About Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (“Catholic Charities” or “Charities”) serves anyone in need. Their purpose is to partner with mission-driven people and organizations across Cook and Lake Counties, to witness a message of mercy and hope to a world in need, as together they:
- Improve lives and nourish spirits by meeting human need with courageous compassion, solidarity, and joy.
- Strengthen and empower people, families, and communities by building programs that inspire hope through meaningful dialogue and measurable impact.
- Commit to being present to our times through the eyes of faith.
As the largest human services provider in the Chicago and one of the largest in the greater Midwest region, Charities serves thousands daily -- opening their arms to all who come to their doors. They accompany anyone in need, regardless of their faith, gender, race, or ethnicity. Catholic Charities is proud that their community -- the people they serve and the people they employ and partner with -- represents a broad range of faith traditions and backgrounds, including those who have none. What binds their community is unity around their calling, purpose, and shared values.
Charities serves nearly 400,000 people in need each year across Cook and Lake counties through three primary Impact Areas: Immediate Access/Basic Needs; Children, Youth, and Families; Seniors and Housing. Their work spans a broad array of services, including for example: food pantries for families, congregate meals for seniors, affordable housing, mental and behavioral health services, refugee resettlement and immigration support, domestic violence shelter and counseling, legal aid, child and adult day care, emergency financial assistance, doula services and pregnancy support, community engagement for seniors, youth mentoring, and many others. To do this work, they partner with 15,000+ donors and volunteers and a staff of more than 1200, operating on an annual budget of $180 million.
For more information on Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, please visit their website.
Building on a foundation of faith, hope and charity laid more than a century ago, Catholic Charities has grown to be an anchor organization within the region’s human services ecosystem. Over the last three years, Catholic Charities provided uninterrupted care to the region’s most vulnerable, while also responding to the extraordinary demands precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the migrant crisis. Sally Blount joined Catholic Charities as President and CEO in 2020, just as the pandemic started. A dynamic leader with a global reputation in management education and non-profit leadership, Blount worked with the Board and senior leaders to undertake a rigorous period of learning, listening, and visioning over the last three years. In the process, key governance and work systems were adapted and changed. Charities is now in the process of designing a strategic plan, Vision 2030, that will guide the organization into its next 100 years.
As Catholic Charities looks ahead to this new era, the organization is seeking a Chief of Staff to support and work with the President and CEO -- to leverage and extend Blount’s influence, reach, and impact across the organization and Charities’ visibility and reputation with key external stakeholders. This role will champion strategic initiatives internally and externally, when needed, and forge organization-wide collaboration to achieve strategic objectives, develop and track progress against workplans, and partner with the CEO in communicating with the staff, Board, donors, thought leaders, and other external stakeholders. The Chief of Staff will report directly to the CEO and will be a core member of her senior leadership team.
A successful person in this role will take a significant portion of the CEO’s current operating workload off her shoulders, thus allowing her more time with donors and for additional external-facing, reputation-enhancing activities for Charities.
Key responsibilities will include:
Strategy Implementation and Operational Alignment
- Support the CEO in establishing and executing on quarterly and annual priorities and work plans across the senior leadership team -- always keeping mission at the forefront.
- Support the CEO and senior team on strategy, staying aligned on critical timetables, monitoring organizational progress towards strategic goals, advancing identity, and fostering a strong senior team culture.
- Collaborate with senior leaders and staff to develop systems to effectively monitor, analyze, forecast, report on and learn from key initiatives.
- Advise the CEO on the progress of key initiatives and where her intervention is needed.
- Meet one-on-one with members of the CEO’s leadership team, as needed in her stead, to assure that projects and priorities maintain momentum and stay on-track.
- Work with the support team to assure that Blount’s time is being appropriately allocated and that requests for appointments and engagements are being handled promptly and appropriately.
Senior Team Outreach and Support
- Work closely with and across all senior team members to build trust, comradery, and a strong sense of team cohesion and excellence in pursuit of Catholic Charities’ mission and operating goals.
- Identify opportunities to integrate across functional areas and team members; leveraging individual strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and/or to address emergent organizational challenges.
- Create an organizational calendar and high-level work plan to ensure annual work planning, budgeting, strategy and personnel reviews are well-integrated and conducted in a reliable and efficient manner.
- Assure that individual team members and key contractors are receiving the alignment, coaching, and encouragement they need to flourish. Alert the CEO to any relationships that might need extra care.
Communications and Culture
- Support the CEO and Senior Team in regularly communicating vision and organizational priorities, developments, and progress internally. Ensuring regular promotion and accountability of values.
- Assist in scheduling, planning, and coordinating all staff sessions, including recurring leadership meetings and annual retreats; assist in planning and preparing for quarterly Board meetings and key committee meetings.
- Refine and maintain an internal communications system of key talking points and POV papers to ensure that CEO and other senior team members have the information needed to successfully represent the organization in speeches and convenings.
- Assure that research and briefings are prepared for all of CEO’s key external meetings and assure that these materials are of high quality and delivered to her in a timely fashion.
The Chief of Staff for Catholic Charities will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Excellent Influence and Relationship Building
The Chief of Staff will be skilled at building effective relationships at multiple levels within a dynamic environment. They will have demonstrated the ability to quickly build trust and credibility with their peers, and they will have a natural inclination for developing strong relationships and networks in service of Catholic Charities mission. The Chief of Staff will inspire others to think entrepreneurially and embrace new ideas. Possessing a strong sense of confidence and a style that will resonate with the Catholic Charities team, they will help to support and empower a strong culture and high-performing and talented staff.
Strong Action-Orientation and Execution Skills
The Chief of Staff will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective action. They will be both a strategic and detail-oriented individual who functions well in a fast-paced, multi-stakeholder environment. The Chief of Staff will have experience setting priorities within an organization, facile organizational and process management skills, and a strong ability to collaborate to create efficiencies across people and teams. They will be assertive and results-oriented with the ability to translate Catholic Charities’ priorities and goals into clear actions for the organization leadership and staff. They will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive decisions and achieves strategic objectives. The Chief of Staff will be a builder with the ability to decisively align on priorities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.
High Communications Acumen
A perceptive and attentive listener, this leader will be an intelligent self-starter who is resourceful and entrepreneurial, as they partner closely with the CEO and the senior leadership team to establish a culture of proactive, concise, and highly effective communication. It is imperative that they are an excellent and persuasive communicator with exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership across the organization. They will also have strong strategic skills in communications – understanding the power of message planning and refreshment and the strategic use of evergreen talking points, communications cascades, and quarterly/annual messaging goals. They will have an instinct for gathering stories and key data for increasing communications impact.
Passion for Human Services and the Unique Role that Faith Pays
The Chief of Staff will have a vibrant passion for the unifying role that faith can play in a highly diverse (ethnically, racially, socioeconomically and religiously) workplace. The Chief of Staff will be an individual of integrity and values – someone who can be trusted without reservation. The Chief of Staff will have a strong work ethic, emotional and social intelligence, an ability to bring compassion to tough situations, as well as a natural joy and foundational understanding of our shared humanity. Above all, this leader will bring a personal passion and commitment to Catholic Charities’ mission as well as an appreciation and understanding of the organization’s vision, work, and impact.
The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is an equal opportunity employer and consideration for employment is made without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this is $150,000-175,000, plus a generous and competitive benefits package.
Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. Marissa Delgado and George Theotokatos are leading the engagement. To make recommendations or express interest in this opportunity, please submit your materials here or email CCACCOS@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.