The Chief of Staff is a senior level professional who will be responsible for coordinating and liaising across the organization on initiatives as assigned by the President & CEO to whom this position reports. The Chief of Staff will be called upon to contribute ideas and oversee complex projects that will have a direct impact on the success of the organization. Members of the senior leadership team as well as some members of the conservation team will report to this position.
The position will focus on interdepartmental issues and implementation of policies, protocols, and procedures that serve to increase organizational efficiency and improve communications. The Chief of Staff will help set and/or manage agendas; provide research and/or other background materials; manage follow-up items; facilitate, lead and/or participate in group discussions; and manage special initiatives, which cross departmental lines that are of operational and strategic importance as determined by the President & CEO.
Advance Key Priorities
Collaborate with the President & CEO and Senior Leadership team (vice presidents, executive vice president and senior counsel) to identify key initiatives to drive the most impact that are in alignment with our strategic plan.
Assist in establishing priorities and agendas internally to Openlands; researching high-priority issues and timeliness of outstanding projects.
Assist the President & CEO as well as the Senior Leadership team in managing the execution of the next phase of our strategic plan.
Work with Senior Leadership team in the preparation and planning of meetings with Board of Directors. May include developing and delivering complex presentation materials including charts, graphs, and other data representations.
Improve Organizational Health
Analyze the status of current projects and flow of communication to ensure timelines and completion of strategic goals.
Refine our operations so the team can focus on work assignments.
Assure that long-term, cross-organizational projects are constructively integrated and well-coordinated.
Act as an advisor to the President & CEO to identify priorities, align their time for execution, and revisit regularly to assess progress.
Oversee Coordinated Operations Communications
Apprise President & CEO and Senior Leadership team project status and variations from schedule or scope, striving to keep them on schedule.
Share timely and meaningful feedback with Senior Leadership team to meet goals and execute on strategic initiatives, ensuring critical deadlines are met.
Formalize communication across all teams; utilizing a program tracker and review process that includes all staffing levels.
Develop decks and materials in conjunction with teams.
Provide communications support: drafting emails, reports, memos, and presentations.
Maintain A Well-Managed Team
Support internal teams related to matters of immediate concern to ensure that the resources are in place for the timely completion of projects.
Efficiently manage each project with Senior Leadership team and project leads to ensure that projects are efficiently managed and that all parties are aligned and accountable.
Develop A High-Performing Team
Keep finger on team pulse. Identify areas of uncertainty or discord.
Evolve team norms to develop a sense of cohesiveness.
Identify individual and team professional growth opportunities.
Influence high performing culture.
Facilitate discovery of cross-team opportunities.
Facilitate team meetings and agendas.
Facilitate resource management across teams.
Identify resource gaps.
Responsible for any other task or duty, as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Bachelor's degree required
Advanced degree or Master's in Nonprofit Management preferred
Minimum of 10 years related experience required, with two years or more experience in a nonprofit setting or mission-driven organization preferred
Excellent judgment, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (written and verbal) including ability to articulate progress, concerns, and recommendations in concise and timely manner
Proven success working with and understanding complex organizations, including ability to manage large projects that cross organizational or departmental lines in fast-paced, nimble environment
Results-oriented with excellent attention to detail, yet able to maintain focus on the big picture
Demonstrated experience in project management processes including planning tasks, resource allocation, time management, monitoring and reporting, documenting, and record keeping
Collaborative and highly adaptive to change and team-focused culture
Must possess outstanding, advanced analytical skills and experience with operational issues, including best practices, procedures, and available technology related there to
Experience in support of a senior level executive
Strong writing, editing, and presentation skills
Experience and competency in working in a diverse and multicultural environment
Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time. This is a full-time position, non-exempt position.
This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to JobApps@openlands.org. Please include “Chief of Staff” in the subject line.
Loop office is ADA accessible.
This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
Smoke- and drug-free environment
Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.
Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives. Openlands' vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.