Chief Operating Officer
The current strategic direction at the High Line is to re-imagine the idea of public space; continue to maintain the High Line at the highest level; and, to welcome and serve the diversity of New York City. Friends of the High Line (FHL) provides virtually all of the park's operating budget and philanthropy accounts for approximately $13 million of a current annual operating budget of $17 million.
We are committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment for our visitors and staff. Our staff is dedicated, enthusiastic and hardworking and we encourage like minded candidates who also have a love for what we do to apply. Friends of the High Line hires without regard to any attribute not related to exceptional experience and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason.
We are seeking an experienced, proactive, strategic Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Reporting to the Executive Director, the COO will be a contributing member of our Senior Leadership team, partnering with our Chief Advancement Officer and Chief Program Officer to thoughtfully manage our organization through a complex period of growth and change.
The COO plays a critical leadership role supporting FHL’s Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives by fostering collaboration and cohesion amongst multiple departments, both in operations and with large initiatives—both future and existing.
As COO, he or she will lead development of processes and procedures to strengthen our internal capacity and advance our commitment to building an equitable and inclusive organization.
Through exceptional leadership, he or she will act as mentor to a talented, high performing team, creating an environment that encourages critical thinking, accountability, communication and efficient project management.
The COO will also have direct oversight of our Administrative, Finance, Human Resources, Park Operations, Earned Revenue (Retail and Concessions) and Planning and Design Teams, including four direct reports and over 50 indirect reports with departmental budgets totalling approximately $10 million.
As COO, he or she will be responsible for the continued relationship with our partners at the NYC Parks Department, including ensuring compliance with our operating and concessions licensing agreements, including participating in any litigation support and general contract approval and management.
This is a big opportunity for an experienced, mission-focused, compelling leader to create proactive and positive change in a growing, results oriented organization.
- Supports the Executive Director to ensure highly-productive, day-to-day management of the organization;
- Partners with Executive Director to set the strategic direction of the organization and helps establish and execute priorities on weekly, monthly, and long-term basis; oversees the implementation and ongoing development of the organization’s strategic plan;
- Serves as an advisor to the Executive Director, and as a role model/mentor to other staff;
- Contributes to the creation and stewardship of organizational culture and ethos, both internally and externally;
- Supervises direct reports, as follows:
- Vice President of Planning and Design
- Vice President of Park Operations
- Vice President of Administration and Strategic Projects
- Vice President of Finance
- Works closely with the Executive Director, Chief Advancement Officer, Chief Program Officer and Vice President of Finance to ensure the organization’s Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives are incorporated into the the organization’s $17mm annual operating budget and long-term capital budget;
- Handle contract negotiations, litigation requests and large vendor relationships on the organization's behalf
- Oversees organization’s earned income strategy and goals, including food and retail programs;
- Works with senior staff to facilitate effective long term planning and strategy;
- Facilitates interdepartmental collaboration to ensure that all departments are communicating effectively and supporting one another as needed;
- Monitors resource and personnel allocation to ensure departments are efficient and appropriately resourced;
- Participates in HR decisions regarding senior staff, approves salaries, and participates in key hires and terminations;
- Conducts, or participates in, annual reviews for department heads;
- Troubleshoots and strategizes to address departmental and organizational challenges;
- Establishes and maintains relationships with Board members, donors, and City partners;
- Represents the High Line at lectures, meetings, tours, and other public-facing opportunities.
- Demonstrated strong management and communication skills;
- Exceptional presentation skills, including ability to communication organization's strategy
- Clear, direct, confident style of speaking and experience working with senior leaders
- Exceptional project management capability and highly detail-oriented;
- Ability to assimilate a high volume of information across disciplines and departments, providing leadership and support to senior staff and experts in each of those disciplines;
- Ability to problem solve creatively and make and implement decisions quickly and soundly;
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and exemplify leadership and composure under pressure, while maintaining high morale;
- A creative and strategic mindset with the ability to translate strategy into tactical action plans;
- Ability to work with a wide range of people representing various backgrounds, levels of training, and career stages;
- Able to multitask, offering support to the Executive Director and Co-Founder, as well as to the Vice Presidents and department heads;
- Minimum ten years of experience at executive level of management, preferably at a cultural institution, non-profit organization, government agency, park conservancy, or highly-visited public destination.
Recruitment for this position is being conducted by an external recruiting firm. Please do not apply via this applicant portal.
For confidential consideration, please submit your cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to the search firm Machlowitz Consultants, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please. Those whose candidacy is-being considered will be contacted.
- Paid vacation, sick time and holidays
- Paid parental leave
- Medical, dental and vision insurance
- Commuter benefits
- Flexible spending accounts
- Contribution in a 403(b) retirement plan
- Citi Bike membership
- Discount on High Line merchandise