Chief Operating Officer

Washington, DC
Full Time
Senior Executive


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is the nation’s preeminent think tank committed to achieving economic equity for women and eliminating structural and institutional barriers to women’s full participation in the workforce and society.

IWPR’s mission is to build knowledge and evidence to support policies that help grow women’s economic power and influence in society, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic security and well-being of girls, women, and families. We generate the ideas that build power and economic equity for all women.


Reporting to the President/CEO, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at IWPR will provide leadership, management, planning and enhancement of IWPR’s internal organizational systems and infrastructure allowing IWPR to fulfill our mission and scale our impact. This COO is a part of the Executive Leadership team and will oversee and direct the operations and administration of the organization with direct oversight over Human Resources, Finance, IT, Facilities, and Compliance. The COO will also serve as a steward of IWPR’s values, supporting high performance, staff morale, and have an unfailing dedication to producing high quality, rigorous research on the economic security of girls, women, and families. 

The ideal candidate will be thoughtful, highly adaptable, strategic and operate with a strong equity lens, ensuring that this is reflected in the organization’s lived values and culture. They will have a strong “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude, understand that difficult decisions will be have to made from time-to-time, and have experience in designing and optimizing business and operations processes and systems. They will also have experience in managing teams through a period of organizational growth and possess a deep understanding of motivating, mobilizing, and supporting staff, as well as evaluating systems and policies to increase effectiveness. The COO will have strong analytical capabilities, including the ability to think critically and to propose and implement change successfully. 

Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Develop and implement organizational systems and processes to maximize efficiency, increase transparency and support future growth.
  • Promote a culture of high performance, continuous improvement, and commitment to IWPR’s vision for impact.
  • Support the implementation of the IWPR’s strategic plan with a particular focus on financial sustainability and strong talent management.
  • Through action and behavior, model best practices, habits, and practices for IWPR staff
  •  Identify and assess emerging operations gaps work to proactively overcome and address issues and gaps.
  • Build a culture that attracts and retains top talent for all positions at IWPR; and 
  • Serve as an advisor to IWPR Leadership and senior staff.

Operations Management 

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of IWPR and work to solve issues quickly and effectively with an eye towards the best interest of the organization.
  • Oversee the hiring, promotion, and termination process for staff, contractors, and vendors. 
  • Manage the annual organizational performance evaluation process for staff. 
  • Co-direct the development and implementation of short-and long-term fiscal planning and budgets, with a focus on the overall financial success of IWPR.
  • In partnership with the Director of Development and Senior Finance and Human Resource Director, review compliance on major grants and provide oversight of expenses, predicting needs, and ensuring fiscal responsibility.
  • Serve as a partner, coach, and manager to staff responsible for directing the organization’s internal operating systems.
  • Manage and oversee vendor relationships and partnerships, consultants.
  • Work with program directors and IWPR leadership to identify professional development opportunities for all staff; and
  • Support the planning of staff retreats and in-service training on relevant issues and topics for IWPR staff; and
  • In partnership with Vice President of Research, work to manage research project budgets and ensure proper resource allocation

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent experience/expertise 
  • 10+ years’ experience in program management, operations management or human capital and resource management with progressive responsibility.
  • Excellent writing, editing and verbal communications skills, including presentation skills.
  • Expertise or experience conducting research on IWPR core issue areas.
  • Proven track record of effectively working to meet the needs and address the concerns of a diverse staff. 
  • Superior problem-solving, managerial, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work strategically and collaboratively across the organization. 
  • Effective, versatile, and action-oriented; and  
  • Ability to work well under pressure with tight deadlines and multiple priorities.

This in an on-site, full-time exempt position. The salary for Chief Operating Officer, IWPR is $175-$200,000/year. IWPR also offers a competitive benefits package.


Please submit a resume, writing sample, and thoughtful, relevant cover letter.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. IWPR is an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Vaccine Policy: IWPR has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, IWPR recently implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. This policy states that all IWPR employees, interns, fellows, (i.e.- IWPR staff) are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to receive a booster shot. IWPR will require selected candidates to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 and having received a booster shot prior to extending a job offer. If a candidate has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a Covid-19 vaccination, a medical exemption form should be requested from Human Resources.




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