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Reach Out and Read Chief Executive Officer

Reach Out and Read Chief Executive Officer

At Reach Out and Read, we believe all families should have the tools and information they need to make reading aloud a daily routine. As CEO, you'll propel us into our next transformational chapter.

At Reach Out and Read, we believe reading is a right.  

Reach Out and Read (ROR) encourages healthy growth and early literacy for millions of children.   ROR helps bring the power of reading to families of all backgrounds and economic means, helping them make shared reading a part of their daily lives. This creates a ripple effect throughout the United States: about one-third of young children—and half of children living in poverty—in the U.S. arrive at kindergarten without the skills that they need to do well in school. By giving every young child a foundation for success, we strengthen our society and help combat the effects of income inequality.

As Chief Executive Officer (CEO), you’ll have the opportunity to build on 30 years of impact and propel the organization into its next transformational chapter.  ROR stands ready to position its program as essential to the promotion of foundational relationships and its unparalleled network as a vehicle to partner strategically to transform pediatric primary care in order to scale with fidelity, transform healthcare systems and ensure sustainability.  

Our Story and Impact

Reach Out and Read was founded in 1989 to help families make reading a part of their routines, and to supply the books they need to get started. Since the early days at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center), the organization has grown dramatically across all 50 states, with 6,100 program sites that provide 7 million books each year.

ROR’s network of pediatric teams provides families at routine check-ups with the knowledge, tools, skills, and confidence they need to make reading a part of their daily routine. By integrating reading aloud into pediatric care, ROR reaches 4.5 million children across the country—a quarter of whom come from low-income families.

Many organizations seek to support early childhood literacy. What makes ROR’s approach unique is the ways in which it leverages the pediatric primary care community as partners in building positive parent-child relationships.    The evidence is clear that ROR makes a difference in children’s lives:  studies show that ROR’s model has a significant effect on parental behavior and attitudes toward reading aloud and that children who participate in programs demonstrate higher language scores. ROR’s impact has been documented in ethnically and economically diverse families throughout the nation.  To learn more, please click here.  

Join Us as Chief Executive Officer

We seek an experienced and collaborative executive to lead as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  The CEO will have an exceptional ability to lead and manage a growing team internally while serving as an inspirational storyteller to share Reach Out and Read’s ambitious mission and vision externally. As CEO, you will be responsible for overall strategic and operational leadership of the organization, including managing ROR staff, its Board of Directors, and affiliate and program partners.

You will be successful in this role if you can cultivate new opportunities, plan and support implementation of ROR’s overall growth and fundraising strategy, build and lead a healthy and high-performing team, and predict and problem-solve gaps to position the organization for continued growth. An ideal candidate is a results-driven leader with demonstrated competence for guiding and managing an organization at a similar stage of development, size, complexity and trajectory. Applicants should demonstrate a knowledge of and concern for issues of equity and justice and an understanding of how structural injustice impacts the experiences of underserved children and families.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The CEO reports to the Board of Directors and has overall fiduciary and managerial responsibility for all of the organization’s activities. Reach Out and Read has an annual budget of approximately $13 million and sufficient assets, funding and revenue to support operations and planned growth. The CEO leads a diverse 60-person team who share a commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging as core to their work. The CEO will directly manage ROR’s Executive team, including its Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Strategic Initiatives, Chief Development Officer, Director of Marketing and Communications, and contract Chief Financial Officer and receive support from an Administrative Associate.  

ROR’s next CEO will assume leadership of a highly-respected organization with significant strengths that include an interdisciplinary team of high-performing professionals with many years of institutional knowledge, a track record of influence and impact achieved over more than 30 years of operations, and existing vendor relationships with partners in the medical, publishing and early literacy fields. 

As a key focus of their work, the CEO will be responsible for the following:

Organizational Leadership and Strategy:

  • Serve as an innovative and visionary voice for ROR towards its Next Chapter
  • Foster a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging through an ongoing commitment to be an affirming and diverse community and workplace
  • Balance a collaborative, relational spirit with business acumen and discipline to ensure sustainability and increased impact for the organization
  • Partner with and maintain strong connections to a committed and diverse Board of Directors; collaborate with staff and Board to refine, evolve, and implement long-term strategic priorities to expand ROR’s impact and reach
  • Lead the Executive Leadership Team; oversee and facilitate the alignment between different departments, supporting tradeoff decisions and data-driven choices that best position the organization to achieve its goals
  • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide all information for the Board to function with efficiency and effectiveness   
  • Provide organizational leadership on planning, resource allocation and operational matters with an eye toward purposeful, but ambitious growth

Fundraising and Revenue Generation

  • Lead the organization’s fundraising strategy, working in partnership with the Chief Development Officer and Executive Directors
  • Develop strategies for diversifying funding (e.g., corporate partnerships, earned revenue, vendor partnerships, etc.), in partnership with Board Members and senior leaders
  • Cultivate and inspire a culture of innovation and creativity that results in new, fundable ideas and initiatives.
  • Develop and strengthen new and existing partnerships with key funding organizations, corporate partners and individual donors

Program and Network Support & Growth

  • Lead overall stewardship, oversight, and innovations of the core ROR program model
  • Ensure the needed supports and structures are in place to allow regional offices and affiliates to develop and flourish
  • Continually strengthen the value of the national center, ensuring it effectively and consistently supports the development of high-quality regional offices, affiliates and coordinates sharing of best practice and network connectivity

External Engagement and Public Policy

  • Cultivate relationships with pediatric primary care experts at a national level through partnerships, conferences, and policy meetings where top experts are invited to collaborate and advance pertinent ideas and innovations
  • Engage with media and other influencers (e.g., TV, radio/podcast appearances, op-eds, social media) to persuade the public and policy makers to advance ROR’s policy and impact agendas
  • Guide the organization’s policy work, working collaboratively with other movement leaders to advance strategies delivered in the pediatric primary care setting that promote relational health, early brain development, early literacy, and school readiness
  • Represent the organization and the needs of the varied stakeholders and families in various movement-wide settings – with elected and appointed officials, within ROR’s network, with counterparts from allied organizations, and within the mainstream family/early childhood advocacy organizations
  • Leverage the expertise of the Policy Committee to facilitate the development of a bold policy agenda that focuses on areas of concern to the ROR mission and strategic roadmap

Operational and Fiscal Leadership

  • Maintain a focus on operational excellence through which regional offices, local sites, and national departments work together day-to-day and on cross-functional projects in a manner which is well-aligned and allows for effective introduction and implementation of new systems and practices
  • Assure the organization’s financial viability and integrity to sustain its mission and achieve its vision; ensure ROR meets the highest standards in stewarding its financial and other resources

Advance our Commitment to Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

  • Ensure the implementation of measures that advance ROR’s commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging
  • Create a culture of learning and respect that improves the organization’s ability to address challenges around issues of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, disability, age and more
  • Foster an inclusive and engaged workplace; demonstrate transparency, empathy and respect; support a culture of authenticity and self-care
  • Coach and facilitate the team in support of a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment

QUALIFICATIONS

There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

  • Progressive senior-level leadership experience with a proven track record of successfully leading, managing, and growing a multi-site, performance- and outcomes-based organization, or enterprise, preferably within the educational, healthcare, community, nonprofit or philanthropic sectors 
  • Commitment and experience to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging best practices and continuous learning; able to ground their work and leadership within your own learning journey and lived experiences
  • Thrives in a highly relational and collaborative environment; the integrity, wisdom, persistence, and humor necessary to address the practicalities of a growing, dynamic, organization
  • A management style that combines respectful collaboration with disciplined productivity; the respect and team orientation to effectively support staff and the continued growth and direction of the organization
  •  Self-motivated and inspirational problem solver with maturity and tact to collaborate effectively with colleagues, Board Members, external partners and team members 
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, and problem solving skills with the ability to overcome challenges through the development of thoughtful and creative solutions 
  • A proven track record and passion for fundraising that is demonstrated in a commitment to maintaining current funders, a zest for cultivating new donors, an ability to generate new revenue streams, and a history of successfully taking organizations to the next level of sustained philanthropic support 
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, networking and public engagement skills, including the ability to adapt style and approach to diverse local constituencies and needs 
  • Ability to build sustainable and productive partnerships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, academic and medical institutions. Comfortable and capable of speaking to these constituents and other stakeholders about the power and potential of ROR’s model. 
  • Ability to compel others to action as a key storyteller of our path to impact, priorities for growth and ongoing contributions to the communities and families we serve 
  • Experience in developing and supporting legislative and administrative policy-making processes and proven ability to influence those processes

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Reach Out and Read offers a comprehensive benefits package. The salary range for this position is $215,000-$235,000. Reach Out and Read’s national headquarters is in downtown Boston, and the organization’s affiliate and partner network spans the United States.  The CEO can be based anywhere in the US, with a preference for Boston.  Travel to Boston’s national headquarters, affiliates and partner sites to be negotiated as the pandemic continues to evolve and as needed to effectively run a national organization.  Financial support is available for candidates who live outside the New England area and are open to relocation.  

HOW TO APPLY

To apply to this position, please have an updated resume ready and a thoughtfully written cover letter to the attention of Reach Out and Read’s Executive Search Committee. For confidential inquiries or for assistance in completing the application, please contact us via email at search@positivelypartners.org and a member of our team will follow up.  

TIMELINE AND HIRING PROCESS

We will review and respond to all applications received.  While subject to change, candidates elected to advance throughout the process can expect two interviews with Positively Partners, an interview with members of the Search Committee (representatives of the Board and staff) and for finalists, an interview day with Board members and staff, including a robust and holistic reference check process.  Expected start date is winter 2021.

Reach Out and Read is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. We foster a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, out of home care, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.

 

Additional information

  • Remote status

    Fully remote

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our philosophy

We believe in the power of positivity, and that people deserve to be happy both at home and at work.  That's why we focus on three key components to find the right match for each of our current openings: aligning your individual strengths with the requirements of the role, finding work you feel passionate about, and ensuring your values match those of the organization.

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