Open Nav


Position Summary

Chief Program Officer

Location: New York City or Detroit, Michigan

RISE seeks a dynamic, creative, data-driven and forward-thinking professional who will provide leadership for all aspects of RISE’s programs. With a priority on strategic program development and innovation, and team building and talent-development, the CPO will build on the existing work of RISE.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Program Officer will be responsible for leading and managing our programs, partner in the exploration of new programmatic opportunities, and provide leadership and vision to improve and better support our mission to educate and empower the sports community. Working with senior leaders across the organization, the CPO will evaluate current programs, introduce best practices from the field, and align resources to successfully execute RISE’s strategic vision. The CPO will influence and inform the programs portfolio, oversee program teams and budgets, and represent RISE’s programming and impact to external audiences including funders, partners, and the Board when appropriate.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in leading program strategy, has experience managing large teams, is committed to a collaborative environment, and is proficient at devising and implementing creative solutions.

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

Program Leadership and Management
  • Lead a diverse, high-performing team of approximately 7 full-time staff, and
    • Directly manage the ongoing professional development and management of that team
    • Support the ongoing professional development and management of the external facilitators
  • Oversee all aspects of RISE programming, including its program operations, curriculum, digital programming, online and live events, podcast and RISE to Vote initiative in current markets and prospective new markets as we expand.
  • Implement management systems to ensure the consistent and high-quality delivery and operations of national programs across all sites.
  • Participate in the oversight of the evaluation processes to measure the effectiveness of programs and team performance.
  • Oversee fiscal management of all programs in collaboration with the finance team, including creating programmatic budgets and reporting needs.
  • Using data analysis and impact, consistently advance program improvements, innovations and modernization, and leverage data to inform changes.
  • Use program data to communicate program quality, impact and stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Serve as master facilitator and trainer of others including staff.
  • Foster the reputation of RISE internally and externally; raise public awareness of the RISE brand, priorities and culture.
Strategic Planning and Expansion
  • Partner with the Vice President, Partnerships and CEO to assess expansion opportunities and prepare for the launch of new programs and new markets.
  • Oversee the successful launch RISE programming in new markets.
  • Ensure the development of systems to manage and evaluate the launch of new sites and programs.
  • Create strategic and implementation plans for RISE’s RISE to Vote / Empowerment initiative.
  • Sit on RISE’s Leadership Team to assist with organizational strategy and growth.
Curriculum Design and Impact Strategy
  • Oversee the vision and strategy for the development of curricula and teaching plans.
  • Manage entire program team to ensure RISE’s curricula and programming meets the very highest standards of excellence in the field.
  • Ensure Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are woven deeply into all aspects of our program offerings.
  • Oversight of curriculum and programming offerings.
  • Work closely with CEO and Development Team members to raise funds from institutional funders and individual donors by cultivating current and new relationships and soliciting and stewarding funder investments.
  • Assist with the development of fundraising proposals.
  • Ensure alignment between program design and implementation with fundraising proposals and grant commitments.
External Relations and Communications
  • Serve as an ambassador of the organization, cultivating strong relationships with thought leaders, key partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Contribute to the thought leadership activities of the organization by publishing and presenting white papers and program results.
  • Supervise programs communications to develop inspiring and impactful content for multiple outlets.
  • Identify, cultivate, and manage relationships with potential and current programmatic partners and other sector leaders.
  • Act as a champion for RISE’s work in the field.


  • Ability and experience developing and managing budgets and resource allocation to maximize available resources for highest and most effective use.
  • Ability to understand the importance of RISE’s brand and continue to elevate our mission.
  • Ability to conceptualize, communicate, and implement a cohesive program vision, strategy and plan.
  • Experience managing teams of people.
  • A minimum of five years in a nonprofit leadership position overseeing programs, ideally at an organization focused on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Evidenced commitment to an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary team approach to work; strong collaboration skills.
  • Ability to travel and work nights and weekends as needed
  • Proficiency in MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Other duties as assigned: RISE is a small, growing, entrepreneurial organization and every staff member is expected to provide support to the broader RISE team and adapt as needed to achieve our mission.

We offer a competitive package, commensurate with experience.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender self or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected status. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged.

Deadline: RISE will accept applications through Apr. 8, 2021.


File(s) should be no larger than 10MB.

Company Overview:

RISE is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, we inspire leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality.



Sign up to get the latest news and information from RISE.


In Touch

Follow us on social media.