Vice President of Technology
Title: Vice President of Technology
Reports to: SVP of Finance & Administration
FLSA Status: Exempt
Salary Range: TBD
Location: NYC or Oakland
Tentative Start Date: TBD
About Race Forward
Race Forward’s mission is to catalyze movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Race Forward imagines a just, multiracial democratic society free from oppression and exploitation, in which people of color thrive with power and purpose.
Since 1981, Race Forward has brought a systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. In 2017 Race Forward united with the Center for Social Inclusion to become the new Race Forward.
The person is passionate about our mission and to lead a powerhouse technology team tasked with restructuring, revamping, and running the organization’s technology infrastructure and web applications. They will build and advance the technological foundations to deliver on the organization’s goals and streamline its operations and systems. The person will manage a team including an IT manager, network engineer, and web developer. The person will also be responsible for understanding the organization’s goals, mission and priorities and work to ensure that technology is in alignment with and in support of these goals.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Strategy & Planning
- Bring the information technology operations in-house and grow the infrastructure to align with the organization’s needs
- Work closely with senior leadership to understand their teams’ needs and goals and provide the technical direction, guidance and solutions to meet them
- Lead partner/vendor RFPs to deliver on projects/programs such as website development, including redesigns and any consulting relationships dealing with technology
- A newly created position to build, lead, and grow the digital infrastructure of the organization.
- Research and introduce new technologies that would further streamline organizational goals to functional and executive teams.
- Understand the needs, strategies, and opportunities for a media company and interactive marketing.
- Embed racial equity analysis into operations work
- Technical Management
- Manage and monitor the performance of IT manager, Network Engineer, and Web Developer
- In-house technical expert to manage and mentor organization on technology best practices
- Oversee the development, maintenance and, monitoring of network systems, hardware, software and operating systems
- Lead the process of site architecture and requirements gathering, ensuring efficient, clean, and standardized code throughout the process, and application of architectural and functional specifications to projects, following known best practices. Work with external vendors and the in-house web developer to implement the process.
- Understand user requirements and usability metrics and oversee their implementation, set baselines and analyze for continuous optimization. Work closely with Audience Engagement specialist, Comms, and Colorlines (daily news site) team for implementation
- Oversee and work with external partner managing the Salesforce database
- Determine organizational requirements and needs
- Ensure compliance with laws and regulations
- Oversee the technological needs of Race Forward events, especially Facing Race (bi-annual conference).
- Strategize and guide organizational directives and best practices for tech environment
- Program Management
- Oversee programs from conception to completion ensuring that they are technically sound and resources are used efficiently.
- Prioritize and implement the redesign of organization web properties
- Work with the IT team to create in-house standards, including technical audits, system architecture, functional and technical requirements.
- Development and ongoing management of department budget, including purchase approvals, decision making, and overseeing vetting for organization-wide tools & solutions.
- Senior Level Management
- As a key member of the Senior Management Team, reports to Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and consults with executive and senior staff to set tech priorities for the organization.
- Manages three positions: IT Manager, Network Engineer, and Web Developer.
- Oversees and manages information technology, and website applications issues, including aligning of in-house systems.
- Oversee day to day IT Operations:
- Activities for such a resource include evaluating, researching, sourcing, capabilities analysis, turnaround times (Service Level Agreements–SLAs), quality of work, contract negotiation, managing relationships, project management, and periodic evaluation/testing of performance. While some of these activities are business administrative, they need to be coupled with technical knowledge in the following areas given that most of Race Forward’s IT services are outsourced.
- Network Administration Some understanding and/or experience with computer networks (LAN/VLAN/WAN) which includes knowledge of firewall, routers, performance monitoring, cybersecurity applications, and hardware such as Cisco, Dell, HPE, etc. Some to-light knowledge with ISP tiers and bandwidth optimization would also be recommended.
- Systems Administration Understanding and experience in managing various server configurations, hardware, and system performance. This would also include knowledge with monitoring software in keeping uptime, peak performance, and server security. Knowledge of cloud infrastructure, virtualization, and various server stacks would also be recommended. Familiarity with technologies from Google, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Amazon (AWS), etc. is strongly recommended and may be necessary.
- Desktop and user support Deep understanding of business and end-user requirements. Experience in this area is necessary to understand the operations, workflows, and service models to address break-fix solutions, user guidance and continuous 24/7 support (ideally). Proficiency with various operating software and other general programs required by Race Forward is crucial.
- Development Familiarity with coding (Procedural and Object-oriented programing), software development life cycle, database design, and digital best practices are needed to ensure any external vendors can properly be evaluated. Knowledge of Drupal and other content management systems is a requirement for Race Forward.
- Quality Assurance Understanding and experience with quality testing for IT systems and/or software is highly recommended. Assurance that any IT vendor is fulfilling contractual agreement is critical so knowledge with quality control is required to test any deliverables and/or services.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
To perform successfully in this role, the incumbent should possess the skills identified below:
- Strong understanding of Information Technology and Web Applications infrastructure, hardware, software and systems
- Self-starter ready to take ownership of a technical team and grow it to the next level
- Has actively led large-scale web projects defining scope and functionality.
- Excellent understanding of all aspects of information technology including network operations, configurations, hardware, software, and systems including web, mobile, and phone technology landscape
- Experience with multiple Content Management Systems’Drupal is a requirement.
- An understanding of a variety of programming languages and platforms’PHP, MySQL, HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, JQuery, key Drupal APIs
- Knowledge of APEX coding
- Program Management
- Ability to oversee multiple projects from inception to execution
- Wide breadth of experience using and planning web applications
- Has practical experience leading and working with distributed teams
- Actively planned, and estimated architecting complex web applications
- Strong written and oral presentation skills to a non-digitally fluent audience
- Understanding and overseeing of data and database management
- Experience with CRM database integrations and build-out
- Strategize and manage vendor relationships with tech support contractors.
- Inventory, identify and understand technology tools and systems already in place to advance organizational goals
- Experience working within a news media outlet and/or a non-profit organization a plus
Based in or near New York City or Oakland
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, information technology or related field
- 5-8 years of management experience leading an IT and/or web development team.
- 5+ years running an IT/engineering department.
This position requires long periods of time at a desk on a computer and may require time outside of normal business hours. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds of equipment and climb ladders. May require travel to either of the organization’s offices up to 25% of the time.
Race Forward provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
How to Apply
External Applicants: To apply for this position, please click the link below. To ensure full consideration, please be sure to include both a cover letter and resume with your application.