Chief Operating Officer

COOP is seeking an energetic, resourceful leader to build an effective and resilient national organization. The Chief Operating Officer will lead all internal operations and manage our dynamic, growing team. Furthermore, the COO will work closely with the Executive Director to refine and pursue an ambitious strategic growth plan over the next three years.

We’re eager to meet experienced candidates from all backgrounds, and we’re particularly interested in candidates with direct personal connections to our mission of diversity and upward mobility. Interested? Please send a recent resume and a brief message about your interest in this team to our Program Manager, Monica Guzman:

Our mission

Building a movement of diverse, upwardly mobile college grads overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connections.

Our challenge

Every college grad deserves a fair shot at a meaningful, upwardly mobile career. That’s the promise of higher education in America, and every year, millions of young people enroll, persist, and graduate on this premise, often with great sacrifice.

Yet nationwide, half of college grads (ages 21-27) are unemployed or underemployed, including more than two thirds of black college grads. (CEPR)

Even in the digital economy, a bachelor’s degree is not enough. We need social capital—connections, casual favors, timely referrals—as much as we need skills. These favors travel quickly and organically across strong and weak social ties, but rarely across racial or economic lines.

Ultimately, a labor market powered by relationships will only reinforce the status quo, amplifying residential and school segregation in the professional sphere.

Our approach

COOP closes the social capital gap by recruiting and investing deeply in diverse, low-income, and first-generation grads from the City University of New YorkSan Francisco State, and other urban public colleges.

COOP’s flagship program is the Digital Apprenticeship. Peer cohortsof 16 motivated, underemployed grads meet nightly for 16 weeks (200 hours) to learn technical skills, build community, and jumpstart careers in digital marketing and data analytics.

Each cohort is led by a team of four captains, “near-peer” COOP alumni who serve as coaches, mentors, and guides on top of busy day jobs at local ad agencies and tech companies. In parallel, COOP helps these same employers meet, interview, and hire more and more diverse candidates.

Since 2014, COOP has run 40 cohorts with over 550 apprentices, en route to 10,000 by 2025.

Four-in-five alumni work full-time, earning an average of $45,000 after 12 months (3x pre-program average) and almost $70,000 after three years (2x peer baseline).

Long-term, COOP aims to double lifetime income of alumni—fueling upward mobility and fulfilling our collective promise of higher education.


We’ve spent the last six months defining a bold but achievable three-year strategic vision. The entire team and all our activities will be pointing in this direction, and the COO will play an essential role in making this vision a reality nationwide:

  • GET BETTER: Create unique and transformative value through hyper-relevant curriculum, vibrant community, and an excellent data practice.

  • GET PAID: Reduce philanthropic lift of each apprenticeship to 50%, complemented by funding from corporations, public sector/colleges, and alumni giving.

  • WALK THE WALK: Become a model employer by creating mature talent systems, operational processes, and board governance.

  • GROW THE MISSION: Help 3,000 diverse, low-income, first-gen college grads achieve upward mobility—by growing to a total of 3-5 cities and 3-5 career tracks by the end of 2021.

Specifically, the COO will have the following responsibilities:

  • Manage and develop a high-performing team with 10 full-time staff members (up to 20 within 12 months) and 50-100 part-time Cohort Captains in New York and California.

  • Collaborating with the Executive Director, lead the staff in collectively creating and nurturing an internal culture of optimism, action, inclusivity and accountability.

  • Oversee progress toward the achievement of programmatic and fundraising targets.

  • Establish best-in-class processes for collecting, analyzing and leveraging data in the areas of evaluation, finance, and operations.

  • Co-lead strategic planning, geographic growth, and board management


  • As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of COOP and be driven by the mission. The candidate should demonstrate a passion for breaking new ground to lead social change. Beyond that, we are seeking a candidate that has proven experience in scaling a multi-site organization and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team.

  • The successful candidate will most likely have had 6-10+ years management experience with a fast-paced for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental organization. Above all else, we seek evidence of a values-driven career. Additional requirements are:

    • Results: Proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness

    • Strategic Vision and Agility: Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan

    • Capacity Building: Ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly

    • Leadership and Organization: Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up an organization; ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in groups; capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed

    • Action-Oriented: Enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance to leadership and take unpopular stands when necessary

    • General Management: Thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, human resources, and marketing

  • Location and Travel: The COO position will be based in New York City, with regular travel to California (San Francisco and Los Angeles) and eventually to other prospective expansion sites (including Miami and Chicago).


This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly respected organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. COOP is prepared to offer a very attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, 401(k), and vacation benefits.

EEO statement

COOP provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. We seek to build a diverse staff representative of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.