organizational outcomes by accomplishing two overarching goals:

  • Stewarding an impact-centered culture by ensuring day-to-day operational excellence, strengthening NACSA’s infrastructure, and developing more efficient organizational processes.
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and fostering high levels of team member engagement by developing and executing a comprehensive talent and organization development strategy.

This role includes responsibilities for managing a breadth of critical staff functions and requires an individual who is both strategic and tactical.

You will:

Operationalize and execute NACSA’s strategic plan.

  • Collaborate with initiative leaders to translate strategic priorities into concrete, actionable programs and projects with measurable goals and objectives.
  • Design and develop systems for transparently tracking progress toward organizational outcomes.
  • Monitor progress toward organizational outcomes, developing appropriate reporting mechanisms for various internal and external audiences.
  • Work with the CFO, CEO, and Controller on developing and implementing NACSA’s annual budget process.

Ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction at the same speed.

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of all internal organizational activity, providing problem solving and management support for all departments.
  • Ensure the appropriate support, resources, communication and coordination exits among all team members.
  • Lead the development and consistent implementation of effective and efficient internal staff communications, determining the most effective methods and cadence for communication.
  • Develop internal program/project reporting capabilities and dashboards to ensure all team members know where we are at all times.

Strengthen NACSA’s infrastructure.

  • Conduct a thorough assessment of the internal infrastructure of the organization leading to the development and implementation of successful processes, systems, and procedures to enable operational efficiency, cross-functional collaboration and coordination, communication, accountability, and timely decision-making.
  • Oversee all management and operational systems, planning for future growth, systems, and resource needs.
  • Ensure that information technology and systems are aligned with and supportive of increasing organizational efficiency.

Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within NACSA.

  • Develop processes and tools for ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded throughout all aspects of NACSA’s internal operations and talent practices.
  • Ensure staff have the skills and knowledge to productively work across lines of difference.
  • Support the diversification of vendors, consultants, products, and services, etc., contracted with or through NACSA.

Create and inspire a shared vision for talent development and management at NACSA.

  • Redesign NACSA’s processes for talent identification, development, and management, building commitment and engagement along the way.
  • Establish a comprehensive performance management process, working closely with functional managers to set objectives, establish priorities, and monitor staff performance and development goals.
  • Develop and implement timely and appropriate staff training and development opportunities.
  • Continually assess the effectiveness of talent practices, spanning the entire talent lifecycle, to support employee engagement and performance.
  • Ensure NACSA’s compensation and employee value proposition practices are equitable, competitive, and aligned with NACSA’s goals.

Lead organizational efforts to strengthen NACSA’s culture.

  • Partner with the CEO and members of NACSA’s leadership team to:
    • Promote a culture that fosters high performance and continuous growth and learning and that honors diversity in all its forms.
    • Model NACSA’s values and consistently hold team members accountable for embodying NACSA’s values.
    • Identify and develop opportunities to reinforce NACSA’s values and bring them to life on a day-to-day basis.
  • Strengthen NACSA’s leaders and managers by developing leadership and management competency frameworks and creating learning and development opportunities to ensure leaders and managers are clear on expectations and are equipped with the necessary skills to lead and manage for high levels of employee engagement.

Serve as an organizational leader.

  • Act as a skilled organizational leader, manager, and coach, modeling NACSA’s values along the way.
  • Serve as a thought partner and sounding board to the CEO and members of NACSA’s leadership team, being an ear to the ground and proactively identifying areas for organizational improvement.
  • Develop the structures and processes by which NACSA’s leadership team works together to ensure effective organizational decision-making and management.

Manage a small but mighty Operations & Talent team that is in transition.

  • Directly manage NACSA’s Operations & Events Manager and Senior Director, Research & Evaluation by:
    • Providing ongoing feedback in support of team member performance and growth and development.
    • Determining how the team supports, coordinates, and collaborates with others in the organization to achieve organizational goals.


Your drive for students, especially those who are being underserved, runs deep.

  • You are passionate about educational equity, access, autonomy, and accountability.
  • Broadening quality opportunities for students, especially those who need it most, is more than a job to you.
  • You approach this work with urgency.

You are inspired and energized by accomplishing goals with and through others.

  • When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success.
  • You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivations and strengths, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships.
  • You see the potential in others. Very often, potential is all you see.
  • You naturally look for ways to challenge others and devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow.
  • Signs of growth in others are your fuel; they bring you strength and satisfaction.

You are a systems-thinker and a conductor.

  • You see patterns where others simply see complexity.
  • You sort through the clutter and find the best route to your desired destination.
  • When faced with a complex situation involving many factors, you enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible.

You are at your best in dynamic situations.

  • When confronted with the unexpected, you are energized rather than paralyzed.
  • When things are unclear, you jump into the confusion, identifying options and discovering new paths of least resistance.
  • Operating in the grey excites you, as it gives you the opportunity to create order out of uncertainty.

You are equal parts strategist and operator.

  • You can translate vision into strategy and strategy into actionable plans.
  • You oscillate comfortably between the big picture and the details.
  • You develop systems and processes that are in service of the strategy – not for the sake of having systems and processes.

You are self-aware and emotionally intelligent.

  • You are keenly aware of your strengths and weaknesses, are not afraid to acknowledge them.
  • You leverage your strengths and find ways to mitigate your weaknesses so they don’t get in your way.
  • You are cognizant of the impact of your behavior on others and modify your behavior based on self-awareness to improve your impact.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university – preferably with a focus on Human Resource Development, Organizational Development, Psychology, Business, or related field; advanced degree preferred.
  • 10-12 years of experience in Talent, Organizational Development, Performance Management – preferably in progressive leadership roles.
  • Minimum of eight years of experience directly managing people.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in a senior leadership role.


  • Impact: All your work is designed to increase and improve educational opportunities for children.
  • Equity & Inclusion: You seek out diverse perspectives and evidence to challenge your beliefs, especially considering those most impacted by our work.
  • Candor: You are honest with yourself and others.
  • Shared Ownership: You take ownership for the work of the entire organization.
  • Work-Life Integration: You respect professional and personal commitments and boundaries between them.


The Chief Operations & Talent Officer will earn a salary between $155,000-$165,000 commensurate with experience. We take a data-driven approach to our compensation strategy so all employees are paid competitively and equitably.

  • Excellent medical, dental, and disability coverage.
  • Option to participate in a 401K matching plan.
  • Generous paid time off comprising of vacation, personal, sick, and holidays, including the days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
  • Flexible work policy, recognizing there are better ways to measure impact than counting the number of hours you are working.


NACSA operates in a completely virtual work environment with the exception of occasional organizational events (when it is safe to convene in person).

How to Apply

The review of candidates will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications should consist of a current resume, cover letter and responses to the questions below. Please respond to the following questions, limiting your responses to 250 words per question.
  1. Provide a high-level overview of your experience as it aligns with the responsibilities of this role description.
  2. What are the top three strengths that you would bring to this role?
  3. What areas would you need development and/or support?
  4. What is the ONE aspect of this role that excites you the most?
Please submit all materials to

Bureaus: Chicago. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration. Salaries: 100,000 and above.