Chief Operating Officer

Posted by
The Literacy Lab
Washington, DC
Published 16 days ago

ABOUT THE POSITION: At this important moment in its history, The Literacy Lab is seeking an entrepreneurial Chief Operating Officer who is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ideal executive will have a track record in managing an organization while growing and mentoring staff. It is anticipated that the successful leader will be one who harmoniously integrates all HR best practices as well as administrative processes, data and analysis and overall priorities together. It is through the COO that The Literacy Lab will identify consistent organizational clarity, focus, alignment and accountability. Additionally, the organization's core values and mission will be integrated while achieving exceptional results on behalf of those we serve. The successful candidate will serve as the organization's first COO under a new leader and organizational structure.

Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Operating Officer will play a critical role in managing both the day-to-day operations and organizational strategic alignment. The successful COO will be a trusted advisor to the CEO. The COO will lead a team of 4-6 reports. The COO will have direct managerial oversight of operations, HR, IT, recruitment, and data and evaluation, ensuring accountability for a healthy, sustainable operating environment. Through this leadership hire, it is anticipated that The Literacy Lab will reach new and aspiring levels of equity, inclusivity, accountability and growth.

ABOUT THE LITERACY LAB: The Literacy Lab is a fast-paced, Washington, DC-based non-profit organization with a mission to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction, by utilizing the talents of AmeriCorps members and Leading Men Fellows, to improve their literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. We partner with school districts to add capacity in high-need schools to close the literacy achievement gap for children before third grade.

This is a special time in the evolution of The Literacy Lab as it clarifies and expands its role in the educational equity landscape, while providing holistic, engaging and measurable DEI solutions. The Literacy Lab will continue to build a collaborative and inspiring environment in which student-centeredness, DEI growth, common purpose and community thrive.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: The COO will be an effective listener and strong collaborator with the ability to build a meaningful and robust network of partnerships. The COO will be responsible for the following:

  • Serving as a member of the senior leadership team
  • Enacting and executing on the CEO’s vision for growth and innovation, while ensuring excellence in best
  • HR and operational practices
  • Overseeing strategic planning
  • Working with other staff members and senior leaders to execute HR strategy with the goal of continuing to elevate and support the mission and goals of the organization
  • Ensuring that all operational aspects of the company align with strategic goals and priorities
  • Creating analytical tools and processes to support decision-making and track effectiveness
  • Optimizing technology across the organization to increase operational efficiency by ensuring the appropriate use and data integrity
  • Providing leadership and mentorship to a diverse team of professional staff – listening to their ideas; understanding their strengths; and encouraging each member’s professional growth
  • Promoting a culture of respect that rewards collaboration, learning, accountability and initiative
  • Regularly reporting to the CEO on areas of operational significance
  • On a daily basis ensuring that the values and mission of The Literacy Lab are integrated in the goals and overall workflow of the organization
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned

QUALIFICATIONS: While we will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate would have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and commensurate experience that demonstrates exemplary HR, overall operations, and business acumen.
  • A minimum of 7 years of HR, administrative, evaluation and operational management experience.
  • Ability to work with and among a range of diverse staff and stakeholders.
  • Passion and experience for working in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Strong leadership and management skills that have influenced business culture through the development and implementation of administrative initiatives.
  • Team building skills with a collaborative management style.
  • Conceptual and analytical thinker, with sensitivity to both the artistic and business environments.
  • High level of integrity and trustworthiness.
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Blend of expertise in development and change management.
  • Experience with working closely with Staff and Board, as necessary.
  • Administrative and entrepreneurial approach required.
  • Superb management skills with demonstrated success in building, managing, leading, and motivating professionals.
  • Commitment to and experience with creating an inclusive environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and coaching skills to counsel a wide range of staff and volunteers; ability to interact sensitively with a variety of personalities.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • Exceptional time and project management skills with an ability to manage and prioritize multiple high-level projects simultaneously.
  • Skilled at delivering solutions in an evolving equity-focused, multi-cultural environment.
  • Commitment to The Literacy Lab’s mission.
  • Organized, flexible, detail-oriented and creative thinker.


  • Strong HR leadership track-record
  • Mastery of follow-through
  • Well-honed leadership skills
  • Use of data and analytics
  • Entrepreneurial orientation
  • Strategic orientation with a proven ability to manage daily operations
  • Equity and inclusion focused leadership style
  • Confidence with humility
  • Bridge builder and relationship builder
  • Planning and execution
  • Superb listening skills
  • Change management and project management skills
  • Problem solver and continuous learner
  • Innovative and creative
  • Strong emotional intelligence skills
  • Staff developer/coach
  • Team oriented & collegial management style
  • Exceptional communicator
  • Values driven and resilient
  • Operates with respect and engenders trust

START DATE: Position open until filled.

WORK LOCATION: This position will be based in the Washington, D.C. metro region.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: The salary range for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include a flexible work environment, employer-paid health and dental insurance (employee only), employer-paid short and long-term disability, employer-paid life insurance, a 403b retirement plan, and paid vacation.

WORK DEMANDS: This position may require out-of-town travel of approximately 5-10 nights per year for training, staff events, and conferences as well as travel within the DC region to complete duties and tasks. Performance of duties may require occasional evening or weekend work. 

The Literacy Lab is an equal opportunity employer. The Literacy Lab’s policy is to provide equal opportunity at all times without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical or mental disability, medication, or status as a veteran. 

ABOUT THE POSITION: At this important moment in its history, The Literacy Lab is seeking an entrepreneurial Chief Operating Officer who is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ideal executive will have a track record in…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Washington, DC
Associated Location
1400 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA

How to Apply

APPLICATION DETAILS: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references with contact information via email to (ATTN: Chief Operating Officer). 

APPLICATION DETAILS: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references with contact information via email to (ATTN: Chief Operating Officer). 

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