Good Shepherd Services

Executive Director, New York, NY



Good Shepherd Services goes where children, youth, and families face the greatest challenges and builds on their strengths to help them gain skills for success. We provide quality, effective services that deepen connections between family members, within schools, and among neighbors. We work closely with community leaders to advocate, both locally and nationally, on behalf of our participants to make New York City a better place to live and work.

Good Shepherd Services leads in the development of innovative programs that make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families today.


Incorporated in 1947 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Good Shepherd Services (https://goodshepherds.org/) has uplifted communities in New York City for more than 70 years. The agency continues to carry on the Good Shepherd name as it has transitioned into a nonsectarian organization of diverse backgrounds and affiliations.

Good Shepherd Services in its early years focused on providing residential care to young women who could not live at home. In the early 1970s, it recognized the need to surround families who lived in economically unstable areas with comprehensive services in their communities to help them thrive.

Good Shepherd operates more than 80 programs in the areas of: Afterschool and Community; Supportive Housing; Youth Justice; Education Support; and Family Support, Counseling, and Foster Care, which help over 30,000 youth and family members in struggling neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. All of their programs are united by a common goal to create opportunities that help participants succeed at school, at home, and in theircommunities.

All Good Shepherd programs are designed using an approach that integrates youth and family development strategies and trauma-informed practices. This holistic, strength-based approach is supported by a substantial body of research on interventions that successfully promote well-being, mitigate the impacts of poverty, and improve social mobility. Good Shepherd's agency-wide approach brings together these insights from human development and trauma research. Within each program, additional evidence-based/-informed models, interventions, and practices such as AIM, Circle of Courage, KEEP, Parenting through Chance, Parenting Journey, the Sanctuary Model, and Solution-Based Casework have also been incorporated to further increase their efficacy.

Good Shepherd embraces a set of Core Values that inspire staff and participants and drive everything they do including their approach to the work, the decisions they make, and the way they collaborate.

  • Compassion: The services we provide surround children, youth, and families with kindness and care, build on their strengths, and embrace unique talents, interests, and accomplishments.
  • Commitment: Our support for children, youth, and families is unwavering, especially in New York neighborhoods that have the fewest resources.
  • Bold leadership: We face deeply rooted poverty and inequality and confront these challenges head on through strong leadership, innovative programs, and advocacy for positive change.
  • Learning: We prioritize ongoing education for both ourselves and our participants. We constantly seek out new ways to be effective and use evidence and data to help us be successful.
  • Optimism: We know we can make a real difference with a positive approach that builds upon the inherent strengths that children, youth, and families have to transform themselves.
  • Responsiveness: We listen deeply to and respect the children, youth, and families with whom we work. In New York City neighborhoods with few resources, we do what it takes to respond, and we have built the ability to adapt into our approach.

Good Shepherd developed its current strategic plan for 2018-2022 using a participatory and multimethod design. The process resulted in the articulation of six strategic directions.

  • Equity & Inclusion: We engage in purposeful efforts to identify and break down organizational and systemic inequality and unjust structures.
  • Alignment & Collaboration: We evolve as a networked organization accessing our collective wisdom and shared foundational approaches to advance our work.
  • Building Leadership: We recognize and promote the development of emerging leaders among our staff, participants, and communities. We grow and support our staff and participants in developing leadership skills and progressively taking on new leadership responsibilities and roles.
  • Technology: We use cutting edge technologies to communicate internally and externally, streamline our work, foster creativity, and optimize our results.
  • Community Engagement & Advocacy: We support the natural web of relationships and connections among neighborhood stakeholders to unlock strengths, identify priorities, address barriers, and advocate for resources that impact the well-being of youth, families, and communities.
  • Funding & Resources: We seek new and innovative platforms to raise funds and generate social capital. We work in balanced partnership with our public and private funders.

Good Shepherd Services is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors. The agency has an annual operating budget of $97.7 million and is managed by a staff of 1,240 employees. Good Shepherd is in the midst of a $50 million capital campaign, which, in part, will double the agency's $30 million endowment.


Effectively managing a complex and trauma-informed social service provider, the Executive Director will be an inspirational and visible leader, providing the necessary management, strategic direction, and fundraising required for Good Shepherd to build upon the impact and current success of its programs. Ever mindful of the organization's culture and values, this person will provide substantive direction, articulate programmatic goals and metrics for success, fuel innovative thinking, and serve as a resource to programmatic and organizational leadership. The Executive Director will maintain and nurture the expertise of a knowledgeable staff and inspire a talented and highly dedicated team who are the organization's most critical assets and are indispensable to its ongoing success.

The Executive Director will be a credible and passionate advocate, thought leader, and spokesperson who will provide a voice for New York City communities and individuals in need. The Executive Director will represent the institution and its mission to all community-based partners, relevant agencies, and constituen cies and will coalesce support for Good Shepherd from donors and other funders and decision makers in state and local funding arenas.

Working closely with the Board, executive leadership, the strategic leadership team, and program leadership in the field, the Executive Director will ensure that Good Shepherd is fiscally and administratively sound and that the organizational structure, technology, program development and implementation, and fundraising efforts are well managed and congruous.


The Executive Director will capitalize on Good Shepherd's legacy and potential and have the following priorities and key responsibilities:

  • Thoroughly understand Good Shepherd Services its history, mission, constituencies, structure, and the value of its field operations; quickly acclimate to all that encompasses the agency as one of the top nonprofits in New York City;
  • Take ownership of Good Shepherd's strategic plan; review and evaluate the current plan and, working with Board and staff, refine and adapt it as necessary; attach specific goals or milestones to be achieved in order to show progress and success;
  • Quickly establish relationships with existing key public and private donors in order to facilitate the ongoing flow of support and contributions; identify new sources of funding, especially among individuals and the private sector; to the extent needed, assist in the final phases of the previously announced $50 million capital campaign;
  • Ensure cohesive leadership at the executive level so that Good Shepherd's day-to-day operations and programs are professionally and efficiently administered, holding the organization to the highest levels of transparency, accountability, and consistency; set benchmarks for program spending and delivery without losing the commitment to the participants being served;
  • Ensure that Good Shepherd's programs are supported to the maximum extent possible by appropriate government grants and contracts; develop strong and collaborative relationships with the government agencies that fund the agency; respond to and capitalize on a changing funding environment and course correct as necessary;
  • Ensure that the agency is well positioned to identify and implement new programs that address critical needs or gaps in services to the community; know whom the agency is serving, how its programs are structured and funded, how money is being spent, and what it costs to deliver high-quality services efficiently;
  • In partnership with the Chief Financial Officer, ensure that financial systems, budgets, and planning strategies accurately reflect the financial realities of the organization; achieve realistic and attainable financial projections and ensure fiscal stability;
  • Review Good Shepherd's systems and modes of communication and data collection; quickly understand and tweak as necessary how the organization measures progress; support its efforts and capacity to track and disseminate impact internally and to its funders and partners;
  • Foster a cohesive and collegial working relationship with the Board Chair and individual Board members, finding ways to use effectively their individual expertise to benefit Good Shepherd; be strategic in the development and recruitment of new Board members.


The Executive Director should have a deep and abiding commitment to and passion for the mission and core values of Good Shepherd. She or he should also have or be:

  • Proven leadership, problem-solving, and strategic planning and implementation capability and commensurate fiscal acumen as an executive with a nonprofit organization or government agency, ideally with a high degree of experience and expertise in social services with focus on effective delivery of high-quality services that include a social justice perspective;
  • Extensive operational management experience; able to balance multiple priorities and maintain forward momentum; a keen understanding of the financial and management systems and compliance guidelines required to support a large, complex operation;
  • A track record of success as an advocate and fundraiser; comfortable at the policy table and the funding table, with a demonstrated ability to work with and attract support from New York City and state agencies and officials, foundations, corporations, and individuals; the ability to personally interact with and cultivate donors is essential; able to develop overall fundraising strategies and mutually reinforcing alliances with funders, partners, and key constituencies;
  • The ability to recruit, advise, motivate, and lead a highly dedicated and geographically dispersed staff to whom much responsibility and authority are delegated;
  • The commitment and ability to engage and support Good Shepherd's program leadership and field staff; able to read an RFP, envision and operationalize new initiatives, and deeply understand how decisions funding, resource, and staff allocations, etc. are being experienced by staff and participants;
  • Dedication to sustaining and enriching Good Shepherd's current diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; intentional about what leadership around DEI looks like; able to build the culture of DEI through an antiracism lens;
  • Able to identify trends and take risks as appropriate, with an understanding of the essentials of risk management; the ability to make hard decisions big and small on a regular basis, along with the gravitas to do so with the respect of those who may hold different points of view;
  • Sophisticated in the utilization of metrics in decision making and strategic planning; someone who champions best practices in organizational and program design and implementation;
  • A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving feedback and new ideas from many sources; able to analyze and formulate disparate information into sound, well-organized plans and communicate effectively at all levels.

The Executive Director should also be or have:

  • A diplomatic leader who will articulate and embrace a clearly defined institutional culture; collaborative and empathetic; capable of building and maintaining high morale; a person who will recognize and respect a group of deeply committed employees at all levels;
  • A high degree of compassion and emotional intelligence; an effective relationship builder, internally and externally; highly visible, approachable, and willing to roll up their sleeves; willingness to admit when they make mistakes; transparent and respectful of Good Shepherd traditions; willing to embrace ideas from the next generation of leaders;
  • An analytical and a creative problem solver and skilled negotiator who can anticipate, initiate, and implement rather than just respond to challenges as they arise; skilled at building consensus but also bold and decisive when needed; able to break down silos as necessary;
  • A good sense of humor and the ability to maintain balance and perspective.

Good Shepherd Services is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, participants, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. We do 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 our activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.

Applications and nominations are requested to be submitted to the attention of Mark Tarnacki and G. Angela Henry at GoodShepherd@PhillipsOppenheim.com.