The Director of Strategic Initiatives (DSI) holds a highly cross-functional role on the Strategic Initiatives team, setting vision and project managing organization-wide efforts. The mission of the SI Team is to ensure the organization achieves its most important goals by linking long-term business plans to annual goals and budgets through inclusion and effective org-wide structures and practices. In close partnership with the VP of Strategic Initiatives, this role will set the vision for and manage a portfolio of high-impact, organization-wide projects, and processes. Other responsibilities include supporting project owners to adopt and leverage project management best practices in service of achieving high-quality outcomes in a collaborative and inclusive manner. This role will work strategically with senior leaders of the organization and may directly manage staff or contractors. The successful candidate will have advanced project and change management experience and be comfortable leading multiple projects concurrently. The person in this role must have the ability to work in a team environment as well as understand the importance of and practice forming collaborative cross-functional working relationships at all levels of the organization. The position reports to the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.
The ideal candidate enjoys working cross-functionally in a highly collaborative way. Is able to balance “getting things done” while connecting with people, and is able to delve deeply into details at times while also having the ability to step out of the weeds to see the broader picture to have strategic conversations and creatively approach problem-solving. We seek someone who enjoys working with others at all levels across the organization in service of our mission.
Primary Responsibilities Include:
Portfolio Management (25%)
- Create and implement a vision for efficiently and effectively managing a portfolio of large organization-wide projects (called the OnePlan) that allows the leadership team to remain informed about real-time progress, challenges, and mitigation strategies.
- Work cross-functionally with a variety of project owners to help ensure the success of the annual portfolio of projects.
- Prepare dashboards and reports for crisp information sharing about the portfolio of projects.
- Provide strategies through multiple mediums for keeping staff and leaders across the organization updated on the progress of OnePlan Projects
Project and Change Management (50%)
- Serve as project manager of high-impact, organization-wide initiatives in deep partnership with the project owners.
- In collaboration with the project owner, clearly define and manage the scope, timeline, and deliverables of the projects.
- Support project owners in getting projects back on track when needed.
- Manage the full project lifecycle in alignment with the College Track culture and honor our core values of Commitment, Passion, Joy, Authenticity, and Excellence.
- Own and manage annual, recurring processes designed to support effective coordination and communication across College Track, including the annual calendaring process.
- Ensure strong communications and change management are planned for and effectively carried out over the course of the project lifecycle including post-implementation adoption and transition.
- Informed by internal feedback and external best practices, continue to refine, simplify, and improve the College Track’s project management standards, resources, and tools.
- Develop training materials to build a greater working knowledge of project and change management best practices.
- Train, coach, and mentor staff members where the primary role is not as Project Manager but they are serving in that capacity in order to move work forward in their department.
Annual Plan Management & Support (25%)
- In close collaboration with the Director of Annual Planning and Budgeting project manage the current year annual planning process in service of driving toward our multi-year goals.
- Ensuring a seamless transition from planning to execution of Annual Plans. Serve as a thought partner for leaders in support of making thoughtful pivots over the course of the year.
- Identify and implement improvements to enhance the annual planning process, tools, user experience, and/or literacy.
Skills & Experience Required
First and foremost, the Director of Strategic Initiatives must embrace the College Track vision of transforming low-income communities into places where college readiness and college graduation are the norms.
Additionally, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field preferred
- Minimum 8 years of progressive experience in a strategic, operational, business operations, and/or consulting role.
- Minimum 5 years of project and change management experience.
- 2 - 3 years experience directly managing staff members or project teams
- Comfortable learning and working with a variety of planning and business management tools. Experience with monday.com is a plus.
- Excellent strategic planning skills.
- Experience with bringing projects from initial conception through completion – everything from high-level strategy and influencing key decisions down to making detail-oriented PowerPoint slides, and coordinating logistics.
- Operates with a high sense of urgency and responsiveness balanced by a need for providing accurate information based on strategic priorities.
- Extremely detail-oriented, well-organized, and structured in the creation and presentation of information.
- Ability to manage multiple time-sensitive projects simultaneously; Uses sound judgment to prioritize and meet deadlines, copes well with change, and maintains composure under pressure.
- Exceptional communication skills with a demonstrable ability to write effectively, speak persuasively, and listen attentively. Can distill complex concepts into digestible elements.
- Believes strongly in celebrating success while also always seeking to improve on the current state. Will therefore seek ways to maximize the current operational model, while pursuing targeted initiatives to improve upon it.
- Is obsessively customer-driven, differentiating support where needed -- understands both the explicit and underlying business needs, is proactive, stays on point for strategic value-add, and is responsive without being unproductively reactive to team-member and external-party needs.
- A high degree of flexibility and adaptability; can work within an ambitious, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solution.
College Track requires that the holder of this position be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC. College Track will require proof of vaccination from each current and future employee.
Compensation & Benefits
College Track offers a competitive, region-specific, salary based on the organization’s compensation philosophy, which is grounded in market data. We also offer comprehensive health & welfare benefits and top-of-the-market paid time off.
Please upload a PDF resume and thoughtful cover letter with your application. We will only contact candidates chosen for further consideration. No phone inquiries, please.
College Track works to remove barriers for first-generation college students on their journey to college completion. Our commitment to removing barriers for first-generation college students doesn't stop when college ends. While we hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, we especially encourage applicants who identify as first-generation college graduates to apply for open opportunities on staff.
College Track is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. College Track does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.