Executive Director

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS


Posted: 28-Mar-24

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Type: Full-time

Salary: Open


Other Staff/Administrative

Internal Number: JR25059

Location: Chicago, IL

Job Description:

  • Directly supervises the Chief of Staff, Director of Strategic Engagement, Director of Development and COO, Director of Public Affairs, Directors of the Community Safety Leadership Academies, and the Executive Director of Education  Lab.

  • In collaboration with the Faculty Director and the Managing Director, sets the short, medium, and long-term strategy for both the Crime Lab and the Education Lab. In this process, is responsible for providing insight from local and national stakeholders in education and criminal justice policy.

  • Coordinates and provides direction to the Crime Lab and Education Lab Leadership Team in executing on the short, medium, and long-term organizational strategy.

  • With support from the Leadership Team, develops and maintains the advisory committees that provide meaningful support to the work of both the Crime Lab and the Education Lab. This includes, but is not limited to: the Policing Leadership Academy advisory committee, the CVI Leadership Academy advisory committee, and the Investorsâ™ Council.

  • Oversees the inter-organizational and philanthropic relationships that make it possible for the Crime Lab and the Education Lab to maintain a large portfolio of social policy research projects. With the addition of the Personalized Learning Initiative and Community Safety Leadership Academies, this includes a growing number of national stakeholders.

  • With the Faculty Director, oversees a public affairs strategy aimed at increasing the visibility of the work of both the Crime Lab and Education Lab.

  • With support from the Fundraising Team and Chief of Staff, develops, strengthens, and diversifies the organizationâ™s funding sources while maintaining established relationships with public sector, philanthropic, and federal funding partners.

  • Responsible for raising the operating funds that allow us to work on in-the-moment analysis in collaboration with key city agencies.

  • Responsible for achieving ambitious fundraising goals to support an annual budget of $25 million to support the continuation of our current portfolio and the expansion of two key projects: Personalized Learning Initiative and Community Safety Leadership Academies.

  • Represents the Crime Lab and Education Lab at all relevant public functions to publicize the organizations activities and garner new opportunities.

  • Provides direction to the Chief of Staff and Public Affairs Team who manage media inquiries, the dissemination of research results, and the strategic plan for expanding the visibility of CL/EL and our partner organizations.

  • Serves as a key representative of the organization with both local and national news outlets. Is often called upon to act at the public face of our organization and our work in media pieces and conferences.

  • Identifies, builds, and manages strategic relationships, including with University-affiliated organizations and individuals, funders, academic organizations, and other stakeholders.

  • Identifies, builds, and manages strategic relationships with externally-based partner organizations, including school districts, police departments, community organizations, and others working in education, community investment, and public safety.

  • Develops and executes strategy to facilitate effective outreach to parties interested in the work of the Institute and represents the Faculty Director and the Institute in national and international collaborations, conferences, and consortiums.

  • Develops and executes a development strategy to support the Crime Labâ™s and the Education Labâ™s strategic goals in consultation with the Faculty Director and Managing Director. Engages with donors and development prospects to represent the strategic and philanthropic goals of the Labs.

  • Meets with and builds relationships with key partners in governments, non-profits, foundations, aid agencies, and the private sector.

  • Develops relationships with foundations and federal program officers to obtain new grants or renewals. Advises on proposal development, progress reports, and the negotiation of terms of awards as needed.

  • Oversees the implementation of a financial model for ongoing operations that ensures reasonable revenues and institutional support sufficient to maintain programmatic activities

  • Identifies and evaluates the risks to the organization, staff, partners, finances, goodwill, and image and implement measures to control risks.

  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters commitment to the mission of both Labs, excellent work, and building and maintaining a collaborative, inclusive, and rigorous work environment.

  • Contributes to design of program content, policies and strategic planning efforts.

  • Provides strategic divisional leadership and direction through senior managers. Responsible for unit budgetary plan. Establishes policies and protocols to enhance the central pedagogical mission and operational goals of unit.

  • Manages employees through senior managers. Oversees the development of performance goals, establishes the structure for allocating resources and assessing division or University policies.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Advanced degree strongly preferred.


  • 10+ years of related professional experience, including management experience.

  • Experience with social policy, particularly related to criminal justice and education.

  • Thoroughly committed to the mission of the Crime Lab and Education Lab, and have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Extensive understanding of public discourse around violence in urban communities, the real impacts of the US criminal justice system, the current challenges facing urban education systems, and the current social programs designed to address each of these issues.

  • Familiar with the stakeholders involved in these issues, the philanthropic interests in addressing them, and the status of related research.

Preferred Competencies

  • Unwavering commitment to rigorous research-based evaluation.

  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.

  • Past success working with advisory boards, with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.

  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.

  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning.

  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.

  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.

  • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization.

  • Knowledge of the substantive issues and local, state, and federal policies related to youth crime and youth development.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (preferred)

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via the Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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