Covenant House International

Vice President, Program Operations/Site Liaison

To Apply

Covenant House International has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Anne McCarthy, Senior Director and COO
Elly Kirschner, Director of Healthcare and Advocacy
Harris Rand Lusk
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please put CHI VP Site Liaison in the subject line of your emailed application


Since its founding in 1972, Covenant House International (CHI) has provided a community of hope and healing to more than a million young people who face homelessness and human trafficking.  By offering housing and support services to young people in need through their sites in 31 cities across six countries, Covenant House is a safe haven for thousands of young people every year; in 2017, nearly 80,000 young people received services from one or more Covenant House programs. By providing a continuum of care that consists of outreach, crisis care/intake, and long-term support, young people are given a foundation to escape homelessness for good.

Covenant House’s street and van outreach teams, a critical first step in connecting homeless youth with food and on-the-spot assistance, also act as community educators, working together with government, educators, youth development professionals and health care providers to increase awareness and address the issues of teen homelessness. After a young person is reached on the street, many are brought to a Covenant House crisis center for immediate help, including emergency medical care, showers, meals and shelter.  Once a young person is stable, long-term support services are provided e.g. job readiness, education services, and Rights of Passage, an innovative transitional living program.  Covenant House affiliates provide services in the United States and Canada, and as Casa Alianza in Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras and, as La Alianza, in Guatemala.

CHI is the parent entity for the Covenant House affiliates providing programmatic, operational, and financial support.  Each affiliate, however, is given the freedom and support to create and run its programs so that they best implement the mission in the unique context of each community. Although each site has its own Board of Directors, sites work in close partnership with Covenant House International.  To facilitate this partnership, Covenant House is looking for a Vice President, Program Operations and Site Liaison (VP) who will oversee and support a portfolio of sites in the US.

The Position
Reporting to the SVP of Quality, Performance and Site Support, the Vice President, Program Operations/Site Liaison is responsible for managing a portfolio of Covenant House sites, directly supporting the Covenant House Site Executive Directors, along with their senior leadership teams and boards, in programming, operations and fundraising. The VP will proactively support the site leadership’s implementation of their strategic plans and initiatives, and identify, mitigate and manage risk at both the site and network levels. As a member of the CHI team, the Vice President, Program Operations/Site Liaison will work collaboratively with other CHI departments and staff to support sites and facilitate their efforts to deliver high quality services.

The VP must be an innovative self-starter committed to the mission of Covenant House and must be able to build strong and sustainable relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.  Program management skills are critical, as is an understanding of program operations, fundraising and financial management.  The VP should be a hands-on strategic planner and problem solver with the ability to anticipate problems and flexibility to respond quickly and effectively as they arise.


Relationship Management

  • Manage, build and support relationships with site leadership and stakeholders promoting a culture of transparency and inclusiveness and strengthening services and programs that effectively meet the needs of Covenant House youth
  • Conduct site visits to engage with site leadership, staff, and board to learn more about site-specific programs and interventions, identify needs and risks, and assess performance and functioning
  • Share individual/collective site needs with CHI staff to inform program development and support
  • Partner with sites to drive performance and outcomes, leverage opportunities for expansion and quality improvement, and manage programs – from strategic planning to partnership development, community engagement, and new initiatives
  • Help create effective program assessment tools that will lead to a more data-informed and evidence-based environment
  • Support site operations including recruitment and hiring of new Executive Directors (EDs), fundraising and program management as well as on-site supervision and/or support, potentially for extended periods of time, as required
  • Coordinate and/or deliver CHI onboarding/orientation activities for new site EDs, Associate Executive Directors (AEDs), Board Chairs and Development Directors, as appropriate

Quality, Performance and Risk Management

  • Foster a culture that drives accountability and achievement of site performance goals across the full range of key performance and risk indicators
  • Engage with sites around key performance and risk indicators, discussing site-specific goals, performance, opportunities and areas for improvement
  • Enable continuous quality improvement activities and align site performance goals with CHI goals and priorities; partner with EDs to implement ERM-related activities at assigned sites
  • Work with sites to develop and implement action plans to address key challenges and/or deficiencies and coordinate related communications and follow-up actions assigned internally at CHI
  • Maintain current knowledge and oversight of financial status and needs of site to maintain fiscal viability and sustainable funding sources
  • Collaborate with the CHI Finance team to facilitate full implementation of the Lawson system for budget, reporting and contract management by sites
  • Coordinate with sites to respond to issues identified through financial audits

Capacity Building and Shared Learning

  • Work with the CHI Research, Evaluation & Learning team to improve program data quality
  • Identify common challenges and proven solutions across sites and make site-to-site connections for collaboration and dissemination of best practices as well as for mentoring purposes
  • Together with other Site Liaisons, manage and support routine ED and Program Managers meetings and communications, as well as on the development and delivery of annual ED/Program Manager retreats and learning sessions
  • Support sites with grant acquisition and facilitate collaboration on multi-site or (inter)national development initiatives with the CHI CDO and staff

Child and Youth Protection

  • Support CHI and site activities related to Praesidium accreditation
  • Collaborate with the CHI Child and Youth Protection team to ensure that all critical incidents are reported and managed according to CHI policy
  • Support sites to institute monthly incident review with site staff and regular incident review with site Boards

Strategy and CHI Operations

  • Share updates and information with site staff and boards to facilitate network-wide alignment with CHI strategic priorities and related activities
  • Support site strategic planning activities and facilitate alignment with CHI vision, strategy, priorities and plans

CHI is seeking an individual with proven leadership who is committed to the mission and core values of Covenant House International.  The ideal candidate will have 10+ years of executive leadership experience preferably in a large, complex social service agency with broad experience including program, financial and board management, and ideally fundraising experience; management consulting experience is a plus.  Additional skills/attributes include:

  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree in a human services field strongly preferred)
  • Deep knowledge of youth services/child welfare/disenfranchised communities and related programming and funding desired; experience with homeless youth and an understanding of running residential 24/7 programs is strongly preferred
  • Prior experience managing in and supporting a national and/or international partner network desired
  • Bilingual English-Spanish fluency a plus
  • Exceptional people skills, with the ability to work effectively as a coach and mentor to staff, as well as collaboratively with senior leadership and board members
  • Flexibility to travel on a regular basis and often on short notice
  • Substantial experience with community partnerships
  • Capacity to assess and manage risk
  • Keen analytical and problem-solving skills that enable sound strategic decision making
  • Exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail and highly efficient
  • Strong capacity to multi-task, independently manage competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • Self-starter with ability to succeed independently and as a part of a team
  • Effective and persuasive communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal, with ability to appreciate various viewpoints, share relevant information in a timely manner, and maintain a high level of professionalism; the ability to negotiate successfully is essential
  • High level of emotional intelligence with a positive outlook and good sense of humor

Salary will be commensurate with experience.
For more information about Covenant House International, please visit their website at www.covenanthouse.org.

Covenant House International is an equal opportunity employer and all positions at CHI are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any characteristic protected by law.  All are encouraged to apply.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168