Chief Executive Officer (190 views)

New Haven, CT
December 20, 2019 2020-02-18
Job Description

About Columbus House

Columbus House’s mission is to serve people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing shelter and housing, and by fostering their personal growth and independence. Since 1982, when we opened our doors, Columbus House has provided shelter and housing to those in need, and taken a lead role in working to end homelessness.

Columbus House programs are CARF accredited and include Outreach & Engagement, Shelter Services, Housing Services, Veterans Services, Income & Employment Services and Housing Development across multiple regions of Connecticut. Many of our programs also include services for special populations such as families with children, people living with significant medical conditions and people living with mental illness and/or addictions.

With 160 dedicated employees, a loyal base of over 1,000 volunteers and partnerships with many faith and community-based organizations, Columbus House offers a continuum of care for over 2,500 clients per year.

Columbus House is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut and has additional facilities in Middletown and Wallingford, Connecticut. The organization is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors and has an annual operating budget of just under $13 million.

The Opportunity

Columbus House is currently seeking a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as the organization builds upon its strong reputation as a leader in the state of Connecticut in providing much-needed shelter, housing, and case management services to a vulnerable population while also looking to expand and diversify its funding base.

Columbus House’s Board of Directors seeks an inspiring Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) to provide strategic vision, leadership and managerial oversight entering the next phase of strategic growth.  This is an extraordinary opportunity for a charismatic and visionary leader to help lead a collaborative effort to not only provide the basic provisions of survival but also work toward ending homelessness.


With guidance from the Columbus House Board of Directors, the CEO will provide supervision, direction, support, and program/administrative development assistance to all members of the Senior Management Team. The CEO will help articulate and implement the long-term vision for the agency; oversee the Senior Management Team that plans, sets policies and evaluates for outcomes, efficiency, and effectiveness of all agency activities, provide effective resource stewardship, provide mentoring, guidance, supervision, and professional development to all Senior Management Team. The CEO role will be to enhance the mission of the organization by staying abreast of developments in the homelessness sector. The CEO engages the Board and acts as the primary ambassador to agency stakeholders. Additional responsibilities include:

  • In coordination with the Columbus House Board of Directors, lead the program and housing development, strategic planning, service delivery, and management of Columbus House across multiple sites and departments
  • Directly hire, supervise, support, guide, facilitate and coordinate a (5) member Senior Management Team of Chief Officers (Financial, Development, Real Estate, Programs, Human Resources) and the Director of Quality Assurance that are responsible for operationalizing agency goals
  • Deploy resources efficiently and effectively, working with agency leadership to balance workload and effort, and provide regular feedback to ensure effectiveness and efficiency
  • Support a high performing culture and a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goal; clearly communicate agency vision, implement yearly staff development plans and mentor toward achievement
  • Direct the development and negotiation of all contracts with appropriate legal, medical, financial, social welfare, mental health organizations, as well as federal, state and city agencies
  • Conduct major program, housing development, and financial planning and decision making for the entire agency
  • Develop and maintain relationships with stakeholder groups, including religious, secular and community organizations
  • Establish networks within and among social services agencies and Columbus House in order to ensure effective collaboration and compliance with funding
  • Advocate for new sources of funding, affordable housing, and policies regarding solutions to homelessness
  • Serve as liaison to key government agencies and partner organizations
  • Direct all external relations on a local, state and national level including linkages to external boards and correspondence with media.
  • Fundraising and expanding the fundraising base is a goal for this position
  • Support the practices of housing first, harm reduction, person-centric care, and trauma-informed services


The CEO must be a collaborative leader who understands the collective impact that Columbus House and similar organizations can make on their community. The new CEO should be a hands-on creative and energetic leader who has a passion for fulfilling the organization’s mission. Other key qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of eight years of leadership experience in a nonprofit, government, or philanthropic organization overseeing multiple departments, programs or contracts ideally at an agency serving low-income -people or communities. Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management/Public Administration or a related field is preferred
  • Passion for Columbus House’s mission and an ability to communicate this passion to others;
  • Demonstrated ability in fund development
  • Experience developing housing using a blend of private and public funds.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team in multiple locations.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of program planning, organizational effectiveness, budgeting, administrative operations
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex data for planning and reporting purposes
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders and communities.
  • Ability to successfully navigate a fast-paced, outcomes-driven and entrepreneurial environment;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusiveness, and empowerment
  • Be an advocate and demonstrate a person-centered approach to care and relationship building with our clients.

More information about Columbus House can be found on the web at

Equal Opportunity and Reasonable Accommodation

This position description is based upon material provided by Columbus House, an equal opportunity employer. The organization provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, alienage or citizenship status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status, national origin, disability condition, marital status, status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. In addition, the organization affirmatively seeks to advance the principles of equal employment opportunity as it applies to all policies and procedures relating to recruitment and hiring, compensation, benefits, termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Columbus House complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities.

Jordan Haberfield, Search Consultant

Sara Garlick Lundberg, Search Consultant