Chief Program Officer

MakeAWish Foundation of America   •  

Phoenix, AZ

15+ years

Posted 315 days ago

This job is no longer available.

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) will be a critical member of the organization’s national Executive Leadership Team, reporting directly to the CEO.  The incumbent will oversee the design, development, prioritization and execution of Make-A-Wish America (MAWA) programs across a federated model, which encompasses 62 separately incorporated chapters serving local communities throughout the United States. The incumbent will provide leadership and direction in defining organizational strategies designed to support the overall performance and growth of chapters throughout the country, and to enhance their ability to deliver the mission in an effective and sustainable manner. In addition, the CPO will lead the identification of insights across chapters to shape program design and execution that advance the MAWA vision.  The incumbent will be required to work effectively across the MAWA senior leadership team, MAWA Board of Directors, Chapter CEOs and Chapter Boards.


Core Competencies:


  • Cultivates Innovation - Creating a new and better ways for the organization to be successful.
  • Drives Results - Consistently achieving results even under tough circumstances
  • Drives Vision & Purpose - Painting a compelling picture of the vision and strategy that motivates others to action.
  • Courage - Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.
  • Strategic Mindset - Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.



Additionally, the Chief Program Officer will:


Management and Leadership:


  • Provide strategic leadership and supervision for the Program division, working closely with department leadership (Vice President and Directors) to guide, prioritize and effectively resource the department’s work.
  • Foster and support a high-performing team culture. Motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively to achieve organizational goals, by clearly communicating the organization’s vision, strategies and priorities.
  • Participate actively and constructively as an executive team member, stewarding resources effectively and role modeling the organization’s values and commitment to chapter advancement and mission optimization.
  • Partner with Chapter CEOs and the MAWA senior leadership team in the pursuit of key strategies, to share learning and best practices through networking and partnership development.
  • Manage and coach staff, including staff over which the incumbent may not have direct authority
  • Promote a culture of collaboration, openness and continuous improvement – with ongoing focus on efficiency and speed to market.
  • Serve as a leading internal and external voice in helping to shape organizational outcomes and develop short and long-term commitments to achieve those outcomes.
  • As a member of the executive team, represent MAWA publicly and at key meetings.




  • In partnership with Chapters, the Senior Leadership Team and the National Board, develop, prioritize and execute key programmatic initiatives and emerging opportunities in alignment with the MAW strategic plan.
  • Develop innovative programs and strategies to address enterprise challenges, with the goal of ensuring effective coordination, collaboration and prioritization within the National Office and across chapters
  • Conduct impact assessments for new and existing initiatives to ensure appropriate resourcing, ROI and effective change management with national and chapter stakeholders.
  • Develop, execute, evaluate and continue to refine the organization’s strategy to grow and optimize the mission, improve organizational effectiveness, and achieve revenue/financial targets; establish policies and programmatic interventions that lead to improved outcomes.
  • Ensure that all program activities operate effectively, ethically, and in compliance with program standards that meet or exceed organization and chapter expectations, and those of charity regulators, donors and chapters.
  • Balance execution rigor and a sense of urgency and pragmatism to make steady progress considerate of funding and resource opportunities and constraints.
  • Ensure that data, evaluation, and reporting systems are in place to track program and partnership performance, effectiveness, and impact.
  • Oversee an enterprise approach to knowledge management.



Professional Qualifications & Experience:


In addition to demonstrating a deep commitment to MAWA mission, the successful candidate will have a minimum of 15years of experience in leadership roles with management responsibility for developing and designing high-quality, high-impact programs. The incumbent must be a substantive, strategic, and intuitive thought leader who is able to translate the MAWA mission into an effective plan of action. Moreover, the CPO must be a collaborator, influencer, and highly effective communicator who plays a critical role in engaging key stakeholders across the federated model. The incumbent must also have strong executive presence and experience executing against key priorities.


In addition to these leadership characteristics, the CPO will have:


  • Robust knowledge of the MAW mission and enterprise-wide strategies.
  • Thorough knowledge of the nonprofit sector and nonprofit leadership and governance best practices; experience working with nonprofit boards and volunteer leadership.
  • Successful application of theories of change and innovative thinking and practice.
  • Exceptional strategic thinking skills with an ability to translate quantitative and qualitative information into key insights and strategies.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively with individuals and teams internally and externally, including those over whom the incumbent will not have direct authority.
  • Implementation of measurement systems to gauge progress and success.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills; an effective listener and speaker who can make persuasive recommendations and impactful and inspiring presentations to executive audiences and large groups.
  • An ability to effectively influence Boards and senior leaders around program planning, research, strategic partnerships, and large scale, complex initiatives.
  • Intellectual curiosity; an ability to imagine innovative solutions and drive/generate new thinking against an enterprise-wide strategy.  
  • A growth mindset; ability to anticipate opportunities and challenges.
  • Strong problem solving skills.
  • Persuasive advocacy and negotiation skills and excellent judgement.




  • Bachelor’s degreerequired; graduate degree highly desired

Job Location Phoenix, Arizona, United States