Grow your career at Living Cities.

Founded in 1991, we harness the collective power of our member institutions to build a new type of urban practice. Together, we are working with cross-sector leaders in cities to develop and scale new approaches to dramatically improve the economic well-being of low-income people. Our investments, research, networks and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, comprehensive, local approaches with real-time sharing of knowledge to accelerate and deepen adoption in more places.

Living Cities' members have collectively invested more than $1 billion in America’s cities, an investment that has resulted in over $16 billion in development and follow-on investments. Yet members are not simply funders. They participate at the senior management level on the Living Cities Board of Directors and contribute the time of 80+ expert staff toward crafting and implementing the Living Cities agenda.


Chief Operating Officer

About the Position

The Chief Operating Officer will serve as an organizational leader, developing and strengthening the financial, operational, and people functions that enable Living Cities work. This is an ideal opportunity for a leader who is committed applying their skills to building and sustaining an organization grounded in anti-racist practices.

Working in a collaborative organization grounded in shared power and distributed decision making, the COO serves as a member of R&R, including chairing one of R&R’s committees, Operations and Sustainability. The COO also participates in the CORE team, serving as an integral bridge between that team and R&R.

  • Resources & Results (R&R): This is the management team of the organization and is committed to maintaining integrity, accountability, and discipline in making the highest and best contribution to our organizational outcomes. The team holds the “why” of the organization and ensures that we are using all of our assets; our financial resources, our staff, and our influence in their highest and best use toward the organization’s results, ensuring that the Board of Directors' vision is executed with fidelity. The make-up of R&R seeks to maximize experience, expertise, and exposure and representation of staff and our communities. We want the fundamental decisions about using our assets and maintaining our culture to have the benefit of these diverse and broad perspectives.
  • Colleagues Operationalizing Racial Equity (CORE): As a team member of the CORE team, the COO is charged with supporting Living Cities staff to:
  • Build and deepen racial equity competencies at person, role, system levels
  • Build and support a culture where everyone can thrive
  • Operationalize and practice racial equity in their day-to-day work internally, with our partners, cities and member institutions
  • See themselves as part of the larger anti-racist organizing movement in the field and beyond

Reporting to the CEO, the COO will coach, mentor, and manage a team of three leaders: Assistant Director of Talent and Organizational Development; Controller; and Assistant Director of Operations and Compliance.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Leadership

  • Serve as a model and culture carrier, modeling servant leadership and a learning orientation, and designing and operationalizing inclusive ways of leading and achieving goals
  • Lead and manage teams, providing ongoing feedback, supporting staff and peers to change behaviors
  • Manage relationships with Board members, with a focus on the Treasurer and audit committee; provide regular updates, sharing areas of strength and vulnerability, as appropriate
  • Partner with Chief Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and relevant internal committees and teams on strategic planning, serving as a thought partner and sounding board
  • Partner with R&R to align the organization around key strategic imperatives; implement innovative systems and facilitate strong cross-functional collaboration and integration of all offices and staff

Financial Leadership and Oversight

  • Support all relevant committees through strategic planning, financial modeling, and data-driven analysis
  • Develop and refine models that can be used for forecasting and decision making; support staff to develop an understanding of these tools and ability to use them
  • Communicate effectively with the Living Cities Board, ensuring all members clearly understand the organization’s financial health and sustainability
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting by developing and continuously improving a reliable cash flow projection process and reporting mechanisms
  • Manage oversight of investment funds, ensuring that Living Cities properly manages all fiduciary responsibilities for these funds
  • Ensure the integrity, accuracy and usefulness of all financial reports

People Systems and Processes

  • Work with the R&R, O&S and HR, Talent and Organizational Development Committees to develop management, compensation strategy, and professional development practices that are grounded in anti-racist methodologies.
  • Promote a culture of feedback and open communication throughout the organization, ensuring that managers and staff members are regularly engaging in feedback conversations and that managers are continuously coaching and mentoring team members
  • Support the talent team in ensuring strong employee satisfaction and staff engagement; develop strategies and programs to increase retention and engagement
  • Collaborate with relevant committees to ensure a thoughtful annual performance review process that enables managers to provide meaningful, actionable mid-term and year-end reviews
  • Support strategic analyses to develop forecasts and make decisions about hiring, benefits, compensation, and other people related investments
  • Proactively build an inclusive and equitable culture, continuing to hire and retain a diverse team at all levels

Operations and Facilities

  • Work with R&R and Operations and Administration team to ensure Living Cities is working with the most up-to-date tools and resources available and is readily able to leverage technological systems and solutions to meet goals
  • Oversee, in partnership with the Assistant Director of Operations and Compliance, the ongoing development and implementation of a technology strategy and infrastructure that drives organizational results and enables staff to have ongoing access to information.
  • Ensure Living Cities facilities, office administration, space planning, relocations, and disaster planning are effectively managed to support staff across two regions (Washington, DC and New York)

Candidate Requirements

  • Minimum of ten years serving as an organizational leader, with a track record of overseeing the finance function and a strong working knowledge of operations and talent management, with a commitment to anti-racist practices
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion, with the ability to serve as an exemplar for Living Cities' values and a deep commitment to racial economic justice
  • Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, with the maturity and flexibility to work effectively with stakeholders at all levels from a range of disciplines
  • Proven success coaching and mentoring others, acknowledging and addressing traditional power dynamics, effectively working with teams across multiple locations so that they meet goals and grow professionally, serving as a coach and mentor to staff in a range of functional areas
  • Strong financial fluency, with a demonstrated ability to conduct financial analysis and support strategic decision-making
  • Robust understanding of financial accounting, with proven success creating and managing reporting, ensuring proper control and audit processes
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to identify and recommend process improvements, system overhauls, and solutions to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Collaborative approach to executive leadership, and the ability to work effectively with cross functional teams to meet goals and drive growth, impact, and organizational performance

Compensation and Benefits

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Apply online via OnRamps.


About Living Cities: Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 18 of America’s largest foundations and financial institutions to transform the lives of low income people in America’s urban neighborhoods. Over the past 15 years, Living Cities' members have collectively invested more than $1 billion in America’s cities, resulting in over $16 billion in development and follow-on investments. Living Cities’ investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking. We combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more cities.


Living Cities is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive team at all levels. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, sex (including pregnancy), religion or creed, citizenship status, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, domestic partnership status, genetic information or predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, arrest or pre-employment conviction record, or any other characteristic protected by law.