Chief Executive Officer

Locations: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Board of Directors.
Direct Reports: 5 (Executive Assistant, Development Director, Director of Housing & Clinical
Services Director, Head Start Director, and Chief Financial Officer/Chief
Administrative Officer)

ECS is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees. We encourage applicants of all faith backgrounds.

Our Story

Episcopal Community Services (ECS) provides services that build a bridge to a brighter future. We inspire children, empower adults and transform communities by providing vital, high-quality social services that encourage healthy interdependence. Our vision is a community where all are supported to reach their potential. ECS serves every client that reaches out to us, regardless of ethnic background, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation or religious creed. Originally founded in 1927, our organization provides critical programs to address the physical and emotional needs of all San Diegans. With a team of 450+ staff across 21 locations, ECS serves over 6,000 clients annually with a range of health and human services: early childhood education, mental health, substance use disorder treatment and homeless services. Our annual operating budget of $30M is comprised of:

  • Federal service contracts (Head Start) 70%.
  • County grants and contracts 16%.
  • Service fees 9%.
  • State grants and contracts 2.5%.
  • Fundraising 2.5%.

Who we are: professional service providers who reflect the community and are skilled in providing person-centered, culturally competent, trauma-informed care based on deep understanding of the impact of trauma and other adverse childhood experiences.

What we do: support children and adults in developing skills (learning) and fostering healthy relationships.

How we do it: listening and responding with intention to needs of the community with priority given to those most impacted by structural racism and other systemic barriers.

To learn more about our organization and programs, please visit: .

Position Summary

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for working closely with the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team to shape and implement ECS’ strategic vision, aligning all programmatic, operational, and financial resources in service of its mission. The CEO will work closely with our Senior Leadership Team to forge strong community relationships to enhance ECS’ visibility, impact, and resources. The position requires knowledge of leadership principles in a social services environment and a commitment to support the Agency’s Core Values of Excellence, Compassion and Service. The successful candidate will serve as the public face of the organization, who passionately and effectively communicates the critical need for and impact of our work. A major focus area for our next CEO will be the further development and diversification of our fundraising capabilities. This will include building a culture of philanthropy across the organization and elevating ECS’ profile within the funder community. Attracting new donors to our work and diversifying fundraising streams will be priority areas. In sum, ECS’ thriving programs, healthy financial standing, top-notch facilities and infrastructure, and solid reputation with our government funders position the organization for further success and expansion with an inspiring CEO at the helm.

Priorities within year 1 include:

  • Navigate the organization through the remainder of the pandemic, and in a post-COVID environment, resume certain paused operations.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the organization and its programs, with a focus on building trust and relationships with team members, community partners, and stakeholders at all levels.
  • Partner with the Board to advance our strategic objectives and gain an in-depth understanding of our operations and programs.
  • Increase the Agency’s visibility in the region and within the Diocese.
  • Enhance community awareness of the Agency’s programs and impact through marketing and branding efforts.

Priorities within years 2-5 include:

  • Evaluate and revise our strategic plan in partnership with the Board.
  • Implement creative ideas for developing and diversifying funding sources, and ensuring the organization is adequately prepared for additional growth.
  • Rethink and restart fundraising efforts, such as relaunching the annual gala and increasing our portfolio of corporate donors.
  • Expand marketing and branding efforts to ensure ECS gains general visibility and awareness in the community.

Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership and Financial Management:

  • Oversee the operational and fiscal integrity of the organization within policies set by the Board of Directors.
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors in advancing the strategic plan and operational goals.
  • Demonstrate a collaborative leadership style, bringing staff and stakeholders into the strategic vision and promoting a high degree of transparency.
  • Manage the Agency’s $30M budget to ensure short- and long-term financial sustainability.
  • Collaborate with the CFO/CAO and our Programs leadership team in decision making, staff leadership, setting policies, developing performance goals, measuring and evaluating program outcomes, and ensuring strict adherence to all contracts, regulations, and licenses.

Board and Staff Relations:

  • Guide, support, and serve the Board of Directors in establishing and developing policies, procedures, budgets, and programs.
  • Partner with board members to encourage and foster fundraising, stewardship, ambassadorship, and growth of ECS as an organization.
  • Provide on-going strategic recommendations to the Board based on financial analysis, performance metrics, and risk assessment.
  • Effectively coach, mentor, and develop team members at all levels, allowing them to reach their highest potential.
  • Ensure team members have appropriate KPI’s in place for their position and experience level.

Programmatic Oversight:

  • Oversee delivery of high-quality programs consistent with ECS’ mission, vision and values.
  • Identify new program opportunities that fit within the organization’s strengths.
  • Provide strategic leadership for all program strategy, compliance, and program efficiency, in collaboration with the Director of Head Start and Director of Housing and Clinical Services.
  • Evaluate and ensure ECS programs make consistent progress in achieving their mission and target programmatic impact.
  • Be visible across all ECS programs and sites, making frequent visits to talk with staff and program recipients; monitor program developments and quality standards.
  • Participate in nationwide initiatives, programmatic innovations and best practices.
  • Leverage technology and data to track measurable outcomes, refine programs, and inform strategies.

Fund Development and Community Engagement:

  • Elevate the organization’s profile by being a highly visible, visionary and influential leader in the greater San Diego community.
  • Serve as the public face of the organization, educating donors and other stakeholders about the impact of and need for ECS programs and services.
  • Stay current on developments in areas related to the Agency’s mission and serve as a thought leader on those issues.
  • Work closely with the Development Director on fundraising and stewardship efforts, overseeing the planning and implementation of all fundraising.
  • Oversee creation of a comprehensive development plan, including individual and major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, grants, events and sponsorships.
  • Build loyal and long-term relationships with key donors, sponsors and program partners.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of strategic donors, making solicitations and stewarding gifts.

Attributes & Work Style

  • Passionate: An effective advocate driven by the Agency’s work, which is to provide vital, high-quality social services that encourage healthy interdependence.
  • Community-minded: Skilled at connecting with individuals across all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and professional backgrounds in the community.
  • Servant-leader: A team player who fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment; someone who truly cares about the well-being of each team member and takes an active role in their development.
  • Authentic: Acts with integrity, sets a tone of transparency and candor, and forms trusting relationships in all directions.
  • Strategic: Intellectually curious, decisive, resourceful and responsive, with the organizational sensitivity to gain support and confidence from all areas of our organization.
  • Self-Starter: Demonstrates strong personal initiative, effective problem-solving, and sound decision-making skills.
  • Communicative: Outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with the executive presence to serve as an effective and highly visible spokesperson.
  • Charismatic: Warm, and welcoming; a true “people-person” who enjoys attending events, networking, and serving in a high-profile, public leadership role.
  • Tactful & Diplomatic: Exhibits a high level of emotional intelligence, demonstrating empathy and reflective listening skills; willing and able to have difficult conversations when required.
  • Metrics-driven: An innovative thinker, pairing ideas with solutions and measurable outcomes; firm but fair, holding team members accountable for performance.
  • Growth-oriented: An entrepreneurial leader who recognizes potential, asks thoughtful questions, and is willing to take calculated risks to benefit the organization.
  • Flexible: Ability to embrace shifts in priorities; possesses excellent change management skills.

Experience & Skillset

  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
  • 10+ years’ experience in a leadership capacity for a major organization, preferably focused on health and human services.
  • Successful at creating work environments that are inclusive, productive, and healthy.
  • A history of working with a board of directors on strategic planning initiatives, resource allocation, and board development.
  • Experienced with engaging a diverse staff and developing each team member to their fullest potential.
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement a strategic plan.
  • Experienced with developing and managing budgets, ideally at the level of $20+ million.
  • Prior experience developing and managing government contracts at the city, state, county and federal levels is highly desirable.
  • A successful track record in growing and diversifying funding sources such as individual giving, corporate giving, events, grants and other partnerships.
  • Exceptional listening and communication skills, including the ability to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders; enjoys public events.
  • Bilingual English / Spanish is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends as required for events and donor meetings.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101