Chief Operations Officer

RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)
October 9, 2019
San Antonio, Texas
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


RAICES is a fast-growing non-profit immigration legal services provider and advocacy organization seeking a COO to build and lead an Operations team that will increase our ability to deliver impact. The COO will report to the CEO and be part of a collegial leadership team. The position focuses on executing RAICES' mission and strategy while ensuring the efficiency of normal business operations. The ideal applicant is an experienced leader with a passion for supporting the rights of immigrants. You should have experience in not only managing operations, but also putting together a top-notch team to help you drive the department.

Responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a sparring partner for the CEO as well as a strategic advisor for program activities
  • Take a strategic view for RAICES and prioritize for the future, maintaining a trajectory of growth in often-turbulent political environment
  • Work closely with other members of the leadership team and facilitate communication within the group and the greater organization
  • Set and drive the agenda for leadership team meetings
  • Set performance goals (e.g. revenue projection, program growth) and track KPIs, constantly evaluating opportunities to improve impact
  • Proactively identify cost savings projects especially admin spend through standardization and optimization, working with relevant departments through execution
  • Maintain balance between structured, ongoing tasks and planning for 'unknown' operations
  • Work closely with CFO for budgeting with focus on proactive strategic planning
  • Work closely with CDO for grant processes with focus on vetting grant opportunities and coordinating application

Ideal candidate skills and qualities

  • Bachelors or master's degree in business or related field
  • Background in, or familiarity with, non-profit organizations
  • 5+ years' experience in a leadership position (COO or relevant role)
  • Strong leadership and excellent people skills
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, proactive and a can-do approach coupled with a drive to build the organization
  • Strategic mindset with understanding of business functions and ability to work as a sparring partner with the CEO and the leadership team
  • Outstanding verbal and written skills in small and large group settings, in person and over conference calls
  • Experience shaping a department, translating tasks into roles and identifying relevant applicants

What we can offer

  • A purpose driven organization characterized by passion and ambition to improve the conditions for immigrants
  • Meaningful chance to make a difference to society by advocating for immigrant rights
  • Exciting opportunity to impact RAICES by becoming an integral part of the leadership team, working closely with the CEO and forming the Operations department
  • A fast-paced environment with high growth—and room (and expectation) for everyone to contribute
  • Attractive compensation and benefits package


Over the past 2 years, RAICES has been on an incredible growth journey from around 80 to over 200 people providing services and support for immigrants across Texas and beyond. We operate in a fast-changing political environment and recently we have developed from providing primarily legal services into a human rights organization. Based on the tremendous growth, we are now establishing an Operations department to play a crucial role in leading the organization to operate more efficiently and effectively to pursue our strategy. The COO position has the unique opportunity to shape the new department and make an impact that enables RAICES' mission to defend, empower and advocate for the rights of immigrants.


With 10 locations operating across Texas (and beyond), the Operations department provides structure and coordination among all departments and programs to ensure efficiency and maximum impact. It is comprised of three subunits that cover different operational needs and future development: daily operations, special operations, and RAICES labs. Daily operations focuses on facilities and infrastructure management, front desk support, process standardization/quality assurance and cross-departmental coordination. Operations also plays a key support role for escalated situations and beneficial opportunities through ad hoc special operations by setting protocol, providing staffing assistance and logistics on the ground, ensuring cross-program follow up and providing post-response support. Outside of regular and ad hoc activities, RAICES labs is committed to actively driving organizational strategy with the leadership team by pushing strategic initiatives and prioritizing and managing projects; at the same time, growth is ensured through continuous implementation and tracking support.

The specific structure of the department is to be developed in conjunction with the new COO to cover the below responsibilities related to the three main Operations functions:

Daily operations

  • In partnership with programs, oversee front desk function including coordination of receptionists, office supply ordering and bookings
  • Manage current facilities including maintenance, furnishing, and consulting with digital department
  • Manage vendors, including pursuing consulting with on commercial partnerships with Development for scale efficiency where possible
  • Forecast future needs for real estate in terms of space, location and staff needs
  • Create process excellence for e.g. new hire onboarding, case process, and other proactively identified
  • opportunities
  • Create collaboration and communication models for departments and programs
  • Set up safety plans for all offices
  • Monitor compliance of 501c3/c4 activities, including following the election calendar requirements for correct reporting and filing

Special operations

  • Build and oversee hotline operations
  • Structure emergency response definition and protocols
  • Manage cross-departmental processes for emergency response
  • Develop and manage partnerships to continuously improve response speed and efficiency
  • Provide staff resourcing expertise
  • In partnership with the leadership team, develop proactive strategies for “on-call” staff and volunteers for special operations
  • Coordination of caretaking for responders
  • Follow up on cross-department referrals


  • Sparring partner for the CEO and leadership team for setting and pursuing strategic direction
  • Partner with the Finance department to conduct cost benefit analyses for new projects to guide resource allocation
  • Provide project management support, including implementation, tracking and reporting for 12 strategic initiatives as well as new projects as judged beneficial
  • Monitor and report on key activities, tracking and progress reporting
  • Responsibility for the annual report

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