The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI+ human rights around the globe. Astraea supports brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S. and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. The Foundation’s founders —a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists—dreamed of social justice movements that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. For 45 years, Astraea has uniquely supported women’s rights and LBTQI+ movements working at the crossroads of gender justice, racial justice, bodily autonomy, sexual rights, and self-determination because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.
The first grant maker to hundreds of organizations, Astraea plays a catalytic role for LGBTQI+ groups around the world – particularly those led by lesbian, bisexual and queer women, trans and gender nonconforming folks, intersex people, and people of color. Astraea’s grantmaking, capacity building, media and communications, and philanthropic advocacy programs support work to build powerful movements for justice. A proud public foundation and one of the first women’s funds in the world, Astraea granted $5.1 million USD to 242 organizations in 2021.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.astraeafoundation.org/
The Vice President of Operations (VPO) is a newly created position reporting to the Executive Director. In collaboration with the Executive and Operations team, the VPO serves as the chief architect of Astraea’s operational infrastructure. They are tasked with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic and transformative initiatives for Astraea with the objective of managing operational alignment with organizational values and managing sustainability. The VPO works closely with the Executive Director and the executive leadership team and is responsible for aligning Astraea’s strategies, capabilities, systems and resources to its vision and mission.
The VPO continuously informs Astraea’s programs, practices, and partnerships and works to answer critical questions to align strategic initiatives at all levels. The VPO serves as a thought partner to the Executive Director and serves on the Executive Team, empowering and educating them to engage at their highest potential. The VPO leads a team of eight staff and three consultants. The staff include three direct reports: Director of People & Culture, Executive & Operations Manager, and IT Specialist.
The ideal candidate has the ability to balance aspirational goals with pragmatic problem-solving; the skills and experience required to meet the operational needs of an organization that works and has staff based in multiple regions around the world; and commitment to fostering a collaborative, values-aligned, creative, and vibrant work environment.
The core responsibilities of the VPO position are centered on the following:
• People: Ensure Astraea’s people reflect the skills, experience, knowledge, and capacity to perform their work.
• Structure: Build effective formal and informal relationships, networks, and functional connections.
• Processes: Create efficient routines through which work is performed and valuable knowledge is retained.
• Culture: Foster coherence and alignment in the values and attitudes guiding working behavior.
• Growth: Support organizational learning and development both informally and formally.
Reinvention and Continuous Improvement for Internal Operations
• Identify opportunities for strategic transformation and experimentation for teams/departments and the Executive and Management Teams with continual assessment of organizational structure, work planning, and working agreements;
• Facilitate the identification of small and large reinvention opportunities throughout the organization and create systematic ways of implementing related robust processes;
• Work with the Executive Leadership Team to re-envision organizational culture, norms, processes, and strategic models.
Leadership and Staff Management
• Supervise and coach direct reports through consistent feedback channels, engage in Astraea’s performance management processes (the Reflection & Growth process led by the Director of People & Culture), and monitor team goals, activities, operations, and performance;
• Support the Executive and Management teams in the application and implementation of new policies and procedures;
• Serve as strategic organizational advisor and as strategic thought partner for the Executive Director in the areas of organizational and management issues;
• Support the operationalizing of the strategic plan/framework for the organization, and the detailed current year work plan, while adhering to direction set by the Executive Director and Board of Directors;
• Facilitate strategy execution by working collaboratively with the Executive Team to ensure that the plan is communicated and easily understood by all throughout the organization;
• Work with the VP, Finance and Director, People and Culture to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, policies, and regulations, and balance human-centered considerations with cost effective solutions in a remote work environment;
• Represent Astraea as the voice of operational leadership externally.
Operations and Organizational Development
• Support the Director, People & Culture to ensure organization-wide teamwork, clarity in roles, accountability, leadership development and decision-making;
• Hold managers accountable for values-aligned outcomes;
• Provide guidance to the Executive & Operations Manager in their oversight of an operations unit supporting each functional team across the organization and in their management of policy and procedures management;
• Support the Executive & Operations Manager in identifying and operationalizing cost-effective and strategic facilities management solutions;
• Supervise IT/Infrastructure Upgrade Project, which includes oversight of IT project manager who is responsible for the working with IT partners, digital security, and development of IT infrastructure;
• Hire, supervise and oversee permanent IT function;
• Engage Learning & Evaluation consultant to support data-driven decision making for leadership with recommendations for optimization of systems and procedures to ensure that reliable data, information, and knowledge are accessible to key decision-makers throughout the organization;
• Lead the organization through transitions in culture, processes and systems using change management tools and techniques.
Collaboration and Communication
• Act as a resource across the organization to build knowledge and support for the chosen strategies throughout the organization;
• Champion and communicate a culture of engagement and transparency that builds staff ownership of and accountability and support for the strategic direction of the organization, especially in relation to the priorities set for each team;
• Create and foster an atmosphere of partnership and collaboration among teams that assures the stated outcomes of the organization are achieved.
Required Skills and Experience
• A minimum of ten (10) years of demonstrated leadership experience in a senior level position that focuses on strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, analytical skills, negotiation, and critical thinking;
• Experience managing diverse team members through visionary leadership that promotes feedback channels, accountability, growth, collaboration, and team building;
• Deep, authentic knowledge of racial, economic and gender justice and experience applying these equity practices to organizational development;
• Proficiency in general computer and web-based technology including word processing, spreadsheets, and project management software. Microsoft Teams experience is ideal;
• Excellent organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills, with demonstrated ability to manage and meet multiple deadlines, and develop creative solutions;
• Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields (e.g., business administration, business management, human resources) or equivalent work experience.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills including the ability to articulate a clear vision for social justice using a gender and racial justice lens;
• Ability to work and communicate with diverse audiences and multiple stakeholders;
• Ability to understand and maintain confidentiality;
• Passion for Astraea’s mission as a public foundation and queer feminist fund;
• Understanding and acceptance of Astraea’s core values and guiding principles as a social justice funder;
• Comfort talking about identities such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex characteristics, class, ability, or gender in plain, specific terms.
• Experience working in complex international organizations;
• Commitment to and knowledge of issues facing domestic and global LGBTQI+, feminist and racial, economic, and gender justice movements;
• Fluency in a second language.
Astraea determines staff salaries and benefits based on the organization’s internal philosophy and pay equity. In keeping with this practice, the salary for this position will be determined based on these principles and the level of education, knowledge, skills, and experience the incumbent for this role possesses. In the executive tier in which this position sits, the annual compensation range is $160,000 – $170,000 depending on experience. U.S. work authorization is required. Astraea’s competitive benefits package includes resources for professional development.
For candidates who prefer to work on-site, Astraea’s primary office is located in New York City. Remote work is supported for those who do not live in the NYC metro area.
How To Apply
Please submit a comprehensive résumé and compelling cover letter that describes your interest in Astraea’s mission and qualifications for the position through our online application portal or via e-mail to:
Michelle Kristel, Managing Partner
McCormack + Kristel
1740 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599
All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Please note that your education, dates of employment and other information will be verified prior to an offer.
The Astraea Foundation seeks to actively and affirmatively build a qualified pool of applicants that includes representation from groups who have traditionally been excluded, underrepresented, or discriminated against.
The Astraea Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Their policy is to select, place, train and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience to provide equal opportunity for all our staff members in compliance with applicable local, state and federal law, and without regard to non-work related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, HIV serostatus, sex characteristics, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status protected by federal, state or local law.
If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the application and interview process, please express that with your cover letter and resume submission.