Chief Programs Officer


About the Roosevelt Institute

Until economic and social rules work for all Americans, they’re not working. Inspired by the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute reimagines the rules to create a nation where everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity. We are a 21st-century think tank bringing together multiple generations of thinkers and leaders to help drive key economic and social debates and have local and national impact. We advance this mission through the work of our staff, fellows, and network of students and alumni.

Our Culture

At Roosevelt, we recognize that the culture of the workplace and opportunities for career growth and development are important to all.  We believe that diversity of background and experience among our people make our work to reimagine the rules of our social and economic realities stronger.

Roosevelt is an equal opportunity employer and, as affirms in policy and practice to consider all applications in all job classifications, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, familial status, military status, height and weight, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest record, or other legally protected status. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates to apply.

A Compelling Executive Leadership Opportunity

The President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, along with fellow executive team members, seek an experienced leader to manage critical cross-functional program teams and execute related strategy. The Chief Programs Officer plays the key leadership role for establishing and managing Roosevelt’s programmatic teams across research and policy, and advocacy; and also engaging and supporting the development of college students through the Roosevelt Network. The CPO will work closely with senior RI communications leadership, since strong communications is essential to all high-impact program strategy development and execution. The successful candidate will have demonstrated strengths in one or more of these programmatic areas and also strong managerial experience and organizational development skills.

The Roosevelt Institute is in an exciting period of rapid growth. The ability of the Institute’s program teams to develop and execute strategically, in an aligned way and in a fluid political environment, will be critical to the organization’s ability to continue to scale and have impact. The Chief Programs Officer will lead a senior team to create the organization’s programmatic plans and to ensure their successful implementation.

Organizational Structure and Operations

Roosevelt is overseen by a 28-member board of directors. The team comprises 53 staff and 25 Fellows and is headquartered in New York City.

The organization is mid-sized, with a planned 2021 operating budget of $12M; this is anticipated to increase over the next five years. The Institute has assets of $21M under management.

Roosevelt currently has an executive team led by the President and CEO, and includes a Chief Administrative Officer, a Chief Financial Officer, a Chief Strategy Officer, and department heads leading functional teams (think tank/policy research, student network, communications, advocacy, operations, development, HR and legal).

The Chief Programs Officer is part of a new executive structure and reports to the President and CEO. The following positions report to the CPO:

  • Managing Director, Research and Policy
  • Managing Director, Advocacy and Policy
  • National Director, Roosevelt Network

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Communications and with the Chief Strategy Officer, who is primarily charged with establishing and implementing the organization’s long-term (multi-year) growth plans.

The Chief Program Officer Position

The Chief Program Officer (“CPO”) is a new position that is being created to further develop the Roosevelt Institute’s programmatic approach, given both the Institute’s growth and today’s politics. Historically, the organization has been driven by two strong programs focused on research and policy development (the “think tank”) and student policy and leadership support (the “network”). In the last several years, as more ideas and individuals associated with both the think tank and the network have been of interest to policymakers in DC and the media, the Institute has increasingly strengthened its advocacy and communications teams.

Today, we have several drivers of growth in all of these programs. First, we see significant outside demand for Roosevelt’s economic and social policy ideas - especially regarding corporate power, public investment and decarbonization, worker power and education, and race. Second, with progressives in power, we have many more active political relationships - current and potential - than we had just a few years ago. And third, we see more demand not just for our ideas, but for our people, both students and policy staff, from organizations across the progressive movement and from the federal government.

As a result, it is imperative for Roosevelt’s growth that we find a Chief Program Officer who can manage our teams and our approach through sound strategy development and smart implementation. The successful candidate for this job will have excellent program experience and acumen. They will also be a good communicator and an excellent listener, with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to help others thrive in an environment of change. The goal is for all of the program teams to be empowered, informed, and connected to the work and to one another.

The CPO will work alongside an experienced CEO and CFO, and a new CAO who will lead and oversee the organization’s growing administrative and HR functions. The CPO will also have very close working relationships with the Chief Strategy Officer and the VP Communications.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Oversee Roosevelt's program departments and work with the rest of the executive team – particularly the CEO -- to ensure that Roosevelt’s programmatic work is value-add and in keeping with the organization’s strategy and brand.
  • With the CEO and other executives charged with strategy development, ensure that the organization’s annual work plan and multi-year strategic plan are sharp and relevant.
  • Work with the CAO to ensure that internal growth and external growth are calibrated appropriately.
  • Attend external meetings or speak to the media on behalf of the organization.
  • Assist with fundraising and organizational development.
  • Consider new or expanded programmatic roles - e.g. new partnerships, new audiences - as these opportunities arise.


  • Experience working in a nonprofit or political environment and with executive staff, senior leadership teams, and boards of directors.
  • Minimum of ten years of experience leading and managing a diverse, high caliber, and highly collaborative programmatic team.
  • Demonstrated track record of managing through periods of growth and  organizational culture change, especially in organizations with a diverse staff (age, gender, race, ethnicity, geography).
  • A passion for the Roosevelt mission, and values alignment with the institution, are essential.
  • Research, leadership development, communications, or political expertise are all strong additional qualifications.


Undergraduate degree required; an advanced degree is preferred. Areas of study include Law, economics, public policy, or a related field strongly preferred.


The successful candidate will have:

  • The intelligence, energy, intellectual range, and care in judgment that are necessary to be successful in a strategic leadership role;
  • Excellent political and strategic judgment, as shown through experience at nonprofit or political organizations;
  • Ability to quickly develop trusting relationships across the organization, one who is viewed as a dependable thought partner;
  • Strong listening skills coupled with the ability to make decisions;
  • Social and managerial skills to build a team, work across the organization, motivate staff, and collaborate with colleagues;
  • Excellent oral and written communication, as well as presentation skills;
  • Vision, leadership, high standards; and
  • Well-developed organizational skills and attention to detail; ability to prioritize work effectively and adjust to multiple demands; demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-moving, sometimes uncertain external environment.

The successful professional will be:

  • A strong participant in meetings and relationships with other well-known political and nonprofit leaders;
  • Intellectually curious, an active listener;
  • Appreciative of and adept at working on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • A natural problem solver and solution seeker when confronted by challenges or obstacles;
  • Adaptable, accessible, flexible, inclusive, and collaborative with colleagues;
  • Confident and mature with high emotional intelligence (“EQ”) who can work well with diverse internal colleagues and a variety of stakeholders;
  • Comfortable and effective managing up, down, and across the organization; empowering of staff while upholding appropriate accountability;
  • A strategic risk-taker and self-starter, able to take the initiative in moving the work forward;
  • Science and data-driven, valuing and respecting “the numbers;”
  • Respectful of Roosevelt’s history and track record for high-quality work while engendering future success via creativity, innovation, and patience.


A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered, commensurate with experience.


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