Job Description:

The Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO) is a research and education initiative created by a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the Charles Koch Foundation, and Koch Industries. Housed within the TMCF DC office, CAO supports faculty and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other post-secondary institutions to develop research-based solutions to the most challenging issues in education, criminal justice, and entrepreneurship. Our constituency are people living in fragile communities, and they are members of all races, ethnicities, and

The Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the design and strategic management of CAO’s, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will develop a working knowledge of the field and be skilled at managing core programs, operations, and business plans. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, communications, and community outreach.

Reports to:

President & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund


Leadership & Management:

  • Operate CAO as a program of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund managing all programmatic function and client/partner relationships within the initiative

  • Hire, manage, and develop a high-performance team to execute CAO strategy and events

  • Lead the CAO Advisory Committee in its responsibilities, including strategic planning, execution, and evaluation

  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems;

  • Establish timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals

  • Identify and actively engage CAO partner organizations and funders

  • Report CAO strategy and progress to TMCF Board of Directors at bi-annual Board meetings

  • Develop and manage effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components

  • Manage relationships with grantees at all levels, including HBCU presidents

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Generate revenue to support program operations
  • Serve as spokesperson for CAO public engagements and media opportunities
  • Lead internal and/or external CAO communications teams in the implementation of strategic communications plans, including all media (traditional and social), website creation and key events for CAO

Financial Management:

  • Oversee strategic financial planning and budget management
  • Manage all vendor and grantee relationships in accordance with the budget
  • Forecast spending and modify budgets as approved by the funder to ensure effective delivery of programs


The ED will be thoroughly committed to CAO’s mission. All candidates should have proven executive leadership, fundraising, and relationship management experience.

The ED will be thoroughly committed to CAO’s mission. All candidates should have proven executive leadership, fundraising, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) with at least 5 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading and regionally and/or nationally scaling a performance-and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Proven experience in conference or program management and onsite activation.
  • Demonstrated experience, including teaching, research or other scholarship in the areas of criminal justice, education or entrepreneurship.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

Additional Information

  • Employee Type: Full Time, Exempt
  • Start Date: February 4, 2020
  • Compensation: $115k-$120k/ Year
  • Benefits: Health, Dental, FSA, 403(b), Bonus Potential
  • Manages Others: Yes
  • Location: Washington, DC Office