Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC), a national nonprofit organization based in Chicago, is dedicated to ensuring that all students have equitable access to healthy school environments, including nutritious food, physical activity, safe and health-promoting outdoor spaces, health services, and clean air. The organization’s strategic and comprehensive approach draws on work in Chicago Public Schools that leads to developing policy and program recommendations to support healthy schools and advocate for these recommendations at the local, state, and federal levels. The organization also helps strengthen the leadership skills of parents, students, school staff, and administrators so they can advocate on their own behalf.
HSC was founded in 2002 by Rochelle Davis, the outgoing President + CEO. HSC’s work began in Chicago and developed organically, the natural result of people coming together to address children’s health, education, and the environment, and building on an understanding of the critical role education and health play in achieving the American promise of equal opportunity.
The mission of Healthy Schools Campaign is to ensure that all children have access to healthy school environments where they can learn and thrive.
HSC’s vision of a healthy school, which guides its program and policy work, includes:
- Healthy spaces for learning and play.
- Health as an integral part of excellence in education.
- Knowledgeable teachers, administrators, and staff.
- Access to physical and behavioral health services.
- Involved parents and community members.
HSC works at the intersection of education, health, and equity to address policy and system change so that every student has the opportunity to be healthy, in school, and ready to learn. HSC takes a comprehensive approach to school health by addressing the most prevalent health challenges and disparities that impact learning. HSC elevates evidence-based strategies to address these issues and works for policy and system solutions.
By engaging with parents, teachers, school leaders, and policymakers, HSC helps schools increase their capacity to address student health needs and further work to ensure policies are in place to support healthy school environments. HSC publishes reports, policy recommendations, and toolkits that stakeholders can use to advance these efforts.
PRESIDENT + CEO POSITION SUMMARY
The President + CEO is responsible for setting strategy in collaboration with the board, championing the organization’s vision, ensuring consistent achievement of the mission, strategy, and annual goals, and financial objectives. Following a dynamic founder, the new President + CEO has the opportunity to refresh and reframe the organization. This person also sets the most effective management model to ensure successful program outcomes, engaged staff, high-functioning internal operations, and robust resource generation within HSC’s $2.6 million operating budget. The position reports to the Board of Directors and is located in Chicago.
The President + CEO fosters a strong and inclusive organizational culture; ensures full organizational commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). This person ensures a stable infrastructure, uplifts HSC’s reputation, and represents HSC to the diverse stakeholders, funders, partners, and the public. The President + CEO champions and advocates for HSC and its stakeholders. They are the leading fundraiser for HSC and can communicate the vision, goals, and values to diverse audiences in a compelling way.
The successful candidate addresses matters of equity, race, and bias in decision making with clarity, confidence, openness, and empathy, and has demonstrated a profound commitment to equity and social justice. The President + CEO is decisive, committed to the mission and stakeholders, able to build and instill trust.
HSC PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND POLICY INITIATIVES
HSC’s focus has always been important; however, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the profound impact of all aspects of the organization’s work on the lives of families across the country. It has become even more evident that children and families rely on schools for more than quality education. Schools are an essential community anchor providing daily meals, outdoor space, and access to critical mental and physical health services. Moreover, inequities in the system underscore the disproportionate effect on communities of color regarding health disparities and unequal educational resources.
HSC’s work is interconnected. Policy work is an outgrowth of on-the-ground programs. Program outcomes and goals are further supported by policy work. Support for HSC’s programs and policy/advocacy efforts comes from foundations, corporations, and individual donors.
HSC’s work in Chicago includes advocating for strong health-promoting policies, Parents United for Healthy Schools, Space to Grow, and the School Health Access Collaborative. The current policy focus is on school food and expanding health services. At the national level, HSC’s two major programs are Healthy Students Promising Futures, an effort to expand Medicaid-funded school health services, and Healthy Green Schools and Colleges.
Policy work is designed to integrate health and equity into education policy. HSC’s Change for Good Agenda guides the national policy work. In Chicago, HSC has worked on a range of school health issues, including healthy school food, reinstating recess, a strong physical education program, healthy indoor air, green schoolyards, and expanding school health services. Integrating health into education accountability systems and promoting transparency are part of all of HSC’s policy work. HSC’s programs and policy work are more fully described on the website.
To succeed, the President + CEO builds authentic relationships across lines of difference (race, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQ+ status) through self-reflection, empathy, and clear personal identity. The President + CEO identifies, cultivates, nurtures, and manages many relationships – internal and external. Primary are the relationships with staff and the board of directors. Ideally, the successful candidate and the board of directors develop a trusting, mutually respectful, candid, and collaborative relationship that underscores a strong leadership partnership.
The President + CEO leads and ensures that staff are positioned for success in their contributions to HSC’s work. The President + CEO fosters a collaborative environment that supports staff development, embraces high yet realistic standards, and acknowledges and celebrates success. Through the tone the President + CEO sets, HSC’s staff bring their diverse voices to ensure fulfilling the mission. HSC seeks a leader who solicits, elevates, understands, and values – either through personal experience or empathy – the perspective of a wide variety of stakeholders.
As chief executive, this person respects HSC’s history, the role of the founder in building the organization, and future possibilities.
There are myriad external relationships with organizational partners such as Chicago Public Schools, other nonprofit organizations, local and national collaboratives; political leaders, legislators, and officials at the local, state, and federal levels; and with individual, foundation, and corporate funders. HSC participates in a wide range of coalitions at the local, state, and national levels. These relationships support and are crucial to the work and directly impact those who benefit from HSC’s work – students and their families, communities, teachers and administrators, and others working in school systems. It is incumbent on the successful candidate to understand the nuances of the relationships, the connections between and among stakeholders, and to identify and develop additional relationships to support HSC’s mission.
It is important to continue to nurture existing funding relationships and deepen their connections to HSC’s mission and work. Further, it is essential to HSC’s success for the President + CEO to identify and cultivate relationships with new funders.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
MISSION AND STRATEGY
- Ensure that HSC has a long-range strategy and vision that supports the mission.
- Lead with insight to effectively support the mission and move HSC to its next level.
- Define organizational strategy and secure the funding and resources needed to fulfill the mission and ensure there is the necessary unrestricted/general operating support
- Ensure that programmatic and annual goals align with the mission and effect change.
- Collaborate with the board of directors to understand the environment within which HSC operates, identify organizational options, and evaluate and plan for a robust future.
- Elevate and prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) within the organization and its work to ensure that HSC maintains this focus.
- Demonstrate cultural fluency, sensitivity, and a strong equity lens to establish a culture of growth mindset around issues of equity and to meet the needs of diverse staff and stakeholders.
- Establish new, sound partnership opportunities with stakeholders, allied individuals, organizations, and funders aligned with HSC’s mission, values, and DEIA focus.
- Uphold, champion, and enhance HSC’s culture and values by ensuring a culture of mutual respect.
- Identify organizational opportunities and challenges and recommend ways to address them.
- Focus attention on board recruitment, diversity, development, and governance.
- Work with the board to ensure capacity and a leadership pipeline.
- Increase the board’s role in governance-related work and fundraising.
- Develop collaborative, collegial relationships with HSC’s senior leadership team and others in key administrative positions.
- Shape the values and standards of the organization and ensure an organizational culture in which all voices are valued.
- Provide day-to-day leadership and drive strategy execution to deliver superior organizational performance.
- Cultivate and maintain awareness of mission-related programmatic opportunities.
- Support ongoing program review and evaluation for efficacy, impact, and financial sustainability.
- Steward current partnerships to support program success, mission fulfillment, and resource generation.
- Identify and nurture new partnerships to advance the mission.
MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL
- Create well-developed organizational management strategies, systems, and practices that support a coherent approach to decision making, planning, and staffing.
- Ensure that program and policy teams are high functioning and foster collaboration within.
- Maintain an environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff for whom HSC’s mission and values resonate.
- Oversee a transparent annual budgeting process that supports a broad understanding of organizational priorities and reflects them.
- Ensure that financial goals align with programmatic, policy, advocacy, and annual goals to foster success.
- Establish plans and systems to increase HR capacity that reinforce recruiting and retention efforts.
(Fundraising, Revenue/Resource Development, Marketing/Visibility, Partnerships)
- Ensure the necessary organizational infrastructure to support robust fundraising and stewardship.
- Increase and strengthen HSC’s funding sources.
- Steward existing funding relationships.
- Identify and cultivate new funding relationships, especially regarding unrestricted funds and general operating support.
- Connect the mission and organizational vision to donors as part of the leadership transition.
- Ensure that HSC is well-known to and trusted by funders, stakeholders, local/state/federal officials, and more.
- Create a robust structure and plan to support internal and external communication.
- Be a visible, dynamic voice for HSC, its work, and those who benefit.
- Nurture existing stakeholder relationships and continue to identify new opportunities that align with the mission, values, goals, and DEIA focus.
HSC seeks a candidate who embraces the mission and core values, believes that health is fundamental to learning, and values and cares about the interplay of advocacy, grassroots engagement, and program work.
- Passion for HSC’s mission.
- Embraces intersectionality, social justice, and racial equity.
- Executive presence.
- Straightforward, able to give and receive feedback
- High emotional intelligence.
- Active listening skills.
- Effective oral and written communication skills.
- Vision and desire to build on the founder’s creativity.
Skills, Experience, Management Style
- Demonstrated accomplishments aligned with HSC’s mission.
- Deep understanding of the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and demonstrated commitment to racial equity.
- Experience leading with a racial equity lens in the workplace.
- Ability to recognize race and power dynamics playing out within an organization at all levels and interrupt those inequities.
- Ability to engage in difficult conversations and actions to advance equity.
- Talented leader with high-level experience managing organizations.
- Ability and commitment to uplift diverse voices within the organization.
- Deep understanding of health and education policy, advocacy, systems change, and the intersection of health and education.
- Ability to set direction and execute strategy.
- Experience managing staff/teams and developing individuals, and with HR systems.
- Proven fundraising success and ability to cultivate, nurture, and maintain donor relationships.
- High-level financial and complex budgeting experience.
- Belief in and supportive of community-based work.
- Strong management and delegation skills.
- Confident decision maker.
- Ability to make tough decisions and the willingness to do so.
- Possess high, realistic standards.
- Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree a plus.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The salary range for this position is $150,000 to $175,000 annually. HSC offers a competitive benefits package.
HOW TO APPLY
Please submit your resume and cover letter to the Search Committee at HSCceosearch@gmail.com. Please include your Last and First name in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Healthy Schools Campaign has engaged Wishnick & Associates to support the Search Committee in this endeavor.
HSC is committed to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard for race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or veteran status. HSC strongly encourages Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), women, and LGBTQIA+ people to apply.