Executive Director

Falls Church, Virginia
$81,571 - $108,761 (Excellent benefits as indicated in Description above)
Sep 29, 2022
Nov 03, 2022
Full Time

Position Purpose

Serves as the Chief Executive Officer of a Virginia nonprofit corporation designated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit which provides a wide range of early care and educational services to children and families at two locations in the Falls Church VA areas. Oversees a budget of over 6 million dollars with 75 employees.

Provides enthusiastic leadership in the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of all service areas of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Oversees governance functions of the organization; and. represents the agency in the local, regional, and national communities, through the promotion of sound organizational and management innovations. 

Essential Job Responsibilities - Performance Indicators:


  1. Model professional, trustworthy behavior and effective communications. Hold the organization to the same standards.  Ensure that the organization’s business practices are effective, efficient, and provide both the controls and support needed for the agency to achieve its goals and maintain compliance with all applicable authorities. Provide vision, motivation, and leadership to all Head Start employees, and the community with an eye to the future. Implement with clear decision-making authority and accountability of all positions.  Ensure oversight of the organization to assure that all programs, services, and systems are developed in accordance with Head Start Performance Standards, and are congruent with the Head Start Act, Head Start Performance Standards and Virginia State Licensing Regulations.  Champion the importance and value of a diverse, equitable and inclusive agency environment for parents, staff, and visitors. Model behaviors which support the overall philosophy and design of the organization. 


  1. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the members of the Board of Directors, the Policy Council, and Head Start staff. Plan, guide and advise the Board of Directors on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Provide accurate, complete, and timely information required by the Board to fulfill its fiduciary and governance responsibility.  Ensure that staffing, systems, and procedures are in place to effectively carry out the policies of the Board, as well as to meet all applicable funding and legal requirements. Oversee the strategic planning process.

Advocacy/Public Relations

  1. Effectively represent the organization to its diverse public through regular communication, collaboration, and committee involvement at local, state, regional and national levels.  Function as a conduit/link for input and exchange of information, and to promote innovation at all levels between the state, regional and national early childhood and Head Start organizations.


  1. Hire and supervise the management team of the organization, i.e., Head Start/Early Head Start Site Supervisors, Human Resources, Finance and Operations Director. Facilitate resolution of conflicts within the organization.


  1. Promote consistent exchange of information to all stakeholders. Demonstrate proven ability to communicate ideas and information clearly and persuasively in verbal and written form, including public speaking. Maintain frequent telephone and in-person contact with Board members, staff, parents, community leaders and service providers in ensure exchange information, promote the values of the agency and advocate for program participants. Use written correspondence, issue papers, email messages, and grant application materials to generate revenue, and disseminate general information and educational materials. Make formal presentations to community groups, Board of Directors, funding sources and staff as needed.

All communications are potentially sensitive and are subject to Head Start’s policy on Confidentiality.


  • Balancing budget constraints with growing service needs. Redesigning the organization to promote a self-managed work environment. Effective agency advocacy within a commitment to the larger community. Negotiating a volatile political climate. Embracing resistance to change.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree with relevant emphasis plus two (2) years upper management experience in the private, nonprofit, or public sector OR Bachelor’s Degree with relevant emphasis plus five (5) years upper management experience in the private, nonprofit, or public sector OR five (5) years of Executive Director experience in a comparable nonprofit organization. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. Proven, successful experience being held accountable to a Board of Directors or other Council of policymakers. Proven, successful experience in overall planning and management of multiple programs, complex budgets, and senior staff. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong working knowledge of Head Start Act, Head Start Program Performance Standards, Virginia Department of Education Regulations for Licensed Child Day Centers, NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practices – newest version, and other regulatory guidance. Knowledge of nonprofit business practices, including accounting, budgeting, personnel, and grants management.  Proven ability to work in and collaborate with diverse socio-economic and multi-cultural communities.  Participatory management style, experience with work teams and proven skills in problem solving and conflict resolution.  Working knowledge of local community needs and resources.  Experience working with low-income issues and diverse groups of people  Extensive public speaking  Knowledge of effective marketing, public relations  Excellent oral and written communication skills.  Intermediate to advanced technology (computer skills, internet, and e-mail).  Understanding of software systems utilized by the agency (Word 365, Child Plus, Outlook, Microsoft Office) Valid Virginia Driver’s License / proof of auto insurance / annual DMV check.  FBI and Virginia Fingerprints, Criminal History Record Checks and Central Registry/Child Abuse and Neglect Searches will be conducted prior to start date.

Diversity-Equity Statement

Higher Horizons endeavors to create an environment that values all people of any ability, age, family structure, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or socioeconomic status. We strive to create this environment through our curriculum, interactions, staffing, policies, and procedures. As staff and volunteers of Higher Horizons, we accept the responsibility to help every member of our program feel safe, respected, and valued.

The organization will foster a safe environment that promotes inclusion and equitable learning environments with a heart for sensitivity, a head for critical thinking and a hand in change.

Position Information

  • Position Exempt – Salaried (52 weeks per year) Salary – $81,571–$108,761 annually commensurate with education and experience Supervised by Board of Directors’ Chairperson

Benefits Package

  • Paid Holidays, Vacation and Sick Leave Group Health/RX, Dental and Vision Insurance FREE Short- and Long-Term Disability and $50K* Life Insurance Free Employee Assistance Program Eligible for 403(b) Retirement Plan Contributions after 6 months of employment Optional Benefits available through AFLAC

This job description was last updated on 09/27/2022. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. This job description is subject to change at any time.

Because this position requires in person work and is work and is student and/or visitor facing complete vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (also known as COVID-19) is required.


Higher Horizons Head Start and Early Head Start is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. All employment decisions, including the recruiting, hiring, placement, training availability, promotion, compensation, evaluation, disciplinary actions, and termination of employment (if necessary) are made without regard to the employee’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, marital status, military veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


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