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Chief Program Officer

The Fortune Society



Title: Chief Program Officer
Unit: Executive
Reports to: Executive Vice President
Status: Full Time; Regular; Exempt
Job Code: TBD
Location: Long Island City,
Days/Hours: 5 days a week, which may include weekends and/or evenings
Date Prepared: January 13, 2017

The Organization:
Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society is recognized as one of the preeminent criminal justice service and advocacy nonprofits in the nation. Fortune is known for its cultural competence and prides itself on the diversity of its staff and leadership including the degree to which its management and staffing draws both from those traditionally trained and those who are themselves formerly incarcerated and provide both professional and life experience expertise.
Fortune has grown steadily over the years to an agency just under $30 million in annual budget with just under 300 staff. We anticipate that we will keep growing, both in size and in depth of service.
Fortune has a dual mission: both advocacy and service. The advocacy focuses on building a more just criminal justice system and reducing the barriers to reentry into society. The service side of Fortune has evolved to encompass a broad range of programs including alternatives to incarceration, group services and discharge planning within correctional facilities, and a robust array of services in the community. Fortune’s community-based programs include court advocacy and alternative to incarceration programs, licensed substance abuse treatment and mental health services, a full array of employment services ranging from job readiness through placement through hard skills training, an in-house school, a housing continuum ranging from emergency shelter through permanent congregate and scattered site housing, group and individual counseling, assistance in obtaining benefits, a care management unit, HIV services, a nutrition program, and an arts program.
Fortune currently serves approximately 7000 people a year. Our client population mirrors the incarcerated population in being approximately 85% male and over 90% people of color. Our program models are recognized, both nationally and internationally for their quality and innovation.

Position Summary:

The Fortune Society is seeking a Chief Program Officer, who will supervise all of the agency’s service areas. We know that, because of the broad array of services that we provide, we will not be able to find someone with deep experience in each of our service areas. However, core requirements for the successful candidate for this position include a deep knowledge of the population that we serve, deep subject expertise in one or more of our service areas, and a personal passionate demonstrated commitment to social justice and to helping develop the skills of managers and staff members including those of individuals with commitment and potential who have had uneven or no previous access to professional development and opportunities for professional advancement.

Under the direction of the Executive Vice President (EVP), the newly created position of Chief Program Officer (CPO) is responsible for the development and delivery of high quality and cost-effective programs for all The Fortune Society clients and tenants, as well as insuring that the department’s employees are well-trained and supervised to perform their duties in a manner that reflects Fortune values, best practices and high standards of care and accountability.

Under the leadership of the CPO, standards of care and best practices are established, a culture of respect and caring is fostered, quality of direct client services and administrative performance are monitored and evaluated, and improvement of both direct services and program-related administrative performance are promoted through measurement, planning, training, and implementation activities.

The CPO also manages The Fortune Society’s relationships with Federal, State, and City Agencies and Private Foundations including the development and oversight of The Fortune Society’s service quality plans, reporting to funders and the courts, compliance with licensing and regulatory requirements, policies and procedures, guidelines and improvement programs. The CPO and his/her direct reports take a leadership position in professional associations, governmental meetings and meetings with policy-makers, ensuring that The Fortune Society continues to be recognized as a leading agency in our field and an important contributor whenever programs and policies affecting our client population are being considered and evaluated.

In addition, the CPO shall assist in fundraising efforts including response to RFP’s, explaining the clients’ needs to potential donors and funders, conducting tours through the programs, presenting programs’ outcomes, and responding to detailed questions concerning such programs.

The CPO is a senior member of The Fortune Society’s Executive Team and, in accordance with The Fortune Society’s vision, mission and values, plans strategies and sets service goals. S/he reports to the Executive Vice President, and supervises all of the agency’s client service areas.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Setting The Fortune Society’s standards of care by integrating externally and internally developed best practices within a warm, welcoming and caring culture that values clients and staff and nurtures human growth and development without giving up on people;
• Establishing clinical and administrative performance goals, and motivating the team to meet those goals;
• Providing high-quality, consistent supervision of direct reports; monitoring and evaluating overall program staff and management job performance;
• Advancing the organization’s commitment to excellence by supporting continuous quality improvement and creating opportunities for staff members, managers and clients to actively participate in the improvement process;
• Identifying unmet service needs of those impacted by the criminal justice system and developing plans, alone or in collaboration with partner organizations, to address these gaps;
• Serving internally and externally as speaker, trainer and facilitator as needed;
• Working closely with the EVP, CEO and Development department in identifying program needs, researching possible sources of funding, developing program designs to submit to funders, and crafting proposals in response to RFP’s and other funding opportunities;
• Regularly reporting to the Program Committee of the Board of Directors, as directed by the EVP and/or CEO, regarding The Fortune Society’s programming;
• Developing monthly reports to analyze and monitor program expenses and revenues, quality assurance goals, corrective actions, performance targets, research projects; and continuous quality improvement goals;
• Reviewing clinical trends and best practices to determine which should be implemented;
• Supervising senior management staff in all program service areas to insure delivery of quality services, deepening of a caring community environment, compliance with regulatory and funder requirements, and achievement of program performance and fiscal goals;
• Analyzing clinical research, evaluation data, and quality assurance reports to modify programs as the EVP, CEO, CPO, and program management deem necessary;
• Establishing financial requirements to achieve required goals and, by working with the CFO, ensuring that the adopted budgets meet such goals;
• Ensuring compliance with Federal, State, County and City Agency rules and regulations;
• Monitoring and ensuring compliance with program contracts, grants and other initiatives;
• Developing new policies for presentation to President/CEO and implementing approved policy changes;
• Representing The Fortune Society on relevant Federal, State, and City committees, workgroups and task forces and provider coalitions and in fundraising opportunities as appropriate; and
• Other duties as may be assigned.


• Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Public Health or relevant Human Service field such as social work, psychology or counseling, or, in the absence of such degree, comparable experience and expertise;
• Minimum of 10 years of progressive management experience in relevant field;
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, solid computer skills, demonstrated capacity to use data effectively in planning and management, and strong professional role modeling;
• Thorough knowledge of services, funders and service communities that address issues faced by clients, including criminal justice involvement, addiction, unemployment, mental illness, trauma, and homelessness;
• Demonstrated cultural competence and ability to work effectively and sensitively with diverse staff and clients;
• Demonstrated history of competence in working with government and regulatory agencies;
• Demonstrated ability to manage large staffs and multiple programs;
• Demonstrated ability to develop strategies, business plans and budgets to meet challenging goals;
• Deep demonstrated commitment to working with a comparable client population, and to nurturing and developing staff and managers including those who come from the communities and life experiences of program clients; and
• Comfort in working in a team capacity with colleagues who tend to have strong opinions and passionately held values.

Travel Requirements: May require travel to our Harlem office for meetings and/or events.

Physical Demands: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The responsibilities and requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensing, experience and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

The Fortune Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of conviction history, race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status.


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Posted on 04/04/17; CVMHA ID #10894