Director, Strategic Operations (Policy)

18 Aug, 2021


Director, Strategic Operations (Policy)

Zero to Three

About the Organization

Founded in 1977, ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. Our mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. At ZERO TO THREE we envision a society that has the knowledge and will to support all infants and toddlers in reaching their full potential. Our Core Values Statement: We believe that how we do our work is as important as what we do.  To learn more about ZERO TO THREE, please visit our website at


Our Commitment to Diversity

ZERO TO THREE is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, advancement, and professional development and is dedicated to diversity in its work, its staff and with community partners. This is an exceptional opportunity for a professional who shares our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and supports our mission to enhance outcomes for ALL children.



The Director, Strategic Operations is the Chief Policy Officer’s chief advisor on operations of the Policy Center and is responsible for creating and maintaining systems to ensure the organizational effectiveness of the Policy Center. This position ensures the federal policy, state policy and advocacy teams have the supports they need to be high performing. The role has oversight of all operational aspects of the Policy Center, including goal setting and tracking outcomes, planning and management of all Policy Center internal meetings, monitoring of revenue and expenses for projects, review/sign-off of project materials and reports and oversight of proposal grant writing/review. The Director, Strategic Operations is a senior leader position and serves as a member of the Policy Center Leadership Team. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

    • Lead all operational functions of the Policy Center.
      • Oversee office management, manage the Policy Center’s Senior Program Associate and work directly with the Policy Center Leadership Team members to ensure smooth human resources, finance and IT processes.
      • Support the Chief Policy Officer in fiscal management and budgeting.
      • Ensure effective project and budget management so that all activities are performed in a high-quality manner and meet all goals, deadlines and deliverables. 
    • Serve as a critical thought-partner to the Chief Policy Officer and Policy Center Leadership Team.
    • Ensure strong inter-team and intra-team functioning of the Policy Center. 
      • Work with the Chief Policy Officer to ensure the Policy Center maintains a strong and effective culture. 
      • Strengthen the Policy Center’s team functioning by facilitating staff onboarding, leading retreats and setting agendas for Policy Center Leadership Team meetings. 
      • Support the Policy Center staff by identifying and coordinating professional development opportunities in areas of interest and/or need.
    • Lead the Policy Center’s strategic planning process and other key initiatives in collaboration with the Chief Policy Officer and other Policy Center Leadership Team.
    • In partnership with the Chief Policy Officer, Policy Center Leadership Team and the Chief Development and Strategy Officer:
      • Contribute to the Policy Center’s development strategy.
      • Oversee the proposal and reporting process for all Policy Center grants.
      • Advance growth opportunities aligned with the strategic plan and priorities. 
    • Ensure clear and consistent communication within the Policy Center and between other divisions of ZERO TO THREE (ZTT).
      • Identify tools to improve and enhance organizational effectiveness within the Policy Center.
      • Establish working relationships with other divisions of ZTT and identify areas for synergy.
    • Lead annual planning processes to ensure alignment with ZTT strategic priorities.
      • Support annual organizational priority planning processes.
      • Track and submit progress reports on policy-related organizational priorities to the Management Team and Board. 
    • Support Chief Policy Officer in coordinating and leading Policy Center Leadership Team and Policy Center meetings. 


  • Develop meeting agendas, ensure all topics are well-prepped and high-impact and ensure strong meeting follow-up for each meeting. 


    • Provide coordination and oversight in the development of strategic initiatives and special projects for the Policy Center.


  • Perform other duties as assigned to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of the Policy Center. 



Essential Skills and Experience 

    • At least 10 years in a leadership position with project management experience in consulting or client-service environment and a track record of successful project and team management, demonstrated success with long-term planning, strong operational mindset and skills; able to keep lots of simultaneous trains running on time with an attention to detail and execution. 
    • Strong people management track record- recruitment, development, engagement and performance; should be widely viewed as a strong manager of both junior and senior level staff and able to support and sustain high-performing teams.
    • Experience with online communications and team software and survey tools.
    • Ability to read and interpret budget balance sheets and financial reports.
    • Ability to build relationships and influence others by interacting with a broad range of stakeholders with different interests and needs.
    • Exceptional reasoning, problem-solving and strategic thinking skills.
    • Highly effective at communicating orally and in writing to a range of audiences. 
    • Ability to work proactively in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
    • Focus on results- committed to achieving team and organizational goals and supporting the Policy Center to ensure infants, toddlers and their families have what they need to thrive.


  • Maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor and roll-up-my-sleeves attitude.  



Essential Qualities

  • Encourages and practices critical thinking.
  • Is self-reflective and empathetic.
  • Recognizes the influence of workplace relationships on outcomes and results. 
  • Maintains a respectful and accepting approach to others.
  • Awareness of the influence of the larger context on individual behavior.
  • Collaboratively and creatively supports the work efforts of colleagues at all levels and in all areas of the organization.
  • Exhibits work behaviors consistent with the organization’s core values.
  • Is curious and interested in exploring ways of attacking problems and opportunities.
  • Is committed to racial equity and inclusion.



Bachelor’s degree. Advanced degree (MBA, MPA, JD, MPH) preferred.  


Physical Requirements 

While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is frequently required to use finger dexterity as well as sufficient hand dexterity to use a computer keyboard and be capable of reading a computer screen. Also, may need to remain seated for long periods, have the ability to perform repetitive motions and hold objects.  Employee may be required to hold a writing instrument, communicate verbally, and hear well enough to detect nuances and receive detailed information.  They may be required to grasp objects, push and pull objects, bend, stand, walk, squat or kneel. Frequently must be able to lift at least 20 pounds and occasionally up to 60 pounds. 


Working Conditions

The work conditions described here is representative of those an employee encounters while performing this job. Depending on work location, the incumbent will typically work indoors in a heated and air-conditioned office, with a mixture of natural, incandescent and fluorescent light with low to moderate noise levels or be subject to working conditions conducive to a home office. When travel is expected, the incumbent will be exposed to outside environmental conditions during those times. 


ZERO TO THREE is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. 


How to Apply:


Interested candidates should click on the link below and submit your Resume and Cover Letter detailing relevant experience:

Job posted: 2021-08-18