Administration, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Program Leadership, Social Services, Youth Development and Educational Equity

Chief Program Officer

  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • Roxbury, MA

This position has been filled.

About Horizons for Homeless Children

Our Mission and Impact

Horizons for Homeless Children (Horizons) is Massachusetts’ leading organization devoted exclusively to improving the lives of young children and their families experiencing homelessness. We work with young children and families to mitigate the trauma and stress associated with homelessness by offering high-quality early education, opportunities for play, and comprehensive family support services.

Our two-generation model is well-respected within Massachusetts and nationwide. Children who attend our early education center move on to excel in public and private school settings. Based on the supports we offer to their parents, their long-term prospects for academic and professional success are even greater. Our programs use evidence-based practices for proven impact, and we partner with organizations including Lesley University, Brazelton Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital, NAEYC, and JumpStart to adopt and contribute to best practices for supporting children and families facing homelessness.

Over more than 30 years, we have served more than 5,000 children in our early education centers and provided access to play to over 20,000 children across the state through our Playspace Program. In 2021 alone, we served 2,251 children and opened the Edgerly Family Horizons Center, a state-of-the-art building that brings together all of our programs, under one roof, in the heart of Roxbury. With our current strategic plan, we are taking steps to build on the strengths of our core programs, enhance the work we do to support parent-child relationships, expand our partnerships, and build our capacity for data-driven decision-making and continuous learning.

Our Team, Values, and Culture

Our team of over 100 people is a dedicated, diverse, and playful group, and each team member, no matter their role, makes a difference in the lives of young children and families experiencing homelessness. We have been successful because of our team and our shared commitment to our values: collaboration, inclusion, innovation, and passion.

We recognize the value of looking within to ensure our policies, practices, and culture are aligned with Horizons’ vision. Creating a more equitable world has always been at the center of Horizons’ mission, but in the last several years we’ve recommitted to the role Horizons plays in rectifying some of the problems we see and wish to address. Visit our DEI page to learn more about what that looks like at Horizons.

The Chief Program Officer Opportunity

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) is a newly-created role at Horizons, inspired by the vision for change we have laid out in our new strategic plan. The CPO will bring strategic leadership skills and an orientation to continuous learning and improvement, working with us to understand, learn from, and communicate the impact of our programs.

As the leader for the program team, the CPO will set and drive accountability for program-level goals, ensuring we achieve our intended impact for children and parents as we reinforce the strengths in our programs and test new ways to achieve impact. They will play a leading role in developing and implementing innovations in our program model. The CPO will support the program team in building the capacity for data-informed decision-making and performance management, creating a team culture where each individual can contribute to shared learning and play a role in refining our collective work. The CPO will also ensure that the program team has clear goals and work plans for its contributions to the Horizons DEI Plan.

As an organizational leader, the CPO will report to the President & CEO and serve on the Executive Leadership Team. They will supervise a team of program leaders and foster a strong sense of collaboration with other departments, as well as with partners in the field.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead our programming to achieve key outcomes for children and parents, including the following activities:
    • Set annual programmatic goals and determine the resource and staffing needs to achieve them
    • Lead the program team, overseeing performance to successfully achieve annual goals, meet performance metrics, and ensure programmatic fidelity and child and parent outcomes
    • Develop and lead the implementation of a robust, data-driven learning agenda that will deepen our understanding of program impact, child and parent needs, and organizational effectiveness
    • Establish and facilitate a continuous learning process that will inform program refinement, best practices, and insights that can be shared with partners in the field
    • Work closely with our Chief of Development, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships to develop and manage priority partnerships to support our children and families
    • Collaborate with other organizational leaders to inform our advocacy priorities based on an understanding of the needs of our children and families
    • Develop, implement, and evaluate new program models aligned with our goal of refining our parent support programs through strategic pilot initiatives to drive improved economic well-being in our families
    • Ensure that our programs are inclusive and culturally responsive and that program staffing is diverse and reflects the communities we serve
    • Provide supportive and effective management for direct reports that offers clear expectations, appropriate resources for meeting goals, and opportunities for professional development; advise direct reports in their roles as managers
    • Act as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, collaborating to set and deliver on our organizational strategy and to support a cohesive, inclusive culture of excellence and accountability
Candidate Profile

As the incoming Chief Program Officer, you will demonstrate many, though perhaps not all, of the following qualifications and experiences:

  • You come to this role with at least 10 years of experience in leadership roles, including past success in meeting organizational or departmental goals by successfully managing budgets, teams, and work plans.
  • You offer a deep understanding of how to support children and families in poverty, with a strong knowledge base related to trauma-informed practices. Prior experience with organizations or in roles providing early childhood education is considered a benefit.
  • You are an effective change facilitator with successful experience building processes and relationships necessary to support growth or new ways of working.
  • You have a deep track record of success in delivering tangible outcomes by working with families in deep poverty.
  • You are a strategic thinker with experience fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making and continuous learning and improvement. You are effective in coaching and supporting others who are growing their understanding of how to use data to drive decision-making.
  • You offer successful experience as a supervisor with a strengths-based approach, commitment to mutual respect, and the ability to manage workloads, provide appropriate support, and address professional development needs
  • You are deeply committed to our mission of supporting young children and families experiencing homelessness.
  • You embody our core values as a collaborative, inclusive, innovative, and passionate leader and share our commitment to embedding DEI into all aspects of our work.
Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is $150,000 – $180,000; starting salary will be determined commensurate with experience, competencies, and skillset. For more details on our comprehensive benefits practices, please visit The Benefits of Working at Horizons.

Our compensation practices include:

  • Regularly comparing our pay rates to that of similarly situated employers (market rates), economic factors, organizational budget, pay equity, and the contributions of the person in the role to ensure that we maintain fair and equitable pay.
  • When we make an offer, we do so with the above factors in mind and not based on anyone’s particular negotiation skills, as we know that can lead to inequity.
  • While increases and bonuses are never guaranteed, there are opportunities to earn additional compensation every 6 months; cost-of-living-adjustments every Spring and performance-based bonuses or increases every Fall, so starting pay truly is only the beginning.
  • Visit our recent update, Creating the world we want to see starts with early educators, for more information on changes we recently made to make our compensation practices more equitable.

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume, addressed to Kate Barrand here.

Horizons for Homeless Children is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

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 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

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