The New York Foundling

Chief Program Officer, New York, NY



We believe that all people no matter circumstance or zip code should have the opportunity to thrive. But, for all of us, discovering what we are capable of and reaching our full potential requires support along the way. With an effective and interrelated set of services, we work in partnership with our neighbors, who create transformational change in their own lives.


In 1869, three Sisters of Charity opened their doors to save the lives of babies being abandoned on the streets of New York, beginning the legacy of The New York Foundling. Over the past 150 years, the Sisters' ministry has continued evolving from a respite home for abandoned children to a comprehensive spectrum of community support services designed to provide opportunities to the children and families of New York. While social situations and the organization's approach to its mission have evolved, The Foundling continues to share its founders' belief that no one should ever be abandoned and that all children deserve the right to grow up in loving and stable environments.

Today there are 14 programs under the umbrellas of child welfare, developmental disabilities, education, health and behavioral health, and juvenile and criminal justice. Four Centers of Excellence provide services at various sites around the city:

  • Home of Integrated Behavioral Health
  • The Implementation Support Center
  • Strong Families and Communities Training Center
  • The Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection

Approximately 30,000 people are served through Foundling programs by a staff of more than 3,000. The 2022 budget is $225 million, with 98 percent coming from federal, state, and city governments and the remainder from private individuals, corporations, and foundations.


The Chief Program Officer (CPO) will be a strong, inspirational, and committed leader and creative and effective problem solver overseeing the entire agency. As one of six direct reports to the Chief Executive Officer, this individual will work collaboratively throughout the organization, coordinating day-to-day activities with the applicable Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents to ensure alignment with The Foundling's overarching mission and goals. Working closely with the appropriate committee chairs, the CPO will be responsible for preparing the appropriate information necessary for the Board to exercise its fiduciary responsibilities and to assess and minimize risk to the organization.

The CPO will nurture and maintain a strong and reliable organization, holding staff accountable while providing the leadership, direction, and hands-on management of relevant administrative and programmatic activities. The individual will focus on underlying business strategies so that the organization can deliver its programs and services with maximum impact and efficiency. The individual will support the CEO in organization-wide planning and will lead, manage, and/or coordinate initiatives that have impact across the organization. As a partner and business advisor to the CEO and the rest of the senior leadership team, the CPO will establish, in tone and practice, an environment in which data, analysis, and transparency are used to drive sound business and programmatic decisions throughout the organization.

The Chief Program Officer will oversee four major areas of the agency.

Program and Policy in New York*1

  • Evaluate and ensure that programs and services from all divisions relate to the organization's overall strategy and mission. Oversee the development and implementation of new initiatives, ensuring that both existing and new program are financially sustainable.
  • With staff, monitor key trends and issues in all program areas with the support of continuing education in relevant areas.
  • Provide policy direction and coordination for the agency's support to Foundling clients, advocating for systemic improvement in the lives of vulnerable children and families through legislative and policy changes.
  • With program staff, ensure that existing grants and fees are maintained and new sources of public and private funding identified.
  • Strengthen The Foundling's reputation as the go-to organization for policy matters.

1Carmen Jirau Rivera oversees program in Puerto Rico.

Child Welfare and Behavioral Health, which is under the leadership of a Senior Vice President

  • Provide support and guidance to the Senior Vice President in the management of all child welfare and behavioral health programs

Quality, Performance, and Compliance, which is under the leadership of a Vice President/ Chief Compliance Officer

  • Compliance with state and federal regulations that govern agency services
  • Tracking and investigations of complaints and concerns
  • Support to programs related to data integrity; processes related to foster parent payments, etc.
  • Coordination with oversight agencies and performance reviews; accreditation
  • Support the use of data to inform learning and decision-making

Human Resources, which is under the leadership of a Vice President

  • Talent acquisition from recruitment through hiring and onboarding
  • Training (general, HR, and related training)
  • Compensation planning
  • Employee relations
  • Employee engagement
  • Benefits planning and administration
  • Employee performance
  • Labor relations

Development and Communications, which is under the leadership of a Vice President

  • Strategic approach to Board development and management
  • Individual giving
  • Institutional (government and private) funding
  • Advocacy
  • External communications including press, social media, PR, and donor communications
  • Internal communications


It is critically important that the Chief Program Officer gain the trust and confidence of the Chief Executive Officer, the Board of Directors, the senior leadership team, and the senior staff and serve as their partner in all aspects of The New York Foundling's operations. It is of the highest priority, therefore, that the individual have the technical as well as personal skills necessary to structure the relevant business and programmatic activities of a complex human services organization.

In this capacity, it is expected that the Chief Program Officer will:

  • Quickly get to know The New York Foundling as a whole its history and culture, purpose and programs, structure and organization, finances, funding, policies, and the current and future major issues critical to the organization;

  • Have a deep knowledge of the child welfare, behavioral health, and managed care arenas, including trends and changes in practices and funding; act as one of the agency's primary liaisons to healthcare providers as well as city, state, and federal agencies;

  • Learn The Foundling's business, development, and strategic plans to provide data and analysis that will help direct organizational decision-making and impact long-range strategic planning;

  • Establish a strong working partnership with the Chief Executive Officer; develop and establish relationships with the Board Chair and relevant committee chairs; communicate accurate and understandable business, programmatic, and fundraising information as needed;

  • Collaborate with the Chief Executive Officer, supporting program systems and procedures and developing or enhancing them as needed; ensure that adequate programmatic, financial, structural, and human resources have been planned and allocated to support best practices in every aspect of the agency;

  • Ensure that The Foundling's large and complex contract portfolio is managed and implemented as efficiently as possible; ensure that programmatic planning, reporting, and forecasting reflect program growth and strategies; monitor revenue and expenses; develop and maintain reporting systems to ensure that all government contract obligations are met in a timely and consistent manner;

  • In collaboration with the Vice President of Development and Communications, ensure that a sound fundraising strategy is in place; anticipate changes in funding before the need becomes critical; generate alternative funding sources and solidify current funding streams.

Additionally, the Chief Program Officer will have ongoing responsibility for the following:

  • Fostering and maintaining a high level of collegiality, as well as an ongoing dialogue with the members of the executive team and with direct reports; being the "go-to" person to provide helpful solutions to underlying programmatic, business, and administrative challenges;

  • The day-to-day providing accountability for systems, processes, and infrastructure in the four areas of the CPO's oversight;

  • With the Vice President of Human Resources, assess and revise practices as necessary to reflect today's best practices for human services agencies, including personnel policies and practices; assess current staffing needs including training and staff development;

  • With the DEI Consultant, champion, support, and implement The Foundling's diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice efforts among the staff and Board.


The ideal candidate should have or be the following:

  • Proven senior-level problem solving and planning capability with an organization committed to programmatic growth in a public, private, or nonprofit sector organization known for its strong financial discipline and sophisticated systems and operations; prior experience as a chief program or operations officer or the equivalent is desirable, along with a knowledge of child welfare and behavioral health, human resources functions, institutional advancement, and risk management;

  • Demonstrated ability to work in partnership with a strong CEO, an experienced and results-oriented senior staff, and a deeply committed board;

  • A record of success as a thoughtful and respectful manager who recognizes and appreciates staff knowledge and talent, believes that good ideas can come from anywhere, and leads by example;

  • Familiarity with grants, contracts, and other government funding requirements, obligations, and mechanisms;

  • Analytical and forecasting experience, particularly related to the creation of new programmatic initiatives that support a multiservice agency; knowledge of management information systems and information technology;

  • A mature level of judgment, decision making, and sensitivity in a human service-oriented environment;

  • An effective, articulate, and persuasive communicator, verbally and in writing, formally and on the spot;

  • An MPA, MBA, or equivalent experience is preferred.


The ideal candidate will be:

  • Committed to providing life-changing support to vulnerable children and families;

  • A dedicated leader/manager, collaborative and team-oriented, who can take charge, build consensus, and affect change; someone who must impart credibility, trust, enthusiasm, and integrity, and must motivate others in the same vein;

  • A leader and tactician who understands the business implications of plans and strategies and who is able to creatively design and implement systems and procedures that fit The Foundling's current and long-term needs;

  • Outgoing and straightforward, with the skills to share information, listen, and learn as well as give advice;

  • Decisive and innovative; tough-minded yet flexible; able to compromise effectively, when necessary, in a fast-paced and complex organization;

  • Emotionally mature, with an intact ego and a sense of humor.

For additional information, please visit https://www.nyfoundling.org/.

The New York Foundling provides equal opportunities to all individuals without regard to race, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by law. It does not discriminate based on any status protected by law. This policy applies to all employment, education, volunteer, and clinical care related activities or in any other aspect of The Foundling's operation. Black, Indigenous, and people of color; trans, non-binary, and intersex people, especially trans women; those from poor and working-class backgrounds, immigrants, and people with disabilities; as well as people at the intersections of these experiences are highly encouraged to apply.

Applications, including cover letters and r sum s, and nominations should be sent to the attention of G. Angela Henry and Paul Spivey at TheFoundling@PhillipsOppenheim.com.