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Chief Operating Officer

About The Future Project

The Future Project exists to make it possible for every person on the planet—starting with young people—to use their passion and purpose to build the life and world they imagine. After more than five years of building a rigorous methodology and extraordinary team—and serving more than 35K students across 11 school districts in eight states—we are preparing to enter our next phase: one in which we’ll launch a national campaign that calls to action 1MM young people, in their schools, communities, and online, to build a better future for all.

About our Chief Operating Officer

At this critical inflection point for The Future Project’s students, team, and growing national community, we are seeking a passionate, strategic, learning-oriented Chief Operating Officer to help prepare our organization and people for scale—and, in partnership with the rest of the executive team, to lead us through it. In the last year, there have been many exciting developments at The Future Project, including the launch of a for-profit business within our organization called the Future Company that launches projects that change the world, the launch of our Future Camp program, which brings the power of our Future School programs beyond the 11 school systems we work with to many other communities in the United States, and a national partnership with the Coach brand, which expands our network, as well as our capacity to scale impact.  

In this next phase, The Future Project seeks a COO that is a clear-thinking organizational mastermind. They are a dynamic, people-driven team leader, comfortable (even obsessed) with architecting elegant, effective operational, financial, and people systems that make even the most impossible-seeming goals possible. They are a logical, strategic thinker brought alive by the challenge of evaluating trade-offs and recommending the smartest path forward. They think differently about sustainability and can creatively leverage The Future Project’s assets—including our new for-profit subsidiary—to bring in the consistent stream of revenue needed to ensure the long-term health of the organization. They are a strong listener and communicator, who believes in digging for the gold in every idea and who can navigate the needs of multiple internal and external stakeholders as they do. And of course, they are deeply committed, and personally connected, to our mission and vision of the world—and our commitment to young people.

The Chief Operating Officer will join The Future Project’s executive team, reporting directly to the CEO and serving as a key partner to her, and a senior executive within the organization. The COO will focus on designing, implementing, and overseeing the systems, processes, team, and culture that will enable—in the present and future—rapid, sustainable organizational growth and the individual and collective success of the team. As they do this, they will push the team toward its most efficient and effective performance while putting people first—while always protecting and enhancing the very special culture The Future Project has cultivated in our first phase. Our COO is not a “yes” person or a “no” person, but a “how” person—a pragmatic idealist who creatively leverages revenue, talent, and partnerships to bring the biggest, most audacious possibilities to life. In fact, when this person is on a team, anything seems possible.

Above all, The Future Project’s COO lives by our core belief—that, since people are the solution to humanity’s biggest problems, we can all step up and choose to create a better future. And they live by the values—passion, belief, and courage—that animate our team and work every day.

Accountabilities & Background

Our COO will fulfill the following accountabilities:

Program and Operations Oversight

  • Ensure the successful development, execution, and iteration of our operating plan
  • Lead planning and implementation of all core elements of the organization’s operations, including strategy, planning, and analytics; finance; recruiting, hiring, and on-boarding; training and development; performance management, staffing, and workforce planning; legal, compliance, and administration; and information technology and facilities
  • Architect org-wide systems (including financial, planning, project management, learning, people systems and more) that enable all team members, especially the executive team, to do their best work with the lowest amount of friction in service of the organization’s priorities
  • Oversee the relationship between The Future Project and its for-profit subsidiary

Team and People Management

  • Lead the People & Operations Team to ensure excellent service and support to our team at large.
  • Serve as a dynamic organizational leader, contributing significantly to culture and internal communications for a nationally distributed team that nevertheless thrives on camaraderie and connectivity
  • Support the CEO in managing the operations of The Future Project’s Board of Directors

Financial and Administrative Oversight

  • Provide financial context to strategic decision making, including scenario planning and modeling as we evaluate strategic and operational options
  • Lead mapping and build-out of essential business processes that support all of TFP’s programs, fundraising, earned revenue and all of TFP’s scaling.
  • Develop and implement, in partnership with the Executive Team, new revenue streams for The Future Project—and support the maturation of existing ones
  • Oversee compliance within the organization, including annual risk assessment, keeping abreast to any new laws regarding compliance and assessing, with legal advice any ad hoc risks as needed

Strategic Planning

  • Work to implement, and ensure accountability around, The Future Project’s new strategic plan—which will lead to a significant scale-up and diversified offerings over the next five years—with rigor and transparency, iterating and improving it along the way
  • Strengthen organizational infrastructure as we grow and support programs as they scale; ensure continuous alignment across all programs to maximize impact and efficiency.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, MBA and/or fluency in business fundamentals (which can be developed outside of business school) preferred
  • Working analysis of IT, business infrastructure, data analysis and performance and operational metrics

The following is likely true of our COO’s experience:

  • At least eight years of leadership (or the equivalent) of operations of two or more high-growth organizations, companies, or startups, preferrably across the non-profit and private sectors
  • At least eight years of experience leading dynamic and growing teams, preferably those focused on operations or human resources and at least five years of leading strategic planning and business development processes
  • At least five years of leading strategic planning and business development processes
  • Experience architecting and implementing systems and structures for organizational growth from $10-15MM to $100MM budget and annual revenue
  • Strong financial acumen, previous experience owning a P&L
  • Experience overseeing IT, business infrastructure, data analysis and performance, and operational metrics
  • Familiarity with youth development, education, ed-tech and startup ecosystems in NYC and across the country
  • Strong ability to “10x” opportunities—leveraging moments, people, and resources to get more done, better  
  • Significant experience designing and building the team and systems required for massive, diversified organizational growth
  • Significant experience building human resource systems to unlock the unique possibilities and skills of individuals and teams

Personal Characteristics

  • Obsessed with building world-class teams and systems
  • Energetic, hard-working, and enthusiastic team player
  • Independent, organized, and detail-oriented self-starter
  • Innovative and resourceful problem solver
  • Principled with high ethical standards, professionalism and integrity
  • Ability to work in “start-up” environment (range of tasks, ambiguity, flexibility) while still exercising and implementing standard professional processes and systems
  • A strong commitment to The Future Project mission and vision
  • Passionate, joyful, and fun!
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