Nov 19, 2019

Chief Executive Officer

  • Promise54
  • Boston, MA or New York City
Full-time Executive Leadership Education

Job Description




Position Description: Chief Executive Officer




Generation Citizen champions real-world democracy education that equips all young people with the skills and knowledge needed to effect change. Our Action Civics program inspires robust civic participation by inviting students to engage directly with the local issues and institutions that affect their communities. To ensure that our democracy represents the voices of all people, we prioritize working with students from communities that have been historically excluded from the political process. By centering youth voice and equitable participation, we can shift the balance of power to accelerate a more just society.


Beyond the classroom, we provide thought leadership, conduct research, and build coalitions to advocate for state and district level policies that ensure schools prioritize Action Civics. Combining our program work with policy and advocacy, we aim to push for systems change on a broad level, scaling our ideas across the country.


Founded in 2008 by college students, Generation Citizen is nearing its official 10th year of operations. To date, we have served more than 60,000 students, and we are on track to serve more than 25,000 this academic year.  Generation Citizen has also helped to pass state-level legislation and contributed to Action Civics becoming a well-known academic discipline through hosting convenings, organizing coalitions, and serving as one of the pre-eminent leaders in the emerging civics education field. We have opened six offices in diverse parts of the country (California, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island), and have built a committed and effective Board of Directors. We have engaged hundreds of stakeholders through Local Boards, Associate Boards, Student and Teacher Leadership Boards, and we have trained and mobilized thousands of college volunteers as Democracy Coaches. Above all, our students have taken real and effective action: helping to pass new laws, changing school policies, and galvanizing their peers to use their voices in powerful ways to change our political system and disrupt traditional power structures.



Generation Citizen was co-founded by Anna Ninan and Scott Warren, and has been led for the past decade by Scott, whose ability to articulate and act upon a vision for an equitable democracy fueled by youth empowerment has propelled the organization to achieve its place at the forefront of the field of Action Civics. In early 2020, after supporting and ensuring a smooth leadership transition, Scott will step down to make way for his successor to craft a vision for the next chapter that both honors and interrogates GC’s rich history, and boldly advances GC’s mission and  strategic goals.


Our new CEO will maximize impact as the face of external/field leadership and resource development. They will drive strategic clarity, create equity-centered systems, and lead infrastructure and talent development by addressing sustainability and organizational structure, and implementing more equitable and inclusive decision-making frameworks. The CEO role represents an opportunity to join a nationally recognized organization with a strong, dedicated, values driven team, field-changing program and policy models, and established network of partners and funders. The new leader will leverage GC’s momentum and success, while guiding strategic choices and moves that strengthen the organization overall, and position it to play an increased leadership role in the field.


Our next CEO will work closely with GC’s board, leadership team and staff, collaborating to achieve ambitious goals. Specific responsibilities include:

Organizational Leadership


  • assuming ultimate oversight and accountability for the leadership, vision execution, and management of GC, our current budget of $6+ million, and current team of approximately 50 personnel;
  • actualizing GC’s mission by ensuring a disciplined organizational focus, clear goals, and strong partnerships that invest and engage stakeholders across GC and externally;
  • providing inspirational leadership, guidance and support that fosters equity, inclusion, accountability, transparency, cohesion and productivity across the leadership team and broader organization, and
  • engaging and leveraging the Board.


Strategic Direction


  • serving as GC’s chief fundraiser, translating the organization’s competitive strengths and existing key donor base into an institutional fundraising strategy and revenue model that support growth and sustainability;
  • cultivating strategic relationships with policymakers, major investors, and other key players to support development and delivery of programs and policy initiatives at scale;
  • leading the execution of multi-year strategic, programmatic and financial plans that are responsive to the needs of the field and leverage opportunities to optimize GC’s impact on students, and
  • ensuring that the GC team is receiving the training and development necessary to optimally execute these plans.


National Visibility


  • providing provocative and pace setting national and local thought leadership; collaborating to advocate for youth voice and youth leadership opportunities in the civics and education fields;
  • collaborating with other advocacy and policy organizations to increase collective impact, and
  • furthering GC’s work as a national leader on civics education, consistently pushing to ensure that its focus on equity, and youth leadership explicitly, continue to shape and advance the broader field.



The next CEO of Generation Citizen will be an inspiring, visionary and highly relational leader, whose expertise combines the capacity to connect across a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, with the instincts, authenticity and gravitas to gain their trust and confidence. They will drive results by investing the team in a co-created, organization-wide vision, and tying it in a meaningful way to the aspirations, realities and desired outcomes of local sites and communities with widely varying conditions and context. Valuing the voices and perspectives of youth, our new CEO will exude a level of interest and accessibility that invites young people into dialog. They will be skilled at identifying adaptive challenges, and dismantling organizational systems and structures that impede the development and ascension of team members of color or other marginalized identities. GC’s CEO will balance this attention to internal, structural change with equal accountability for the external facing work of resource and partnership development and field building. Additionally, our new CEO will possess some combination of the following professional experience and personal characteristics that validate their readiness to lead a complex, geographically dispersed education organization with an ambitious mission.


Experience & Skills

  • A proven track record of success in building and/or managing a complex organization or enterprise (e.g., a successful non-profit or for-profit organization, government entity, political campaign, etc.) with a multi-million-dollar budget
  • A successful track record of stewardship and fundraising and/or the ability to identify and secure new sources of funding by building relationships with foundations, corporations, investors, and/or individual donors
  • Track record of creating the conditions for high performance and talent retention by fostering a development-oriented environment of support and accountability
  • Experience effecting healthy change and creating organizational strength and synergy through rigorous strategic planning, collaborative and transparent decision making, and demonstrated commitment to mutual-accountability and impact
  • Proven ability to develop systems and infrastructure that are grounded in equity and optimize efficiency across regions with site-specific conditions and needs
  • Reputation as a leader in the field of education, youth development, policy/politics


Personal Characteristics

  • Passion for GC’s mission and the power of young people; dedication to ensuring that student voices are included, heard and valued
  • Demonstrable commitment to racial equity and social justice, and a track record of identity-informed, values-driven leadership
  • Ability to develop deep and productive relationships and inspire confidence and cooperation; support and advocate for staff who are being impacted by issues of equity and inclusion
  • Strong personal and professional integrity
  • Humility and self-awareness
  • The inclination to create space for difficult conversations and dissonance, and the ability to mediate and resolve conflict
  • Entrepreneurial spirit; propensity for innovation; grit and tenacity



The CEO will report to the Board of Directors. Direct reports include the Chief Operating Officer, Senior Director of Programming, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, Senior Director of Development Strategy, and Chief of Staff. 



Boston or New York City



Generation Citizen offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits. We cover the majority of the employee premium for all medical plan options. Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time (plus a winter break between December 24 and January 2 of each year), commuter benefits, and a 401(k).


At Generation Citizen, we believe each of us has the capacity to make a difference within our communities. Our hope for a better democracy, and brighter future for all, fuels our commitment to seek systems-level responses and solutions to present challenges. We invite collective inquiry, experimentation, failure, and resilience to inspire inventive outcomes, learning, and growth. We strive for an inclusive work environment where employees are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work and come together to create a collaborative, fun and collegial team driven by our big mission and living into our core values.



Generation Citizen is an equal opportunity employer and places a high value on creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. Generation Citizen does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. We believe diverse teams are effective teams, and that innovation is only possible when a set of diverse experiences and perspectives are at the table.



Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. For best consideration, apply on or before January 17. While the hiring timeline is subject to change, the Generation Citizen team hopes to have the new Chief Executive Officer identified by March 15.

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