Washington State

Vice President of Operations & Administration, Inatai Foundation

The Organization


Inatai Foundation believes true equity is possible only when communities have decision-making power over the material conditions of their lives. Founded in 2017, Inatai holds a unique position as the only 501(c)(4) of its size with an intentional commitment to Washington state. Inatai’s mission is to transform the balance of power to ensure equity and racial justice across Washington and beyond.

Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Vice President of Operations and Administration provides executive-level leadership for foundation-wide administrative functions, operations, and infrastructure including finance, human resources, technology, facilities, and legal. The Vice President (VP) will partner with the executive team on short- and long-term organizational planning and change efforts, ensuring that the infrastructure, systems, policies, and processes support Inatai’s bold and ambitious vision and increasing organizational complexity. The new Vice President will manage a growing team of 13 (four direct reports) who together will work collaboratively across the foundation to nurture the continued development of a healthy culture and human resource function, strong financial planning and oversight, and the continued growth of technology, facilities, and other infrastructure needs. Finally, they will bring a keen eye to ensuring the foundation’s organizational life, rhythm, and structures are healthy, cohesive, values aligned, and integrate equity and racial justice at all levels.

Compelling candidates will demonstrate the foundation’s values and approaches as central elements of their professional and management philosophy. They will have a core understanding of how operations and administrative infrastructure function in partnership with programs and in service to the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic direction. The Vice President will bring a sophisticated and integrated approach to advancing best practices across People/HR, Finance and Administration, Technology, Facilities, and Operations. They will be a strong collaborator and communicator who can effectively and clearly articulate operational priorities, best practices, and a strategy for a values-aligned approach that embeds racial justice in every aspect of operations. The new Vice President will join Inatai Foundation at a unique moment, poised to shape and strengthen organizational operations in alignment with its recently adopted 50-year vision.

More Information & Application Instructions

Carolyn Ho is supporting Inatai Foundation with this search. The full position announcement is found here. Applications and inquiries can be sent to: info@carolynhoconsulting.com


Founded in 2017 as Group Health Foundation following the sale of Group Health Cooperative to Kaiser Permanente, Inatai Foundation holds a unique position as the only 501(c)(4) of its size with an intentional commitment to Washington state. The foundation’s first five years have focused on listening and learning with communities across the state to define its vision, strategy, and focus. In early 2023, the foundation changed its name to Inatai Foundation and committed to a 50-year long-term vision. The word “Inatai” is from the Chinuk Wawa language, which is spoken by the Chinook tribe and served as Washington’s and the Pacific Northwest’s original trade language. Inatai’s English translation is “to cross over.” The word reflects the foundation’s deep commitment to the region and its journey toward a more equitable world along with its partners.

Inatai’s first five years have also been shaped by significant growth in size and complexity. Its staff now live across the state and have grown from 5 to 60; it nurtures relationships with 500 grantees; it launched an investment management company and opened an office in Pasco. It will soon move into a new Seattle office that will serve as a resource and gathering place for grantees and community organizations aligned with Inatai’s vision. The foundation is also clear about its values and approaches that center communities and seek to transform the balance of power.

Inatai Foundation is comprised of a 501(c)(4), 501(c)(3), and an investment management LLC with combined assets of $2B+ and a total annual budget of $97M. It anticipates being fully staffed in 2024 with 75 employees. To learn more about Inatai’s organizational structure and team, please visit its website.

Position Overview


The new Vice President will hold primary responsibility for ensuring that the organizational infrastructure, operations, systems, policies, and procedures reflect its core values, and enhance and support the foundation’s mission and vision. They will ensure capacity meets the needs of future growth, increased complexity, and an adaptive context. The new Vice President will report to the President & CEO, work collaboratively with the executive team, and hold responsibility in the following areas:

Strategic Leadership: Provide strategic direction and oversight to the foundation’s core operations and administrative functions with attention to the full spectrum of organizational life in service to the mission.

·       Serve as lead in partnership with the CEO and executive team in the ongoing improvement of organizational systems, structures, policies, and financial and people management to enable the conditions for the full realization of the foundation’s vision.

·       Center the organization’s mission, vision, and values in its organizational life. Foster a big-picture approach that reflects the value of operations as integral to the mission and in partnership with all departments.

·       Contribute to building a positive, cohesive, and collaborative culture through continuous learning and by actively integrating Inatai’s values and commitment to Strong Culture.

·       Effectively and clearly communicate operational shifts, policy changes, and planning in order to foster organizational effectiveness.

People & Culture: Foster the internal growth of a healthy culture, talent development, continuous learning, professional development, and values-aligned practices and policies.

·       Provide functional oversight to the Director of Human resources including guidance/coaching, feedback, and support to ensure that recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes are aligned with the foundation’s values. Partner with the Human Resources Director on employee terminations and other sensitive personnel matters.

·       Ensure strong collaboration between Human Resources, Leadership, Learning, and other departments to effectively nurture People and Culture.

·       Support the continued development of the foundation’s compensation program and human resource policies and systems as the foundation and its subsidiaries continue to grow.

·       Oversee the ongoing assessment, updating, and implementation of the foundation’s benefit programs, including 401(k) and 457(b) retirement plans in partnership with HR and Finance.

·       Model the skills, sensitivity, and coaching capacity necessary to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to the mission.

Finance: In close partnership with the Finance Director and corresponding board committees, ensure the continued development of a robust finance function.

·       Offer guidance/coaching, feedback, and support to the Finance and Administration Director. Ensure that financial reports for the board and senior staff are accurate, strategic, and useful for decision-making.

·       Support the continued development of the annual budgeting process, long-term forecasting, and collaborative relationship with Inatai Investment Company.

·       Monitor the selection and implementation processes for major systems (accounting, payroll, expense reporting, etc.), vendors (audit, tax, etc.), and oversee the foundation’s insurance coverages. Ensure that contractor RFP and vendor selection processes are accountable to the foundation’s commitment to racial justice.

Technology & Facilities Infrastructure: Provide overarching planning and oversight for the foundation’s technology and office operations ensuring they are welcoming spaces, enhance productivity and collaboration, and leverage data and information effectively.

·       Provide supervision and guidance to the Director of Information Technology on planning, contracting, policy development, and the ongoing evaluation and updating of the foundation’s technology infrastructure and cybersecurity measures.

·       Develop long and short-term planning for increased staff capacity and organizational demands across Technology and Facilities. Negotiate and manage real estate leases and purchases.

·       Lead the planning and staffing of physical and virtual meeting facilities; oversee office design and development efforts.

·       Integrate a community-centric approach and strong customer service orientation into the design and management of the spaces, systems, and services team members and foundation partners use.

Policy Development, Governance, & Legal. In close partnership with the Office of the President and executive team, contribute to the effective development of cross-foundation policies, practices, and governance at the staff and board levels.

·       Collaboratively develop, assess, and align operational policies and processes that reflect organizational values and best practices. Communicate with clarity and at appropriate intervals on the development and refinement of the foundation’s policies.

·       Work in partnership with the foundation’s legal team to ensure healthy governance practices across the organizational structures and maintain appropriate compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

·       Provide input and support to the Audit and Risk Management Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee, the Executive and Finance Committee, and the Board Relations Manager.

·       Serve as the primary liaison with legal counsel and consultants that support operations, finance, and human resources.

·       Oversee the foundation’s 501(c)(3) subsidiary.


The Vice President will bring a strategic approach to implementing best practices in operations and administration in a growing organization and will possess broad knowledge across people & culture, finance, technology, infrastructure, and organizational policy development. They will be an effective leader of leaders who coaches, develops, empowers, and equips a strong team with a shared purpose. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications, the new Vice President will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Core Competencies & Qualifications

·       Deep commitment to racial justice, equity, and building community power. A sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the role operations plays in advancing mission.

·       15+ years in leadership roles, preferably in the nonprofit/philanthropic sector; demonstrated experience leading and managing diverse organizations with 60+ staff and/or budgets that exceed $30M.

·       Fluency and demonstrated experience across the core functions of finance, people & human resources, technology, facilities, and organizational effectiveness.

·       Strong management capabilities necessary to build a cohesive team paired with the demonstrated commitment to racial equity in past professional, community, or personal roles.

Management Approach

·       Strategic thinker and collaborative leader who exemplifies Inatai’s values and holds joy, abundance, and integrity as a primary orientation to the world.

·       Proven leadership experience in setting strategic priorities and operational direction that advance equity and nurture organizational health; ability to look across systems, policies, and structures to analyze gaps, anticipate capacity needs, identify misalignment, and develop a structured plan for adaptive change in partnership with key leaders.

·       An adaptive leader comfortable with periods of transition who can shift direction and approach as the context changes with a high degree of emotional intelligence.

·       Demonstrated record of delivering quality services, organizational improvements, and excellence across all operations and infrastructure functions.

·       Highly developed coaching and engagement skills; comfort managing diverse group dynamics and leading toward common desired outcomes.

Skills and Qualities

·       Experience leading or managing financial planning and forecasting, growing technology and infrastructure needs, the full spectrum of human resources, and oversight of legal, contracts, and compliance. Preference to candidates with familiarity across c3, c4, and LLC structures.

·       Strong verbal and written communication skills combined with the ability to listen deeply and authentically.

·       Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with diplomacy, and to work effectively and respectfully with politically, ideologically, culturally, and geographically diverse people and communities. An understanding of the foundational role that racism, ableism, sexism, and other forms of bias and oppression play in perpetuating inequity in the workplace.

·       Humility, curiosity, self-reflection, and a sense of humor which foster teamwork, positive work culture, purpose, and perspective.


Cultivating a staff team that embodies the diverse experiences of Washington communities is essential to Inatai’s aspirations. We strongly and sincerely encourage applications from people of color; immigrant, bilingual, and multicultural individuals; d/Deaf people and people with disabilities; members of LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming communities; and people with other diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.

In addition to a positive and flexible work culture, we attract, retain, and motivate exceptional people with an equitable and competitive compensation package. Salary ranges are set according to an explicit compensation policy, and relevant data are reviewed when setting ranges for each position. The anticipated starting salary range for this position is $290,000 to $330,000. A compensation enhancement is provided to employees with indigenous or advanced language proficiency in more than one language that they utilize to advance the foundation’s work across Washington. We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes fully paid medical/dental/vision coverage for employees and dependent children (and partial coverage for partners and spouses), a 10% retirement contribution, generous and flexible paid time off, paid family and medical leave, a transit pass (where available), and support for ongoing professional development. Travel and in-office time are expected for the role.

Please visit our website to learn more about the foundation, approaches, and values.

How To Apply


Carolyn Ho is assisting Inatai Foundation with this search. Applications (cover letter and resume), nominations, and expressions of interest should be sent to info@carolynhoconsulting.com.

We are committed to creating conditions where all candidates are able to fully express their talents and potential and invite you to let us know if there are any accommodations that we can provide to support you in your pursuit of this role.

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