About The Organization

The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley uses innovative legal advocacy as a tool for social change. They work tirelessly to ensure that every person in this thriving region is granted the same rights and legal access. Every day, Law Foundation attorneys, social workers and advocates craft inventive solutions to the life-changing legal issues facing low-income people in Silicon Valley.

The Foundation’s mission is to advance the rights of historically marginalized individuals, families, and communities in our diverse community through legal services, strategic advocacy, and educational outreach.

Established nearly 50 years ago, today the team of 90 attorneys, social workers, and advocates, together with pro bono volunteers, find stable homes for abused and neglected children, help people living with chronic illnesses access the benefits they need to remain healthy and self-sufficient, provide low-income people access to safe and affordable housing and address a number of other critical issues including domestic violence, discrimination, human trafficking, mental health and more.

The Law Foundation serves over 10,000 individuals and families each year through three programs:

  • Housing Program – The Housing Program aims to prevent the displacement of low-income families and communities of color through direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.
  • Children & Youth Program (Legal Advocates for Children & Youth or LACY) – The Children & Youth Program advances the legal rights of children and youth, empowering them to lead healthy and productive lives. Program staff listen to, advise, and advocate for clients to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.
  • Health Program – The Health Program promotes access to and quality of health and behavioral health care services and delivery, addressing health disparities among low-income and underserved populations through direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.

Commitment to Low-Income Communities of Color

The Law Foundation has long advocated for solutions to broken systems that result in the application of racist policies in housing, health, education, criminal justice and more. In recent years, the Law Foundation has been reminded of just how deeply rooted racism is in all aspects of our lives. The Law Foundation recognizes that their response in this moment—to the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest unnecessary deaths of Black Americans—will have long-term implications on the health of our country. In recent years, the team has engaged in the following work – keeping families of color in their homes, helping people with disabilities access stimulus payments, upholding rights of foster children, and protecting people who are incarcerated from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.

To learn more about the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley visit their website.

The Opportunity

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will bring leadership to a growing and impactful nonprofit organization’s operations and systems. The COO will be responsible for ensuring effective administrative and reporting structures, and people systems for enhanced internal culture and programmatic impact.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the COO will manage 4 direct reports and four functional areas including human resources, finance, information technology, and operational systems. The COO will be a critical leader in strategic planning and implementation as well as reorienting internal processes and culture to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.

The COO’s specific areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:

Key Responsibilities

Internal Strategy and Effectiveness

The COO will work with the senior leadership team and CEO to create and refine effective organization strategies to advance priorities and tackle challenges. The COO will manage the design and implementation of operations that strengthen program service delivery. The COO will partner with program leaders to track internal operations metrics of the organization and advise the CEO on organization strategy and initiatives.

Executive Leadership

As a member of the senior leadership team, the COO will collaborate with the CEO and other senior leaders on major organizational decisions affecting strategy, staffing, budgets, and culture. Additionally, this position will play an important role in building new or evolved platforms of partnership and engagement with the Board of Directors to continue leveraging this important asset and further promote effective governance. The COO will manage the leaders of HR, Finance, IT, and Impact and Evaluation.

People and Culture Management

The COO will be responsible for sustaining a culture that supports a safe, healthy, inclusive, and equitable work environment for all staff at all levels of the organization. The COO will collaborate with other senior leaders and staff to advance and execute race equity and inclusion strategies and initiatives. The COO will serve as a bridge between senior leadership, union representatives, and staff throughout the organization and ensure regular and meaningful feedback loops from all internal stakeholders. This leader will navigate operational issues with a high emotional intelligence and strong equity lens.

Administrative and Operations Leadership

This leader will ensure the organization is providing quality human resources services across the organization including recruitment, talent management, union-relations, mentoring, and personnel policies. The COO will provide strategic oversight of internal technology infrastructure and systems and support to the IT director. The COO will also enrich operations and office policies and procedures, including security and safety procedures.

Financial Oversight

The COO will oversee the finance and accounting functions including monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements, as well as audit process. This person will also provide leadership to the annual budget and forecasting processes and ensure timely release of financial data to be share with the CEO, senior leaders, and board members. The COO will engage other senior leaders and staff to enhance finance systems for effective monitoring, analyzing, and reporting.

Ideal Candidate

The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley seeks an enthusiastic, collaborative, and empathetic leader looking to apply excellent organizational leadership to an impact-driven nonprofit that is advancing social justice in Silicon Valley’s historically marginalized communities through legal advocacy. The COO will be a seasoned leader who brings expertise in financial and strategic planning, effective human resources, inclusive and equitable people culture management, and clear and transparent organization systems, policies, and procedure development. With a management style that works with and through others, the COO facilitates lateral connections to streamline communication and encourage trust-building across the organization. This politically astute person is adaptive, engaging, and can inspire others to action.

The COO must bring strong organization development and change management expertise to the organization, working across all departments and program areas to strengthen the culture. This leader must possess high emotional intelligence along with the ability to identify and bridge gaps, connect dots where others might not always see them. The COO regularly engages with staff at all levels, senior management, and Board members. As such, candidates must successfully deploy a full range of communication skills adapted to these audiences, including exceptional listening, persuasive and effective written and verbal communication, and exceptional interpersonal and presentation skills.

The COO does not need to have experience in the legal advocacy space but must have a commitment to the mission and vision of the organization.

This position is based at the Law Foundation office in San Jose, California with the option to work a hybrid schedule.

Desired Qualifications

With the understanding that no one person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

Internal Strategy and Effectiveness

  • A visionary leader who collaborates with other senior team members to design strategies, lead effective teams, and create impact.
  • A track record in shepherding strategic plans and initiatives into action.
  • The ability to effectively build staff capacity to develop an exceptional team and workflow that ensures organizational efficiency and excellence.

Executive Leadership

  • Experience working directly with a CEO and other senior leaders to deliver solutions and measure success.
  • Experience managing complex projects and budgets, including the ability to use benchmarking and data metrics to drive organizational change and accountability.
  • Capacity to create and articulate clear objectives and measure progress in reaching them.
  • Proven people manager with strong track record coaching, empowering, and developing staff.

People and Culture Management

  • Strong diversity, equity, and inclusion analyses and commitments as well as experience successfully leading the integration of race equity and inclusion throughout organizational policies, practices, management, and culture.
  • Keen understanding of how to lead organizational change; empower people, influence colleagues and work across departments in a complex organization.
  • A thoughtful and patient leader who is diplomatic, honest, transparent, and brings joy to the workplace.

Administrative and Operations Leadership

  • Demonstrated commitment to growing an organization through strong operations and people development.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices employed in HR and office operations.
  • Experience collaborating with IT staff on strategic technology plans, systems, as well as cybersecurity.
  • A background in working with IT staff and other leaders to develop and/or enhance systems and integration of other software needed throughout the organization.

Financial Oversight

  • Strong business acumen and analytical skills with experience analyzing financial and operational data within a nonprofit organization.
  • Proven financial management skills and ability to provide oversight to budgeting, forecasting, and accounting systems.
  • Background in overseeing annual budgeting process organization-wide and with department heads.

Compensation and Benefits

The annual base salary for this role will be competitive and commensurate with successful candidate skills and experiences. The projected salary for this role is $175,000-190,000 with generous benefits, including:

  • 19 paid holidays per year
  • 3-5 weeks of vacation per year
  • 12 days of sick leave per year
  • Fully paid medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums
  • A robust Employee Assistance Program that includes free/discounted mental health therapy and wellness services for employees and their dependents
  • A 401(K)-retirement plan with employer contributions
  • A sabbatical after 5 years of employment
  • An annual budget for professional development
  • The option to work a hybrid schedule

To Be Considered

The Law Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer. We strongly encourage people of color, women, people living with disabilities, older people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to apply. It is the policy of the Law Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and to afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, pregnancy, medical condition or genetic information, veteran status, national origin, disability, marital or other protected status. The Law Foundation will conform to the spirit, as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.

Candidates from historically excluded communities including from different racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, persons living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community encouraged to apply.

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button. Letters may be addressed to Martens Roc.

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Martens Roc

Vice President




Melissa Merritt

Managing Director




Celene Haque

Engagement Manager



Chief Operating Officer- Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
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