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Chief Program Officer

Job Details

2934 W Lake St - Chicago, IL
Full Time
4 Year Degree
Up to 25%
Nonprofit - Social Services


Covenant House Illinois (CHIL) is at a pivotal juncture in our organizational evolution. With a newly renovated base of operations, increased capacity to serve greater numbers of youth, a slate of new and expanded programs, and a recently enacted strategic vision guiding growth and service delivery over the next three years, we are primed to become Chicago’s premier agency serving young people experiencing homelessness.

To help us achieve our goals and ensure Chicago’s youth receive the services they need to successfully break the cycle of homelessness, CHIL is looking for a Chief Program Officer (CPO). This leadership position will oversee all program expansion, innovation, and execution in accordance with our mission and strategic plan initiatives. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the CPO is a member of CHIL’s senior executive team and a crucial part of our multi-year growth strategy. 



Primary Responsibilities:  

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) supports the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and provides leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that CHIL has the most qualified personnel and the best systems in place to effectively sustain and grow the organization, ensuring programmatic oversight, financial strength, and operating efficiency. The role accomplishes this through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by CHIL’s mission, vision and values. The Chief Program Officer is a member of the senior executive team influencing and guiding the overall goals, strategy, and decision making of the organization. The position also functions as the Child Protection Officer, responsible for Praesidium Compliance.   

RESPONSIBILITIES: (Covenant House Illinois reserves the right to unilaterally modify, remove, or add to any of the following)  

  • Upholds Covenant House Illinois standards of conduct, policies and procedures at all times. 

  • Exemplifies CHIL's commitment to centering youth voice in program development and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of our work. 

  • Provides day-to-day leadership and management to CHIL programs that mirrors organizational mission and core values, ensuring programs are appropriate, outcomes focused, and data driven.   

  • Partners with other organizational leaders in the following areas: Finance, Development, and Operations.  

  • Coordinates the implementation of program and staffing strategies, interventions and activities as needed.  

  • Attends, reports on program outcomes, and makes presentations at CHIL Board of Directors meetings and fulfills other board related responsibilities as assigned.  

  • Drives CHIL to achieve and surpass business/strategic goals and objectives (pertaining to both annual program targets as well as long term strategic plan initiatives and objectives.)  

  • Possesses material understanding of the measurement and effectiveness of all processes internal and external and oversees the creation of timely, accurate and complete monthly reports on the programmatic condition of the organization.  

  • In conjunction with the Quality Improvement team, develops outcomes/outputs and yearly projections for programs. 

  • Collaborates with leadership and management to develop and implement plans for the programmatic and operational infrastructure of systems, processes, and personnel designed to accommodate the objectives of CHIL.  

  • Fosters a success-oriented, psychologically safe, culture of accountability within the organization.  

  • Uses effective verbal and written communication, responding in a timely manner to all internal and external constituents.  

  • Provides organizational representation with volunteers, board members, youth, business partners, and community stakeholders.  

  • Models appropriate, professional behavior for youth, staff, and stakeholders to establish and maintain superior services to youth in a safe, inclusive, and inviting atmosphere.  

  • In collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Director of Finance, Director of Development, and direct reports is responsible for fiscal oversight to include:  

  • Proper staffing and regulation of staff schedules and overtime.  

  • Actively participate in the program grants submissions process with the development team through brainstorming, writing, editing, and contributing to creation of targets and deliverables.   

  • Work in collaboration with the grant writing team in the timely and accurate submission of grant compliance and reporting documents. 

  • Work with the executive leadership team and program department heads in preparation of an annual budget for the areas of responsibility, to provide input regarding expenditures, and to maintain the appropriate systems for proper accounting of funds.  

  • Responsible for meeting program compliance and funding goals and requirements 

  • Assist with special events, including oversight of program staff and youth involvement. 

  • Be available for other duties as assigned or requested by the CEO and/or any committee to which the CEO has delegated authority.  


Leadership/Supervisory Duties  

  • Participate in the development of organizational direction, plans and programs as a strategic partner with the CEO and both executive and senior leadership teams, with a special emphasis on programmatic and operational oversight and growth.  

  • Assist with budget planning, development, implementation and maintenance of respective budgets.  

  • Establish credibility with management and employees throughout the organization becoming an effective proponent and problem solver.  

  • Administer and manage policies, standards, practices, and security measures for all organizational functions to assure effective and consistent programmatic success and controlled growth.  

  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.  

  • Responsible for direct supervision of:  

  • Director of Clinical & Supportive Services, Director of Residential Programs, and Supportive Housing.  

  • Provide at least bi-weekly supervision of direct reports (and other staff where appropriate) to assist with the professional development of program personnel and participate in staff evaluations.  

  • Establish and maintain effective, professional working relationships with youth, co-workers, supervisors, representatives of other organizations, community partners, interns, stakeholders, etc.  

Programmatic Oversight  

  • Motivate, empower, supervise, and lead a high performance program management team and subordinates; provide mentoring, supervision, and clinical oversight as needed.  

  • Oversee and provide support to on-call personnel and staff by supporting crisis calls, intervention, support, risk management, and reporting according to policies and procedures to CEO and CHI. These tasks are performed either in person, virtually, by phone, email, and/or text according to the required level of reporting and/or support.  

  • Responds in a timely manner to emergencies and works with CHIL leadership and/or appropriate team members to resolve issues.  

  • Participate in and support youth and staff in the planning and execution of events.  

  • Provide oversight and direct support to recruit, train, retain, and rotate in-person team member support across all programs and hours of operation, including weekend and holiday shifts. 

  • Keep abreast of current trends and issues involving populations served; disseminate and train employees about trends to ensure CHIL programming remains relevant and in compliance with industry best practices. 


  • Support facility management and operations functions, including in coordination with program directors with a focus on residential facilities on and off-site.  

  • Work in partnership with the COO and Director of Development to coordinate, monitor, and supervise volunteers performing tasks related to operations, facilities, maintenance, housekeeping, and programs, etc.  

  • In partnership with the COO, communicate with staff prior to scheduled vendor visits and provide timely updates on repairs and other outcomes. 

  • Establish and maintain an effective working relationship with co-workers, supervisors, representatives of other agencies, vendors, and the public.  

  • Effectively communicate, verbally and in writing, with both internal and external individuals and/or partners.  

Financial Responsibilities:  

  • Partner with the CEO and Director of Finance, and others on the leadership team to develop the annual program plan, assess fiscal needs and requirements, develop program and agency budgets, and manage expenditures.  


  • Ability to work a flexible schedule as required including non-traditional hours, weekends, and holidays.  

  • Ability to work standing, walking, and/or sitting a minimum of eight hours per day/shift.   

  • Ability to drive agency or personal vehicles to transport items and/or persons.  

  • Valid Illinois Driver’s License with acceptable driving record.  

  • Ability to travel as needed for training or to fulfill job requirements.  

  • Light lifting.  

  • Performs all duties as assigned. 

  • Annual tuberculin test is required.  

  • Full inoculation with COVID-19 vaccination is required.  



  • Master’s degree in social services, public administration, non-profit leadership, or related field. 

  • Illinois clinical license required: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

  • Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible work in programs, public administration, non-profit leadership/management, and/or related fields.

  • Minimum of five years supervisory and leadership experience required with demonstrated competency in program development and oversight.

  • Additional Eligibility Qualifications:

    • Skilled in project management, programs, programmatic development, personnel management, budget and resource development, stakeholder/partnership engagement, grant and contract management, and programmatic compliance.

    • Excellent people skills, verbal and written communication skills, transparency, with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team while performing in a mission driven, team-oriented environment.

    • Qualities of integrity, credibility, creativity and innovation, honesty, prioritization, respect, initiative, self-motivation, transparency and commitment to corporate mission.

    • Strong analytical abilities to collect data, conduct benchmarking, create logic models, and provide and execute recommendations and reporting.

    • Flexible and able to manage multi-disciplinary teams engaging in simultaneous tasks, can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, problem solving, mission driven, and guiding investment in people and systems.

    • Advanced proficiency in use of relevanttechnology including Microsoft Office, Excel, and web-based data systems such as Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).