DC - Washington metropolitan area
NY - New York metropolitan area
About the Organization

Founded in 1991, Living Cities harnesses the collective power of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to close racial income and wealth gaps in American cities.

Together, we are partnering with cross-sector leaders in cities across the country to imagine and create an America in which all people are economically secure, building wealth, and living with dignity. Our investments, research, convenings, networks, tools, and resources support efforts that operationalize racial equity and inclusion in local government, create inclusive narratives, bring communities together to devise and act on a shared vision for the future, and eliminate inequities in systems such as entrepreneurship, homeownership, jobs, and access to capital.

We combine support for innovative, comprehensive, local approaches with cross-city learning communities and the real-time sharing of knowledge to accelerate and deepen adoption in more places.

Living Cities' core values – the ones they believe are fundamental to the organization's success in achieving its mission – are collaboration, innovation, leadership, impact, and racial equity and inclusion. These organizational values guide its everyday decisions about how, why and what they do.

Living Cities values:

Collaboration: As a partnership of foundations and financial institutions, collaboration is core to who we are. Living Cities believes that respect, diverse perspectives and the open exchange of ideas will lead to the innovative solutions and catalytic change that our country needs.

Innovation: We take risks, catalyze fresh thinking, and test new approaches in order to creatively disrupt the status quo, change broken systems and provide opportunities for all.

Leadership: Living Cities continually asks difficult questions, challenge obsolete norms, and support others in their efforts to do the same. They look for strategic opportunities to promote our point of view and to move innovation from the periphery to the mainstream.

Impact: Living Cities is committed to making material improvements in the lives of low-income people, cities, and the systems that affect them. They hold themselves accountable for evaluating effectiveness and are intentionally self-reflective as they strive to continuously improve, adapt, and inform future innovation.

Racial Equity and Inclusion: Racism is at the root of so many of the problems Living Cities is trying to solve, so addressing racism must be squarely at the center of how they work. They rely on each other to hold the organization accountable to moving the needle on racial equity and inclusion, including through living the following culture norms: Work to Understand History and Ongoing Legacy of Racism; Interrogate Our Own Biases; Extend Mutual Acknowledgement and Respect; Challenge Damaging Power Norms; Be Open to Vulnerability and Risk

To learn more about Living Cities, visit

About the Position

The Chief Operating Officer will serve as an organizational leader, developing and strengthening the financial, operational, and people functions that enable Living Cities work. This is an ideal opportunity for a leader who is committed applying their skills to building and sustaining an organization grounded in anti-racist practices.

Working in a collaborative organization grounded in shared power and distributed decision making, the COO serves as a member of R&R, including chairing one of R&R's committees, Operations and Sustainability. The COO also participates in the CORE team, serving as an integral bridge between that team and R&R.

  • Resources & Results (R&R) - This is the management team of the organization and is committed to maintaining integrity, accountability, and discipline in making the highest and best contribution to our organizational outcomes. The team holds the "why" of the organization and ensures that we are using all of our assets; our financial resources, our staff, and our influence in their highest and best use toward the organization's results, ensuring that the Board of Directors' vision is executed with fidelity. The make-up of R&R seeks to maximize experience, expertise, and exposure and representation of staff and our communities. We want the fundamental decisions about using our assets and maintaining our culture to have the benefit of these diverse and broad perspectives.

  • Operations & Sustainability (O&S) - The COO chairs the Operations and Sustainability Committee, providing strategic and critical feedback, as well as support to the Operations, HR, and Finance teams. They will convene and facilitate participants to make critical cross-cutting decisions and keeping a pulse on what is happening with relevant teams in the portfolio, what roadblocks they are facing, where course correction on approach, strategy, resourcing is needed from the committee, and providing coaching, support, strategic thought partnership, as needed.

  • Colleagues Operationalizing Racial Equity (CORE) - As a team member of the CORE team, the COO is charged with supporting Living Cities staff to:

    • Build and deepen racial equity competencies at person, role, system levels
    • Build and support a culture where everyone can thrive
    • Operationalize and practice racial equity in their day-to-day work internally, with our partners, cities and member institutions
    • See themselves as part of the larger anti-racist organizing movement in the field and beyond

Reporting to the CEO, the COO will coach, mentor, and manage a team of three leaders: Assistant Director of Talent and Organizational Development; Controller; and Assistant Director of Operations and Compliance.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Leadership

  • Serve as a model and culture carrier, modeling servant leadership and a learning orientation, and designing and operationalizing inclusive ways of leading and achieving goals
  • Lead and manage teams, providing ongoing feedback, supporting staff and peers to change behaviors
  • Manage relationships with Board members, with a focus on the Treasurer and audit committee; provide regular updates, sharing areas of strength and vulnerability, as appropriate
  • Partner with Chief Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and relevant internal committees and teams on strategic planning, serving as a thought partner and sounding board
  • Partner with R&R to align the organization around key strategic imperatives; implement innovative systems and facilitate strong cross-functional collaboration and integration of all offices and staff

Financial Leadership and Oversight

  • Support all relevant committees through strategic planning, financial modeling, and data-driven analysis
  • Develop and refine models that can be used for forecasting and decision making; support staff to develop an understanding of these tools and ability to use them
  • Communicate effectively with the Living Cities Board, ensuring all members clearly understand the organization's financial health and sustainability
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting by developing and continuously improving a reliable cash flow projection process and reporting mechanisms
  • Manage oversight of investment funds, ensuring that Living Cities properly manages all fiduciary responsibilities for these funds
  • Ensure the integrity, accuracy and usefulness of all financial reports

People Systems and Processes

  • Work with the R&R, O&S and HR, Talent and Organizational Development Committees to develop management, compensation strategy, and professional development practices that are grounded in anti-racist methodologies.
  • Promote a culture of feedback and open communication throughout the organization, ensuring that managers and staff members are regularly engaging in feedback conversations and that managers are continuously coaching and mentoring team members
  • Support the talent team in ensuring strong employee satisfaction and staff engagement; develop strategies and programs to increase retention and engagement
  • Collaborate with relevant committees to ensure a thoughtful annual performance review process that enables managers to provide meaningful, actionable mid-term and year-end reviews
  • Support strategic analyses to develop forecasts and make decisions about hiring, benefits, compensation, and other people related investments
  • Proactively build an inclusive and equitable culture, continuing to hire and retain a diverse team at all levels

Operations and Facilities

  • Work with R&R and Operations and Administration team to ensure Living Cities is working with the most up-to-date tools and resources available and is readily able to leverage technological systems and solutions to meet goals
  • Oversee, in partnership with the Assistant Director of Operations and Compliance, the ongoing development and implementation of a technology strategy and infrastructure that drives organizational results and enables staff to have ongoing access to information.
  • Ensure Living Cities facilities, office administration, space planning, relocations, and disaster planning are effectively managed to support staff across two regions (Washington, DC and New York)
Candidate Requirements:
  • Minimum of ten years serving as an organizational leader, with a track record of overseeing the finance function and a strong working knowledge of operations and talent management, with a commitment to anti-racist practices
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion, with the ability to serve as an exemplar for Living Cities' values and a deep commitment to racial economic justice
  • Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, with the maturity and flexibility to work effectively with stakeholders at all levels from a range of disciplines
  • Proven success coaching and mentoring others, acknowledging and addressing traditional power dynamics, effectively working with teams across multiple locations so that they meet goals and grow professionally, serving as a coach and mentor to staff in a range of functional areas
  • Strong financial fluency, with a demonstrated ability to conduct financial analysis and support strategic decision-making
  • Robust understanding of financial accounting, with proven success creating and managing reporting, ensuring proper control and audit processes
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to identify and recommend process improvements, system overhauls, and solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Collaborative approach to executive leadership, and the ability to work effectively with cross functional teams to meet goals and drive growth, impact, and organizational performance
Compensation and benefits:

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.