Flexible, USA

Chief Operating Officer, Health Leads

The Organization

Health Leads is an innovation hub that seeks to unearth and address the deep societal roots of racial inequity that impact our health. Founded in 1996, Health Leads helped set the standard for health systems and clinics looking to integrate programs that connect people to essential resources like food, heat, and housing. Health Leads works both nationally and locally, across the U.S., to build partnerships and redesign systems so every person, in every community, can live with health, well-being and dignity.

Position Overview

Health Leads seeks nominations and applications for the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Reporting to and working alongside the CEO, the COO will set the operational strategy for the organization and facilitate greater synergies and efficiencies across Health Leads’ programmatic, financial, human resources, IT, operations, and learning functions. The COO will also manage a matrixed team of seven and will lend expertise and leadership throughout the organization. Through facilitation of cross-functional collaboration, process improvements, and managing teams towards results, the COO leads and aligns the execution of Health Leads’ administrative and programmatic functions with the organization’s strategy and priorities. As a member of the management team, the COO creates and promotes a positive, inclusive work environment that aligns the work on the ground with the organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals.

Opportunities and CHALLENGES FOR the new COO

In addition to managing the effectiveness of Health Leads’ programmatic, financial, human resources, IT, operations, and learning functions, the COO will ensure that these functions are structured to maximize their effectiveness and hold the following responsibilities:

Align Organizational Structure, Capabilities and Strategy

  • Translate Health Leads’ organizational strategy into a team and staff resourcing that optimizes organizational resources and capabilities in service of the mission.
  • Serve as a strategy and thought partner to the CEO in the ongoing improvement of organizational systems, structures, policies, and talent to enable the highest level of operational and programmatic quality and effectiveness.
  • Establish and consistently communicate organizational priorities as part of Health Lead’s leadership and ensure alignment and cross-cutting integration of ideas, problem solving, and execution of work to staff, Board, and key partners.
  • Identify gaps in organizational capacity and resources and formulate the most effective means for redress.
  • Guide the development and purpose of the newly formed management team to set enterprise-level priorities and plans in service of strengthening structures and processes for decision making.
  • Manage a highly effective team focused on operational excellence and community health care nationwide.

Align and Strengthen Operational, Financial, IT, HR, Programmatic and Learning Functions

  • Facilitate greater synergies and efficiencies across Health Leads’ programmatic, financial, human resources, IT, operations, and learning functions.
  • Lead, in partnership with the Finance Director, all aspects of financial oversight including planning and budgeting, accounting, audit, and compliance. Provide financial systems and tools for generating real-time forecasts, supporting sound business decisions, building staff capacity to review programs from a budgeting perspective and exploring innovations in Health Leads’ revenue generation strategies.
  • Set operational policies and processes that align with organizational values, reflect best practices, and guide consistent practices spanning vendor management, talent development, and other organizational functions.
  • Facilitate cross-functional collaboration and ensure that efficient systems, processes, and practices are in place to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Health Leads’ mission.
  • Build the capacity of function area leads to situate their work and decision making in the context of broader organizational decision making, and in service of achieving Health Leads’ desired outcomes for the transformation of healthcare in the United States.

Steward Culture and Ongoing Organizational Development

  • Build cultural humility by continually learning and by actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work.
  • Nurture a positive, inclusive work environment that aligns the team’s work with the mission of Health Leads and in commitment to Health Leads’ core values: shared leadership, justice through equity and inclusion, empathy and genuine relationships, and constant and courageous learning.
  • Ensure integration of equity and anti-racism to all aspects of internal operations (e.g., execution of pay equity measures).
  • Model and support a culture in which all team members feel valued and recognized as vital to advancing the Health Leads’ mission and goals and are encouraged to grow professionally.
  • In partnership with the CEO and the management team, take a highly visible leadership role to build a trusting and collegial organizational culture.
  • Establish short- and long-term goals, develop strategies and plans, and facilitate change management activities to ensure organizational alignment with Health Leads’ strategic direction.
  • Develop programs and practices to support organization-wide standards and practices and an asset-based approach to performance management and talent development.
  • Display the skills, sensitivity, and coaching capacity to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to the mission.


Strong candidates will be deeply committed to Health Leads’ mission and understand the critical role of community in leading transformative change within healthcare in the United States. While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Demonstrated and Evolved understanding of the roots of racial inequity and demonstrated commitment to the continuous work of strengthening their own learning and actions to center race equity.
  • A minimum of 12 years of strategic leadership and career growth in finance, operational, and strategy functions at a similarly complex and innovative organization.
  • Demonstrated record of delivering quality services, organizational improvements, and excellence in strategic, organizational, and budget management along with outstanding stewardship of financial, physical, and human resources.
  • Demonstrated body of work that reflects a commitment to organizational excellence and efficiency, servant leadership, management of collaboration and effective teamwork, that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Clear strategic and operational vision and exceptional skills in synthesizing information and translating vision into action steps for the long and short term.
  • An adaptive leader unafraid of failure and able to shift direction and approach as context changes with high emotional intelligence and tolerance for ambiguity
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, navigating change management, and proposing new ways of achieving desired outcomes with inclusive approaches to planning, problem solving, and decision making.
  • Combined experience, maturity level, and flexibility to interact with a broad set of stakeholders, including the management team, staff across the organization, key partners, and Board of Directors.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to research, synthesize, and analyze information, compose documents, and present data in a clear and concise manner to appropriate personnel, including top management, program staff, and Board of Directors.
  • Highly developed facilitation, coaching, and engagement skills; comfort with managing diverse group dynamics and leading toward common desired outcomes.
  • Highly developed emotional intelligence and demonstrated ability to use interpersonal skills and political acumen in respectful, collaborative, and diplomatic ways.
  • A strong, intuitive communicator, skillful at managing through influence; demonstrated ability to connect and inspire across stakeholder groups.
  • Passion for the mission-driven sector and the role of community and innovation in transforming systems to achieve racial health equity.
  • Alignment with Health Leads values: Shared Leadership, Justice through Equity & Inclusion, Empathy & Genuine Relationship, and Constant & Courageous Learning.

How To Apply

More information about Health Leads may be found at: healthleadsusa.org

Compensation for this position will begin at $200k.

This search is being conducted with assistance from Allison Kupfer Poteet and Britni Russell Bianchi of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Health Leads is dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce. Health Leads recognizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are inseparable from its core values and key to inspirational leadership, effective teamwork, mutual learning, and an environment in which they celebrate each other’s differences. To learn more about Health Lead’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.

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