Chief Program Officer – Job Description

TITLE: Chief Program Officer


The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) seeks to fill the full-time position of Chief Program Officer, which will be responsible for ensuring organizational impact by providing leadership for Wacif’s small business and entrepreneurship advisory services and technical assistance initiatives. As part of the executive leadership, the CPO will be a hands-on and participative leader reporting to the CEO, and will serve as the chief architect for designing and implementing new advisory programs, partnerships and strategies.

The CPO will be a strategic thought-partner, responsible for managing all of Wacif’s entrepreneurship- and small business-focused educational programming and resources. The CPO will develop and contribute to the creation and implementation of organizational strategies and programs and will oversee small business startup and growth services that include: 1) one-on-one assistance; 2) business success coaching; 3) trainings and workshops; and, 4) acceleration services/cohort-based learning.

REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer


Leadership, Staff Management, and Organizational Strategy

  • Directly supervise small business programs and advisory services staff for execution of services and programs.
  • Create and support a high performing culture in the program department aligned with Wacif core values: equity, inclusion, stewardship, and accountability.
  • Develop a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goal, by clearly communicating agency vision, implementing yearly staff development plans and mentoring.
  • Coordinate with Human Capital Manager to identify and create leadership and professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Work closely with Wacif’s leadership in securing new funding for small business advisory service operations through existing and developed funder relationships related to the field.
  • Establish annual program, departmental and staff goals and objectives and track results against these goals as well as accountability protocols.
  • Lead advisory services and program budget development process, and maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility.

Program Oversight and Evaluation

  • Oversee the coordination, integration, and delivery of all programs, contracts and related services, promoting collaborative relationships between program areas and ensuring that the expectations of funders, partners, constituents, clients, and other stakeholders are consistently met.
  • Respond to funder requests for proposals and applications in partnership with development and senior staff; coordinate planning and activities necessary for development of model program designs in response to RFPs and RFAs.
  • Work closely with the finance department to budget and monitor programmatic operations to ensure sound fiscal and system management.
  • Ensure the delivery of qualitative and quantitative goals and outcomes of programs and services.
  • Coordinate and analyze the appropriate data to inform the programmatic and operational decision-making process.
  • Use CRM platform to increase programmatic efficiency, transparency and collaborative efforts among teams.
  • Determine staffing plans to achieve program goals and objectives and participate in hiring decisions for new program staff.
  • Develop an assessment protocol to determine the feasibility and sustainability of programs as well as lead to more effective and efficient service delivery.
  • Analyze and assess programs based on data collected and implement corrective measures if required.

Program Development and Service Delivery

  • Collaborate with the CEO to identify, develop and execute strategies to support entrepreneurship in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, including new programs and event opportunities, topics, and markets for educational programming and initiatives.
  • Lead programmatic areas focused on signature programs and a team of program managers and small business advisory services staff to:
    • Execution of Wacif’s signature, award-winning small business growth program, the Ascend Capital Accelerator.
    • Develop and create business startup and growth services that include: 1) one-on-one assistance; 2) business success coaching; 3) trainings and workshops; and, 4) acceleration services.
    • Develop pre- and post- loan technical assistance and training for Wacif borrowers.
    • Oversee execution of established programs such as the Minnesota Avenue Main Street, and Employee Ownership Initiative.
    • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual program plans and reports.
    • Analyze financial standing of small businesses and entrepreneurs to determine loan-readiness.
    • Conduct periodic needs assessments of the small business and entrepreneurial community.
    • Package clients financial and operational information to traditional and non-traditional funding sources.
  • Manage all aspects of program and content development for Wacif’s entrepreneurial-focused initiatives and partnerships.
  • Develop annual program of activities including workshops, trainings, and other events to support small businesses.
  • Evaluate and track effectiveness of small business and entrepreneurship programming and initiatives.
  • Serve as chief business development specialist by providing direct assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Develop and coordinate seminars, trainings, and workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners on issues ranging from business plans to growth strategy.
  • Manage all event planning, and execution of all entrepreneurship-focused educational programming & events.
  • Manage the research and content creation of both print and online small business educational resources.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships and partnerships with other small business assistance organizations.
  • Market services to traditional and non-traditional financial partners to bolster deal flow and increase community impact.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with local businesses and provide them with appropriate support information.


  • Must be a team player, able to work within a team structure, and collaborate with a diverse set of stakeholders to develop effective partnerships.
  • Proven ability to set and execute an organization’s strategic vision and successfully achieve its mission.
  • Demonstrated skills at building and cultivating strong relationships with key stakeholders, including staff, Board members, funders, partners, government officials.
  • Experience managing program budgets from multiple sources including government (federal, state, and local), philanthropic, private, corporate and financial institutions.
  • Ability to build and manage relationships.
  • Entrepreneurship and/or small business experience, preferred.
  • Finance and/or small business lending experience a plus.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of management experience.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in program/project management, and small business direct assistance.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution required.
  • Positive, entrepreneurial spirit including ability to seek new and creative solutions to challenges.
  • Experience with grant writing and grants management preferred.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously with precision and attention to detail while continually finding ways to improve processes to produce higher quality events with more effective results.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills with special attention to detailed editing of promotional materials, website and print pieces.
  • Excellent public speaking, organizational, and problem-solving skills and abilities.
  • Exceptional customer service.
  • Fluency with Microsoft Office suite, required.
  • Experience with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, preferred, specifically HubSpot, a plus.
  • Occasional evening and weekend hours, in addition to travel, is required.


About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)

Established in 1987, the Washington Area Community Investment Fund’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, DC area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. Our mission is driven by three strategic pillars: inclusive entrepreneurship, community wealth building, and equitable economic opportunity, and is fulfilled by providing access to capital products and services, and capacity building technical assistance to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Medical, Dental, Vision, Life & Disability coverage available. Retirement plan (some employer contribution & matching); paid vacation (increased with tenure), holiday and sick leave days.


Interested candidates should email a (1) resume/CV, (2) thoughtful cover letter that outlines how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position, and (3) salary history to with “Chief Program Officer” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Wacif is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.

We thank all those who apply, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

No calls please. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.