Feb 22, 2023

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

  • On-Ramps
  • New York, NY, USA
Full-Time General Management Strategic Planning

Job Description


Explore Schools is a network of public charter schools providing 2,000 students in Brooklyn with the outstanding education they deserve. Their goal is to provide students with curriculum and instruction that is both standards-aligned and culturally responsive. Its approach is designed to provide the conditions that nurture students as critical thinkers and natural problem-solvers. As an organization, Explore is committed to engaging in work that disrupts and roots out systems and structures that perpetuate white supremacy. They intentionally seek to build and maintain an identity diverse and talented team that reflects the backgrounds and experiences of their students and creates an inclusive environment for all employees.

Explore Schools believes that all children can learn when immersed in a rich environment full of high expectations, rigorous academics, and caring, committed adults. The network believes equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive—they believe that it is possible to meet the needs of all students in their schools, while actively engaging parents and driving toward excellent academic results. They believe it is both their privilege and responsibility to help close the opportunity gap in the Brooklyn community.


As a key member of the Senior Leadership Team, the Chief Financial and Operating Officer (CFOO) reports to the Chief Executive Officer and assumes a strategic role in the overall management of Explore Schools. The CFOO oversees financial, operational, human resources, and talent to ensure the organization's effectiveness & impact. Working closely with network and school leaders, the CFOO is responsible for developing and executing a strategic vision for all non-instructional components of the organization. They will be expected to manage the following:

Vision-setting and innovation

  • Collaborate on and move forward the vision for organizational health and operational excellence at Explore Schools
  • Support Chief Executive Officer and other C-level teammates on achieving the organization's instructional vision through highly efficient and streamlined systems and structures
  • Partner and align with the Chief Executive Officer to execute Explore's strategic priorities
  • Diagnose and collaboratively work to address challenges around curriculum and instruction across grade bands and/or subject areas
  • Act as a key member of the network Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to weigh in on critical organization wide decisions, initiatives, and problem-solving

Team leadership

  • Lead and develop a team of 3-5 Managing Directors across multiple functions and diverse work portfolios (Operations, Human Resources/Talent, Finance, Compliance/Risk and Board Governance)
  • Set non-instructional metrics and goals for network and monitor progress
  • Conduct performance evaluations of teammates and set and monitor progress toward growth goals aligned to the teamwide strategic priorities and benchmarks

Data-driven decision-making

  • Ensure appropriate tools and systems for data driven decision-making
  • Establish meaningful check-points/aligned opportunities for Managing Director team to gather and respond to data or feedback on the support they provide to school-based stakeholders

Team functions under the CFOO's purview: The CFOO will directly supervise Senior Leaders across the following organizational functions:


  • Ensure the Explore Schools Charter Management Organization (CMO) and schools achieve annual and multi-year financial sustainability goals and budget results
  • Responsible for oversight/management/development of Explores' $45M annual budget
  • Manage and actively support the Managing Director of Finance to execute financial operations of the Explore network's schools and CMO office in the areas of accounting, reporting, banking, budgeting, procurement, compliance, and financial planning
  • Provide organizational financial oversight and monitoring and ensure that relevant financial data is presented to the Boards of Directors, CEO, and senior management team
  • Oversee and manage an external financial audit, with a goal of maintaining clean unreserved findings for Explore Schools and Explore Schools, Inc.

Talent and Human Resources

  • Actively support the Senior Talent team and leaders across the organization to drive toward Explore as a best-in- class, empathetic, results oriented employer who centers students and stakeholders in their work.
  • Provide strategic direction for Explore Schools' strategic talent priorities
  • Manage the Senior Talent leader to manage all recruitment and HR functions to ensure staffing, retention, and employee satisfaction goals are met
  • Lead initiatives and activities to build organizational culture across the network and all Explore Schools.


  • Establish infrastructure for best-in-class operations performance, by continuously assessing school-based and network performance and analyzing school satisfaction data to set and achieve strategic goals for continuous improvement
  • Supervise the Managing Director of Operations to ensure high-performing school-level operations, technology, reporting and compliance
  • Serve as Explore Schools' liaison to the New York City Department of Education, leading all contract negotiation and relationship management efforts
  • Direct all school and network building space planning, capital improvements

Compliance, Risk Management, and Board Governance

  • Ensure the Explore Schools network full compliance with all federal, state, and local legal and regulatory requirements
  • Oversee staff managing federal and state grants to ensure grants are secured, allocated, budgeted, tracked, and in compliance
  • Lead network-wide management of legal affairs, insurance, and other risk management strategies
  • Report out monthly to the board on Explore Schools CMO financials, talent data, and progress on organizational priorities
  • Lead network and School Board finance committee meetings

Hiring Organization

Explore Schools



  • BA required, advanced degree (MBA, JD) preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience required, with a minimum of five years of senior management experience that includes supervising an identity diverse group of staff
  • Experience supporting network-wide operations, talent, and finance in the education space strongly preferred
  • Finance experience required in addition to broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, business analysis, technology, information systems and data management
  • Experience effectively building organizational processes and systems that have resulted in organizational sustainability and success

Qualities the CFOO will possess:

  • Dedication to the Explore school's mission: a steadfast commitment to ensuring their students have the tools they need to succeed in a college preparatory high school and beyond
  • Embodies their operating values and organizational beliefs and commitment to dismantling oppressive practices rooted in white supremacy, including an understanding of how race, power, and privilege manifest in the education space; values and seeks out diverse perspectives.
  • Applies an intersectional lens to leadership to ensure equity across services and supports provided to families, students, and staff. Possesses strong negotiating skills and the ability to influence others through means other than direct control; effectively uses a combination of active listening and questioning to engage others and "bring them along" in the decision-making process
  • Consistently makes excellent decisions through a combination of data analysis, judgment and experience; ability to anticipate future consequences and trends and incorporate them into the organizational plan
  • Self-starter: generates new ideas, and kicks off implementation with enthusiasm and a high level of organization; Enjoys setting ambitious goals and leading people to achieve them; able to act and react as necessary, even in unfamiliar situations; confidence to take on a challenge or take charge of a situation.
  • Outstanding ability to build efficient processes to ensure institutional memory and cross-functional communication and collaboration. Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ensures strategic plans drive direct action and impact across key functions of the organization. Nimble team player and thought partner – able to take the lead and play a supporting role across various projects.Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people across multiple functions and the ability to connect with multiple constituencies both on an individual level and in large groups. Comfortable receiving and providing feedback from peers, supervisors, and direct reports. Effective at building relationships and gaining buy-in from a diverse range of stakeholders and can handle ambiguity well.

Location: Explore Schools is a network of 8 charter schools located in Canarsie, Crown Heights, and Flatbush communities of Brooklyn, NY. Their network office is located in DUMBO, Brooklyn. For this position:

  • In-person work is required. While work location is flexible, this role will require traveling to different school sites or the central office for training, observations, and in-service days on a weekly basis.
  • This is an exempt position and is not eligible for overtime.
  • The standard work week is 45 hours, though at times the role may require more hours. For non-exempt roles, employees are eligible for overtime for any work over 40 hours.
  • As this role requires being able to go into school buildings which are co-located in DOE buildings, all staff members are required to follow the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Please reach out to humanresources@explorenetwork.org if you'd like to see a copy of the mandate.

Industry/Service Area





  • The salary range for incoming C-level staff is $190,000 to $230,000. This is their good faith range at the time of posting. Incoming salaries are determined based on experience and internal equity.
  • Because Explore values staff members staying in their roles over time, they do not currently cap salary ranges and this is the range for incoming staff members only. This is base salary and does not include additional compensation opportunities, such as signing bonuses, stipends, leadership opportunities, and additional pay for specialized certifications and advanced degrees.
  • Explore offers a comprehensive benefits plan, covering up to 95% of the cost for employees and their families. Other benefits include dental and vision plans, employer paid disability and life insurance, parental leave benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time and paid holidays, professional development, continuing education scholarships, referral bonuses, employee assistance program (EAP), child care assistance, a 403(b) retirement plan with employer matching, and more.

Additionally, as a member of the Explore Schools community, you can expect:

  • ESI Staff also have the opportunity to seek out and attend professional development, have a supervisor committed to their growth and development, and are eligible to apply to the staff scholarship program.
  • Flexible and reflective leadership: dedicated to staff development, team cohesion, and shared responsibility for decision-making, development, and team-wide priorities
  • Driven and passionate colleagues who contribute to a professional and collaborative work environment
  • Opportunities to sit on various committees and participate in initiatives central to key organizational decisions and strategic planning
  • Continued education support: staff are eligible to receive scholarship funds towards qualifying certification costs or higher education tuition

Application Instructions

QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS, PLEASE APPLY: https://www.on-ramps.com/jobs/2872

As discussed in the About the Organization section, Explore Schools is an equal opportunity employer. It is important to them that all staff members have a place of employment that is free of discrimination of all kinds and where staff can bring their authentic selves to work. They do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran, or military status. If any employee or applicant believes they have been discriminated against, they should let Rachel Modica-Russell (rmodicarussell@explorenetwork.org) or Tiffany Williams (tnwilliams@explorenetwork.org) know immediately.

Like Explore Schools, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact info@on-ramps.com.

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