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at Arizona State University

Posted: 11/12/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 56898BR

Job Description

Executive Director
Arizona State Unuversity
College of Pub Srv & Comm Sol
Campus: Downtown Phoenix

Salary Range:
To be determined

Close Date:

Job Description:
Watts College is seeking a passionate and entrepreneurial Executive Director to lead the Homelessness Action Nexus. The Executive Director will be a visionary, dynamic leader who can grow and lead the Nexus work, facilitate the collective success of this regional effort, and serve as a public ambassador for the initiative. More specifically, the Executive Director will drive the Nexus’s internal and external functions, including strategy, communications, community engagement, and data functions. The Executive Director will be accountable for nurturing the efficiency and effectiveness of Nexus initiatives, providing high-level strategic thinking and facilitation.The Executive Director will be employed by ASU, and will lead a small team of dedicated staff, also employed by ASU. Initially, the Executive Director will oversee a Project Manager dedicated to supporting the Human Services Campus. It is expected the Executive Director will grow the team. This position will report to the Dean of the ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Homelessness in the greater Phoenix area, and especially in the downtown district, has risen to a critical level in the last year. Despite many governmental and nonprofit organizations deploying resources to address the issue, the challenge remains undiminished. Among service providers, government agencies and businesses leaders, there is consensus that more needs to be done — in a coordinated fashion — to address homelessness in Maricopa County, lest we go the way of West Coast cities overwhelmed by the challenge.

There are currently numerous councils, committees and task forces whose mission is to share information, discuss potential solutions and plan joint effort. However, member agencies’ scarce resources are devoted to the complex work of serving the homeless on a day-to-day basis. Improvements in the state of homelessness in Maricopa County demand a dramatic boost to system capacity.

Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is a trusted, proven and highly capable entity to serve as a third-party coordination backbone in this area. Watts College has a proven history of engagement in combating homelessness — and the many factors that contribute to it — through its academic, public service and research agenda.
The Homelessness Action Nexus is a new, dedicated unit of Watts College driving innovation and supporting coordinated action to generate system solutions and improved services to address homelessness in Maricopa County.

The Nexus will serve as a neutral “backbone organization” — linking and aligning the system, tasked with aligning systems and services, providing the critically needed resources to bridge the siloed systems that serve people experiencing homelessness, driving region-wide strategy, and providing training to boost the quality of service provision. Most importantly, the Nexus will drive action, transforming current efforts at coordination into comprehensive implementation, by harnessing the resources of Watts College and ASU to develop and implement solutions.

A priority initiative of the Nexus is to support the Human Services Campus, Inc. (HSC), and its partners, to advance the campus as the keystone of a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to homelessness in the region

Essential Duties:

  • Develop strategy and influence stakeholders, partner agencies to achieve aligned, strategic investment of time and resources that will advance a coordinated, systemic approach to solving the homelessness challenge.
  • Represent Homelessness Action Nexus in public forums/meetings
  • Develop profile of Homelessness Action Nexus within ASU and externally, as leader and coordinator ASU efforts related to homelessness
  • Provide regular reports on progress against goals and indicators
  • Oversee development of regional strategies that will drive transformative change in the region and advance Nexus objectives, including convening funders and government agencies to align policies and contract requirements related to service quality and performance, including training requirements, and develop with stakeholders a comprehensive set of professional learning offerings to drive quality improvement; developing multi-agency/multi-sector data infrastructure to support coordinated, evidence-based decision-making and service development
  • In concert with relevant workgroups, develop annual legislative agenda, advocacy priorities, policy and funding recommendations
  • Maintain understanding of implementation challenges and develop comprehensive solutions to address them
  • Maintain a full understanding of the current landscape of local and regional activities
  • Build relationships across ASU colleges and units, and a working understanding of university operations, to facilitate the application of ASU’s various capacities to solutions
  • Coordinate and drive ASU-involved research – including data analysis, evaluation, and demonstration projects – and development and implementation of applied solutions
  • Coordinate initiatives within ASU and with community partners, including managing major projects.
  • Build Nexus’s identity as a respected, neutral convener among a broad spectrum of local stakeholders
  • Cultivate excellent working relationships with senior and community leaders involved in homelessness and related effort, identify and recruit additional cross-sector stakeholders to participate in the work
  • Support collective impact meetings with facilitation and secretariat support, assisting in preparation of meeting materials, and following up meeting actions
  • Build and maintain relationships with agencies working in homelessness and related systems.
  • With ASU and community partners, develop comprehensive evaluation strategy
  • Create or manage the creation of quarterly and yearly progress reports for Board of Directors and external audiences
  • Identify potential funding sources and writing grant applications to support Nexus goals and priorities
  • Track all Nexus funding, including funds from partner organizations
  • Develop relationships with potential funders and participate in relevant networks
  • Communicate objectives of Homelessness Action Nexus to community and potential partners
  • Facilitate communication between Nexus partners and agencies by hosting regular conference calls, in-person meetings, or coordinating regular email updates to ensure alignment of activity
  • Communicate progress and results of Nexus projects to internal and external audience.
  • Develop, coach and mentor Nexus team members
  • Establish, facilitate, and execute effective and open communication with staff, particularly related to internal decisions and strategy
  • Develop systems to share organizational decisions with Watts College leadership, and the HSC Board of Directors and staff members
  • Identify capacity gaps and create hiring plans that acknowledge and plan for possible organizational growth and shrinking
  • Monitor and report on operational issues, opportunities, and achievements within agreed formats and timelines; and Identify improvements in use of data-driven decision-making, ensure that data are collected, integrated, communicated effectively

Minimum Qualifications:
Masters degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment, and eight (8) years of related administrative experience which includes five (5) years of supervisory experience; OR, any equivalent combination of education and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved.

Desired Qualifications:
Evidence of a Master's degree in a related field;
Familiarity with Maricopa County homelessness services;
Evidence of being multi-lingual preferred;
Fundraising experience and demonstrated success in cultivating funder relationships;
Experience in using strategy and planning skills, including an ability to think strategically on both organizational and systemic levels over multi-year horizons;
Strong data acumen and ability to oversee complex shared-measurement systems;
Experience in using facilitation and presentation skills before multiple types of audiences;
Experience with complex project management and stakeholder management;
Evidence of existing relationships with, or ability to build relationships with, a cross-sector range of stakeholders in the local or regional area, including senior executives;
Experience in leading, inspiring, and developing high-performance teams;
Evidence of effective communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build authentic relationships with a diverse set of high profile stakeholders; andComfort with ambiguity and ability to thrive in a fluid, entrepreneurial

Working Environment:
Activities are performed in an environmentally controlled office setting subject to extended periods of sitting, keyboarding and manipulating a computer mouse
Required to stand for varying lengths of time and walk moderate distances to perform work
Frequent bending, reaching, lifting, pushing and pulling up to 25 pounds
Regular activities require ability to quickly change priorities, which may include and/or are subject to resolution of conflicts
Clearly communicate to perform essential functions

Department Statement:
The Watts College of Public Service embraces students and faculty dedicated to rigorous education and research in the service of social and economic change. Areas of expertise include: improving the quality of life for individuals and families from all backgrounds; innovative approaches to public management; and nonprofit leadership and organizational effectiveness. We partner with those intent on addressing critical social issues and are confident that Phoenix and the State of Arizona can be exemplars for the future.

Watts College has a proven history of engagement in combating homelessness — and the many factors that contribute to it — through its academic, public service and research agenda.

The Homelessness Action Nexus is a new, dedicated unit of Watts College driving innovation and supporting coordinated action to generate system solutions and improved services to address homelessness in Maricopa County
Background Check Statement:
ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses, and certifications. Employment is contingent upon successful passing of the background check.

Fingerprint Check Statement:
This position is considered safety/security sensitive and will include a fingerprint check. Employment is contingent upon successful passing of the fingerprint check.

ASU Statement:
Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 90,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation's fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

Instructions to Apply:
Application deadline is 3:00PM Arizona time on the date indicated.


Complete the required information and attach a single Word or PDF document, which includes:
1. Cover letter
2. Resume
3. Three professional references (names, addresses, and phone numbers.)

Please include all employment information in month/year format (e.g., 6/88 to 8/94), job title, job duties and name of employer for each position.

Resume should clearly illustrate how prior knowledge and experience meets the Minimum and Desired qualifications of this position.

ASU does not pay for travel expenses associated with interviews, unless otherwise indicated.

To apply please go to:

Application Instructions

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