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Chief Program Officer

Founded in 1981, 10,000 Degrees is a leading college success nonprofit organization in California with a mission to support students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college in order to positively impact their communities and the world. 10,000 Degrees envisions a world in which all children have equitable opportunities to realize their potential regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. They believe that education is the foundation of a just and equitable society. Students and their families as well as schools and local leaders each play a critical role in educating the next generation and strengthening the economic vitality and social health of our communities.

Through an innovative Fellowship program of alumni who are recent college graduates, 10,000 Degrees provides a comprehensive wrap-around program that includes college prep, mentoring, college and financial counseling and navigation, scholarships and financial aid management.

10,000 Degrees has helped thousands of students get to and successfully graduate college. Over 80% of 10,000 Degrees’ students go on to be four-year college graduates, far exceeding national averages, and their students starting at community college transfer and graduate with their baccalaureate at three times the national average. In addition, their students graduate with 85% less loan debt than the average college graduate.10,000 Degrees is a top-rated organization that has received numerous awards and recognition for effectiveness and efficiency, including the top rating from Charity Navigator consistently for many years.

10,000 Degrees currently operates in seven Bay Area Counties, reaching more than 12,000 students and families annually, and is supporting 2,200 students in colleges across the country (60% start at four-year colleges, 40% start at community college). Last year, 10,000 Degrees distributed $4 million in their own scholarships and leveraged an additional $22.5 million in free financial aid.

How 10,000 Degrees Works

10,000 Degrees focuses on several verticals to ensure student success.

College Awareness

10,000 Degrees understands that setting a college-going mindset starts early. Their staff work directly with local elementary and middle school students to help make sure they can envision a pathway to college. Staff deliver specialized programs for young students who are considered newcomers and English language learners. They deliver real-world, interactive support to encourage the next generation to embrace their futures and make their college dreams come true.

College Access

The 10,000 Degrees College Access team is dedicated to helping rising high school seniors from low-income backgrounds get to college, whether enrolling at a four-year college or starting at a local community college. 10,000 Degrees offers broad reach programming to ensure the financial aid season is kicked off in every high school and at summer programs that provide intensive college readiness and directly support students and families as they complete college and financial aid applications and make important college-going decisions. They work directly with students and their families in coordination with teachers and counselors, to provide year-round support to all of 10,000 Degrees’ high school students.

College Success

10,000 Degrees students are often the first in their families to go to college, so personalized support is crucial to help eliminate confusion and frustration. 10,000 Degrees Fellows help students navigate life both on and off campus including campus and academic support services, faculty relationships, housing, and employment, among others. Likewise, to realize their academic goals, their students need steady encouragement from a community of friends they can trust. The College Success team works tirelessly to ensure student’s college experience continues through graduation.

The Opportunity

This is a tremendous opportunity for a Chief Program Officer to be part of a dynamic team and organization committed to achieving educational equity. This position will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer, serve on the Senior Leadership Team and will help to inform, lead and guide the organization through its next growth phase, while nurturing a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization. 10,000 Degrees is at a key inflection point in their history. Currently in its fifth year of a five-year Strategic Plan, this position has the opportunity to help design and implement a new five-year plan that will launch in 2022.

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) will bring deep experience in college access and success, expertise in using data to drive decisions, and a deep understanding of program development and execution to this role. The CPO is a leader whose presence and energy are felt throughout the organization and whose ability to foster and develop relationships keeps them connected to staff and students at all levels throughout the 10,000 Degrees community.

The Chief Program Officer oversees 10,000 Degrees’ overall programming with the goal of increasing the impact of the organization in advancing college success. As an integral member of the Senior Leadership team, the CPO leads a cross-functional team that includes 10,000 Degrees programs (college awareness, college access and college success), as well as monitoring and evaluation, and content. Through close, creative partner relationships, the Chief Program Officer has the opportunity to innovate within 10,000 Degrees’ current program pillars.

The Chief Program Officer is a bold thinker and strategist, and simultaneously a ‘hands-on’ executor who understands the value of being on the front lines and seeing the work and program delivery model at every level within the organization. The CPO will help 10,000 Degrees to maximize the organization’s impact and reach through thoughtful strategic planning, strong partnerships, and innovative, effective, data-driven innovations. As a member of the leadership team, they will bring a genuine passion for 10,000 Degrees’ mission and a holistic view of 10,000 Degrees’ impact in the community. They will have significant experience driving program success with an approach steeped in cultural awareness and competence. They will bring their deep programming experience to bear in evaluating how 10,000 Degrees captures, records, and utilizes data and will find opportunities to systemize and organize the use of data in all aspects of 10,000 Degrees’ programming.

The Chief Program Officer is a coach and player who values the contributions of staff and ensures that staff have an environment where their work, ideas, and their lived experience are honored and appreciated as assets to the programming of 10,000 Degrees. They understand the importance of staff who were involved in the program as students and nurture the pipeline and entry points into the organization for those who were participants in the program. It is critical in this role, that the CPO be comfortable and experienced at viewing and evaluating the programming through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the goal of increasing diversity, ensuring true equity and promoting an inclusive environment for both staff and students.

Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred. Additional preferences include candidates with shared lived experiences to the students served by 10,000 Degrees. This is a full-time, exempt role based in San Rafael, CA.

To be successful in this role, the Chief Program Officer will possess and demonstrate the following key attributes and competencies:

Mission and Values Alignment

The Chief Program Officer will embrace and have a true passion for the mission of 10,000 Degrees and a commitment to educational equity and college access and success. Driven by the mission to transform education, this individual will be a thoughtful and engaged leader, cognizant of 10,000 Degrees’ impact and the commitment to growing in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Chief Program Officer will have the character, dexterity, and pioneering mindset to lead all programmatic innovation for 10,000 Degrees. They will be an attentive team player, working closely alongside senior leaders to support the overall mission and to position 10,000 Degrees to achieve the greatest possible impact.

Experienced Leader and Program Advocate with a focus on DEI

The Chief Program Officer will be an experienced leader with significant and demonstrated results in innovating, improving, and expanding programmatic efforts. They will be a spokesperson and champion for the programming of 10,000 Degrees and all those involved internally and externally. They will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of work streams, including programs, metrics and evaluation, strategic planning, external partnerships, and DEI within the context of programming for youth predominantly from communities of color. They will have a holistic understanding of the nuances and complexities comprising 10,000 Degrees’ business operations, multiple sites, overall programming and content strategy, with an ability to find efficiencies. Across the organization, the Chief Program Officer will be a project manager with an eye for detail, the ability to delegate, and proficiency to communicate changes to appropriate stakeholders.
Superior Relationship Building and Stakeholder Management

With success as a hands-on and collaborative leader, the Chief Program Officer will be a flexible self-motivated team player who serves as a thought partner to the CEO, Senior Leadership Team and the Program staff. With an approachable, accessible style, the Chief Program Officer will be a natural relationship-builder with the ability to develop, enhance, and sustain productive relationships with stakeholders from different backgrounds spanning across the 10,000 Degrees community. They will embrace the organization’s culture while continually working to expand the brand and its reach. The Chief Program Officer will be an empathic leader and an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values, and passion for what effective programs can do for individuals and communities.

Strategic Thinker

The Chief Program Officer is a strategic and outcome-oriented leader who will guide and articulate a vision for 10,000 Degrees’ programming, including overall strategy, execution, and evaluation. With a data-driven philosophy and approach, this leader will have had extensive experience partnering with similar nonprofits, foundations, public institutions, and/or private sector organizations. With the collaboration of 10,000 Degrees’ senior leadership, this leader will set significant goals, and have deep successful experience managing a team towards realistic, ambitious, and aggressive goals. They will have a track record of implementing innovative strategies and initiatives and will adopt an entrepreneurial approach to expanding and deepening new and existing program successes.

Effective Communicator

The Chief Program Officer will be a confident, influential and effective communicator with the ability to work fluidly across all levels with a high degree of cultural competence. The Chief Program Officer will be a charismatic, high-energy leader who can talk with all constituents and successfully convey organizational, programmatic and mission-oriented objectives. They will be an exceptional presenter and communicator with strong interpersonal skills and a natural ability to convey 10,000 Degrees’ priorities in a way that builds trust and galvanizes support. With an inherent ability to listen, think, and respond effectively to a variety of inquiries and challenges, they will be able to remain firm and steady in delicate situations and in high-level strategic discussions.

Promoter of a Culture of Philanthropy

The Chief Program Officer will be a strong and influential brand ambassador. Working closely with the Development and Marketing teams, the CPO will help develop and cultivate brand ambassadorship across programs and staff.


Submit resume and cover letter for the position: jobs@10000degrees.org.