Chief Operating Officer

RCG Talent Solutions - Remote - Full time

About Watershed Advisors

Building on the deep public sector leadership experience of its team, Watershed Advisors (Watershed) bridges aspiration, implementation, and scale in America’s education and workforce systems. We work with bold governmental leaders at the state and local levels to design solutions that match the size and scale of the problems in American education. We then embed teams of experts within government agencies to implement, communicate, finance, and evaluate those ideas, impacting generations of American learners and job seekers in need of access and opportunity.

Since we launched two years ago, Watershed has experienced tremendous success. We closely partner with governor’s offices, state education agencies, non-profits, and philanthropies on issues ranging from birth to workforce. The organization now generates $5 million annually and is in an exciting period of organizational growth and positive change.

The Opportunity

Watershed is currently searching for an outcomes-oriented leader, passionate about ensuring equal educational and economic opportunities for historically marginalized communities, to serve as the organization’s first-ever Chief Operating Officer. The COO, as a member of the leadership team, will report directly to Watershed’s CEO and work closely with the organization’s President to sharpen Watershed’s strategy and systematize its operations. Specifically, the COO will directly manage Watershed’s Operations Team and lead inter-organizational efforts to build and align core operational functions–finance, human capital and culture, strategic planning, and knowledge management–with Watershed’s strategic vision for organizational impact, growth, and client and employee engagement.

The COO position is both strategic and facilitative and requires a willingness to play an active, hands-on operational and communicative role in day-to-day activities. The role requires a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, communication, self-motivation, and analytical and interpersonal skills.


The core of the COO’s role will be to strategically drive the following functional areas in alignment with Watershed’s goals in pursuit of a better future for young people.

  • Facilitate organizational strategy development: Collaborate with Watershed’s CEO, President, and Managing Directors to lead and develop strategic efforts that may include: conducting market analysis to identify business development opportunities, managing the organization’s regular strategic planning process and performance management system, and building and improving internal systems.
  • Lead business operations: Directly manage Watershed’s operations team (two) and a team of vendors/consultants and ensure central operational functions (e.g. finance, human capital, communications, strategic planning, etc.) support the organization’s medium-to-long-term vision for impact.
  • Develop and lead financial operations: Conceptualize, structure, and deliver sound financial practices to accurately capture, inform, and report incoming and projected revenue. Identify key business opportunities and build the systems that enhance Watershed’s market position and impact. Manage and support vendors and contractors servicing financial systems.
  • Talent management: Support, develop and coach the Operations Team to implement the organization’s vision. Build internal systems to ensure Watershed’s team can focus on client-facing work to achieve ambitious results. Attract and select the best talent to meet current and future business needs.
  • Strategic knowledge management: Establish and manage a system to capture and share valuable knowledge and insights gained through project work. This may include: developing processes to generate, organize, and document insights from project work; facilitating cross-project and cross-jurisdiction learning.
  • Facilitate team culture: Foster an inclusive and supportive team culture where team members feel supported, included, and valued. Operationalize team core values as part of our daily practices.

Experience & Qualifications

Applicants will have 8+ years of demonstrated experience in project management and organizational leadership with a deep understanding of and successful experience with small business operations and scaling growth. Professional experience in a for-profit or consulting setting or in an executive leadership position in a non-profit setting that serves early childhood, K-12 education, higher education, or workforce development is valued but not required:

  • Demonstrated business acumen via experience leading the business operations of a team, including building processes, goal setting, budgeting, progress monitoring, and staff evaluation.
  • Success in previous management and development of direct reports and teams.
  • Excellent communication skills, including experience developing memos, slide decks, and in public speaking.
  • Proven capacity to solve problems and identify key strategic insights that advance the goals of the organization.
  • MBA or equivalent experience preferred.


Throughout the interview process, successful candidates will be able to demonstrate mastery of the following competencies:

An expert in finance and operations: able to use their business acumen to build and maintain financial systems, routines, and procedures that accurately and effectively capitalize on opportunities and allow the business to excel in the short and long term. Deep experience leading operations and development strategy supported by data and metrics.

An adept operator: able to set clear, big-picture vision and broad operational aspirations into actionable goals, milestones, and deliverables with clear owners and timelines. Communicates and partners effectively at all levels with an exceptional eye for detail. Approaches work with an entrepreneurial mindset and a growth orientation with a relentless focus on outcomes.

A people-first manager: demonstrated experience managing, developing, and retaining a diverse team through inclusive and equitable management practices, building a strong team culture that values each individual, and successfully managing to achieve measurable team and organizational results against goals.

Personally committed to expanding opportunity for young people: aims to serve young people–regardless of race, income, disability, immigration status, etc.–and to bolster the prosperity and rights of those who have been excluded from educational and economic opportunities.


The salary range for this position starts at $150,000 and includes a comprehensive benefits package (annual work-from-home and professional development stipends, generous PTO, parental leave) as well as the potential for a significant annual performance bonus. Final salary will be determined based on experience and qualifications.


The team is fully distributed with no central office. The COO can be located anywhere in the continental United States, with a preference for Central or Eastern Time Zones. Required travel is limited.

To Apply

Watershed Advisors is partnering with RCG Talent Solutions to find our next Chief of Operations. Please use the submit application button to apply and direct all questions to Brent Locke,


Watershed Advisors is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.

Apply for this job

Apply for this job


C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

Share this job
Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up