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Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

Alexandria, VA

Relocation expenses: Paid

C-Suite/Vice President
Full time
16-20 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree

Published on 18 Jan 2023

Expires on 30 Jan 2023

Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer


United Way brings people together to build strong communities where everyone thrives. As the world's largest privately funded charity serving 95 percent of U.S. communities and 37 countries and territories, United Way’s humanitarian aid supports 48 million people every year. Through United Way, communities tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to boost education, economic solutions, and health resources. United Way is the mission of choice for 2.5 million volunteers, 7.7 million donors, and 45,000 corporate partners in more than 1,100 communities worldwide in its second century of service. Together, the United Way is building resilient, equitable communities across the globe.

 For over 130 years, United Way has improved lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. United Way envisions a world where every individual has an opportunity to succeed, and entire communities thrive as a result. United Way continues to be one of the world’s largest philanthropies. The pandemic underscored that now, more than ever, the world needs a community approach to addressing the challenges ahead. Through United Way, people from all walks of life came together effectively to connect traditional and non-traditional resources with community needs that made a difference across the globe. It is clear that United Way provides an inspiring way to advance social justice with big ideas and big action by energizing donors and volunteers to identify and address community needs. 


The pandemic highlighted that, with more than a century developing deep roots and trust in the communities it serves, United Way was able to impact over 60 million lives a year worldwide, spanning 1,800 communities over more than 40 countries. It did this by creating opportunities for all individuals and families to achieve their potential. United Way’s unique role is that, in many communities, it is the only nonprofit developing local solutions to address educational and health disparities as well as financial empowerment. Its emphasis on education, financial stability and health ensures that individuals and families have the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Interestingly, even before the worldwide call to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, United Way Worldwide also led the charge for the United Way network to explicitly embrace the principles of equity and justice.

The hallmark, and yet the challenge, of United Way is that it has traditionally allowed and celebrated the ability of Local United Ways to craft solutions that were unique to their specific communities, especially due to its federated structure. As a result, the leader must be able to integrate best thinking worldwide with a community-centered approach that informs where the focus should be, leading through influence and collaboration.

The broad scope of United Way’s work is demonstrated by a summary of the major focus areas of many, if not most United Ways.

  • Education: Success in life begins with a quality education. And yet, millions of children and youth lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, stay on track in school, graduate high school and find a career. United Way is fighting to shift the odds so tomorrow’s leaders can build a better foundation today. With an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, United Way is ensuring that every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow and young adults thrive in the job market. 
  • Income & Financial Stability: In communities around the world, individuals and families are facing financial obstacles that prevent a good quality of life. United Way is fighting to put every person in every community on a path towards financial empowerment. That starts with access to services, job training, credit counseling and money management programs. Additionally, United Way keeps a finger on the pulse of poverty through research models such as ‘ALICE’ (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). By mentoring youth through financial workshops, providing individuals with job skills training and securing housing for struggling families, United Way is helping people get back on their feet. 
  • Health: When it comes to accessing health services, a person’s zip code should never be a deterrent or barrier to improved health. Yet for many, that is a daily reality. By making it easier for individuals to access substance abuse programs, receive quality health care and access nutritious foods, United Way is fighting to help everyone get – and stay – healthy. From introducing food stands in urban food deserts to supporting the emotional and mental needs of veterans, United Way is committed to building healthy communities, one person at a time. 
  • Equity: United Way Worldwide has developed a comprehensive Equity Framework to help Local United Ways become more diverse, inclusive and equitable organizations so that they are more credible addressing these same issues in the community. The ultimate goal is to help create more equitable communities. United Way Worldwide is focusing on strengthening the capacity of local professional and volunteer leaders to advance equitable community change. An Equity Toolkit provides detailed approaches that can help make United Way processes more reflective of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Learn more at Follow us: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.


The Chief Strategy Officer is a new position on the executive leadership team.   This person will lead the design and development of a strategic framework aimed at identifying, amplifying, and proposing approaches to the current and long-term plans to enable success in our mission while achieving lasting results. The successful candidate will be an innovative, highly collaborative, and transformative thought leader who understands the landscape of the structural and environmental influences on our organization and can leverage their expertise and the expertise of others to ensure United Way Worldwide’s path forward is one of strength, impact, and sustainability. 

 This position is based in United Way Worldwide’s headquarters located in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

Primary Responsibilities 

Strategy, Vision & Change Management

  • Partner with the CEO to drive high-impact policy and leadership strategy to advance critical relationships, narratives, and viable positioning of the organization in domestic and key international circles.
  •  Drive the design and execution of short- and long-term strategic expansion plans aligned with the organization’s goals for two to five years.
  •  Partner with United Way network leaders and United Way Worldwide’s Executive Leadership Team to identify organizational system gaps and challenges within United Way Worldwide network.

External Relations, Public Policy, & Government Relations

  • Tactfully develop relationships in Washington, DC and beyond to open partnership opportunities and ensure we position ourselves as sector leaders and have a seat at the table in key conversations across our areas of focus.
  •  Identify and develop strategic partnership opportunities with nonprofit, corporate and government leaders on a national and global level. 
  •  Leverage, expand, and nurture international and US federal government connections that shape and influence public policy.
  •  Guide workstreams and special initiatives to promote and amplify the organization’s contributions to Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) objectives as a national and global community leader.

Research & Market Trends

  • Leverage deep foundation of qualitative and quantitative insights to lead United Way Worldwide's internal and external discourse and stay abreast of key future trends, challenges, and best practices and remain nimble and adaptive as the context changes.
  •  Develop and lead a team to create relevant qualitative and quantitative performance metrics that track progress against strategic plans. 
  • Maintain industry knowledge, trends, and marketplace conditions relative to nonprofit organizations.

Strategic Team Management 

  • Manage public policy team responsible for ensuring awareness and alignment with issues affecting the nonprofit sector and the organization’s areas of focus. 
  • Utilize strong change management skills to secure critical insight from organization leaders and stakeholders, and to gain buy-in for changes in organization strategy or to implement new approaches to meeting goals.
  •  Maintain an inclusive team culture of growth and development through mentoring and coaching staff.

Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or related study. Master’s degree is a plus.
  •  A minimum of 15 years in successive Strategy or Senior Business leader roles.
  •  Passion, experience, and aptitude in one or more of our areas of focus; health & health equity, education, or economic mobility.
  •  Demonstrated track record in successfully developing and executing a vision and strategy to scale and grow organizations.
  •  Deep experience and expertise leading strategic teams within a complex, international organization.
  •  Track record of leveraging existing connections and/or building new meaningful relationships with C-level executives in for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations. 
  •  Demonstrated experience designing, implementing, and executing organizational growth through innovative strategic plans.
  •  Experience engaging public officials and navigating political and legislative processes at federal and state levels 
  •  Exceptional public speaking skills and the ability to tailor messaging to engage a variety of audiences.
  •  Champion of leading through influence, persuasion, and contract negotiation.
  •  Passion for coaching and mentoring staff and challenging them to grow and hone their skills. 
  •  A lifelong learner who prides themselves on staying at the forefront of cutting-edge industry trends and best practices.
  •  Proven ability to work with all levels of staff within an organization
  •  Experience in nonprofit strategy development is a plus 
  •  Familiarity with public policy and federal government administrative services is a plus

Compensation and Benefits

The anticipated compensation range for this position is $275,000-325,000, based on experience and the ability to have broad impact early.

 We offer excellent benefits including: health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability, employee assistance program, 403(b) plan, tuition assistance, paid time off, family sick leave, medical appointment leave, parental/adoption leave, dress for your day, free parking, onsite gym, monthly volunteering opportunities, and more.


United Way Worldwide's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement of Principle

United Way Worldwide takes the broadest possible view of diversity:

  • We value the visible and invisible qualities that make you who you are.
  • We welcome that every person brings a unique perspective and experience to advance our mission and progress our fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.
  • We believe that each United Way community member, donor, volunteer, advocate, and employee must have equal access to solving community problems.
  • We strive to include diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at the center of our daily work.
  • We commit to using these practices for our business and our communities.
  • Join us in embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion for every person in every community.

 United Way Worldwide is an equal opportunity employer and evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, creed, disability, veteran status, marital status, age, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, and other legally protected characteristics, in accordance with applicable laws. The EEO is the Law poster is available here: If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail or call 703-683-7863 and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.

 United Way Worldwide is a charter member of Employers of National Service and encourage AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni to apply.

To Apply:

If you or someone you know might be interested in this role, please submit a resumé and cover letter HERE. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Timeline to Hire:

The application deadline is January 30, 2023, and applications received by that date will be given priority but we will accept applications until the position is filled.  Zoom interviews with the Koya team will take place through early February.  Zoom and in person interviews with the United Way Worldwide hiring committee will take place through late February/early March and we anticipate extending an offer in mid March.

Commitment to Diversity

United Way Worldwide seeks diverse, qualified professionals who want to make a difference in the world. If you are passionate about your work and desire to help others achieve enhanced education, income, and health, United Way Worldwide is the place for you.

United Way Worldwide is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

We are a charter member of Employers of National Service and encourage AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni to apply.


Search Team

Karen Yetman Rea

Managing Director



Nikki Lynch

Senior Search Associate



Gina Wrolstad

Search Coordinator



Chris Wilson

Research Associate