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Executive Director, Double Discovery Center

  • Requisition no: 518701
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: Columbia College
  • Grade: Grade 15
  • Categories: General Administration
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

The Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center (DDC) of Columbia University increases access to higher education for over 1,000 low-income and first-generation college-bound New York City youth in grades 7 through 12 annually through educational and enrichment activities as well as mentorship and tutoring opportunities with Columbia University students, staff and other volunteers. The Center is a department located within Columbia College and funded from a source of funds including government grants, corporate and foundation funding, institutional funds, and individual donors. DDC is home to two of the nation's TRIO programs, Talent Search and Upward Bound, with multi-year grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. The Center has a long and rich history in providing invaluable services and programs to the University’s neighboring communities.

The Executive Director reports to the Vice Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of Columbia College with regards to the operational management of the Center and has accountability to the Dean of Columbia College for the vision and strategy for DDC. The Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership, direction, coordination, and delivery of services to meet the educational and operational goals of The Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center's programs.



  • Develops strategic plans to set goals and direction for the Center. Implements specific goals, objectives, and work plans that are consistent with the Center’s mission and as set forth in funding proposals. Creates and oversees all program policies and procedures. Oversees the overall operation of the office.

  • Leads and supervises the staff of the Center, 12 full-time staff and holds overall responsibility for several hundred part-time staff and volunteers. Makes recommendations regarding departmental structure and staffing and oversees all human resources issues working closely with CCHR. Identifies the necessary training and professional development for staff.

  • Partners with the Center's Board of Friends to work on strategic planning and program development promoting DDC’s work and enhancing DDC’s mission through complementary Board initiatives.

  • Responsible for fundraising to support the financial needs of the current and future operations of the Center from government agencies, individuals, corporations, and foundations (currently almost $2 million). Works closely with the board to reformulate fundraising strategies and implement fundraising policies and procedures for the Center that are consistent with Columbia College and University policies and procedures.

  • Establishes, submits, monitors, and reports on the Center’s annual budget; including preparing budget documents and researching and analyzing financial issues. Develops robust knowledge of requirements from funders, especially operating parameters from the Department of Education for which the Executive Director serves as the PI (principal investigator), and is responsible for ensuring that the Center operates within these parameters and reports on the activities/uses of finances accordingly.

  • Selects techniques, methods, procedures and reports to continuously assess program efficacy and outcomes and develop innovative approaches to the Center's programs.      

  • Develops and maintains positive relations with community organizations, schools, and funding agencies. Serves as the Center’s liaison to the University and creates collaborative partnerships with College and University offices.

  • Leads the successful implementation of the rebranding and communications strategy developed by marketing consultants and funded by the Center’s Board of Friends. Responsible for overseeing the ongoing implementation and making recommendations for improving and enhancing approaches to convey DDC’s mission and story.

  • Performs other related duties

Minimum Qualifications

  • Advanced degree required. 

  • At least seven to nine years of progressive and substantive related experience, such as academic administration, counseling, curriculum development, or student affairs. Knowledge of the academic needs of low-income, first generation and underrepresented students necessary. 

  • Knowledge of college admissions, financial aid, and academic support processes required.

  • Previous experience in grant writing (preference for government grant experience) and fund raising required. Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills required. 

  • Demonstrated excellence in leadership and management necessary, with preference for experience leading a not-for-profit or educational organization.

**Applications received without a resume and cover letter will not be considered.**

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with New York City public schools and TRIO programs highly preferable.
  • Fluency in two or more languages desired.
  • Demonstrated excellence in leading a not-for-profit or educational organization preferred.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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