Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer

Thrive Scholars

Posted: 11/9/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Administration/Operations

Primary domain: Education

City: Boston, MA or Los Angeles, CA

Postal code: 02101

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

The Organization:

At Thrive Scholars, our goal is to see talented low-income students of color develop inter-generational wealth and financial security, and become the diverse corporate, civic, and academic leaders our country so desperately needs.

Since 2001, Thrive Scholars (fka SCS Noonan Scholars) has been supporting high-achieving underrepresented students in their long-term educational and career success. Its comprehensive, data-driven, high-touch program model focuses on the key inflection points that can be the difference between just graduating from any college, and graduating from a top college with the grades, degree, career skills, and network needed to thrive in the career of their choice. Over the six-year program, Scholars benefit from admissions and intensive academic preparation before college and a holistic set of academic, personal, social-emotional, financial, and career supports throughout college.

Thrive Scholars originated in Los Angeles as South Central Scholars (“SCS”) as a scholarship program focused on high-achieving low-income Black and African American students in South Central Los Angeles, and spent the first 13 years refining its integrated high school-through-career program model. The founders replicated this model in Boston in 2014 as Noonan Scholars, and then merged the two programs into SCS Noonan Scholars in 2017.

As part of its national expansion strategy, SCS Noonan Scholars recently rebranded as Thrive Scholars, and has launched an ambitious growth plan. As part of this growth strategy, Thrive Scholars is expanding to  new regions across the country, starting in Chicago and Cleveland, and is developing a substantial corporate partnerships program enhancing the organization’s fundraising capabilities and ability to reach more Scholars, with a plan to grow the number of students served by more than 300%.

As Thrive Scholars continues to grow, they are invested in ensuring that the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, which are deeply intertwined with its mission, inform all aspects of the organization.  In that light, Thrive Scholars is excited to launch this search for their inaugural Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. The CEIO will play a central role in the organization’s ambitious growth over the next few years.


Position Details:

Job Description:

The Role:

Title:               Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer

Location:         Boston, MA or Los Angeles, CA                       

Reports to:        Chief Executive Officer (CEO)                 


The Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer (CEIO) is a newly created position and a member of the senior leadership team responsible for developing an organization-wide strategy to embed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into every aspect of Thrive Scholars’s work, acknowledging a range of intersectional identifies and placing an intentional emphasis on race. The CEIO will champion DEI and help the organization to live out DEI values every day.

Leadership opportunities will concentrate on five primary goals: 

Develop and implement a DEI strategy & vision that serves to inform and evaluate all functions in the organization

▪          The CEIO will design a dynamic DEI strategy that strengthens the broader organizational strategic plan, with the goal of building a DEI function from the ground floor that is sustainable and tangible. The CEIO will ensure all major organizational decisions and investments are viewed through a DEI lens, and will develop metrics and benchmarks to evaluate organizational DEI performance. 

Develop in staff, volunteers and board members the key DEI competencies and practices they need to excel in their roles

▪          In this role, the CEIO will lead DEI training and development for Board, senior leadership, staff and volunteers. The CEIO will provide individualized coaching to all staff to ensure that DEI is effectively integrated into our work with Scholars and other stakeholders. The CEIO will specifically support and coach the CEO and the leadership to consistently utilize strong DEI practices in their work.

Foster a positive internal culture for staff of all identities by ensuring that people, practices and systems are equitable and inclusive

▪          The CEIO will work with the COO to strengthen the organization’s policies and practices to ensure that Thrive Scholars is best-in-class in the areas of equitable recruitment, professional development, succession planning, learning and development, performance management and employee engagement, among others. The CEIO will develop the training and practices that foster an environment where staff work effectively across differences.  

Embed DEI values and strategies into Thrive Scholars’s external communications and relationships, ensuring alignment with our DEI practices 

▪          Alongside our program and fundraising leadership, the CEIO will deepen relationships with corporate, nonprofit, and academic partners, ensuring DEI strategy and overall strategic objectives inform partner engagement. The CEIO will advise in the development of external communications and messaging, ensuring it is consistent with Thrive Scholars’s DEI values.

Effectively engage with Scholars to support their success in college and career, and to inform organizational practices

▪          Much of the time, the CEIO will support the program team to effectively engage Scholars in topics related to identity and to navigating spaces and experiences where they are underrepresented.  However, at key times, and in coordination with program staff, it will be important for the CEIO to have direct interaction with Scholars.



The Person:


▪          Leadership experience could have been gained in the following sectors including; corporations with DEI programs partnering with similar organizations, high-growth startups, entrepreneurial nonprofit organizations serving a similar demographic, high performing leadership development organizations or organizations working with young people under the umbrella of leadership development, education, or social enterprise; a diverse background and a variety of experiences is preferred.

▪          Evidence of leading, developing and implementing industry-leading DEI best-practices including organizational culture and development, employee engagement, and learning/education.

▪          Track record of building complex cross-functional programs/initiatives from the ground floor and aligning DEI strategy with overall strategic objectives through collaboration and getting buy in on goals and outcomes; provide ROI metrics to guide DEI road map and measure impact.

▪          Demonstrated success partnering with both internal and external stakeholders and prioritizing DEI objectives and goals; able to motivate, persuade and influence at all levels in order to ensure operational alignment and high impact execution.

▪          Strategic and tactical orientation; evidenced through development and articulation of a clear, compelling and inspired vision for DEI and hands on collaboration with CEO, staff and senior leaders on continued programmatic innovation, partner engagement and prioritization of investment.

▪          Ability to work side by side with staff, senior leaders and board members - training, coaching and mentoring them on best DEI practices; comfort level with the need to address and discuss the challenging realities of social justice, race and privilege.

Skills & Personal Characteristics:

▪          Relationship-oriented with a passion for energizing people around the Thrive Scholar mission and supporting all stakeholders on a shared learning journey in DEI.

▪          Authentic leadership style, confident working inclusively and collaboratively with diverse groups of people with different perspectives and levels of DEI understanding in a change/growth environment.

▪          Flexibility to listen, learn, adapt and embed DEI across the organization including strategic planning, development and execution of programs, fundraising, marketing and communications, partnerships and alumni relations.

▪          A change agent with the ability to create and execute on plans; translating strategy into action and outcomes and engaging all Thrive Scholars stakeholders behind a shared vision.

▪          Able to build strategic relationships between internal teams and departments, and external partnership organizations, funders and Alumni to achieve DEI goals.

▪          Ability to achieve credibility and respect in the organization and with external partners, including at the executive level. Direct and transparent communicator at all levels within and outside the organization.

▪          Leads by example; high EQ and able to meet people where they are; personable and able to relate to Scholars, understand their concerns and insightful about their experiences.

▪          Experience working with first-gen, low income students; enjoys working with young people and excited about interacting with Scholars and Alumni; lived experience.

▪          Organization and bridge builder; adept at working productively across lines of difference and employing de-escalation strategies and techniques when required.

▪          Confident, engaging and resilient; comfortable having difficult and courageous conversations; patience to gain understanding.



Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Thrive Scholars provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact:

Janet Albert                                                                    

Partner, Bridge Partners                                                           

[email protected]

Posted By: Bridge Partners LLC


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