EMPath is a proven poverty disruptor. A national non-profit that dramatically improves the lives of people experiencing poverty, EMPath has pioneered a mentoring model that is rooted in brain science and trauma research. Because creating economic opportunity is multifaceted, EMPath’s approach is too. EMPath offers direct service to 1,400 participants in Boston each year, hosts a learning exchange that invites organizations nationally to share in this approach, conducts research on the outcomes of the tools and approaches used nationally, and advocates for systemic change.
EMPath’s model, called Mobility Mentoring™, helps people problem solve and plan for the future when living with intense trauma and stress. Mobility Mentors coach participants in goal setting for all the important parts of life: health, family, career, finances, and education, and then closely monitor achievements. Unlike traditional case management, this approach uses the science of human behavior to create better outcomes for people in need of services and people providing them. And the proof for Mobility Mentoring® is in the results: in just one of its metrics of success, graduates of EMPath’s program Career Family Opportunity achieved a 183% increase in annual income within five years.
EMPath’s local work: In the greater Boston area, EMPath serves families grappling with economic insecurity and the challenges that come with it. It runs Hastings House in Brighton, an emergency congregate shelter that accommodates 58 families – mothers and children; Horizons, an emergency shelter in Mattapan for eight families that helps participants successfully transition into permanent housing; the Hosmer Co-Shelter program in Mattapan that consists of three multi-unit apartment buildings for 34 single moms and their child in 17 units; and scattered sites and programming throughout Greater Boston designed to help participants establish their new homes and build economically stable and secure lives.
EMPath’s national work: EMPath shares its learning and tools with others nationally and internationally who work directly with families struggling to get by. With the Economic Mobility Exchange™, a learning community of more than 150 paying members, EMPath offers training and a network to share practices for continuous improvement. Its members include publicly and privately funded non-profits, human service agencies, educational institutions, and more: the common thread is a commitment to moving people out of poverty for good.
Five significant national partnerships are underway to serve large numbers of individuals and families using Mobility Mentoring and, using preeminent university partners, to rigorously study the results and learn how to scale its implementation: in Boston Public Housing, Washington State early childcare system, Texas’ largest health care system, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services, and members of Children’s Home Society of America.
EMPath’s systemic change work: EMPath is constantly refining its practice through evaluation and the translation of the latest research into action. It advocates for taking what works to scale, for current economic justice legislation locally, and as part of coalitions that share its policy priorities.
The EMPath administrative office is in downtown Boston. It employs 120 staff, many long-standing; the staff retention rate is currently 93%. EMPath is governed by a 20-member board of directors; the President and CEO is a member of the board. The annual operating budget is approximately $15M and EMPath is in a strong financial position. Tremendous inroads with funding have been laid for the first research phase of the recently completed strategic plan.
EMPath (Economic Mobility Pathways) is looking to hire a visionary, highly credible, and experienced President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will have the opportunity to bring big picture thinking to disrupting poverty locally, nationally, and internationally. Leveraging a reputable, cutting-edge organization with a strong foundation built by retiring CEO Elisabeth Babcock, the next leader will scale its success and deepen and broaden the impact EMPath has on the lives of people struggling to make ends meet.
Key roles and responsibilities
EMPath plays a pivotal role in learning and sharing knowledge about what it takes for people to make the journey out of poverty and climb the economic ladder. This is an exciting time for the organization. Its direct services are of high quality; staff are well trained and highly engaged in this uniquely bundled approach, and research funding is in place and funding relationships are strong. EMPath is on a national and international stage and at important funding and policy tables and robust academic, funder, and service provider partnerships are in place. Finally, EMPath has one-of-a-kind, research-backed tools to mentor individuals and families.
EMPath’s next CEO has all of this to leverage. Expectations are that the new leader will:
- Bring and develop a vision for EMPath’s future and new, innovative ideas for additional ways to end poverty through direct service, policy, and systemic change.
- Raise the funds necessary for bold approaches to achieving organizational goals, including bringing the results to scale in phase two of the strategic plan and the ongoing need for operational funding.
- Build additional partners for broader service delivery and deeper testing of the tools and approaches.
- Scale the access to platforms that will increase understanding of the research-proven approaches that work to help people experiencing poverty achieve a secure financial future.
- Assure that direct service delivery is of the highest quality based on tested outcomes, and participant engagement and satisfaction.
- Lead an organization that provides a quality workplace and is deeply committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Experience and skills
The Ideal Candidate
While we recognize that candidates will not possess all the following qualities, ideal applicants will exemplify a number of these attributes, skills, and experiences and will have the capability to oversee an organization of EMPath’s size and scope:
A Visionary and Strategic Executive
- Progressive leadership experience in the human service, policy, advocacy, or related fields
- Been at the forefront of addressing societal issues related to economic mobility
- Proven success in bringing new ideas and bold thinking to an organization or problem
- Demonstrated ability to lead and execute a strategic organizational vision and plan
- Skilled at championing a vision to leverage funding, partnerships, and public awareness
- Appreciates, understands, and is enthusiastic about research
- Demonstrated success in integrating social justice and equity principles into overall organizational strategy
A Powerful Communicator
- Charisma and gravitas to lead a preeminent human service, research, and advocacy organization, engendering the respect, rapport, and credibility of peers, funders, and policymakers
- A track record of successful fundraising across all areas of development and a network of funding resources
- A public spokesperson committed to raising EMPath’s profile across a range of communications channels, with strong oral, written, and storytelling skills
- Politically savvy and able to navigate in complex political, academic, and social environments
A Seasoned Organizational Leader
- Business acumen in operations, management, and governance leadership at an organization of EMPath’s scale
- Agile and entrepreneurial, and thrives in an environment of change
- A planner driven by the power of data
- Decisive and highly developed risk management capabilities, with the courage to act on opportunities
An Authentic and Engaging Leader
- Passion for and commitment to the mission of EMPath and the participants it serves and represents
- Is warm, humble, and accessible with the aptitude to motivate, coach, appreciate, and respect staff
- A confidence builder across a diverse group of stakeholders
- Partner to the Board of Directors to expand its impact on behalf of the organization
- Proven champion of racial and social equity and committed to developing a welcoming, collaborative, diverse, and inclusive work culture and climate
- A minimum of 10 years of senior leadership or equivalent experience
- Advanced education relevant to this position