Job Posting

Mission First Housing Group, President and CEO

April 08, 2021
Location: Philadelpha, PA

In 1989, an innovative collaboration between 1260 Housing Development Corporation, The City of Philadelphia, HUD, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was formed to address the housing needs of adults living with chronic mental illness.  The collaboration’s initial success led to more housing development innovation and expansion throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

An initial staff of 10 has grown to 200 plus, who provide safe, affordable, sustainable homes to more than 5,500 people in over 3,800 units.  Residents now include families, grandparents raising grandchildren, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, chronically homeless people, seniors, and individuals with an array of disabilities.  The need for safe, quality, affordable housing and connections to social services is as critical as ever.

Despite unprecedented challenges created by COVID, Board leaders and staff committed to and executed a virtual and broadly inclusive strategic planning process in July 2020 and are poised to implement the key findings of the resulting Strategic Framework “Mission: Possible, Transforming for Sustainable Growth” which was adopted by the Board in March of 2021.  This process addressed both the internal operations and external relationships critical to strengthening Mission First for its fourth decade.

With the announcement of the current President & CEO’s departure, Mission First seeks to hire a new leader with energy, vision, and a passion for affordable housing.  This new leader will cultivate a more diverse and inclusive culture to drive Mission First forward through the growth of its existing assets as well as by strategically acquiring new assets in partnership with respected, innovative organizations.  The new CEO will possess exceptional business acumen and judgement, which will be demonstrated by choosing the right opportunities for Mission First while bypassing those opportunities which will not advance and strengthen its mission and financial position.  This individual will guide Mission First to a new period of excellence with a disciplined and rigorous approach to increasing its footprint, strengthening operational infrastructure, and delivering innovative, cross-disciplinary programs to deliver critical services to their residents.


Position Overview

The President & CEO, with governance from the Board of Directors and input from staff, will lead this mission-driven organization with vision, energy, and integrity.  He or she will ensure an equitable and inclusive workplace and will develop and nurture a culture of excellence, collaboration, and sustainability.  The CEO will encourage and lead new ways to do business and will engage employees in their professional development to ensure a pool of leadership talent into the future.

The CEO will clarify and oversee Mission First’s four business lines:

  • Property & Asset Management
  • Resident Services
  • Real Estate Development and Administration
  • Construction

Success will be achieved by strengthening and cultivating strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, including staff, community and faith-based organizations, social service providers, contractors, architects, engineers, attorneys, Banks, lenders, investors and CDFIs, local, state, and federal government business partners, affordable housing developers, housing finance agencies & other regulators, corporations, /businesses, individual donors, foundations, and vendors.

The new CEO will be directed by the Board-approved Strategic Framework – a newly developed blueprint for organizational success.  Implementation of the blueprint will result in a continuously developing team of talent, a culture of cohesion and collaboration, enhanced brand visibility, logistical excellence, and financial sustainability.  The President & CEO will oversee a combined annual budget of approximately $30M and 200 plus staff with responsibility for strategy and growth, fund development, operations and financial integrity, and sustainability. An overarching responsibility will be implementing the Board’s strategic vision and always seeking best practices to fulfill Mission First’s mission to provide housing to the most vulnerable.

Position Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Together with the Board of Directors and staff, oversee and implement the new Strategic Framework.
  • Grow a financially sustainable social enterprise delivering excellent customer service to internal/external customers and tenants while strengthening Mission First’s position in its Mid-Atlantic footprint.
  • Actively embrace best/evidence-based practices while developing an inclusive culture.
  • Create and implement strategic business plan to operationalize the organization’s vision in a financially sustainable way.

Fiscal/Fiduciary Management/Operations

  • Work closely with the Board and senior team in setting and achieving multi-year strategic financial plan targets.
  • In conjunction with the CFO, ensure full financial transparency by providing regular communication regarding strategic financial plans, budgets, and performance results to the Board.
  • Ensure the financial stability of overall operations through sound fiduciary stewardship.
  • Coordinate and oversee activities with professional advisors, including legal counsel, auditors, accountants, etc.

Resource Development

  • Oversee and work closely with the development team and all business units to continually identify, solicit, and increase critical funding from city, state, and federal funding streams.
  • Secure funding for new programs from individuals, foundations, real estate partners, and corporations.

 Board Governance

  • Keep members of the Board apprised of relevant topics affecting the organization; educate and collaborate continually.  
  • Ensure the proper functioning of all Board Committees.
  • Assist the Board in identifying and attracting new Board members.
  • Work closely with the Board Chair to provide a stimulating, meaningful experience for all Board members.

 External Relations/Communications

  • Act as primary point person for information and insight on local and national policies as they relate to affordable housing and vulnerable populations that transcend partisan politics.
  • Serve as spokesperson and liaison representing Mission First’s mission and work to the broader community.
  • Continually identify, build, nurture and promote opportunistic new ideas and partnerships.

Human Resources

  • Design and implement a Human Resources and Diversity department to ensure the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is clear and evident in all operations of Mission First.
  • Promote the development of an effective talent acquisition and retention strategy supporting the professional growth of employees and establishing Mission First as a ‘best place to work’ in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Motivate the executive management team and the organization through clear articulation of objectively attainable goals that challenge and engage them as individuals and as a team.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and meaningful and timely communication to all staff.
  • Perform annual evaluation of senior team to assess performance and ensure appropriate alignment with Mission First’s strategic and operational goals.

Critical Skills/Qualifications

  • Demonstrated passion for Mission First’s mission.
  • Strong interest in the issues, opportunities and challenges facing the organization, the affordable housing sector and the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Able to build, proactively nurture, and maintain networks of credible contacts and relationships.
  • Proven ability to “knit together” cross functional teams working in multiple locations in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Demonstrated ability to energize and mobilize stakeholders to create and implement a financially sustainable best practices model to advance the organization’s mission.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong relationship building skills, demonstrated with both external and internal stakeholders.
  • 10+ years of transformative leadership experience in a corporate setting or in a large non-profit environment.
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors. Strong skills in corporate governance.
  • 10+ years hands-on business management and direct outcome, bottom line results experience.
  • Ability to understand and work with diverse constituencies and multiple viewpoints.
  • Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred. Technology proficient.
  • Engaging, inspiring, opportunistic, high emotional intelligence, collaborative, creative style with strong business acumen.
  • Forward thinking with an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Empathic and focused problem-solver with a sense of humor.


Occasional travel outside of the Mid-Atlantic region (PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, and DC).


Competitive salary and benefits package


Mission First values diversity, equity and inclusion and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.