ABOUT THE JOINT CENTER The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center), America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. For more than 50 years, the Joint Center has been the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. The Joint Center uses evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.
Founded in 1970 to support newly-elected Black officials who were moving from civil rights activism into governance, the Joint Center quickly evolved into America’s Black think tank. Currently, the Joint Center focuses on the future of work in Black communities, the impact of economic policies on Black communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology policy and Black communities, congressional staff diversity, and Black presidential appointments.
THE OPPORTUNITY Framed by the pandemic and systemic inequality, 2020 was a difficult year for Black communities. Despite the challenges, the Joint Center responded quickly to the health and economic crises, continuing its long-standing work to address systemic economic inequity and promote Black civic participation. The Joint Center also celebrated its 50th anniversary by convening leading voices to envision the economic agenda for Black America and launching an ambitious five-year strategic plan that will position the organization to achieve its updated mission.
The Joint Center’s Vice President, Finance and Operations (VP) is a new leadership position created at a pivotal moment in the organization’s growth and maturity as America’s Black think tank. As a strategic partner to the President, leadership team, and Board of Directors, the VP will ensure that the organization has the internal leadership, infrastructure, and culture to achieve its goals.
The VP will co-create a vision of success for building the organization that inspires staff and creates holistic and flexible systems that support the Joint Center’s growth plan and are aligned and in service of the organization's mission and values. The VP will serve as the senior most financial management officer and will be responsible for ensuring that the Joint Center continues to innovate and adapt in order to achieve its goals most effectively. They will be a manager and coach to other team members supporting the organization’s finance, operations, and HR activities. At the same time, the VP will be instrumental in stewarding culture – investing in the growth of the Joint Center’s internal leaders and ensuring that the organization’s systems and processes reflect its cultural values of rigor and commitment to excellence, impact and accessibility, collaboration and respect, and accountability and a growth mindset.
The ideal candidate will have significant experience as a cross-functional leader with exceptional strategic, financial, and operational acumen and a demonstrated talent for the continuous improvement of organizational teams, systems, and processes in growth environments. They are a collaborative leader with strong interpersonal skills and a deep commitment to developing effective teams and building organizational capacity. Finally, the VP should embody The Joint Center’s cultural principles, including a deep commitment to healthy, growing, and empowered Black communities in the United States and an unapologetic focus on prioritizing Black people, and disseminating accurate data, research, and solutions that reflect Black interests.
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES The VP will partner with the President on essential leadership activities for the Joint Center. These include:
Organizational and Strategic Leadership
Own the vision and accountability for creating and implementing best-in-class organizational systems and structures that promote cross-team collaboration, communication and enable the Joint Center to deliver on its mission
Partner closely with the President and other members of the senior team to effectively implement the organization’s strategic vision
Effectively present to external audiences including banking institutions, investment firms and other financial organizations
Manage the process for developing, implementing, and monitoring organizational and individual execution of objectives and key results/KPIs
Lead and optimize the effectiveness of all internal managers, ensuring staff live up to the Joint Center’s core values and are best supported to achieve the Joint Center’s strategic vision
Provide strategic advice and recommendations related to organizational growth and structure
Ensure effective communication of priority issues and projects and promote organizational learning across the organization
Lead the Joint Center’s financial strategy, ensuring long-term sustainability and alignment to the organization’s mission and goals
Direct the development and implementation of short-term and long-term fiscal planning including annual budgeting and multi-year forecasting, ensuring the highest levels of fiscal responsibility
Optimize the Joint Center’s finance and accounting policies, financial controls, and compliance systems; implement policies and systems that model best practices in each of these areas
Lead ongoing efforts to increase financial literacy across the organization to promote effective budget management and develop internal leadership
Work collaboratively with leaders across the organization to create and manage budgets and provide support and coaching as needed
Advise the President regarding opportunities to continuously improve its fiscal function and performance and on contracts and other matters requiring legal counsel
Identify, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding investment opportunities to strengthen the Joint Center’s financial position
People and Culture
Lead, mature, and fully integrate all aspects of the Joint Center’s people functions, ensuring the organization is best positioned to attract and recruit top talent required to meet its mission
Cultivate a culture that promotes the Joint Center’s cultural principles and promote practices that support the team’s commitment to learning and growth and ensures that leadership and professional development is prioritized across the organization
Carry out initiatives on best practices in organizational management, leadership development, performance management and workforce planning
Oversee recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes for new staff while managing a growing team
Ensure the delivery of effective human resource management policies, programs, practices and initiatives aligned with strategic priorities, including the development of streamlined systems related to recruitment, benefits administration, performance management, professional development, compensation, and employee engagement
Operations and IT
Oversee the IT function and ensure the ongoing maintenance and updating of systems and architecture to effectively serve the organization's internal and mission-facing needs
Oversee the organization’s risk management and compliance responsibilities, implementing policies and systems to ensure the organization adheres to all relevant regulations
Ensure the necessary technology, security protocols, and office infrastructure is in place to support a growing organization
15+ years of senior management experience working cross-functionally across finance, information technology, operations, and human resources in high-growth organizations; experience working in a think tank or similar research environment preferred
Passion for and commitment to the mission and core values of the Joint Center
Demonstrated expertise in managing organizational finances and systems, including budgeting, multi-year forecasting, modeling (including KPIs), accounting, and reporting
Understanding of investments and portfolio management
Proven ability to lead and implement strategic priorities across an organization and success managing complex projects across dispersed teams
Strategic and detail-oriented systems-thinker with exceptional financial, analytical, and organizational acumen Experience managing diverse and highly skilled teams and the ability to steward organizational culture, including leading staff engagement and professional development initiatives
Ability to manage a variety of projects in a fast-paced environment while also navigating ambiguity and change inherent to an entrepreneurial, growing organization
Proven ability to navigate complex nonprofit compliance and risk management issues
Innovative, creative, and willing to think outside of the box to develop solutions that support the Joint Center’s high-performing team
Effective and persuasive communicator, both oral and written, with exceptional emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills
Comfort working in a highly collaborative environment that values open communication and transparency
Possesses unquestionable personal and professional integrity, unwavering commitment to equity, and a growth mindset
The Joint Center is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status.
About Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
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