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Operations Manager


Founded in 2010, California Competes is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit project aimed at bolstering the state’s postsecondary outcomes to foster vibrant communities and an engaged citizenry. We seek to develop and implement policy recommendations to improve higher education in California. While we operate to benefit the general public, we are particularly concerned with preserving access to the state’s higher education system for students and ensuring that the state’s economic development needs are met by producing the degrees and credentials most likely to support a robust economy. To accomplish our goals we are guided by an esteemed Leadership Council of California business and civic leaders representing the demand side of higher education – the people who experience first-hand the importance of having a critical mass of well-educated Californians whose talent matches the demands of the 21st century.

With an organizational budget of approximately $1M annually, California Competes is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Partners.


Reporting to the executive director (ED), the Operations Manager will have largely internally facing responsibilities focused on managing the daily needs of the organization, partnering closely with the ED to support the ED’s leadership and management of the California Competes’ staff, budget and finances, funder relationships, future growth, and strategy. The area of responsibility for this role is very wide and thus requires thorough knowledge of various organizational processes. California Competes has back-office support from Community Partners, so the Operations Manager will work closely with Community Partners and build off the support that Community Partners provides.

Specific duties include:

  • Financial management
    • Analyze and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly and annual financial statements; oversee all financial, project/program, and grants accounting.
    • Oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the ED; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes; and keep the ED and Leadership Council abreast of the organization’s financial status.
    • Work with fiscal sponsor to manage organizational cash flow and forecasting.
    • Implement a robust contracts management and financial management/reporting system.
    • Process (or work with administrative staff to process) all financial paperwork, including expenses, reimbursements, and invoices from contractors/vendors.
  • Human resources and administration
    • Further develop California Competes’ human resources and administration, enhancing professional development, performance evaluation, training, and recruiting.
    • Work closely and transparently with consultants to ensure a smooth process of engagement for them, such as ensuring timeliness and clarity of contracts and payment.
    • Ensure organizational requirements are executed and followed properly.
    • Oversee administrative functions as well as facilities to ensure efficient and consistent operations.
  • Organizational planning and processes
    • Assist the ED in planning and creating processes to developing the organization, such as staff retreats, Leadership Council meetings, staff meetings, internal staff communication, and document management.
    • Develop and manage a schedule for project completion.
    • Supports the ED in anticipating her and organizational needs, to allow staff to focus on the content of projects, deliverables, and engagements.
  • Grant and funder support
    • Create systems to track grant requirements and deliverables.
    • Prepare grants reports and maintain open communication with foundation contacts to ensure seamless grantee-grantor relationships.
    • Support the ED in essential internal organizational leadership activities, such as fundraising and organizational planning and processes.
    • Identify best practices and improve internal systems with an eye toward future needs and budget realities.

Required Qualifications

  • At least 5 years of broad financial and operations management experience
  • Experience tracking and analyzing financials
  • Experience developing, revising, and presenting budgets
  • Knowledge and experience in organizational effectiveness and operations management implementing best practices
  • Experience working with (or demonstrated ability to work with) executive leadership in a nonprofit organization, foundation, government agency, or related organization
  • Track record delivering superior results, commanding respect, and assuming leadership roles
  • Success in roles requiring execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in organizational settings
  • Self-starter, self-disciplined
  • Spark, imagination, creativity
  • Remain focused in the face of pressure, delivers against timelines, not intimidated by tasks/time limitations
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and results-driven

Preferred Qualifications

•BA in business, finance, HR, accounting, or similar
•A track record in grants management
•Experience developing and managing human resource processes
•Impeccable editing and proofreading skills


•Full-time, exempt position
•Salary commensurate with experience
•Medical, dental, and vision benefits; voluntary 403(b) plan

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Kris Wade at kwade@sanssoucigroup.com, with “Operations Manager” in the subject line. Position opened until filled.

California Competes, a project of Community Partners® is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, the organization will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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