Chief Program Officer

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary is commensurate with experience




910 West Van Buren Street
Suite 710
United States


Job Title: Chief Program Officer (CPO)

Reports To: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Organization Overview

Umoja Student Development Corporation (Umoja) is a premiere on-the-ground partner for high schools and districts focused on ensuring that all students graduate from high school equipped for college, career and life success. Umoja’s core competencies include college & career readiness, social & emotional learning and restorative justice–each of which Umoja believes is essential to students and schools reaching their academic and postsecondary goals. Through our Seminar and Peace Room models and professional development, Umoja currently partners with 20 public high schools across the city of Chicago. For more information, please visit

Position Summary

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) is a dynamic, entrepreneurial and relational individual who is passionate about changing lives and outcomes of students, teachers and high schools. As a key organizational leader, the CPO is responsible for the oversight of Umoja’s program portfolio across our core partner schools within Chicago Public Schools and the professional development work that Umoja’s Curriculum & Instruction team is implementing across Chicago, the state of Illinois and beyond. The CPO ensures that Umoja’s core programming and professional development models are integrated and align with the vision and mission of the organization. The CPO partners with the CEO and COO to define and execute Umoja’s strategic vision and long-term development. Additionally, the CPO shares responsibility for setting tone, crafting policy and ensuring accountability, representing Umoja to stakeholders, modeling great leadership, and actively embracing and living out Umoja’s core principles and values. The CPO reports directly to Umoja’s CEO.

The CPO will ensure the high quality implementation of Umoja’s student facing and adult professional development programming across Umoja’s three core areas (College & Career Readiness, Social & Emotional Learning, Restorative Justice). Essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead the vision and implementation of Umoja’s three-year program plan
  • Work with Umoja’s program Directors to design and implement strategies and procedures for program-level effectiveness and growth
  • Oversee all day to day Umoja programming and relationships across school partnerships
  • Cultivate and supervise Umoja Director-level staff through regular meetings, coaching, observations, modeling and evaluation
  • Partner with Umoja Directors to build and maintain relationships with principals, administrators and key leaders at partner schools
  • Coordinate with Director-level staff to ensure Umoja’s programmatic best practices are effectively captured into products, tools and systems that ensure organizational sustainability and growth
  • Collaborate with the COO to provide leadership to internal Umoja teams (e.g. Program Team, Directors & Officers Team, Diversity Team, etc.) including implementing internal structures and systems for documenting, capturing and sharing internal team best practices
  • Provide oversight to the full execution of the Curriculum & Instruction team’s adult professional development model, including reaching fee for service and impact goals
  • Partner with the Director of Evaluation to ensure that outcomes and metrics for Umoja’s programming are identified, tracked and ready for internal and external reporting
  • Establish and maintain integration and learning across Umoja schools and program areas, ensuring best practices are captured and implemented consistently throughout the organization
  • Work closely with the CEO and COO to create and facilitate a robust Umoja talent pipeline which includes onboarding and ongoing staff development
  • Partner with the Development team to effectively capture Umoja’s successes, tell the Umoja story, assist in site visits with funders, and support fundraising efforts as needed

Umoja Leadership Competencies

  1. Influential Leadership–Integrating resources to meet objectives and ensure high performance; guiding and motivating others in gaining acceptance of ideas and in accomplishing common objectives.
  2. Strategic Thinking–Scanning the environment and trends, defining future direction, and identifying approaches for achieving objectives. Analyzing changing conditions, creating timely options to achieve results and define future direction.
  3. Leading and Managing Change–Communicating the path from the present to the future; introducing, reinforcing and managing organizational change.
  4. Developing Others–Assessing individual skills and development needs; providing opportunities for individuals to learn and develop skills needed to achieve objectives.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university required; master’s degree or commensurate experience preferred
  • Demonstrated track record as an effective supervisor/manager and/or adult coach with a minimum of 3 years of management experience required
  • A minimum of 2 years teaching or related experience and/or direct service youth development experience with urban youth
  • Experience with school-community partnerships is required
  • Demonstrated track record of designing and implementing quality, high-impact programming
  • Ability to communicate in an effective and compelling manner both orally and in writing
  • Proficiency in, or willingness to quickly learn, Google Docs and Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint and Excel)
  • Expertise in areas of college and career readiness, social and emotional learning, and restorative justice and related curriculum development preferred, but not required


Benefits of working at Umoja include:

  • Being part of a team and organization that is results-driven, mission focused, and committed to work life balance
  • Opportunities for growth, leadership, and professional development
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Generous paid and sick time off package
  • Parental leave

For a comprehensive list of Umoja’s benefits, please visit:

This is a full-time, exempt position; hours may exceed 40 hours per week. Salary is commensurate with experience. This position requires a valid driver’s license, reliable automobile, insurance and good driving record. 

Umoja Student Development Corporation is an equal opportunity employer and believes in fostering a diverse and inclusive staff. To do this, we not only recognize each individual’s diverse identity but also actively create and maintain a culture of inclusion where all Umoja employees feel involved, respected, and supported for their diverse identities. Please let us know if there are any accommodations you require.

Candidates from communities that traditionally experience discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or immigration status; women; people with disabilities; and LGBTQ+ people are encouraged to apply.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

How to Apply

Send a cover letter and resume. Attachments must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format only. Please include the job title in the email subject line.