Job Title
President and CEO
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Harrisburg, PA
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Position Summary
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children seeks an experienced and passionate President and Chief Executive Officer to build upon the organization’s state wide impact. The successful candidate will be the face of the organization and will bring strategies and the knowledge to improve and transform the lives of children through advocacy and research. Joan Benso will be retiring in December 2018 after 23 years as President and CEO. She has been an outstanding and fervent advocate for children’s issues across the state. The Organization Founded in 1990, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) is the only statewide advocacy organization with a public policy agenda that spans the life of a child from birth to adulthood. Its mission is to be a strong, effective and trusted voice to improve the health, education and well-being of children and youth in the Commonwealth. As a statewide, independent, and non-partisan nonprofit, PPC’s vision is to make Pennsylvania one of the top 10 states to be a child and to raise a child. Currently, Pennsylvania is ranked 18th in the nation for child well-being. PPC focuses on four issues areas to advance the well-being of children: • Child Welfare: Working to implement effective public policy changes that better protect children from abuse and neglect, improve the lives of children in foster care, and help ensure a “forever family” for every child. • Early Learning: Working to ensure that all children enter school ready to succeed through high-quality child care, pre-kindergarten, and home visiting programs. • Health Care: Working to reduce the number of uninsured children in Pennsylvania and ensure that all children in the state have health care that meets their needs. • K-12 Education: Working to ensure that all students are afforded a high-quality public education through equitable and adequate funding and consistent and transparent accountability standards. PPC advances its policy agendas through four main strategies including: • Research and data analysis that involves collecting, monitoring, and analyzing child program, well-being and fiscal data; monitoring and analyzing evidence-based and promising program practices; and using data and research findings to inform other PPC strategies. • Strategic communications that involves producing and disseminating materials (issue briefs, fact sheets, newsletters, talking points, donor relations tools, etc.); engaging in social media; conducting media outreach (press pitches, op-eds, editorial board meetings, radio and TV appearances, etc.); and making presentations. • Mobilization that involves building, staffing and participating in issue-based advocacy coalitions; educating and engaging key influencers (grasstops) targeting issue-based stakeholders; and building and mobilizing a statewide e-advocacy network. • Government Relations that involves developing and maintaining strong relationships with state and federal policymakers and key staff; educating and influencing targeted state and federal policymakers and key staff; and recognizing policymaker champions. Major Accomplishments As Pennsylvania’s KIDS COUNT partner, PPC is widely considered the go-to organization for data on Pennsylvania’s children. PPC also has a long track record of building strong and diverse coalitions and elevating the voices of non-traditional supporters as champions for children. In addition, PPC has led or shared leadership for coalitions that have accomplished the following: • Enactment of the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) –that has served as a national model and preserved and protected both CHIP and Medicaid to ensure children’s health. • Creation of Pre-K Counts – the state’s high-quality pre-kindergarten program as well as state funding for Head Start to ensure school readiness. • Enactment of a new public school funding formula –when fully implemented, the formula will result in every Pennsylvania child attending a public school that is adequately and equitably funded. • Passage of more than two dozen laws to reform the child welfare system – to better protect the safety, well-being and rights of children experiencing the foster care system. PPC is governed by a 25-member board of directors. The organization’s current budget is approximately $1.53 M. Current staffing includes 10 staff, with a Senior Leadership Team of 3 (which includes the VP of Public Policy and the KIDS COUNT/Research Director). Leadership Outlook and Near-Term Organizational Priorities In the next few years, PPC will: • Seek to expand access to evidence-based home visiting, high-quality child care and pre-kindergarten for at-risk children and families. • Focus on building additional supports for both informal kinship caregivers and kinship foster families so that they can successfully raise the children in their care. • Expand its health care policy work beyond coverage to an agenda that ensures children can live healthy lives and access the health care services they need. • Ensure, through K-12 education efforts, that every child can attend a local public school that has adequate and equitable funds to support basic, career and technical education. Using data and research evidence, PPC will continue to serve as a coalition leader and convener; use an array of communications strategies to increase engagement and understanding; and partner with bi-partisan policymakers in Harrisburg and Washington, DC to advance public policies and financing to support the comprehensive needs of at-risk Pennsylvania children. The Position The President and CEO must embrace and be passionate about PPC’s mission. S/he must be bi-partisan and be a vocal advocate for the well-being of children across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The President and CEO will demonstrate integrity and strategic leadership. Key Responsibilities The President and CEO is responsible for providing both strategic and hands-on leadership and ensuring PPC’s long-term viability and impact. • Oversee the development and successful implementation of PPC’s communications, government relations, research and public policy agenda. • Develop and implement a strategic resource development plan to include direct fundraising from foundations, corporations, individuals and other potential sources of income. • Develop, nurture, and leverage relationships with state and national elected and appointed officials to influence policy decisions related to PPC’s goals and mission. • Guide PPC collaborations and partnerships with other leaders in government, children’s services, philanthropy, business, faith and civic sectors to advance PPC’s goals and mission. • Collaborate with the board of directors to refine and implement PPC’s strategic plan while ensuring that the budget, staff and priorities are aligned with PPC’s core goals and mission. • Develop, maintain, and support a strong and inclusive board of directors (that is representative of the commonwealth) that is highly engaged and willing to leverage relationships and secure financial resources; serve as an ex-officio member of the board and its committees. • Provide leadership and direction to staff and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization. • Ensure that effective human resources policies and procedures are in place to foster high staff morale and employee engagement. • Ensure that the organization is operating in a fiscally responsible manner that supports the needs of the programs and staff. • Serve as the organization’s primary media spokesperson and ensure a robust earned and social media strategy statewide. Experience and Attributes A strong candidate will be an experienced leader and advocate, passionately committed to improving the health, education, and well-being of children and youth in Pennsylvania. Strong candidates will also bring a variety of experiences and attributes to PPC, including: • Must be an authentic leader with strong interpersonal skills; an excellent listener who is able to build trust among staff and a wide range of constituents. • Must have an obvious passion for PPC’s mission and work. • Willingness to provide strategic leadership and outline a vision that translates into measurable actions and results. • Must be bipartisan with the ability to work well with decision-makers of all political backgrounds. • Experience with annual organizational budgeting and financial oversight. • Demonstrated capability in fundraising and developing relationships with funders, as well as the ability to identify new revenue streams; experience in gaining philanthropic support from private, corporate, and individual donors. • Ability to push incremental change with broader long-term goals in sight. • Demonstrated experience leading/building coalitions and working in partnership with coalition members to advance policy agendas. • Willingness to develop deep and lasting relationships with stakeholders and decision makers. • Ability to lead, manage, and work collaboratively with a high performing staff. • Strong experience lobbying and advocating in a state capitol; experience in Harrisburg is a plus. • Past success supporting and working with a board of directors in its governance role a plus. • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills. • A “roll up your sleeves” leader willing and able to draft reports and proposals, lead coalitions and workgroups and other tasks when necessary. • Master’s degree preferred. • At least 15 years of executive leadership experience, specifically in advocacy and public policy development with an organization, government entity, or business. Experience in the children and families field is a plus but not required.
How to Apply
To apply, e-mail your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: (e-mail applications are required and only complete applications will be considered). For other inquiries, contact Dave Erickson-Pearson at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is an equal opportunity employer. Resume reviews begin immediately.