Chief Operating Officer

The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh


Website AmazingKidsPGH The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh

The Organization

Founded in 1902, The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is an independent, nonprofit, licensed organization in southwestern Pennsylvania. They are the region’s leading center for serving children with complex needs through extensive outpatient physical and behavioral health therapy services; education of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities through Education Services; and family placement and preservation/reunification and enrichment services through Family Support Services. During 2019 alone, services were provided to more than 9,000 children and families.


To Heal. To Teach. To Empower. To Amaze.


We seek to be the lifelong partner to individuals with a disability and their families. We will position our services to reach more individuals with an array of exceptional services that cross the lifespan, advance the models of care, and establish our organization as an influential voice regarding the subjects of disability, education, family support services and behavioral health.

For over one hundred years, as the needs of the community have changed, The Children’s Institute has changed its programs and services in response. However, The Children’s Institute remains focused on a singular goal: improving the health and quality of life for larger numbers of individuals with special needs and their families. In its quest to achieve this goal, The Children’s Institute has played a key role – locally, nationally and internationally – in expanding knowledge and developing innovative therapies and technologies to benefit students, patients, and clients everywhere. For more than a century, kids coming to The Children’s Institute have been experiencing amazing differences.

Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, The Children’s Institute has proven nimble and capable of meeting the needs of its patients and their families while integrating new technologies and policies to ensure quality services can still be delivered.

Additional information about The Children’s Institute can be found here –

Position Overview

The Children’s Institute seeks a Chief Operating Officer (COO) who will articulate and implement the strategic vision while ensuring programmatic excellence and efficiency.

An essential member of the leadership team, the successful candidate will be accountable for providing leadership and management of daily program operations of The Children’s Institute. The COO is responsible for the continuous development, implementation, and oversight of The Children’s Institute’s programs in terms of process, enhancement, financial success, and efficiency. By providing oversight and direction of all programs in an effective, integrated process to maximize program efficiency, the COO will maintain a culture of positivity, growth, and accountability.

The COO will be a strategic manager, able to balance the organization’s mission and strategies while overseeing operational and managerial needs. In collaboration with the president & CEO and the leadership team, the successful candidate will pursue a strategic vision for the organization that focuses on growth and meeting community needs; oversee implementation of the strategic plan in close coordination with the senior leadership team and the board of directors, build new partnerships to grow and sustain the organization, and provide oversight to programmatic areas that supports growth.

The COO is primarily responsible for the following:

Leadership and Organization Management

  • Assures the Children’s Institute effectively achieves its mission by providing leadership to the team. This includes day-to-day operations, staff supervision, and strategic planning.
  • Provides oversight for programmatic areas, including policies and procedures required for the provision of excellent service delivery models. Drives programs to incorporate best practices and evidence-based models of service delivery.
  • Evaluates departmental and program needs and makes recommendations for budget, staffing, equipment, space, and other needs in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Participates in plans for marketing of programs and services, managing growth in areas defined in the strategic plan, and fostering positive referral relationships.
  • Responsible to seek out areas of opportunity that will create new programs or add to existing programs including the ability to network with external sources to develop mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Maintains a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field and recommends improvements in line with recommended practices.
  • Has primary responsibility for organizational metrics and outcome measures. These include DEI metrics, quality metrics, and programmatic outcomes.
  • Manages staff with kindness and integrity. This includes creating a workplace that is positive and respectful and one where professional growth opportunities are plentiful.

Strategic Planning

  • With the CEO, has responsibility for implementation of the strategic plan and monitoring progress against established timelines and metrics.
  • Responsible for communicating strategy and policy to employees so that they are engaged in the organization and understand their critical role to our success. Fosters employee alignment with organizational goals.

Community Outreach and Engagement

  • Assists the CEO in identifying partner organizations, potential M&A targets, and other strategic partnership opportunities in order to expand and extend services and operations.
  • Represents The Children’s Institute in the community and positively and professionally promotes the organization through speaking engagements, media events, and special events as necessary.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Children’s Institute seeks a leader with a deep compassion and pride for the work The Children’s Institute provides to its community. This position requires a confident, emotionally intelligent, forward-focused leader who has significant history and demonstrated experience in innovation and program development, project management, and ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders. A breadth of experience in healthcare, social services, autism services, and educational programming will be instrumental to this position.

The successful candidate will be a nimble, entrepreneurial operator and leader with a deep passion for providing high-quality programs and care. They must be motivated by change and have a track record of implementing systems, organizational structures, and processes to achieve organizational goals. An active listener with a vested interest in team building, the new COO will lead with grace and foster a positive work environment that excites and motivates staff to serve.

Demonstrable experience, competencies, and qualifications include:

  • Passion for and commitment to The Children’s Institute mission and vision as well as the community served.
  • Educational background aligned with the requirements of the position.
  • Deep experience with program development, oversight and evaluation.
  • Progressive leadership development in a career that demonstrates administrative leadership experience with programs and operating results as a primary responsibility.
  • Prior experience in strategic planning and execution.
  • Ability to develop, analyze and speak to business performance and metrics.
  • Superior analytical and problem-solving capabilities; a rock in the storm who doesn’t get thrown by unexpected challenges.
  • Adept at building effective teams and motivating others to achieve more, particularly in complex and dynamic organizations. Working style that is accountable, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Strong cultural competency with deep experience working with diverse populations.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

Performance Objectives

In the near term, the new COO will continue to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing the following in the first 6-12 months:

  • Knowledge of all programmatic and operational functions of The Children’s Institute.
  • Understanding of strategic goals and progress towards completion.

Work Environment

The COO of the Children’s Institute will be offered the opportunity to work in a hybrid model of office/remote work.


This position offers a competitive salary in the $170,000 – $185,000 range and a progressive benefits package.

DEI Imperative

The Children’s Institute seeks to recruit candidates for employment that represent our diverse community in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and ability. Inclusive and equitable in our recruitment and retention practices, we are dedicated to uplifting diverse opinions and backgrounds in order to grow and evolve as a welcoming workplace for all.

How to Apply

The Children’s Institute has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact The Children’s Institute.

Resume, position-specific cover letter, and salary expectations can be uploaded here: 

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 5PM on December 17, 2021

To apply for this job please visit