Deputy Chief of Programs and Strategy

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a highly collaborative and strategic leader to advance our mission to build a good jobs economy. The Deputy Chief of Programs and Strategy will be energized to play a key role in shaping and maximizing the impact of NELP’s programmatic strategies aimed at our strategic priority of building Black, immigrant worker power and advancing transformative solutions to achieve racial and economic justice.

Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:  

 NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with an 11-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $17M-$20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.  

What You Will Do

The Deputy Chief of Programs and Strategy (Deputy) will work closely with the Chief of Programs, Chief of Strategy, other executive leaders, and the directors of program and strategy teams to deepen alignment of strategies and tactics with our theory of change and ensure the effective implementation of high-impact programmatic strategies. The Deputy will promote a culture of continuous learning and strong program and strategy integration to multiply impact, in addition to deepening our racial equity framework. The Deputy reports to the Chief of Strategy and will supervise other staff as needed. 

This position will hold some strategic initiatives that will be shorter term and others that will be ongoing. The Deputy will work closely with the Chiefs of Programs and Strategy to evolve and shape this position over the first year. Initial areas of focus are named below. Areas of responsibility in this internal facing role include:  

Programmatic Strategy and Team Management (50%)

The Deputy will coach team directors and staff to continue development of strategic initiatives for greatest impact, working closely with the Chiefs of Programs and Strategy to advance skills training and leadership development opportunities. 

The Deputy will provide direct supervision to the Executive Assistant of Programs and Strategy who supports executive leadership, consultant and vendor engagements, and regrants. 

On an ad hoc basis, the Deputy will supervise teams as needed when there is a leadership vacancy (e.g., when program and strategy directors take advantage of NELP’s generous leave benefits), leveraging these opportunities to accelerate program and strategy knowledge. 

An initial initiative for the Deputy will be to synthesize and distill learnings from campaigns and initiatives that build worker power and advance systems change and create opportunities for staff skill development. 

Strengthening Partnerships and Alliances (35%)

NELP partners closely with a range of local, state, and national organizations and networks—grassroots organizations, organizing groups, worker centers, policy and research organizations, racial justice groups, labor unions, and more. The Deputy will support staff as they seek to deepen strategic partnerships and alliances with organizations to build Black, immigrant worker power, engage with networks of worker-led organizations, and share effective practices, resources, and generate transformative solutions with allies. 

An initial initiative for the Deputy will be to continue to clarify NELP’s organizational strengths and value-add to partnerships and allies and develop guidelines and structures for partner engagement that builds worker power and advances transformative solutions. 

Continuous Learning and Evaluation (15%)

Since 2021, NELP has been developing a more robust measurement, evaluation, and learning program to increase the understanding of our impact and how we advance systemic change. The Deputy will strengthen NELP’s culture of continuous learning and collaboration by creating internal learning opportunities to amplify impact and support directors in developing their work plans based on learnings from measuring change and impact.  

An initial initiative for the Deputy will be to work closely with the Chiefs of Programs and Strategy and measurement and evaluation staff to systematize staff data collection, the tracking of indicators of success, and robust evaluation.  

Who You Are  

  • You have 10+ years of progressively responsible leadership experience in organizational development, change management, human resources, or in programmatic work and 3+ years of managerial, supervisory, or other related experience.  
  • You have strong racial equity competencies, including an understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture. You are committed to continuously learning, reflecting, and growing these competencies.  
  • You have a demonstrated ability to craft, manage, and execute strategic worker organizing or public policy campaigns.
  • You have experience working in coalitions and strategic relationships with diverse groups and interests, such as community-based organizations and advocacy organizations.
  • You are flexible and agile, responsive to feedback, open to changing direction, and focus on continuous improvement and innovation. 
  • You are a self-aware leader who cultivates empathy through open and honest dialogue, builds relationships that foster trust and transparency across lines of difference, and offers direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose.  
  • You are a highly skilled facilitator and coach, who is an inspirational, curious, and relational leader with strong interpersonal skills fostering a sense of purpose and community, empowering staff to grow and develop professionally, and has high standards for holding yourself and others accountable.  
  • You have a proven record of collaborating, influencing, and encouraging others to adopt new practices and behaviors. You exercise patience, recognizing that the journey of becoming an anti-racist organization requires understanding of pace and individuals, and are resilient and solution-oriented in the face of setbacks and challenges. 
  • You are a high-level strategic thinker who has a track record of increasing organizational success, building effective cross-team initiatives, operationalizing a vision across an organization, and using evaluation tools and metrics to support accountability.  
  • You are an effective, persuasive communicator with strong presentation, speaking, written, and nonverbal skills, who conveys information clearly and concisely, internally and externally, with high emotional intelligence and professional judgment. 
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, humility, and camaraderie.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits: This full-time exempt position is based out of one of our three offices (Berkeley, New York City, or Washington D.C.). NELP has a hybrid model that requires staff to work in-person at least six days per month. This hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in-person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements. This position will require some travel, including for NELP internal meetings or conferences. The start date will be as soon as possible.  

The salary for the Deputy Chief of Programs and Strategy position is $140,000-$150,000 depending upon years of experience.  

Compensation at NELP includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, plus additional organization-wide holidays, significant contribution from employer to a retirement plan (both an unelected contribution and employer match); and for qualifying participants, up to 26 weeks paid parental leave, 12 weeks paid medical leave, 6 weeks of paid family medical caregiving leave, a sabbatical leave program, childcare/eldercare reimbursement assistance, and student loan repayment assistance. Staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW, excluding, however, management and certain other categories. This position is in management. 

To Apply: Candidates must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States. This position is open until filled, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  

APPLY AT THIS LINK by uploading these items: 

  1. A resume 
  2. A cover letter that thoughtfully addresses your alignment with the position 
  3. A writing sample of any kind or length, which (at most) has been lightly edited by others 

Nonprofit talent agency People Power is the search partner for this hire. We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to NELP’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Please do not contact NELP directly to inquire about the status of your application. 

Selected applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview with People Power via phone. Those who continue in the process will have an opportunity to meet with a wide variety of NELP team members and will be invited to a 30-meeting introductory conversation with NELP leadership, and two longer form interviews with leadership and staff teams. We will also ask candidates to complete a brief written exercise.  

We welcome your interest and feedback. If you would like to make a *confidential* inquiry and/or have questions regarding your qualifications for this position, compensation or benefits, our process or internal timeline for hiring, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email Kate Brumage at People Power:  

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

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