Programs Director, Habitat for Humanity Chicago

The Organization

Habitat for Humanity Chicago (Habitat Chicago) is a nonprofit organization that works to champion healthy neighborhoods by investing in resident priorities, supporting homeownership and building quality homes. We believe in a world where everyone has a decent place to live and we invite people of all backgrounds, races, and religions to work toward this vision together in our focus neighborhoods of West Pullman, Greater Grand Crossing, and Austin.

Position Overview

The Programs Director champions and leads Habitat Chicago’s strategic direction: To promote healthy, vibrant neighborhoods that provide decent places to live for their residents.

The Programs Director manages and mentors a team of 17 with five direct reports – Real Estate and Build Manager, Volunteer Programs Manager, Homeownership Programs Manager, Community Partnerships Manager, and Programs Coordinator. This team advances Habitat Chicago’s neighborhood strategy to identify, develop, and execute investments in promotion of neighborhood health in our focus areas.

Habitat Chicago’s investments currently include loan origination and new home construction for affordable homeownership, loan preparation and homeownership education, community grantmaking, and volunteer development. We believe in inclusivity and quality, emphasizing both across all efforts. These comprehensive programs must work in concert to ensure collective impact. Collective impact will be more purposeful going forward as we shift to a coalition-centered strategy – either joining formal coalitions that are driving quality of life plans or sparking coalition development. This shift requires that we act in the best interest of the coalition’s plan and align outputs to the coalition’s planned goals. On the horizon for the Programs Team includes expanding investments in existing programs, entering the Austin neighborhood, and designing and delivering additional programs (e.g., home repairs, rehabs, realtor relations, etc.).

The Programs Director reports to, and collaborates closely with, the Executive Director, and is a key member of the leadership team, who are collectively responsible for creating Habitat Chicago’s long-term strategy. They also contribute to the Board of Directors and their delegated staff contributes to assigned committees.

The ideal candidate is a forward-thinking champion for Chicago neighborhoods and Habitat Chicago’s role in supporting the development of healthy neighborhoods. They are an effective leader and manager who thrives on the responsibility of driving the organization’s programs towards specific outcomes. Strong candidates will have a proven track record in creating and executing programs focused on targeted outcomes, managing in a complex environment, building and executing cross-organizational program plans, seeing opportunities to leverage talent, and managing teams.

This is an excellent opportunity for a successful professional interested in leading the program strategy of a metrics-driven organization focused on expanding its impact in Chicago.

Key Responsibility: Direction Setting (30%) –

Utilizing planning knowledge as well as team and external counsel, the Director ensures the success of program targets. In this responsibility area, the Director is expected to:

·        Create an aggressive, achievable, multi-faceted annual program plan that supports Habitat Chicago’s future growth, targeting key areas for growth based on strategy and specific deliverables

·        Direct and evaluate the effectiveness of all programs and investments, by establishing and utilizing assessment and reporting tools

·        Integrate coalition efforts into overall program planning and deliverables, including building relationships, identifying shared goals, and expanding efforts

·        Oversee research and interpretation that aligns and advances program and investment strategy

·        Ensure multi-year, multi-investment planning advances in alignment with Habitat Chicago’s strategic direction

Key Responsibility: Program Design & Management (35%) –

The Director is the key driver on all program-related efforts and has the opportunity to inspire their team and the organization in pursuit of our strategic direction. In this responsibility area, the Director is expected to:

·       Provide effective and inspiring leadership, as well as stewardship, of Habitat Chicago by being actively involved in, and developing a broad and deep knowledge of, all programs and services

·       Implement and lead a continuous quality improvement process throughout the program and service areas, focusing on systems, process improvement, and safety

·       Direct overall responsibility, from day-to-day activities to strategic growth, for program design and operations including construction, site planning, volunteers, lending, homebuyer education, homeowner support, community grantmaking, and emerging neighborhood investments

·       Coordinate the cohesive operations of all program teams and services to leverage strengths, improve program efficiencies and address challenges

·        Ensure all areas of responsibility have documented policies and procedures and comply with relevant Federal, State and Local laws and regulations where applicable

Key Responsibility: Management & Communication (30%)

Team structure and development is a top priority, and the Director must embrace supporting a growing team. In this responsibility area, the Director is expected to:

·        Hire, manage and mentor program staff; prioritize work and offer direction and support that ensures both effective results and engaged employees

·        Work collaboratively with the leadership team to advance affiliate culture and staff competency, including offering a program perspective for organization-wide strategic and operational decisions

·        Direct the preparation of all annual budgets under program functions and monitor on a monthly basis to ensure expenditures are within budget scope

·        Collaborate with development team to provide insight and information in support of funding and marketing opportunities


Key Responsibility: Teamwork (5%)

As the Programs team’s leader, the director contributes to our organizational health through enthusiastic collaboration, leadership, and personal integrity.

·        Maintain a “team first” outlook, supporting the success of the team and the mission in attitude, ideas, and actions; lead by example and with active, creative input for growing and improving the organization.

·        Contribute to organization events, helping as necessary with set up/take down, management, networking, various tasks, etc.

·        Engage with all members of team, donors, program participants, and core volunteers.


Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

·        Proven effectiveness working in the community development field

·        A goal-oriented personality who is resilient and creative when faced with shifting challenges and opportunities

·        Demonstrable experience designing and executing programs that meet goals and outcomes; knowledge and confidence to implement new or develop existing strategies for growth that keeps pace with goals

·        Experience creating and implementing project plans

·        Exceptional work ethic and track record of personal initiative and achievement

·        Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, speak, and write well

·        Proven effectiveness with cross-departmental collaboration and communication

·        High level of computer literacy, including competence with Microsoft Office and familiarity with project management tools and constituent relationship management platforms (Salesforce preferred)

·        Strong leadership qualities, including the ability both to delegate and to execute, thereby leading by word and by example

·        Demonstrated ability to prioritize and emphasize collaborative efforts and team goals that motivate team members and help them achieve better results

·        Ability to manage confidential information with discretion and tact

·        Current authorization to work permanently in the United States

·        Valid driver’s license

Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

·        Knowledge of outcome measurement, including establishing long-term tracking systems and metrics

·        Knowledge and experience in creating affordable homeownership developments

·        Experience in residential lending

·        Experience working in Chicago’s South Side or West Side neighborhoods

·        Understanding of adult education learning principles and experience developing training/curriculum for adult learners

·        Understanding of the Habitat for Humanity mission and operations

Education and Experience

·        Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred

·        Personal volunteer experience

·        A minimum of 8 years of work experience in nonprofit management, program design/development, community development, or similar work required; at least 5 years in a leadership position

Successful Habitat team members share the following characteristics

·        Trust: You invest in your fellow team members and you do what you say you will do. You thrive on constructive feedback and have a high level of integrity.

·        Commitment: You have a “go above and beyond” attitude; nobody here works just for a paycheck.

·        Engagement: You embrace bringing people to the Habitat mission.

·        Innovation: You are a creative problem solver that works across teams.

·        Curiosity: You express curiosity and reserve judgment.

·        Achievement: You love results and hate excuses. You will help Habitat Chicago grow to be a leading organization.

Position Details

Reports To: Executive Director

Supervises: Lead team of 17 full-time staff plus volunteers who support operations.

Hours: Full-time; 8am-4pm plus evenings and weekends meetings as required.

Environment: The Habitat Chicago office is located at Cermak Rd. and Carpenter St. in Chicago. It is accessible by car or by public transit. This position will have a desk, computer, and phone line in an open office environment.

Conditions: Must be able to lift 25 pounds and work at a computer for long periods of time.

Compensation: Salaried; ranging from $95,000 to $105,000, depending on experience, 30+ vacation/sick/personal days per year. 90% employer paid health insurance; access to dental, life, and 401k plans.

FLSA Status: This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It does not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Training: The position will begin with an onboarding period to become familiar with the organization’s work and policies; they will be trained on the specifics of the role through a combination of in-person, online and written trainings and will be expected to take the initiative to review materials as needed and seek understanding of new developments in order to perform their responsibilities.

How To Apply

Please submit compelling cover letter and resume to with “Programs Director – Your Name” in the subject line by 4/01/2022. Successful applicants will be contacted for interviews.

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