Chief of Staff - PowerSwitch Action

United States | PowerSwitch Action/Partnership for Working Families | Full-time | Fully remote

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Chief of Staff

About PowerSwitch Action (formerly Partnership for Working Families)

PowerSwitch Action is a national network organizing to realize and build multi-racial feminist democracies in our cities, towns and regions. Together with our 20 affiliates and one regional project we are driving an agenda to bring the billions of dollars in local public investments under the oversight of the communities most impacted, to expand decision making and power to more of the residents in our regions, to support the building and growth of member- based organizations, and to fight when necessary corporate actors who use their power to extract and cause harm to our communities.

Leaders of our network and national staff recently completed our long term agenda on our path to collective liberation and towards a multiracial, feminist democracy that is powered by abundance, freedom and self-determination, radical inclusion, and meaningful work that is valued. Our long term agenda is guided by four interwoven core strategies:

  • Build Authentic Inclusive Democracy, by creating a body of campaigns and programs that develop ways in which to open government to resident voices.
  • A People’s Economy, for many not the few. The racial wealth gap, the gender gap, the rampant racism, and human exploitation are in the design of the machine. We need a new apparatus that is accountable to people, to the many.
  • Grow Civic Organizations: Labor, Tenants, Borrowers, Ethnic. An organized citizenry is best able to take on questionable or corrupt practices. We need to dramatically increase the numbers of people organized in order to effectively contest capital, stave off authoritarianism, and bring out the democracies that we envision.
  • Rein in Corporate Power. If our ultimate goal is to develop the capacity of people to govern and manage democracy and the economy then they must have experience of their power to bring corporations to heel. We can prove to the American people that it’s possible to reclaim public goods from corporate capture, reject extreme exploitation of workers, and beat back corporate overreach — all while fighting for our collective liberation. 

Responsibilities

 The Chief of Staff will be responsible for translating our visions and dreams, as outlined in our long term agenda, into concrete actions and results. They will be responsible for: leading organizational effectiveness and coordination across the organization; directly managing the directors of our Communications, Development, and Research departments; leading organizational performance management; supporting the cohesion and stewardship of a strong staff culture which is rooted in deep relationships and shared work practices  and serving as a senior leader of the organization and senior advisor to the Executive Director, including serving as a member of the Leadership Team. PowerSwitch Action is in an exciting period of growth and the Chief of Staff will be part of building upon our existing strengths and developing new systems and approaches for organizational cohesion and achievement of our goals and objectives.

  1. Lead organizational effectiveness and coordination across the organization.
  • As part of a highly collaborative national staff team, lead the organization’s efforts to translate our long-term agenda into concrete actions and results.
  • Working closely with the Leadership and Directors Teams, lead the annual goal-setting process and ensure that every staff person has a clear set of annual goals.
  • Make sure we capture data and create useful reports to gauge our progress toward our goals.
  • Working closely with the Leadership and Directors Teams, ensure that our financial resources, staffing capacity and day-to-day work matches our priorities; take action to course correct, as needed.
  • Working with other senior leaders, lead organizational processes to ensure quarterly step-backs on progress-to-goals and support course-correction and re-prioritization, as needed.
  • Ensure smooth communication and coordination across departments and programs.
  • Develop and manage effective systems for internal communication that ensure there is clarity and alignment on organizational goals and that all staff members have the information they need and can connect easily.
  • Lead the design of staff meetings, strategy retreats and other important gatherings for coordination, planning, evaluation and connection.
  • Ensure that organizational systems and effectiveness are in alignment with and reflective of our organizational values, including deep relationships, shared work practices, authenticity, direct communication and more.
  • Drive organization's Leadership and Directors Team meetings, including ensuring they happen on a monthly basis, developing effective agendas, and ensuring follow-up happens.
  • Serve as a thought partner and resource to the senior leadership team and to program directors in their realms of responsibility, including on issues related to the management of their teams.
  1. Directly manage the directors of our capacity-building departments: Communications, Development, and Research.
  • Ensure that each team has ambitious goals and plans in place to meet them
  • Support their professional development, including providing clear and useful feedback and identifying other supports so they continue to grow in their role and hone new and existing skills
  • Support each director in determining if/when they should coordinate directly with or consult with the Executive Director on specific responsibilities or discrete tasks.
  1. Lead organizational performance management systems.
  • Ensure that we have strong performance management systems, including professional development and performance evaluation systems, throughout the organization and that these systems are in alignment with our organizational values
  • Support and maintain human resource practices rooted in racial justice. Support program directors and senior leaders in their hiring, coaching, supervision, retention, growth and development of staff, including effectively addressing persistent performance issues.
  • Serve as the hub of our talent needs, coordinating searches and helping identify and recruit great people to join our team.
  • Hold a birds-eye view of our organizational talent; spot for capacity gaps and ensure (directly or indirectly) these gaps are filled.
  • Manage the organization’s support systems for supervisors, including the newly developed Supervisors Guide and in-development Supervisors Orientation.
  1. Serve as a senior leader of the organization and senior advisor to the Executive Director.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director, board of directors and other members of the senior staff to develop, articulate and implement overall organizational strategy.
  • Serve as a member of the Leadership Team.
  • Alongside Leadership Team members, identify and resolve organizational challenges as they arise.
  • Help mediate and resolve interdepartmental conflicts or issues on behalf of the Executive Director.

Qualifications

Systems builder: Demonstrated ability to translate a vision into an effective program that gets results. Ability to create and document systems, practices, and standards that can be used (and modified) for years to come.

Ability to build trust and alignment across divergent perspectives: Genuinely builds authentic relationships across lines of difference, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, ability, gender identity, citizenship status, or other identities. Listens closely to understand needs or concerns and takes steps based on that input. Can build alignment and can make hard decisions (that not everyone will agree with) when necessary.

Exceptional judgment and problem-solving skills:  Strong critical thinking, combined with excellent judgment and willingness and ability to make and carry out hard decisions and a strong ability to communicate in writing and in person, and whose work and wisdom is of a caliber to garner the trust of the rest of our team of very smart, highly invested  individuals.

Strong manager: Demonstrated experience leading multiracial teams to accomplish results, ability to cultivate staff development through direct feedback and strong inclusive and equitable management practices. Ability to take individual management best-practices to create and sustain organizational-wide management systems

Mission alignment: Committed to the vision outlined in our our long term agenda, including building a path to collective liberation and towards a multiracial, feminist democracy that is powered by abundance, freedom and self-determination, radical inclusion, and meaningful work that is valued.

Direct experience driving or managing at least one of the three following departments is preferred but not required: communications, research, and development teams. Experience as part of a senior management team is strongly preferred. Fundraising experience is also not required.

Compensation and Location

This is a full-time, exempt position and reports to the Executive Director. We offer a competitive starting salary between $111,000-$134,000 (based on experience) and generous benefits, including

  • 401(k) with 5% employer contribution.
  • 100% of health, dental, and vision premiums for employees and their family members (spouse/domestic partner and children).
  • Life insurance for employees.
  • Flexible Spending Account: Employees may contribute up to $5,000 a year for childcare expenses and up to $2,500 a year for medical expenses (no employer contribution).
  • Two weeks (12 days) vacation, increasing with tenure up to 20 days.
  • 12 days of sick leave per years

This position can be based anywhere in the United States with a slight preference for individuals who are located in Philly or NE Corridor (to meet with Philly-based Executive Director) or the Bay Area (PowerSwitch headquarters). 

Please note that PowerSwitch Action requires that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious accommodation is needed.

 

PowerSwitch Action is an equal opportunity employer and committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We strongly encourage and seek applications from gender oppressed (women, transgender, and gender non-binary) people, people of color including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and broader queer communities. We do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender/gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.