Kevin Chase Executive Search Group Seeking Chief Program Officer for Point Foundation

May 15, 2024 – Los Angeles-based Kevin Chase Executive Search Group was recently retained by Point Foundation to lead in its search for a chief program officer. Kevin Chase, managing partner, and Catie DiFelice, senior associate, are spearheading the assignment for the search firm. The chief program officer is responsible for managing Point’s scholarship programs, spearheading program innovation and delivery, and collaborating with Point’s senior leaders to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of programs. This executive combines their experience working successfully in a non-profit setting with a background in serving students at the post-secondary level to provide expertise in program design and execution for diverse and promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students.

Working closely with the executive director and CEO and chief of staff as thought partners and collaborators, the chief program officer helps articulate and guide a vision for Point’s programming that includes overall strategy, execution, and evaluation. The chief program officer ensures that all aspects of Point programming – including but not limited to scholarship funding, mentorship, and leadership development – operate at a level of excellence expected from the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students.

Kevin Chase Executive Search explains that the successful candidate will be an experienced and dedicated professional with practical experience working with students in higher education, as well as a proven track record of leading high-functioning teams to expand programmatic offerings and improve quality of deliverables. They should bring a collaborative, transparent, and inclusive leadership style, combined with strong emotional intelligence and the ability to act decisively when necessary. This person will have a demonstrated passion for Point Foundation’s mission and for LGBTQ+ equality, visibility, and representation. They will possess the ability to work effectively across diverse ages, races, socio-economic statuses, sexual orientations, and gender identities/expressions, both inside and outside of the organization, as well as an approach that facilitates effective collaboration with Board members, staff, Point Scholars, and volunteers.

Candidates should have 10+ years of demonstrated success in planning and managing multiple mission-driven programs in a professional setting of similar or larger size and complexity. They must have experience in education/higher education, scholarship programs, or student development and a knowledge of issues impacting LGBTQ+, first generation, and/or BIPOC students.

Founded in 2001, Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ+ students pursuing their dreams and goals through a post-secondary education. In addition to financial assistance, Point offers mentoring and leadership training to these student. In the current school year Point is providing scholarship funding to 575 students, the most in the organization’s history. This includes 82 in the flagship Point Scholar program, 95 Community College Scholars, 280 BIPOC Scholars, and 118 recipients of Opportunity Grants.

Past Assignment

In 2021, Kevin Chase helped to place Margaux Cowden as the inaugural chief program officer for Point Foundation. She left the organization this past March.

Kevin Chase Executive Search Group is a national consulting and executive search firm serving mission-based, non-profit organizations in the human services, social justice, healthcare philanthropy, education, and arts and culture sectors. The firm partners with boards, search committees, senior leadership teams, and stakeholder groups on critical leadership transitions.

Related: Kevin Chase Executive Search Helps Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice Recruit New Leader

In a career of more than two decades, Mr. Chase has led dozens of executive search and leadership transition engagements for non-profit organizations as well as companies in the finance, technology, and professional services sectors. Most of his engagements are for executive director/ CEO, senior development, and board positions, though he has also conducted searches for C-level leaders of finance, operations, and programs. He has expertise in working with small to mid-sized, mission-driven non-profits, providing consultation and advisory services to the boards and leadership volunteers responsible for governance and organizational development.

Bringing more than five years of retained executive search experience, Ms. DiFelice’s primary focus is non-profit and higher education assignments. She has also worked in the technology, healthcare and consumer markets. Although she has helped recruit C-suite and other senior executives in many markets and sectors, she said she feels most connected to her work on behalf of mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations. Her broad non-profit search experience cuts across the healthcare, civil rights and social justice, education and arts and culture sectors.

Defining the Chief Program Officer Position

According to ZipRecruiter, the role of the chief program officer is to develop, implement, and oversee a non-profit organization’s programming, such as designing outreach programs or job training courses for the homeless. The chief program officer consults with the executive director, CEO, and other executive managers at an organization to improve the existing programming and services, and plan or coordinate new programs. Other duties and responsibilities are to manage program implementation and funding; provide leadership to program coordinators, volunteers, and other staff; solicit feedback; and analyze the effectiveness of programs.

Chief program officers work mainly in the philanthropic sectors, according to ZipRecruiter. “You may work for a public health agency, such as a non-profit that provides recovery services to those with substance abuse or mental health issues, or an institution that offers low-income communities with job training or educational opportunities,” the company said. “Other CPOs work for shelters or organizations such as the United Way, providing outreach and community programs to tackle homelessness or unemployment. Some work at women’s day centers as advocates for women’s health and safety, while others find employment in youth centers or clubs.”

Related: Kevin Chase Executive Search Places Executive Director for the Spahr Center 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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