Job Post: Vice President, Programs- COMPASS Youth Collaborative

Monday, January 4, 2021

COMPASS Youth Collaborative

COMPASS Youth Collaborative (COMPASS) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of connecting to high-risk youth wherever they are in the City of Hartford. We engage youth in relationships to provide support and opportunities that help them become ready, willing, and able to succeed in education, employment, and life.

Our Theory of Change: We serve youth ages 11-18 who have risk factors including, gang association, perpetrator or victim of violence, possess a weapon, or have a criminal involvement. When these youth are fully engaged in COMPASS programs for a period of time not to exceed 4 years, they will become ready, willing and able to succeed in education, employment and life. Our Values: Integrity, Resilience, Relentlessness, Peace, and Collaborative. We serve over 400 youth annually.

Founded 25 years ago in Hartford by a diverse coalition of youth, families, and community members, the work of COMPASS continues to be in the Hartford neighborhoods and schools where the majority are people and students of color.

COMPASS is proud to have been a grass roots, community-based organization and looks forward to becoming a data driven organization. The agency will use data to drive improvements in our youth programs and to guide team members to excellence. To that end, COMPASS is committed to the development of its team so that youth can feel secure, live peacefully, and reach their full potential.

Our organization seeks highly qualified candidates for the role of Vice President, Programs. COMPASS is located in Hartford, CT with five sites locally. Ideally, this position would be based in our Main office but we are flexible to consider other location where we have offices as well as remote working arrangements.

As a prospective candidate, you are expected to carefully read this job description and eliminate yourself from the candidate pool if the duties and responsibilities are not a good match for you.

The Vice President, Programs will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for all program areas. The position will be a part of the executive team that drives the overall program strategy for the organization and represents COMPASS to external stakeholders. With a program budget of $2.5 million and a staff of 3, the VP of Programs will initially develop deep knowledge of the organization’s mission, theory of change, program design and operations, and will focus on the following four areas: Program Strategy, Program Leadership, Team Building and Development, and External and Internal Communication. The Vice President, Programs is thoroughly committed to COMPASS’ strategy and mission and is accountable for improving youth outcomes with the program team. All candidates should have demonstrated program leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Lead and oversee the implementation of COMPASS’ Theory of Change by Program Directors and their staff teams, ensuring that they:
    • Connect with COMPASS’ target population youth and engage them in transformational relationships
    • Implement the Peacebuilders program design with fidelity, specifically Crisis Intervention, Peacebuilders for 11-13, and Peacebuilders for 14-18
    • Support youth to achieve outcomes
    • Learn from performance data and feedback to improve efforts and outcomes
  • Strengthen COMPASS’ Theory of Change by incorporating external and internal learning about effective practice into program design.
  • In partnership with senior team, advocate for, develop, and deliver strategic funding, program partners, opportunities, and high caliber staff to operationalize program strategy.

Leadership and Team Management

  • Oversee and ensure ongoing programmatic excellence by convening the team to improve the program design and its implementation.
  • Develop or acquire the necessary systems, processes, resources, and tools to implement the program with fidelity and achieve youth outcomes.
  • As a member of the Executive Team, advocate for the program and youth to ensure that the organization keeps a laser-sharp focus on improving performance on the mission and that it raises and allocates resources to maximize high performance. 
  • Manage two direct reports; Director, School Programs and Director, Peacebuilders.

Team building and Development

  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members based on performance data, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance to advance young people to intermediate and long-term outcomes.
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, nurturing a staff culture of learning and growth.

Communication and External Relationship Management

  • Cultivate strong existing stakeholder relationships, ensuring commitment and alignment with COMPASS’ mission and Theory of Change.
  • Oversee sunsetting of outputs-based programming, ensuring a solid handoff to strong community partners who will provide quality services for our youth and families.
  • Develop new strategic relationships and revenue necessary to support the full implementation of COMPASS’ Theory of Change,

Position Requirements and Qualifications

  • Experience working within a not-for-profit organization.
  • 5 years management experience
  • Strong project management experience with the ability to achieve strategic objectives, and manage a program budget.
  • Possess a track record of effectively leading performance-based and outcome-based programs and staff.
  • A successful candidate will have developed and operationalized strategies that have taken a program or organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Experience recruiting, managing, and developing a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and development professionals.
  • Must possess strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as effective presentation skills.
  • Effective time management and organizational skills.

Personal Characteristics

  • Motivated and driven to do a job well done.
  • Integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed with demonstrated passion for COMPASS Youth Collaborative’s mission and commitment to working collaboratively with all levels of staff.
  • Take ownership and pride in your work. Strong work ethic
  • Dedication to implementing quality programs with excellence and achieving youth outcomes.
  • An orientation to working effectively with all levels of personnel, from management to front line staff.
  • Able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous, efficient, and business minded
  • Able to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a start-up type of environment with multiple priorities
  • Natural willingness to communicate regularly with management and staff, and to be transparent and share information.
  • High energy level. Strong personal drive and ability to energize others.
  • Detail-oriented. Does not allow details slip through the cracks.
  • A team player, who can interrelate and operate effectively with a diverse group of peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment.


Bachelor's Degree


A competitive compensation package including base salary and full benefits package will be offered.

All selected for this position will be required to submit to an extensive background screening. Applicants unable to comply will be eliminated from consideration for this position. Any negative information obtained may result in the disqualification of the applicant from this and any other position at COMPASS Youth Collaborative.

COMPASS does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with the ADA title I employment regulations.

COMPASS does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. COMPASS is an equal opportunity employer.

For additional information, please contact

Ken McGovern
KMR Executive Search                                                                                                            
860-404-2526 office

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