Chief Operating Officer

April 29th, 2021
Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer

  • Full Time
  • Senior Level
Job Category: Executive
Location: Brooklyn
Job Sectors: Other


Chief Operating Officer
True Colors United
New York, NY or Washington, DC




About True Colors United


Co-founded by Cyndi Lauper in 2008, True Colors United implements innovative solutions to youth homelessness by focusing on the unique experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, youth of color, and other highly impacted groups. Through an array of training & education, advocacy, youth action, and technical assistance programs, True Colors United ensures that every young person, wherever they live, is celebrated for being their authentic selves.




In the United States, 4.2 million youth experience homelessness each year, with LGBTQ youth 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQ peers. Black youth are 83% more likely, while Latinx youth are 33% more likely. True Colors United is committed to changing these disparities.




Communities and service providers want to be safe and welcoming for LGBTQ youth and youth of color, but often don’t have the knowledge or resources to do so – creating barriers for these youth to get the support they need. True Colors United fills that space by offering free training and resources on how to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, while supporting whole communities in creating inclusive plans to prevent and end the issue. True Colors United also advocates in government and media to help ensure critical funding and services for all youth, and builds the power of youth with lived experience of homelessness so they can become advocates in their communities.




For more information on True Colors United, please visit




The Opportunity


After establishing itself as the largest youth homelessness organization in the US dedicated to advocacy, technical assistance, training and education, and youth action, True Colors United is seeking a Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) to build the infrastructure necessary to support its next exciting period of expansion. This is a unique opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly-respected organization that is a leading voice for equity-based approaches to ending youth homelessness.




Reporting to the Executive Director & CEO and acting as a vital member of True Colors United’s executive team, the COO will work collaboratively to lead and manage the organization’s human resources, finance, technology, and legal functions, as well as actively build and nurture a human-centered and inclusive internal culture. Based out of True Colors United’s New York City or Washington, DC office, the COO will manage operations for both offices. They will help lead a team of 22 and oversee operations for an organization with an annual budget of $3.2M.




This stage in True Color United’s trajectory offers a creative and resourceful COO the chance to forge an innovative approach to internal operations that is driven by social justice and equity principles. This is the ideal opportunity for an empathetic, mission-focused, and strategic leader with experience scaling up an organization, mentoring staff at all levels, and developing a human-centered and inclusive culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals.




Candidate Profile


The COO will have a respected track record managing within a values-driven organization that is strongly committed to social justice and LGBTQ, racial, and gender equity. Possessing a deep capacity for supporting, leading, and managing a diverse and passionate staff, the COO will design and implement efficient and effective systems to fuel the creative and collaborative spark that drives True Colors United.




The COO will be a collaborative leader who values team-based decision-making, transparency, and accountability. They will possess outstanding listening and facilitation skills with demonstrated ability to connect to and communicate with team members with diverse backgrounds. Someone who is fluent in the language of justice, decolonization, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the COO will also be well versed in LGBTQ issues and the transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary experience. Committed to bringing their whole authentic self to work, they will hold space for others to do so as well. The COO will actively build a culture that values empowerment, creativity, and equity.




In addition, the COO of True Colors United will possess the following attributes and competencies:


Leading Through an Equity Lens


The COO will bring a transformative approach to human resources and operations. They will take equity into account when developing and operationalizing policies. The COO will work with leadership and staff to ensure progress towards a race-forward, fully inclusive organization. The COO will facilitate the investment in diversity, equity and inclusion practices across the entire organization, ensuring collective ownership is maintained across the entire team. The COO will bring a personal mission and vision for racial equity, and will identify and address organizational deficits to continually advance equity issues internally.



Passion for Mission


The COO will have a demonstrated and authentic commitment to ending youth homelessness and a deep understanding of the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ and BIPOC youth and young adults without a home. The COO will not only live True Colors United’s core values (Equity, Empathy, Collaboration, Creativity, and Community), but will lead them within the organization and assist their peers and colleagues in the fulfillment of the organization’s mission.




Management and Operations Excellence 


The COO will lead and manage the organization’s human resources, finance, technology, and legal functions. The COO will be confident in managing various systems and informing strategies to increase efficiencies across the organization. The COO will operationalize all financial, human resources and technology infrastructure projects and provide regular updates about them to the CEO. Leading team management and recruitment efforts, the COO will oversee team structures, staff reviews, and professional development. In addition, the COO will supervise the Operations Associate and be responsible for building out the Operations team.




Transformational Leadership and Management Capability


Eager to lead a team of individuals dedicated to social justice, informed by their lived experience, and committed to equity and transparency in the workplace, the COO will be passionate about creating a culture that is empowering and inclusive for all employees. This individual will have the skills and sensitivity to tap into the strengths that each member of the team brings to preventing and ending youth homelessness for LGBTQ and BIPOC youth. The COO will oversee the development and implementation of organization-wide systems and policies that reflect the input and values of the entire team.




Communication and Learning Skills


The COO will be an empathetic individual who will utilize an ‘open mind’ and ‘open heart’ approach to leadership. Through direct and honest communications, the COO will facilitate conversations regarding organizational culture and hold them with care, respect and compassion. Possessing humility and an eagerness to continuously learn, the COO will listen to and value the voices of all staff members. The COO will articulate a clear vision that brings team members together in working toward common goals and impact.




Compensation & Benefits


The starting base salary for this role is $120,000.






Michelle Bonoan of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Michelle directly here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.




True Colors United is an Equal Opportunity Employer. True Colors United strongly encourages people of color, people of diverse gender identities, women, persons with disabilities, and people with lived experiences of homelessness to apply.




About Koya Partners


Koya Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.




At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.




For more information about Koya Partners, visit



True Colors United

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