Chief Operating Officer

Job Type

Full Time




4101 15th Ave NE
United States


Forefront Suicide Prevention is the catalyst for a social movement to save lives lost to suicide. We are considered national thought leaders developing innovative legislation and programs that can be scaled to build capacity for everyone to play a role in suicide prevention. We champion state policy and systems changes within healthcare, schools and higher education institutions, train and support a broad coalition of volunteers to provide resources in their communities, and educate media to shift the culture of this public health issue from one of stigma and silence to openness and empowerment of individuals to take action. 

Suicide Prevention Program is now seeking an extraordinary person to join our team as our Chief Operating Officer to lead the organization through an exciting phase of growth and development. Building on current programmatic and organizational successes, the Chief Operating Officer will have the overall responsibility of ensuring sustainability and stewarding organizational strategy. 

Our ideal candidate is a passionate leader and communicator with a track record of successfully growing an organization. Further, the candidate poses demonstrated experience managing and leading people, including the ability to develop and empower top notch staff and cultivate entrepreneurship. 


Strategy, Vision and Leadership 

Contribute to the development and implementation of Forefronts strategic goals and objectives. 

Lead annual planning objectives and overall management of the organization. 

Work in partnership with the Faculty Director to implement new processes and approaches as outlined in Forefront’s strategic plan. 

Advise the Faculty Director and other key program staff on business planning, financial planning and budgeting. 

Effectively communicate and present critical financial matters including the center’s annual budget to Forefront’s Advisory Board. 

Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the Faculty Director informed of all critical issues. 

Advocate for the strategic plan of Forefront Suicide Prevention within the community, SSW and the University of Washington. 

Partner with Faculty Director, Advancement and program staff to fund all Center program and operation’s needs. 

Staff Management/ Team & Network Development 

Lead and manage Forefront operations staff, including partnering with them to identify growth opportunities and priorities, create program goals and objectives, cultivate the values of the organization, and support efficiencies in program operations. 

Oversee the daily operations of Forefront and the work of operations staff. 

Promote a culture of high performance, continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality, research and evaluation. 

Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate feedback, performance appraisals, training and development based on established metrics for staff performance. 

Oversight of the development and execution of the business plan for the LEARN™ Saves Lives suite of trainings including on-line and in-person trainings. 


Supervise and partner with operations staff to implement Forefront systems and processes for all organization needs within existing framework of the SSW Department and UW policies (i.e. hiring standards, on-boarding and HR processes, staff policies, database). 

Ensure that Forefront financial activity including grant, gift, revenue, and in-kind dollars are fully tracked and integrated into Forefront’s operating budget and that program staff receive reminders of needed progress/ grant reports. In addition, working within UW system and with SSW Director of Finance and finance team to ensure all financial activities are in compliance with UW and departmental policies. 

Work with UW/SSW HR departments to ensure practices, and policies are updated and consistent with legal requirements. 

Manage full life cycle of human resources processes including: creation of job descriptions, reviewing, interviewing, hiring, orientation, unit onboarding, and ongoing HR matters. 

Plan, coordinate, and execute the annual operations plan budget process. 

Ensure that Forefront Suicide Prevention is adhering to the strategic plan and delivering status reports to the advisory board. 

Manage Forefront grant life-cycle system including helping to prepare submissions, tracking and reporting requirements. 


Bachelor's Degree in Business, Public Administration, Social Work, or related field 

Demonstrable experience in leadership strategy, business development, program budgeting and administration. 

Minimum of 5 years of management experience and a proven ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a growth-minded, diverse team. 

Ability to accurately analyze complex financial and accounting data and communicate it clearly. 

Ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience and judgement. 

The ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends and incorporate them into the organizational plan. 

Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people, including the ability develop and empower top notch staff and cultivate entrepreneurship. 

Skilled at creating and using complex MS Excel spreadsheets, MS Access queries and reports, and other information systems for financial management. 

The capacity to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget. 

Results-proven track record of exceeding goals. 


Master’s Degree in Business, Public Administration or Social Work 

Demonstrate a passion for breaking new ground and leading social change in the field of Suicide Prevention. 

Experience working within a University financial setting (or equivalent combination of education and experience with an emphasis on budget, operational, and fiscal management), or demonstrate the ability to learn quickly the major UW financial. 

Enjoys working hard and thrives in the face of challenge. 

Broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance and marketing. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree