The Arc of the United States

Senior Executive Officer (SEO), Chapters and Community

Washington DC US

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Job Description

Position Summary:

The Senior Executive Officer (SEO), Chapters and Community will help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to be included in their communities throughout their lifetimes by expanding, supporting and sustaining The Arc’s network of chapters, state organizing, and advocacy and community partnerships. The SEO serves as a key leader of the organization, mentoring senior leaders and staff, advising the CEO and serving on the Management Team and representing The Arc to our constituents and external stakeholders. The SEO will manage the State Office Directors (currently DC, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Rhode Island) and chapter relations and community engagement team members, who build and deliver high-quality programs for people with IDD and their families while assuring that the governance and management of chapters of The Arc are effective, responsive, well-managed and sustainable.  

The ideal candidate will possess extensive experience advocating for and working to improve the lives of those with IDD and their families, with excellent relationship management, decision making and leadership skills. They will be a flexible and enthusiastic team player with exceptional interpersonal and communications skills. In-depth knowledge of membership-based organizations is essential.

The SEO will work closely with other professional staff of The Arc’s national headquarters, as well as with board members, executives, and staff from The Arc’s nationwide network of chapters, to develop unique strategies that support our organization’s longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting the civil rights of people with IDD. This is a newly created position that reports directly to the CEO of The Arc and is a member of the Management Team.

Job Responsibilities:

The main responsibilities of the SEO Chapters and Community fall into four equally important categories: Leadership and Management, Chapter Relations, Programs and Services, State Chapter Organizing and Advocacy, and Community Partnerships.

Leadership and Management

  • Work closely with management team in short- and long-term strategic and operational planning to help implement the organization’s Strategic Plan with a particular focus on strategy four “Extend Our Reach”.
  • Serve as the senior leader responsible for facilitating the development of strategies and tactics, and supporting and participating in the implementation of the functions of the Chapter Services team.
  • Oversee and facilitate the development of annual budgets and workplans, including revenue and expense projections and evaluation metrics , for chapter growth and affiliate relations, the NCE programs, State Chapters/Offices, Convention, and the Wings program.
  • Lead, and/or participate in, the planning and execution of Board and leadership events, All-Staff meetings and communications, and various internal work groups and task forces.
  • Mentor and actively manage a team of state-advocacy and chapter-focused professionals, including performance management, retention and hiring.
  • Represent The Arc externally, presenting with commitment and passion our mission, values and objectives to the IDD advocacy community, our constituents, stakeholders and other audiences.
  • Advise executive management and communications team on crises communications.


Chapter Relations, Programs and Services

  • Develop and execute a multi-faceted plan to extend The Arc’s reach, including a growth and retention strategy focused on demonstrating the value of affiliation with The Arc, attracting new chapters, and enhancing and expanding the engagement, impact, effectiveness and sustainability of chapters currently in the network.
  • Grow and build a pipeline of new prospects and potential chapters and nonprofit associate members to expand The Arc’s footprint, including filling gaps in the current network.
  • Guide chapter relations staff to develop and implement expanded programs and services that provide chapters of The Arc with the tools they need, this includes professional and leadership development programs, content and program planning for National Convention and National Conference of Executives (NCE) annual Summer Leadership Institute, resources and training program management and evaluation, board governance, executive leadership and financial and human resources management, and The Arc’s Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector and related educational materials.
  • Engage and sustain productive working relationships with and among chapter executives and board presidents to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and identify and advance opportunities to build a stronger advocacy movement on behalf of people with IDD.
  • Address complex complaints and issues regarding chapters and their constituents and identify chapter needs
  • Manage chapter focused grants, including sub-granting of funds to chapters and disaster funds.
  • Build a robust pipeline of chapter services programs that add value, including the Chapter Web Service, the Membership Renewal Service, PurchasingPoint, and other existing or new group buying or endorsed vendor programs.
  • Provide ongoing excellent customer service, troubleshooting and technical assistance for chapters and its leaders.


State Chapter Organizing and Advocacy

  • Mentor and coach a team of State Office Directors employed by The Arc of the US and guide them to successfully build their advocacy movement, implement programs, share best practices, hire and retain staff and navigate back-office administration and budget operations. 
  • Serve as primary liaison to State Chapter Executive Directors and Board Presidents, promoting and supporting the full participation of State chapters in the advocacy, programs, and services offered by the national office.
  • Working closely with the Senior Director of Advocacy and Mobilization, evaluate current, and develop new, strategies and tactics to expand the capacity of The Arc to develop a vibrant activist network of activists and to mobilize them to take action when needed.
  • Lead State Directors and partner with the Individual Giving and Institutional Giving teams to identify and advance opportunities to build a stronger base of financial support for State chapters.
  • Facilitate collaboration between State and Federal Advocacy efforts, ensuring a consistent and streamlined messaging and approach to relevant policy issues


Community Partnerships

  • Work closely with the Management Team in short- and long-term strategic and operational planning to help implement the organization’s Strategic Plan, with a particular focus on strategy four, “Extend Our Reach,” and Access, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.
  • Identify and build partnerships in new areas by building out our network in the communities where people with IDD live.
  • Identify and build relationships with marginalized communities while helping the national office to become more diverse, accessible, equitable and inclusive
  • Identify and provide new options for members of the community to participate with us
  • Support our chapters’ efforts to engage with marginalized groups and form new partnerships in their community



  • Experience, knowledge and contacts with those interested and vested in improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • At least 15 years of professional experience, including five years managing and two plus years as a senior leader within an organization.
  • Knowledge of individual and family supports for IDD
  • Creativity, and entrepreneurship.
  • A strategic and adaptable leader with strong relationship management and customer service skills.
  • Strong writing skills a must.
  • Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to lead two key functions of the organization.
  • Effectively manage multiple projects, tasks, and deadlines. 
  • Strong organizational skills, highly driven and results oriented.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with various constituencies, including board members, chapter and national staff members and external stakeholders.
  • Proven success leading, motivating and mentoring a team.
  • Flexible and adapts well to change.
  • Collaborative, authentic leadership style, with the personality, stature, flexibility and diplomacy required to work effectively with senior staff and volunteers.
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to and a passion for the work of The Arc.


How to Apply:

Applications are accepted online only. To apply to this position visit


The Arc is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, or other legally protected characteristics.


When an applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to compete for a job, they may request it orally or in writing (please visit the contact us page on the web;


About The Arc:

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities. With about 600 state and local chapters nationwide, The Arc is on the front lines to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support and services they need to be fully engaged in their communities. The Arc works with its federation of state and local chapters to create an impressive network of human service agencies ensuring they have the strongest civil rights advocates promoting and protecting their needs at all levels.

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