Job Title: Director of Operations and Special Projects
PVN ID: VA-2204-004687
Category: Managerial and Professional

Job Description

General Description


Children need to spend their most critical years with dedicated, educated, trained, and well-compensated individuals in order to thrive. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute leads the work to establish and implement an early childhood workforce system to ensure funding, standards and competencies, career development resources, qualifications and credentials, professional development (training and strengths-based coaching), and program quality assurance and improvement for individuals who work with young children throughout New York. Housed at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation, the Institute is a fast-paced, dynamic public/private partnership that is committed to the early childhood workforce across New York State.


The Institute is searching for a Director of Operations and Special Projects who will report to the Executive Director and serve on the leadership team of the organization. The Director will play an important leadership role in furthering the Institute’s strategic growth and effectiveness. The Director recommends and implements strategies and policies to help ensure that the Institute meets its financial and operational objectives. The Director will provide critical senior staff counsel as well as nurture a positive team culture and ongoing learning across the organization. S/he will ensure that systems and processes are as effective as possible; maximizing the Institute’s efficiency and impact, and allowing the staff to do their best work. The Director will have an ability to understand how projects and teams are connected, inter-related, and funded. Supervising a small team, the Director supports program directors in managing their resources and teams effectively.

The Director of Operations and Special Projects will lead the administration team on the operations-related work of the Institute, including grants and contracts management, budget, administration, human resources, personnel management, and operations. The Director will also communicate regularly and work closely with the Office of Academic Affairs’ Administrative Services unit to ensure that fiscal and personnel operations are completed in keeping with CUNY and RFCUNY policies and protocols. The Director will maintain strict confidentiality regarding sensitive budgetary and human resource issues. The Director will also provide development, implementation, supervision and project management for special projects on an as-needed basis.


Administrative Leadership

  • Leads and supervises the budget, human resources, administrative and operations functions of the Institute to support the Institute’s programs, projects, and initiatives, ensuring that each team has the resources and staff needed to do their work effectively and efficiently and meet project goals.
  • Builds and fosters the Institute’s organizational culture of inclusivity, diversity, teamwork, flexibility, responsiveness, and collaboration.
  • Directly supervises the Budget and Administration Senior Manager and Project Associate, and others as needed.
  • Works with administrative and operations support staff at CUNY and RFCUNY to facilitate smooth and efficient functioning of fiscal and administrative processes.
  • Works closely with the Executive Director on long-range strategic and growth planning.
  • Ensures Institute compliance with CUNY and RFCUNY policies, protocols, and procedures.


Budget and Contracts Management

  • Provides fiscal oversight and accountability for an annual organization budget of $20M+ with funding from public and private sources.
  • Supervises staff to monitor and manage grants and contracts, including reporting. Monitors revenues from grants and contracts.
  • Collaborates with Institute leadership and Directors in developing budgets for funding proposals/grant applications.
  • Ensures monthly budget meetings with Budget and Administration Senior Manager and Directors to review budget spending reports.
  • Ensures that budgets are appropriately allocated and spent in funding timeframes and in accordance with the guidance and restrictions of each grant/contract. Processes budget modifications as needed, per funding guidelines.
  • Provides and ensures timely responses to budget issues and questions.


Human Resources Management

  • Manages staffing processes, including recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and other human resource needs.
  • Supervises, strategizes, and delegates scheduling, payroll, and time and leave processes for 100+ staff.
  • Supervises annual revision of Staff Handbook.
  • Leads the administrative team to ensure staff have access to the relevant resources and information that they need to be successful, e.g. communications about policy and procedure changes.



  • Supervises, revises, and communicates procurement policies that align with RFCUNY purchasing policies and expectations, including consultant and service contracts.
  • Works with administration team to identify cost effective and efficient modes of procurement and to maintain positive relationships with key vendors.
  • Sets expectations of Institute team to ensure the team implements accurate and appropriate procedures for orders and purchase requests, maintenance of inventories, payment of invoices, and utilization of funds.

Other Duties

  • Perform other duties, including special projects, as assigned by the ED


Minimum Qualifications

  • A Master’s degree in an appropriate field of study (public administration, higher education administration, business, or related field).
  • At least 7-10 years relevant work experience, with at 3-5 years of experience in a senior leadership role.
  • Strong leadership capacity with experience in project management, strategic planning, capacity building, evaluation, budgeting, grant and report writing, and comfort using data to monitor progress and motivate a team.
  • Proven leadership track record, with experience leading systems change, motivating large teams and disparate audiences to achieve a goal.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven ability to commit to a vision, identify the scope and sequence of project-level activities necessary to achieve success, and take active steps to move the work forward.
  • Intellectual strength and experience as evidenced in progressively responsible research/work experience.
  • Ability to work on a team as well as independently.
  • Ability to recruit, recommend for hire, and train effective, qualified staff; ability to monitor and evaluate performance, consistent with RFCUNY policies and practices.
  • Ability to integrate a large or complex project with the work of other Directors and Project Coordinators in order to resolve conceptual or practical issues and ensure a strategy for overall project success.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Previous experience with program management, especially in early childhood, after school, education, social services, or related areas.
  • Previous experience with higher education is helpful.


Physical Requirements

  • This position operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as personal computers, laptops, tablets, smart phone, photocopiers, filing cabinets and other presentation equipment.
  • While performing these duties, the employee is required to perform physical activities such as, but not limited to, lifting items (up to 20 pounds), bending, reaching, sitting for prolonged periods of time. Reasonable accommodations will be made for employees with disabilities or other needs per RFCUNY policies.
  • Ability to travel to other sites as needed.


How to Apply

Provide a resume and cover letter specifying your qualifications, experience, and interest relevant to this position.


EEO Info (standard language to be included on all job postings)

We are committed to enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people of any race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expressions, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, disability, age, or protected veteran status to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion.  CUNY is an EEO/AA Employer.

About the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).

RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Research Foundation of the City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act/E-Verify Employer. It is the policy of the Research Foundation of CUNY to provide equal employment opportunities free of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, criminal conviction history, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

Key Features

Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$90,000.00 - $100,000.00
Closing Date
Aug 31, 2022 (Or Until Filled)
Bargaining Unit