Chief of Staff

July 14, 2020
Minneapolis, MN

Download the job description.

World Savvy is a leading national education nonprofit working to transform teaching, learning and culture in K-12 public education so all students can learn, work and thrive in our rapidly changing world as globally competent citizens. World Savvy is unique in the field for our systems change approach that holistically supports the integration of global competence into student learning, teacher training and capacity, and school and district leadership. We have offices in Minneapolis (largest), San Francisco and New York City.

MISSION: World Savvy educates and engages youth to learn, work, and thrive as responsible global citizens.

VISION: As the leading provider of global competence education, World Savvy envisions a K-12 education system that prepares all students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for success and active engagement in the global community.

World Savvy is an ambitious organization with big ideas and tenacious growth goals. Our culture is one of optimism, authenticity, levity, and learning. World Savvy is deeply committed to anti-racism, inclusion, and equity in our programming and workplace. As we grow, we will intentionally build a team that reflects the ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity of the students, educators and communities we serve. World Savvy seeks individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to apply.  

Position Summary:

The Chief of Staff reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is a key member of the executive team who manages the organization’s day-to-day operational functions and supports the CEO through facilitation and leadership of strategic and operational planning, budget administration, infrastructure and capacity building, talent management and governance. The Chief of Staff provides a critical communication link between the CEO, senior leadership and staff, and streamlines systems and processes to ensure an efficient, collaborative, inclusive, agile and scalable multi-site and remote-enabled workplace.

As a strategic thought partner to the CEO, the Chief of Staff translates vision into strategy and objectives, and facilitates multi-year operational planning to ensure that the organization meets its growth objectives and goals. This role oversees and directs the operational functions of finance/accounting, human resources, information technology and facilities. In addition, the Chief of Staff has administrative oversight of the regional Executive Directors (2) who share responsibility for operations in their respective regions. This is a strategic, tactical and relational role that requires a high degree of emotional intelligence, responsive and succinct communication, unfailing attention to detail, strong analytical thinking and project management skills. As an executive leader, the Chief of Staff will embody World Savvy’s values, model its core leadership competencies, and deeply resonate with its global competence framework and principles.

Our Values:

  • We do the best work possible in service of our mission.
  • We believe collaboration is essential.
  • We see people as whole human beings.
  • We intentionally grow and change.
  • We lean into complexity when it’s called for.
  • We believe big things are possible, whether that’s our mission or the project on the table.
  • We notice and disrupt exclusionary patterns.
  • We bring hope, joy, and share aspiration into all that we do.

Key Responsibilities:

Administrative Leadership

  • An advisor, ideator, confidante, partner and truth teller who enhances the CEO’s ability to effectively lead and grow the organization. Challenges, elevates, refines, translates and operationalizes strategies that serve the mission and bring the vision to life. Facilitates ongoing, clear and proactive communication between the CEO, management and staff.
  • Consults with senior leadership in the development, integration and administration of systems, policies and processes that support the organization’s performance and growth, while ensuring practices are equitable and inclusive.
  • Oversees the regional Executive Directors (1 FTE in San Francisco, CA and 1 FTE [open] in Minneapolis, MN.)
  • Facilitates the ongoing collaborative efforts of the cross-functional Leadership Team to include strategic and operational planning; budget management; setting goals, timelines, objectives and metrics, tracking them and communicating progress to internal and external constituents.
  • Gathers input from the broader team, plans and implements organization-wide professional development and training opportunities to meet the organization’s learning objectives.
  • Tracks, monitors, communicates and drives organizational accountability for outcomes. Provides analytical support to management including development of internal metrics and reporting capabilities.
  • Works with the Board of Directors to support committees, develop meeting agendas and provide ongoing reporting.
  • Represents organization at external events as needed, particularly to support the development of critical partnerships.
  • Actively participates in building a values-based workplace culture.

Operational Leadership

  • Directs and/or executes the functions of Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Technology, Facilities and Procurement. Provides work direction and manages contractual relationships with vendors, brokers and consultants who provide services in these areas.
  • FINANCE: supervises the Finance Director (.8 FTE), directs work of the contract accountant, auditor and payroll vendor. Leads forecasting, budgeting, projections and financial reporting. Oversees cash flow management. Develops strategies for building reserves to appropriate levels. Maintains internal controls, ensures compliance, demonstrates fiscal discipline and judicious stewardship of financial resources.
  • TECHNOLOGY: directs work of the Salesforce consultant and remote help desk provider. Develops and implements data and analytics practices to support growth objectives. Oversees procurement, licensing and asset management of hardware and software. Maintains and enhances the organization’s technology infrastructure, ensuring that it responsively adapts to the changing needs of the workplace. This includes a flexible workforce who may be office-based, distributed (remote), or have hybrid work arrangements.
  • HUMAN RESOURCES: leads/directs activities including, but not limited to: total rewards (pay, benefits, perks), recruitment and retention, performance management, training/professional development, onboarding/offboarding, etc. Inspires and motivates a high-performing culture of feedback, accountability and results. Manages broker and vendor relationships. Advises and supports management on employment matters and enhances their capacity for hiring, developing and retaining talent at all levels of the organization. Provides work direction to a shared staff position that is partially allocated to HR, and a fractional HR consultant.
  • FACILITIES: manages lease agreements, vendor relationships, equipment, furniture, etc. Ensures maintenance, safety and accessibility of physical workspace. Identifies cost-effective options and recommends guidelines for transportation, travel, accommodations, parking and related business needs.
  • Champions the adoption of tools and technology to improve efficiency, leverage data, enhance security, and ensure timely flow of information and communication across the organization. Prioritizes Salesforce optimization.
  • Acts as primary liaison for legal services as needed with respect to contracts, intellectual property, employment and other business concerns.

Leadership Competencies:

Drives Results

Proactively anticipates future needs and creates a mechanism for overcoming hurdles, setting high standards for the organization and holding others accountable. Ensures organizational strategies are translated into measurable objectives and actionable plans. Proactively facilitates problem-solving and conflict resolution.

Emotional Intelligence

Possesses a high level of self-awareness, empathy and social awareness. Effectively manages personal emotions and behaviors to foster productive relationships and influence others.

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Understands and manages the challenges inherent in future-looking and growth-oriented environments. Promotes systems and processes that are nimble in order to achieve evolution and scaling. Acts decisively in opportunistic situations and redirects resources accordingly.

Fosters Collaboration

Creates an environment that supports collaboration by facilitating communication and coordination across all parts of the organization. Builds an intentional and cohesive culture that aligns functional agendas and unites the team. Coaches workgroups to resolve conflicts.

Sound Decision-Making

Possesses strong intellectual curiosity and the ability to analytically, conceptually and critically evaluate information to determine relative strengths and weaknesses of ideas and proposals. Comfortable managing ambiguity and balancing action with the appropriate level of risk.

Values Alignment

Consistently models the values in behaviors, actions, communications and decisions. Recognizes differing interpretations and clarifies ambiguity in specific situations.

Key Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, or a combination of education and equivalent professional work experience in a related field.
  • 10+ years of related professional experience in positions of increasing scope and responsibility. Nonprofit experience required. A combination of for-profit and nonprofit experience is a plus.
  • 5+ years of experience directly supervising employees. Management of teams is strongly preferred.
  • 3+ years experience in a senior leadership role (director or above) with significant responsibility for strategic, financial, and operational planning to meet high growth objectives in a similarly sized or larger organization, company, business unit or enterprise.
  • Previous oversight of, or extensive experience working with, at least two of the following functional areas required: HR, finance/accounting, facilities, technology, legal, or a related internal support function.
  • Experience effectively managing and/or supporting multi-site, multi-state operations and remote/distributed teams.
  • Proven ability to build relationships, collaborate and problem-solve with others across geographical locations using technology and virtual tools.
  • Strong technology skills with the aptitude for self-sufficient learning and an inclination towards continuous improvement and optimization. Expectations include, but are not limited to, proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Zoom, Slack, Asana, Egnyte, etc. and proactively learning new tools as needed. Salesforce proficiency preferred; basic knowledge of CRM databases and functionality is required.
  • A track record of effectively and collaboratively facilitating multi-year planning across an organization, engaging with leadership, gaining buy-in, setting goals and driving successful outcomes.
  • Clear, effective, responsive and transparent communication style. Exceptional writing skills, with the ability to communicate professionally to a range of audiences across all digital platforms and in person. An engaged and empathetic listener who can ‘read the room’, anticipate needs and know when to not take oneself too seriously.
  • Exceptional project management, facilitation, analytical, decision-making skills and balanced judgement.
  • Embraces complexity, excels at navigating and leading change, transforms ambiguity into clarity, and thrives in a fast-paced, agile work environment.
  • Values and seeks input from multiple perspectives, champions new ideas and encourages new ways of thinking.
  • Demonstrates executive presence, a high degree of integrity and discretion, cultural competency, alignment with World Savvy’s values and a commitment to furthering the organization’s anti-racism efforts.
  • Valid driver’s license, access to a personal vehicle and/or the ability to self-sufficiently travel throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota by car as needed.
  • Ability to identify with, and/or extensive experience working alongside the communities and populations World Savvy serves (>50% Black, Indigenous and People of Color.)

Schedule: Full time, some nights and weekends as needed.
Compensation: $135,000 – $145,000
FLSA Status: Exempt
Projected Start Date: Early November
Application Deadline: Accepting applications until August 15
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Travel Requirements: Approximately 30% (local, regional and national)

Applying for this Position:

Please send a resume, cover letter, and recent writing sample to: with “Chief of Staff” in the email subject line. In your cover letter, please share why you are interested in the job, and why you believe your experiences and skills are a good fit for the position.

A note about World Savvy’s commitment to anti-racism and recruiting: In the past, we’ve used equity and inclusion language to express our social justice values and our intention to build a team that reflects the racial diversity of the students, educators and districts we serve. Like many organizations, we’ve recognized how passive and ineffective this has been at overcoming the effects of systemic racism that have impacted the workforce for generations. Many things need to change, including the dialogue we have with job seekers. To that end, we share the following:

Our commitment is that as we grow, we will intentionally build a team that reflects the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of the students, educators and communities we serve. This population is currently 50% or more BIPOC. Recognizing the gap we have on our team, we’re seeking individuals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color to apply. We believe these life experiences and perspectives are critical at the leadership level, in particular, to advance our global competence work. At its core, this work is about teaching students to practice empathy, appreciate cultural differences, consider multiple perspectives and collaboratively problem-solve. In an increasingly divided world, the continued success of this work hinges on modeling this ourselves, continuously learning and growing.

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