Chief Operating Officer

The Marsha P Johnson Institute

Full Time Position

Who We Are

The ​Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI)​ protects and defends the human rights of ​black transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power. We intend to reclaim ​Marsha P. Johnson ​and our relationship as ​BLACK ​trans people to her life and legacy. It is in our reclaiming of Marsha that we give ourselves permission to reclaim autonomy to our minds, to our bodies, and to our futures. We were founded both as a response to the murders of ​BLACK trans women and women of color and how that is connected to our exclusion from social justice issues, namely racial, gender, and reproductive justice, as well as gun violence.

We invite members to learn about who Marsha P. Johnson was while exploring themselves as well. MPJI seeks to eradicate systemic, community, and physical violence that silences our community from actualizing freedom, joy, and safety.

We were created to elevate, support, and nourish the voices of BLACK trans people. Our community is made up of BLACK trans people and those committed to undoing white supremacy in all its forms. Our space is intended for the sole purpose of bettering the BLACK trans community across the diaspora.

We believe that BLACK people are the future. We are committed to this organization always being led by the most radical BLACK trans people whose imaginations exist beyond the confines of the state. We invite all qualified BLACK trans people to apply to be a part of our passionate staff.

Position Summary

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) plays a key role at The Marsha P Johnson Institute (MPJI) in helping shape and deliver on the strategic imperatives of the organization. Reporting to the CEO, the COO is a member the senior leadership team and has primary responsibility for the organization’s financial management, business operations, technology, staff performance, and goal setting. This role works closely with the CEO and leadership team to determine strategies to best fulfill the organization’s mission – to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research. The COO is a senior leader responsible for shaping MPJI’s emerging internal capacity around planning and management. The COO helps ensure that everyone on the team has what they need to communicate, create job accountability, ensure job performance, productivity, and nurture our culture as MPJI expands its capacity.

Principal (Essential) Duties

This position directly manages a team of five (Operations, Programs, Development, Finance (through fiscal sponsor and Communications).

The work of the COO falls into four main categories:


  • Monitor MPJI’s financial performance and develop long range financial plans that align with the organization’s strategic priorities
  • Develop annual, multi-year, and project/grant budgets
  • Act as liaison with the fiscal sponsor and with the CEO
  • Oversee monthly and annual financial reporting, including the conduct of an annual audit Review and approve financial transactions. Manage banking relationships and investment accounts
  • Prepare and submit an annual operational budget, manage effectively within this budget, and report accurately on progress made and challenges encountered
  • Manage and cultivate existing relationships with funders to secure and expand recurring revenue streams
  • Make recommendations to the CEO regarding investments
  • Work in tandem with CEO and Director of Development regarding finance, funding, and investment strategies

Business Operations

  • Develop scopes of work and manage deliverables for external partnerships
  • Oversee and ensure accuracy of payroll, employee benefits, business insurance. Ensure compliance with all labor law and employment practices
  • Oversee process for performance evaluations and compensation review. Support recruitment and talent retention strategies.
  • Handle all contracts, including grant agreements, business and vendor contracts, subcontracts, and federal agreements. Ensure compliance with federal procurement standards when applicable.
  • Reviews all legal documents and Terms of Services
  • Establish fee schedules and evaluate cost and effectiveness of earned revenue programs
  • Manage physical facilities and assets
  • Identify, select, and work with consultants (e.g. legal, financial, HR) to supplement expertise when necessary
  • Serves as the Research Integrity Officer (RIO), Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) for grants, and DMCA agent
  • Identify opportunities for the organization to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and/or to address organizational challenges
  • Provide programmatic leadership and input for all strategic plan implementation processes with the CEO and staff. Coach program directors as they implement the strategic plan and transition program operation


  • Manage the work of the internal teams, ensuring that the software team works together with clear guidance on developing software solutions that support the organization’s mission
  • Monitor team performance, help to develop scopes of work, track progress on new development, and support adequate resourcing needs for the teams’ ranked project priorities list
  • Lead the strategy for technology platforms, partnerships and external relationships
  • Identify, compare, select and implement technology solutions to meet current and future needs
  • Ensuring technologies are used efficiently, profitably and securely
  • Evaluating and implementing new systems and infrastructure

Leadership & management

  • Help establish and track progress towards organization-wide goals
  • Actively participate in the development of funding proposals and new initiatives
  • Engage with the Board of Directors, primary funders, and other key external stakeholders around organizational impact and plans for the future
  • Manages the performance management process for direct reports.
  • Provide support, coaching, training and development for direct reports
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain MPJI’s high-performance senior management team with an emphasis on developing capacity in strategic analysis and planning and program budgeting

Secondary Duties

  • Provide a strong day-to-day strategy leadership presence for staff, guiding, inspiring and challenging the team, as well as other senior leaders, to be strong advocates for MPJI.
  • Design and implement systems and tools the team needs to pursue their goals.
  • Oversee the recruitment, orientation, and release of all paid staff and volunteers.
  • Seek and track the effectiveness of professional development opportunities for all staff members.
  • Works with the Human Resources team to ensure sound human resource practices, including annual job description updates; regular, effective coaching sessions; and informative performance evaluations.
  • Collaborate with the rest of the staff to nurture our organizational culture.
  • Evaluate and improve human resource functions including training, development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation, and recruiting.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and other Senior Leadership around internal technology that is best for staff.
  • Lead the Senior team in planning staff retreats and other mechanisms to gather staff feedback on strategic planning and values alignment.
  • Interface with the fiscal sponsor regarding human resources, finance and systems.
  • Support Executive Director in the creation of annual budget, goals and ongoing financial reporting and forecasting. Working with accounting team of the fiscal sponsor.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven experience cultivating and stewarding donor relationships.
  • Must be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to racial and social justice.
  • Keen attention to detail and critical thinking skills.
  • Understanding of current social media platforms and their use for donor engagement/strategic messaging.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and strong familiarity with HTML email marketing, web-based marketing tools and social media platforms.
  • A positive attitude, strong teamwork ethic and the ability to take complete ownership of responsibilities.
  • The ability to work under pressure and time constraints as well as to handle several tasks simultaneously.
  • The ability to be strategic, creative, and flexible in the planning and execution of goals and strategies.
  • The ability to work well with people at all levels and to develop and maintain beneficial relationships with colleagues, donors, and community members. Process-oriented, with a high attention to detail.
  • Production and event management experience is a plus.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred or equivalent experience.
  • At least 10 years of strong leadership and operational skills in senior management positions.
  • A background in operations or administration, particularly working with high level leadership.
  • Experience in developing and operating an organization in terms of establishing appropriate organizational capacity.


$109,000 to $185,000 (annually), depending on candidate experience. MPJI offers a competitive benefits package including 401k, medical, dental, life insurance, and paid time off.

Interested applicants should apply online!


Marsha P. Johnson Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing a nondiscriminatory and inclusive environment for its employees. We are committed to diversity and consider all applicants for all positions without regard to color, ethnic background, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and disability status. Marsha P. Johnson Institute promotes a healthy work-life balance for all staff. For more information about Marsha P. Johnson Institute, please visit

© Copyright 2019 Marsha P. Johnson Institute. All rights reserved. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.


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