Head of People and Operations

Head of People and Operations

Reports to: CEO/CFOO

About Oakland Promise:

Oakland Promise is available to young learners (from newborns to college students) and their families who reside in Oakland. OP offers every child financial resources, educational programming, mentorship, and a supportive community to help them and their families, to seek out and thrive in higher education and the career of their choosing. The mission of the Oakland Promise is to engage the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle to college and career achievement. The Oakland Promise includes four programs: Brilliant Baby, Kindergarten to College (K2C), College Access, and College Completion. Our program strategies touch the lives of children and families in early childhood (ages 0-5), elementary, middle and high school; and culminate in multi-year scholarships and support for students in college.

About the programs:

The Brilliant Baby (BB) program supports children’s early healthy development and school-readiness by setting up College Savings Accounts (CSAs) for babies, offering financial coaching and early learning resources to parents and caregivers, and building a supportive community for the whole family.  Brilliant Baby supports parents’ early expectations for their child’s educational success.

Oakland Promise Kindergarten to College (K2C) helps K through 5th graders in Oakland think of themselves as college-and career-bound individuals. We provide scholarships, as well as technical support and incentives to families who open a family-owned college savings account. Additionally, we provide program support to build a college- and career-going identity within students, which includes Cal Day, college visits, family and student workshops, scholarship celebrations, and more.

College Access serves both middle and high school students in Oakland’s district and charter schools! Our vision is to support all students in accessing a clear and solid path to post-secondary educational experiences that lead to a variety of career options – 2-year, 4-year, and vocational or technical programs. Our goal is to offer integrated programming to students and families that targets the elimination of structural and cultural barriers to intergenerational social mobility.

College Completion supports college and CTE students with scholarships and persistence support and equips students with social and emotional support through mentoring, peer advising, counseling, retreats, and scholarship distribution. Oakland Promise designs holistic educational programming to create a culture of career and college preparedness in students, families, and educators, so we can dramatically increase the number of college graduates from Oakland public schools.

About the role:

Oakland Promise seeks a mission-driven, strategic, and collaborative Head of People and Operations who will be entrusted with the critical responsibility of nurturing both the human capital and operational excellence within Oakland Promise. The leader in this role will create a strategic vision to drive our operational efficiency, overseeing processes across departments to optimize productivity and streamline workflows. Collaborating closely with senior leadership, the Head of People and Operations the alignment of people strategies with overarching organization goals, ensuring our workforce remains agile and adaptable in a dynamic market landscape. The successful candidate will also elevate and champion the leadership team’s initiatives while collaborating closely with the CFOO to ensure strong planning, project management, communication, and relationships in order to achieve goals and fulfill the mission of Oakland Promise. As the leader of our HR and operations teams, the Head of People and Operations will spearhead initiatives to attract, retain, develop, and help top talent thrive while fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture. The Head of People and Operations will work to cultivate a synergy between our people and operational systems, propelling our organization towards sustainable growth and success. In this role, the leader will help shape the strategy and vision of the organization by serving as a trusted sounding board and to create strategies, actionable steps, and OKRs at an exciting stage in the organization’s growth and development.

This role is an in-person/hybrid role and we require you to reside in Oakland/Bay Area.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Lead and facilitate efforts to define a collaborative, high-performing, inclusive, and equitable workplace culture by developing policies, practices, and strategies to cultivate a healthy, accessible, productive, and honest work environment.
  • Sets the direction for, develops, and implements organizational strategies and workplace practices that reflect OP’s values and support the welfare, wellness, and ability to thrive of all staff members.
  • Drive people management efforts across the organization, focused on attracting, selecting, developing, engaging, and retaining staff members.
  • As a strategic and trusted advisor, counsel and strategize with leadership to build an effective, equitable, and best-in-class people function.
  • Strengthen and implement an employee relations plan focused on internal communications, recognition, and connection with team members. Partner with internal stakeholders and leaders to imagine and implement strategies for employee engagement and retention.
  • Provide strategic and logistical talent acquisition and retention support to people leaders designed to establish high-quality orientations, onboarding, offboarding, and other employee milestone practices.
  • Lead OP’s staff events, gatherings, and communications to cultivate a healthy culture, productivity, impact, and elevated levels of employee satisfaction.
  • Lead the vision, planning and execution for All-Staff Meetings and retreats. Be prepared to present key topics out to the staff.
  • Lead, mentor, and manage the HR staff and oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of the department.
  • Utilize Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to its fullest potential, using it to manage payroll, benefits, and maintain employee handbooks and materials.
  • Engage the Oakland Promise leadership team to identify goals, processes, and best practices for performance management and continuous improvement across the organizational
  • Assist the CEO and Leadership Team with projects and/or delegate work on their behalf, partnering with the CEO to determine how best to lead planning, project management, communication, and relationships
  • Act as a sounding board to the CEO and Management Team for new ideas
  • Keeps an organization-wide perspective and manages projects for a variety of teams
  • Access and review highly sensitive information and exercise extreme discretion
  • Support team culture initiatives, such as events and celebrations
  • Innovation: Foster a culture of innovation within the organization by exploring new technologies, business models, and market trends.
  • Initiative Development: Identify and assess potential strategic initiatives, projects, and partnerships that align with the organization’s strategic goals.
  • Oversee and implement organization wide initiatives. This could include engaging stakeholders across departments and assisting with the change management effort.
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, Master’s Degree or MBA preferred
  • At least 8 years of HR and/or progressive operational leadership experience in strategic planning, project management, or a related role. Prior experience in a director-level position is highly desirable.
  • A track record of department and team management
  • Strong leadership, management, thought partnership, and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to think strategically, develop a vision, and translate it into actionable plans.
  • Strong project management skills with a track record of successfully leading and delivering complex initiatives.
  • Proficiency in data analysis and the ability to use data to inform decision-making.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively convey complex ideas to various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire cross-functional teams.
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and manage ambiguity.
  • Familiarity with the industry and market trends relevant to the organization’s mission and goals.
  • A forward-thinking mindset with the ability to anticipate future opportunities and challenges.
  • A commitment to achieving measurable results and a track record of success in driving organizational growth.
  • Ability to organize, manage and direct large teams in multiple departments.
  • Ability to work under pressure and prioritize important tasks over others.
  • Ability to motivate, coordinate, and ensure proper time-management among reports.
  • Experience supporting and partnering with organizational leaders to achieve goals.
  • Passion for the OP’s mission.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and entrepreneurship.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in the fields of education or college access
  • Experience planning and leading strategic activities
  • Experience with budget preparation and management
  • Familiarity with data analysis and project coordination
  • Knowledge of and connections to Oakland communities

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Full time exempt position.
  • Hiring range for this role is $ 140-165k based on skill sets and experience.
  • Oakland Promise offers a competitive benefits package, which includes dental / health/ vision, paid vacations and sick days and a 401k match up to 3%.
  • Oakland Promise currently has a hybrid work policy.
  • The ability to learn and grow within a supportive team environment.
  • An opportunity to network and interact with leaders in the community.
  • Some evening and weekend hours may be required

Application Process: 

We are looking for candidates with availability to start immediately, and encourage you to apply if you are interested in and qualified for the position.

To apply:

Send a single PDF (NOT a Microsoft Word document) of a resume and thoughtful cover letter to [email protected] with “Head of People and Operations”– [Your Name]” in the subject line.

Failure to follow these instructions may delay the review of your application. Applications will be reviewed immediately and candidates with the best fit will be contacted for interviews. Unfortunately, the volume of applications will prevent us from responding to all applications received.

Oakland Promise is a place-based organization located in Oakland, California. Oakland Promise requires that employees work in person at various engagements. Currently, Oakland Promise staff are working in a hybrid model, with some work being done remotely and some work being done in the office or at specific locations in or around Oakland. It is a requirement that all staff reside within commuting distance to the main office, located at 484 9th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Please note that at any time, a full in-person work plan may be required, and it is of utmost importance that all staff are able to meet this requirement.

Oakland Promise is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Oakland Promise is committed to providing a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and disrespectful or other unprofessional conduct based on sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sex stereotype, race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), color, gender (including gender identity, gender expression, and transgender), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license issued under Vehicle Code section 12801.9), ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, military, and veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation. It also prohibits discrimination, harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.

Application Process:

Make a huge difference in the Oakland community! Join our team! Send applications to [email protected].