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Hack the Hood: Executive Director

About The Organization

About Hack the Hood

Hack the Hood (“HtH”) is a highly innovative, Oakland-based nonprofit whose mission is to meaningfully change the lives of young people of color and their communities. Its Board and staff are dedicated to the success of this mission and are seeking an inspirational leader to build on the success of the organization, scaling it to realize an even greater impact. 

HtH differentiates itself from other programs targeted to marginalized youth by taking a holistic approach “to connect low-income young people of color and local small businesses through technology, to take part in and lead the change that is happening around them.” The innovation combines Hack the Hood’s ability to identify and attract youth from low-income communities, offer relevant curriculum that gives them a leg up, and actually place them into internships, apprenticeships and jobs that initiate their career paths. HtH provides youth real world experiences in developing websites for local small businesses and tech skills building to help youth them their careers in the tech industry. Co-Founders Susan Mernit, Zakiya Harris and Mary Fuller formed the organization in 2012 to address what they saw as system barriers to opportunities for young people of color and small businesses in Oakland and cities across the country. Their vision saw the technology, knowledge and wealth created by the tech sector could be leveraged to address the inequities that existed. 

The organization was launched when it won a Google Ventures Impact grant to pilot a program to improve the web presence of small businesses in low-income neighborhoods.  The following year HtH held its first six-week summer boot camp program with a grant from the City of Oakland allowing 18 youth to build 65 websites for small businesses. In 2014 HtH received the Google Bay Area Impact Challenge Award, enabling the organization’s model to be replicated by partners serving communities throughout the Bay Area and Central California. In its first four years, Hack the Hood grew from a project with a $75,000 budget serving 16 youth to a $2.1 million organization serving more than 250 youth annually. Hack the Hood is in a transition phase from a start-up organization, with substantial early growth, to a more mature organization that is primed to scale its programs and create impact for even more young people. 

Please visit www.hackthehood.org to discover more about Hack the Hood.

About the Opportunity

Like its students, Hack the Hood is an organization brimming with potential. The founders created a positive vision and laid the groundwork to connect students with career and educational opportunities in the Bay Area’s innovation economy.  The organization is now seeking an Executive Director with the passion, skills, experience, temperament, relationships and philosophy to realize this potential. 

The Executive Director will have an opportunity to co-create the next-stage strategic vision for Hack the Hood in partnership with the Board and the staff. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have the right experience, commitment, and vision to carry the organization into its next phase and will be responsible for leading all aspects of Hack the Hood. The Executive Director will be the point person for providing organizational leadership and vision, both internally and externally. The role requires strong development skills, nonprofit management experience, a flexible strategic leadership approach, and someone who understands the complexity and requirements of leading an organization at a point of inflection.  

The role will support and champion current programs while leading the development and implementation of new programs. The new Executive Director will be able to make some key hires for the organization’s future. They will cultivate and forge deep partnerships with corporations and nonprofits, and inspiring lasting relationships with foundations and individuals to expand Hack the Hood’s capacity to better serve young people, small businesses, and overall economic opportunity in tech. The ideal candidate is inspired by this mission and aspires to be a leader in the field of developing talent and breaking down barriers to entry in the tech industry. This person is a passionate advocate for diversity in economic and educational opportunities who can inspire others to buy into a broader vision of tech in the world. 

The Executive Director will create an organizational culture characterized by high expectations – of students and staff, accountability, respect and a focus on service and equity.  This culture will motivate staff, grow the organization and set a shining example for students preparing to assume their roles as regional technology leaders.

The Executive Director exemplifies the organization’s mission and is a bold and engaging leader who exhibits confidence with humility, is an inspiring and authentic communicator, listens deeply and seeks to collaborate on and connect around creating solutions, and is committed to challenging paradigms and reimagining systems. This role is a unique opportunity for the person who aspires to create change and understands it takes persistence and commitments over a long-term to build upon the foundation laid by Hack the Hood’s founders, Board and staff.  

Key Responsibilities

Specifically, the Executive Director: 

  • Working with the Board and management staff, leads and drives the strategic vision that scales delivery of the mission.
  • Inspires the staff with leadership by example, empowering them to take ownership of their areas of responsibility and sets expectations of excellence.
  • Promotes and builds a culture of teamwork, productivity, learning and continuous improvement and excellence. 
  • Is motivated by HtH’s vision of creating positive change in the world and inspires and leads the Board and staff to consensus in advancing the mission.   
  • Will create an organizational culture characterized by high expectations of staff, partners, funders, and students. 
  • Will inspire partners, students, alumni and the broader community of a broader vision of tech in the world.
  • Cultivate corporate, foundation and individual donors with the goal of growing revenues in order to advance the mission of Hack the Hood.  
  • Supports and guides Board members’ development as partners invested in advancing the mission through fiduciary oversight, fundraising, strategic counsel and stewardship.
  • Leads staff in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that support the mission and serve the needs of youth. Provide inspiration, clear direction and leadership to the staff in defining and implementing programs ensuring the quality and nature of the work is consistent with Hack the Hood’s mission and standards.
  • Defines a strong organizational culture of excellent service to others, collaboration, continuous learning and persistence.
  • Is comfortable in engaging and facilitating stakeholders to consensus and can confidently make appropriate decisions when consensus cannot be reached.
  • With staff review programs and make adaptations as necessary for emerging talent needs of the tech industry. 
  • Is passionate about mentoring staff, students and alumni and takes interest in their development.
  • Represents the organization’s mission and work within the communities served by HtH and to potential partners and funders.  

Experience and Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Passion for and deep commitment to helping others develop and succeed. 
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, define a vision and establish and execute plans to achieve the mission. 
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation. 
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector, the field of technology, education, workforce development or tech entrepreneurship.
  • Proven track record of success in fundraising or business development, including growing a network of funders (institutional and individual) around a unified vision. 
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial success transforming and bringing initiatives or organizations to scale. 
  • Deep knowledge of, and experience working in, the Bay area, and experience or knowledge of the tech industry’s emerging talent needs. 
  • A passion for excellence with high expectations of all stakeholders. 
  • Knowledge of human-centered design principles and practices. Operational and management experience, including cultivating talent and fostering a culture of collaboration toward and accountability to desired outcomes. 
  • Experience in hiring, supervising, and growing a highly proficient, talented and diverse staff to support the vision of the organization. 
  • Desire to promote staff and volunteer development and education and assist staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization. 
  • Excellent communication skills as a public speaker and writer. Communicates with transparency, authenticity and integrity both internally and externally. 
  • Proven expertise in developing and managing budgets of similar or larger sizes. Comfort and experience with nonprofit financial management best practices and reporting, including audit requirements and board financial oversight. 
  • Experience working and collaborating with and a volunteer Board of Directors to shepherd an organization through a phase of growth and impact.
  • Educational achievement and a career path appropriate to this position.

Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A commitment to empowering, guiding and inspiring young people beyond their imagined potential.
  • An ability to convey a vision, to inspire others toward the vision and develop a consensus-driven strategy and a deep community of collaborators around an achievable operational plan.
  • Execution strength – ability to make decisions and ensure things get done and are impactful toward achieving goals and objectives. 
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  • Ability to share leadership of the organization and partner with the Board to set goals, track progress and assess effectiveness of the organization in meeting the mission.
  • Ability to identify and assess trends in education, local communities, technology, public policy, workforce development, tech education and nonprofit management, and develop opportunities for Hack the Hood to address needs and opportunities consistent with its mission.
  • Dynamic and inspirational communication skills and with the ability to communicate passion for the mission to funders, partners and stakeholders. Able to effectively build buy-in internally through engaging staff and board in vision and strategy-setting. 
  • Natural curiosity and aptitude to understand what motivates others in order to foster a positive culture and create opportunities to collaborate and contribute both internally and externally.
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to connect with diverse communities; support and/or advance an inclusive workplace.

Hack the Hood is strongly committed to diversity and encourages applications from people who can contribute to the organization’s diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. Hack the Hood believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable laws. 

To apply or nominate an individual please provide a cover letter and resume expressing your interest in this position to search@blueridgeadvisorsllc.com with “Hack the Hood – Executive Director” in the subject line. All applications and nominations will be held in the strictest confidence.

Apply For This Position

To apply, fill out the form below or email us your cover letter and resume expressing your interest in this position to search@blueridgeadvisorsllc.com with "Hack the Hood - Executive Director" in the subject line. We also accept nominations of qualified candidates. All applications and nominations will be held in the strictest confidence.