Career Opportunities with Illinois Action for Children

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Senior Vice President, Operations

Department: Executive
Location: Chicago, IL

Illinois Action for Children (“IAFC”), has been a local, state and national leader in the early childhood care and education sector for over 50 years.  IAFC programs, services, and advocacy improve learning and life outcomes for children and families, including reducing the effects of poverty.  IAFC works to ensure that every child in Illinois – particularly those in need – has access to the necessary resources to succeed in school and in life.

Beyond mission, IAFC is committed to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist culture.  We honor this pledge through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working with our staff and clients.  IAFC staff represent diverse racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities.  We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to our essential work.

The SVP Operations sets the strategy for and manages agency operations by directing and coordinating activities consistent with the agency Strategic Plan and the goals and objectives set by the President/CEO and the Board of Directors.  The role will leverage past tactical operations experience, applying a detail-oriented and budget-focused mindset.  The role directs the following functional areas: Human Resources, Technology & Vendor Partnerships, Strategy Management and Facilities and leads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice for IAFC.

The incumbent will promote and adhere to IAFC core capabilities of: accountability, customer focus, continuous quality improvement, communication, competent people and clear priorities.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to the following. The Agency reserves the right to add to, delete, change or modify the essential duties and responsibilities at any time.

  • Partner with the CEO and Board of Directors to develop and implement the Agency’s long term strategic plan.  Facilitate annual planning and goal setting against the plan, exercising professional discipline to maximize financial, human and partnership resources for the agency.
  • Lead agency structure discussion for effective departmental collaboration and goal achievement in accordance with the annual operating plan and budget.
  • Set the overall vision and determine strategic priorities for the operations, IT, vendor partnerships, human resources, strategy management and facility management functions, ensuring that they align with the overall strategic plan and integrate for effective and efficient use of resources and support team performance.
  • Plan and continuously improve DEI initiatives for the agency, establishing processes and practices for IAFC leaders as they recruit and manage internal talent and contract with external resources.
  • Lead and approve plans for scaling the agency, directing assessments for operational systems and infrastructure needs and modeling to explore the potential for outsourcing, facilities acquisition, talent acquisition, and related evaluations.
  • Direct resources and provide sponsorship to support agency-wide project management. Oversee a consultative project management function that establishes project goals, provides project tracking and reporting and conducts post-project feedback sessions for continuous improvement.
  • Serve as a strategic advisor, functional expert and coach to the executive and senior management teams and to all direct reports.
  • Develop operational policies and processes to ensure that agency staff comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations, proactively coordinating risk management in fiscal, business, program, technical and people operations.
  • Monitor and assess operational policies and processes to ensure that resources are used efficiently and leveraged in support of the agency’s overall mission and annual strategic objectives.
  • Hire, develop, evaluate and retain a high-performing, effective and diverse team that embodies the values of the agency.
  • Identify, prioritize and develop short- and long-term strategic initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of functional areas within purview.
  • Enhance and integrate systems, processes and standards development and oversight across the agency.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in achieving mission, vision and growth strategy, making data-driven decisions to achieve the agency strategic plan.
  • Maintain productive relationships and communication channels across all programs and departments.
  • Foster an environment in which cross-functional staff work in a manner that encourages learning, partnership and innovation.
  • Promote the culture of high performance and continuous improvement throughout the agency.
  • Other Functions:  The organization may assign other functions to the job at its discretion.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.


Bachelor’s degree in business or related field required. Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) preferred. Eight to ten years of experience required, with a minimum of five years supervisory and function leadership experience. In-depth knowledge of directly reporting business functions preferred. Experience with strategic planning required.


Strategic thinking and planning.  Ability to work in fast paced environment.  Flexibility in performing work responsibilities.  Able to multi-task.  Familiar with collective bargaining work environments.  Driven to professional excellence.  Driven to advance personal and team skills.

Location: 4753 N Broadway, Chicago, IL                         IL Action for Children is EEO/M/F/V/D employer.

Vaccination required

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