Chief Operating Officer
Full Time Job
** Please note NPR has retained Russell Reynolds Associates for this search** Interested applicants please apply
Working in close collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, the next Chief Operating Officer (COO) will actualize the priorities of a diverse organization seeking to grow in reach, relevance, and revenue while delivering on its mission and impact. The COO will oversee critical operations at NPR and support the expansion and diversification of new audiences, as well as financial sustainability, in the midst of a dynamic and changing media landscape.
Reporting to the CEO, the COO will steward NPR’s strategic plan for digital innovation, strategic partnerships, community engagement, and overall impact. Through a collaborative leadership style and leading through influence, the COO will build increased alignment between NPR, its member stations, and other key stakeholders and increase the overall impact of the brand.
The COO will closely oversee the day-to-day operations of NPR and will be responsible for inspiring the team to pursue excellence and impact. The COO will inspire and lead a passionate team and create a culture of inclusion, creativity, alignment, and accountability. They will oversee and act as an effective steward of an operating budget and financial structure reliant upon both public and private support.
The COO will partner with other members of the executive leadership team to set clear priorities and develop a clear plan of action for the organization. They will elevate and drive decisions and hold themselves and the teams accountable for results, effectively utilizing data to do so. They will pursue innovative avenues for revenue generation and creative new partnerships in order to drive the expansion of NPR’s mission and reach.
NPR seeks an inspirational, accomplished, and entrepreneurial leader with a clear passion for the value and impact of public media. The candidate must exhibit significant knowledge of and an active engagement with the evolving media landscape and digital innovation.
The candidate will have a proven track record of leading teams of significant size, complexity, and operations in the nonprofit or private sector, and will have a track record of success cultivating relationships with, and building bridges among, diverse constituencies. Leadership experience in the media industry is desirable, although not required. The candidate will ideally have led and managed through change. Most importantly, the candidate will be sincerely vested in NPR’s mission and committed to the organization’s principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and act as a leader in this space.
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:
Strategic and Creative Vision
• Ability to build on progress-to-date and articulate an inspiring vision and plan for the immediate and long-term future of NPR, and its strategy for member stations.
• An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries within the industry.
• Effectively balances the need for broad change with an understanding of how much change the organization can handle to create realistic, achievable, and successful goals.
• The inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others with the organization's overall strategy.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
• Firmly believes in the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and passionate about driving NPR’s growth in these areas.
• Demonstrates an exceptional capacity to communicate and connect with people at all levels. Understands the experiences, values, and motivators of others. Is resilient and has a transparent, open, and authentic style that brings people together.
• Experience building and supporting diverse teams; invested in bringing NPR’s mission to audiences who have been underrepresented in NPR’s services; understands the value of diversity and inclusion to the organization’s future.
Executing for Results
• Sets clear and ambitious goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving and delivering results.
• Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations; able to shepherd ideas and lead a team from concept to execution.
• A risk-taker who seeks data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended circumstances from decisions; someone who takes smart risks.
• A body of business and financial acumen developed in both functional and general management roles with oversight of significant operational budgets and complex, fast paced organizations.
Building, Leading and Supporting Teams
• Honest and dependable team leader who values, models, and drives group collaboration and consensual decision-making and shows empathy for others. Builds and maintains good working relationships across the organization.
• Attracts and recruits top talent, motivates the team and manages performance; widely viewed as a mentor, inspirational leader, and strong developer of others.
• Self-reflective and aware of his/her own strengths and limitations; leads by example and drives the organization's performance by being open to continuous feedback and improvement.
• Has a high degree of integrity and forethought in his/her approach to making decisions; acts in a transparent and consistent manner while always considering what is best for the organization. Comfortable making strategic decisions out of collaborative idea generation. Leads with an authentic style that brings people together and acknowledges the value of humor.
• Actively participates in team meetings and activities; involves others in decisions and projects; leverages the skills and interests of colleagues to achieve goals and solve problems.
• Encourages people to think of themselves as a team; talks about projects and goals in terms of group accomplishments and efforts; focuses on shared interests and goals.
• Shows enthusiasm toward being a member of the group; conveys respect and appreciation toward the talents and contributions of fellow team members; takes pride in being part of the team.
• Supports team decisions; gets behind team projects; actively contributes time and effort to helping the team achieve its shared goals.
Building Relationships and Influence
• Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
• Inspires trust and teamwork in others through compelling influence, powerful charisma, passion in their beliefs, and active drive.
• Effectively builds coalitions and can accomplish goals through networking and broad influence.
• Creates a sense of purpose/meaning for the team that generates followership beyond his/her own personality and engages others to the greater purpose for the organization as a whole.