Phillips Oppenheim

Chief Administrative Officer, New York, NY


Chief Administrative Officer

Mission: To improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues - by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools, and advocating for equal rights and opportunities. Work to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life.


The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) - the leading programmatic, research and advocacy organization for learning and attention issues - seeks a strategic and innovative executive with experience leading an operational infrastructure, building a collaborative culture and developing high performing teams. As the 40th anniversary of this $12.8 million organization approaches, NCLD has defined an ambitious strategic vision to more than triple its size and impact. Serving as an inspiration for the power to hope, to learn and to succeed, NCLD seeks to raise the profile of the cause to a level commensurate with an issue that affects one in five of us who struggle with brain-based learning and attention issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, organization and more.

Reporting to the President, the newly created position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is responsible for operationalizing the strategic growth plan and leading internal operations including finance, legal, human resources, facilities and administrative operations to support the organization's ability to achieve its mission. Guided by NCLD's strategic impact goals, the CAO ensures the smooth and efficient running of the organization's internal processes, systems and controls while planning for growth, improving systems and efficiency, and collaborating to ensure excellence of execution across the organization.

The CAO works closely with other members of the leadership team to provide strategic oversight of the day-to-day operations of NCLD's programs, promoting integrated and productive planning, execution, evaluation and communications across all initiatives.

With headquarters based in New York City and a team of approximately 50 employees, NCLD, through its multiple programs, reaches families nationwide. Building on NCLD's field leadership in programs as well as policy and advocacy, the organization is poised to make a transformative leap in impact to empower millions more individuals, families, educators and others who care about learning and attention issues.

As NCLD's flagship program and platform for largescale change in the field, Understood was launched in October 2014. NCLD operates Understood, a Webby-winning online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues, on behalf of 15 founding nonprofit partners. Understood provides an opportunity to take the organization to the next level of impact and, most importantly, serves as a platform for mobilizing millions of people for the cause. In the two years since it launched, Understood has reached more than 20 million unique visitors and boasts a Facebook community of almost 300,000 people.

Strategic Leadership
  • Oversee and monitor organization-wide communications, metrics, impact reporting and other key strategic functions across programs.
  • Work closely with other members of the leadership team to strengthen integration and collaboration for greater impact.
  • Support the President to lead and provide direction for implementation of new largescale programs. Help set and reinforce goals based on strategic direction and mission.
  • Carry out specific priorities of the President, which may include special projects or ensuring day-to-day priorities are met.
  • Oversee management of accounting and fiscal operations (payroll, accounts payable, bookkeeping, insurance, etc.), revenue and expense management, and cash flow management and forecasting.
  • Lead production of financial statements and analysis for internal and external stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on reporting and monitoring of key financial metrics and ratios.
  • Serve as liaison to finance and audit committee; effectively communicate and present critical financial matters at Board of Directors and committee meetings.
  • Develop policies and procedures for excellence of quality assurance, internal controls and overall financial health of the organization.
  • Lead annual and multiyear organization-wide financial planning and budget development.
Human Resources
  • Build relationships of trust, responsibility and accountability while nurturing the cohesion inherent in the organization.
  • Review and assess internal structure and reporting lines, operations and staffing for the organization to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, as well as professional growth opportunities.
  • Partner with NCLD leadership team to create an organizational culture that attracts and retains talented, dedicated employees who are committed to excellence.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable employment laws, policies and regulations, and act as primary resource for team and managers on all internal policies.
  • Oversee update, implementation and monitoring of employment policies and procedures, including performance review system to support attainment of individual and organizational performance goals.
  • Analyze legal issues, make clear recommendations and implement agreed-upon actions, serving as the point of contact for outside counsel and pro bono legal counsel across all organizational functions.
  • Coordinate all contracting for the organization and its programs, including vendors, agencies and independent contractors.
IT, Facilities and Other Operations
  • Oversee IT infrastructure overhaul and ongoing maintenance to ensure a sustainable and seamless environment.
  • Oversee management of all offices, including office space leases, negotiation, procurement, and maintenance of technology and office maintenance vendors and services.


The CAO should have the following experience and qualifications.

  • At least 10 years of executive management experience; proven record of success in implementing change, improving processes and capabilities, and leading high-performing teams.
  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree preferred. For-profit and corporate experience are highly valued; nonprofit experience is essential.
  • Broad experience with strategic development and planning, operational planning, business analysis, goal setting, and impact measurement. Outstanding operational expertise with a thorough understanding of finance, human resources and IT.
  • Ability to apply sound administrative and financial management knowledge to develop and implement appropriate systems and processes, balancing current needs with vision for growth.
  • Strong results-orientation and passion for excellence.
  • Proven track record of building effective teams; good judgment in recognizing talent; commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented team.
  • Demonstrated ability to bring together cross-functional teams to accomplish goals; adept at managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Energy and enthusiasm to bring out the best in employees, peers and constituents by sharing ideas and providing appropriate feedback.
  • A deep passion and commitment to developing strategies and resources that can reach the one in five people with learning and attention issues.
  • The value, joy and excitement of working in partnership with others to achieve shared goals; ability to work cooperatively to achieve business goals.
  • An ethical individual who imparts trust, integrity, stability, sensitivity, common sense and tolerance, and motivates others in a similar vein.
  • Someone with energy, a sense of humor and maturity in order to maintain perspective and a sense of balance.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

For additional information on the organization, please visit their website at

For additional information on learning and attention issues, including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, executive functioning issues, nonverbal learning disabilities, processing issues and more, please visit

Please send applications and nominations to Paul Spivey at:

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