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Digital Transformation (CIO/IT), Nonprofit and Social Impact, Social Justice and Advocacy

Chief Information Officer

  • Polaris
  • Washington, DC
About Polaris

Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem – nearly 28 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work. For over two decades, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable, and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, they use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible.

Grounded in a common set of values, organizational beliefs, and passion about combatting all forms of human trafficking, the Polaris team works together to respond to the urgent needs of victims and survivors, and prevent trafficking through systemic interventions. Polaris develops innovative, inclusive solutions to large-scale human trafficking challenges and strives to center the perspectives and experiences of survivors in all that they do.

For more information on Polaris, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

During this critical stage of the organization’s growth, Polaris seeks a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to lead Polaris’ technology and mission engineering strategy. In a uniquely technology-enabled, mission-driven organization, the CIO’s management and development of both operational needs and large-scale data analysis and optimization will directly enable the Polaris team to better identify, respond to, and share key information on human trafficking threats and trends across the U.S. in addition to supporting organizational growth and capacity.

As an integral member of the executive team, the CIO will provide cohesive direction and leadership to ensure Polaris’s technology operations, cybersecurity, data ecosystem and product engineering align to support the organization’s vision for impact. Overseeing both day-to-day technology functions and the development of custom solutions to support programmatic functions, the CIO will serve as a strategic leader and collaborator in positioning Polaris for continued organizational growth. Building upon a strong strategic plan, the technology team, under the CIO’s leadership, will contribute to scaling the organization’s response to human trafficking through the 24-hour operation of the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline and support Polaris’ long-term prevention work through advanced data analysis, research and intelligence, and strategic development of policies and products that ensure smooth and secure technology operations across the organization.

The successful CIO will:

  • Be an Agent of Change for Success. Advance the three-year roadmap for technology, data, and intelligence.
  • Increase Polaris’s Impact. Lead the technology department’s work towards a unified set of highly leveraged priorities, balancing current needs and strategic investments.
  • Partner with the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Ensure 24/7 technology operations and support the ongoing evolution of the technology underpinning the Trafficking Hotline.
  • Protect Survivors. Create security and privacy plans, data use policies, and technology solutions to safeguard information entrusted to Polaris.
  • Be the (tech) Face of Polaris. Work with partners, funders, media, and vendors to understand the role that technology plays in the Polaris mission to end human trafficking.
  • Lead with Passion. Cultivate a highly engaged team that values excellence, innovation, agility, continuous learning, and entrepreneurship while working in a highly collaborative, inclusive, service-oriented way.
  • Coach and collaborate with department leaders and other C-suite members as they implement their strategic plans and day-to-day operations.
  • Manage the technology budget for Polaris.

This role is intended to be based in the Greater Washington D.C. area with some in-person work on a regular weekly basis at the Polaris office.

Candidate Profile

Motivated by a deep desire to employ technology tools to support complex human challenges in our world, the successful candidate will be a creative, service-oriented leader with the technology expertise and leadership to strengthen data ecosystems and operations toward organization growth. Leading with values of equity and inclusion, this collaborative partner will draw upon experience supporting the evolution of a data-driven organization to inform strategic technology direction and skillfully communicate needs, capacity, and success across a range of internal and external audiences. With a thoughtful approach to management and team development, this leader will guide a motivated team to successfully develop and execute solutions that improve organizational operations and support the critical work of Polaris’ mission.

The ideal candidate will possess the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Passion for the Mission

  • Driven by a desire to both directly impact communities in need and support organizations to grow and thrive with a deep belief in the power of data and technology tools to support human trafficking interventions in all forms.
  • A low-ego leader with a strong sense of self-awareness and personal management of wellbeing to effectively work in a trauma-related setting and alongside survivors of exploitation and trafficking. Self-aware, collaborative, well-grounded/unflappable, flexible, positive, resilient, and proactive.

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Deep understanding of how data-centric technology can be leveraged for strategic purposes. Able to create and communicate the vision, motivate a team, and then deliver on this vision.
  • Adept at overseeing and executing strategic projects with significant visibility and impact across and beyond an organization.
  • Skilled at looking downstream and focusing organizational and team efforts on big picture, long term impactful initiatives.

Technology and Data Expertise

  • Depth of expertise and knowledge in leading organizations through digital transformation initiatives, including large scale system and process changes.
  • Exhibits a thorough understanding of specific aspects of work supervised (IT Infrastructure, Enterprise Systems and Applications, IT Security, Software Development).
  • Experience with responsibility for a 24/7, mission critical, high-volume operation. Has built and run teams where a common passion for both the goal as well as for the growth of the team was clear.

Collaboration and Partnership

  • Builds collaborative working relationships across groups; evokes respect from others.
  • Possesses the executive presence and interpersonal skills to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and effect change through influence.
  • Collaborates with senior management to deliver strategic business results.

Effective Communication

  • Flexible communication skills to translate technology requirements between team members, non-technical staff, vendors, contractors, funders, partners, and other constituents.
  • Able to employ a broad range of technical literacy to communicate concepts effectively with a range of internal audiences, from the executive team to operations to technical staff.
  • Skilled at communicating with a variety of external audiences, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, media, private sector entities and donors.

Team Management

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage cross-functional, effective teams in a fast-paced, complex, mission focused environment.
  • Able to inspire and set clear priorities for a diverse team in a dynamic environment.
  • Seeks input from, elevates, and empowers team members to share ideas and innovative approaches and provides support for professional growth and development.

Additional Qualifications

BS/BA degree required; graduate degree preferred.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The starting salary range for this role is $178,0000 – $218,000 with a generous benefits package.

Contact

Tom Phillips and Marisa Chock of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. 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.
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Polaris is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

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 https://diversifiedsearchgroup.com/koya-partners/.

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