Coleridge Initiative

Chief Executive Officer at The Coleridge Initiative

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Website The Coleridge Initiative, Inc.

An Exceptional Opportunity

Imagine what we could achieve if all our data were put to work for good.

At a time when data are driving an ever more powerful and profitable private sector, government continues to operate using systems designed to answer mid-20th century questions, and to allocate resources accordingly. The consequences for our economy and communities could not be more profound. Together with a growing number of federal, state, and other agency partners, the Coleridge Initiative is changing the way public data in the United States are developed, delivered, and used.

The Initiative’s board of directors now seeks a chief executive to lead the organization in its efforts to become the nation’s most trusted partner for managing government data, and to represent its mission to transform the use of data for public good.

This is an exceptional opportunity for a thoughtful and accomplished public  or private sector executive to join and direct this high-stakes, high-performance organization in realizing its considerable potential for growth, and for achieving impact at scale. The CEO will lead the Initiative and develop its capacity and influence with the support of a dedicated and sophisticated professional staff, an active board of directors, and the Initiative’s founder and outgoing CEO, Julia Lane.

Role and Responsibilities

The CEO will provide effective leadership and management for the Initiative as a whole, and deliver on  responsibilities across three primary organizational domains: strategy, status, and culture:


  1. Partner with the board, including the Initiative’s founder and outgoing CEO, to assure ongoing strategic and operational alignment with organizational mission and vision;
  2. Manage and develop both board and executive team; encourage and ensure their engagement with, and ownership of, the Initiative’s strategic direction and goals;
  3. Provide direction and guidance for a strategic planning and organizational design process that will set terms and create conditions for significant operational and mission-directed growth over the next 3-5 years (currently under way).


  1. Build and sustain productive relationships, partnerships, and alliances with decision-makers in federal, state, and local government, in the academy, in the private sector, and in communities, to enhance the Initiative’s reputation, influence, and effectiveness;
  2. Build and sustain productive relationships with high value investors, donors, grantmakers and contractors; play an active role in securing funding for the Initiative’s core capacity and priority initiatives;
  3. Regularly promote the Initiative’s agenda, strategic priorities, and data philosophy through multiple platforms and channels, such as public appearances, keynote and panel presentations, opinion pieces, and social media.


  1. Sustain and enhance the Initiative’s leadership capacity and performance, by developing staff and board leadership expectations, capabilities, and opportunities;
  2. Foster a principled performance culture throughout the organization: one that is true to the Initiative’s orientation for democracy and social good, and is characterised by collaboration, shared ambition, and shared credit;
  3. Model and promote a culture of integrity, trust, and collaboration, wherein everyone has a role and shares an interest in contributing to positive and productive relationships both inside the organization and with its valued constituents and partners.


The Initiative’s board of directors is especially interested in candidates with the following domain-associated qualifications


Significant experience

  1. Managing and developing non-profit boards, preferably in research, academic, or field-building contexts;
  2. Leading organizations or major programs through periods of rapid and significant growth and change (eg, 3X over 5 years);
  3. Mobilizing board and staff engagement to sustain mission and strategy alignment and focus over time.

Some experience

  1. Working in startup or entrepreneurial environments.


Significant experience

  1. Participating in and contributing to the national, or international, conversation about data philosophy, politics, or economics;
  2. Creating partnerships and otherwise building productive working relationships with decision-makers in both public and private sectors, including academics, officials in the US federal government;
  3. Securing philanthropic and non-philanthropic funding;
  4. Public speaking, publishing, and media engagement, preferably including
    social media.

Some experience

  1. Working with, or within, an institution that develops, maintains, and deploys large data sets, such as a US statistical or programmatic agency, a think tank, or a publicly traded information technology corporation.


Significant experience

  1. Demonstrating, cultivating, and rewarding leadership behaviour, including collaboration, inclusion, and initiative;
  2. Managing executives and teams for performance outcomes;
  3. Building meaningful staff and board ownership in organizational success.

Some experience

  1. Developing or contributing to policies and practices that advance diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Position Detail

Reporting: The CEO reports to the Coleridge Initiative’s board of directors. Currently, the CEO manages three positions: COO, CTO/CISO, and Director of Training and Outreach.

Location: Coleridge Initiative is a virtual and networked organization. The CEO may be based out of any location in the United States.

Compensation: The salary for this position is $375,000.The Coleridge Initiative offers a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance; paid vacation, personal days, and holidays; family leave; and a 403(b) plan.

About the Coleridge Initiative

The Coleridge Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that incorporated in 2020 after several years in operation as a collaboration among the University of Chicago, University of Maryland, and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress.

The Initiative is at the forefront of transforming the empirical foundation of social science, statistical and public agencies in the United States, and their understanding of how our society works.

The Coleridge Initiative works together with government agencies to overcome  bureaucratic barriers around confidential data, in order to promote more effective use  of data for public decision-making. By building new technologies for its secure computational research platform, the Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF), the Initiative promotes responsible access, discovery, and application of sensitive and confidential microdata. The Initiative combines these technologies with training programs and consulting services to build governmental agency capacity to serve society. Its leaders and staff have already created dozens of pilot projects, worked with over 100 federal, state, and local agencies, and trained over 500 agency staff.

In FY2020, the Initiative generated a total of $10M in cash and new commitments from training and consulting services, grants, and contracts, toward a total budget of $3M. Its budget for 2021 is $7M.  The Coleridge Initiative enjoys and values strong and growing partnerships with a variety of leading public and private sector funders and supporters, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the US Departments of Labor and of Health and Human Services.

The Initiative currently employs a staff of 25 professionals working together from locations throughout the United States and in Singapore, South Korea, Chile, and Brazil.

How to Apply

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or protected veteran status. The Coleridge Initiative is deeply interested in building an inclusive, diverse team.

The Coleridge Initiative has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this search. In order to apply, please submit a CV and thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest and addresses your relevant qualifications.

Please refrain from contacting The Coleridge Initiative directly. All inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Schaffer&Combs is a full-service organizational consultancy that helps purpose-driven companies and nonprofits accelerate their positive social and environmental impact— by working collaboratively to effect change from the inside out. Schaffer&Combs is proud to use business as a force for good, and is a certified B Corporation.

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