Chief Executive Officer

Millions of people who struggle to pay for food, housing, and healthcare are eligible for assistance but don’t know it or are deterred by the complicated enrollment process. When families and individuals get the help they need, everyone benefits – kids do better in school, adults are better able to secure and sustain employment, and older adults are more likely to age in place.

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) helps people live healthier, more independent lives by creating smarter ways to access essential benefits and services. BDT uses data, targeted outreach, policy change, technology, and service delivery to proactively connect people to essential benefits and services while treating them with dignity and respect. BDT envisions lower healthcare costs, more efficient government, and people who are healthy, economically mobile, and thriving.

Through its innovative Service Delivery Model, BDT improves people’s lives, enabling them to collectively receive benefits worth over $145 million each year, and opening new pathways to economic mobility. BDT partners with government, healthcare, philanthropy, community-based organizations, and others to re-engineer systems to bring about permanent change.

Founded in Philadelphia in 2005, BDT currently provides enrollment assistance to individuals in Colorado, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and provides policy assistance to states nationwide. BDT uses private-sector strategies to reduce poverty by using data, targeted outreach, policy change, and new technologies to proactively connect people to benefits and services. BDT has submitted over 800,000 applications and secured over $7 billion in benefits and services that help individuals and families reach financial stability. BDT currently employs 170 FTE with a 2019 operating budget of approximately $15 million.

Under the longtime leadership of Ginger Zielinskie, BDT’s President & Chief Executive Officer, the organization has established itself as a leader in benefits access with a proven impact model. BDT is now at a critical juncture in its growth and is poised to welcome a new CEO who will usher in an exciting new era in the context of rapid market evolution and staggering opportunity for impact.

This search is being conducted in partnership with the national search firm NPAG. Application instructions can be found at the end of this document.

Opportunities and Challenges Facing the New CEO

Leading in partnership with a highly experienced leadership team, the new CEO can expect to engage the following core challenges and opportunities:

Advance BDT’s vision to transform how people access public benefits and services
The new CEO will shepherd and lead the organization with clearly defined strategic intent (the organization’s “North Star”), goals, and objectives.

Evolve strategy that is driven by BDT’s mission
The new CEO will instill discipline and focus in executing toward BDT’s North Star through strategic intentionality and prioritization, on-going capacity building, continual adaptation and innovation, and integration of technology, public policy, and direct services. The CEO will help the organization harness the dynamic tensions of scale that come from not only maintaining and delivering today’s commitments but
also nurturing and realizing tomorrow’s possibilities.

Strengthen internal organizational infrastructure
The new CEO will build organizational muscle and processes that promote collaborative decision-making, effective prioritization, and organizational excellence in execution, all in the context of an inclusive, respectful, values-driven culture. As a seasoned executive and operational leader, the CEO will ensure effective functioning and integration across teams and functions, ensuring consistent communication, translation of vision to action steps, and systems to assess progress against objectives. S/he/they will motivate and inspire a high-performing senior team and establish a trusting, welcoming, rigorous, and accountable environment in which ideas can be challenged and refined.

Champion BDT through being an external ambassador and storyteller
The new CEO will continue to build and strengthen BDT’s brand, market position, and impact-driven networks through evidence-based results, powerful story-telling, and deep sustained collaborations and relationships. The CEO will represent the organization with all manner of external parties, such as governments, foundations, healthcare entities, for-profit collaborators, community-based organizations, etc. and will manage the corporate boundaries of BDT so that the organization enters appropriate external relationships.

Strengthen board development and governance
The new CEO will bring deep experience, networks, and savvy in board development and governance to the immediate task of expanding and strengthening the Board of Directors. The CEO will support the engagement, recruitment, and onboarding of board members as thought partners and key advisors, effectively leveraging their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to inform the strategic direction and growth of BDT. As a trusted partner to the board, the CEO will help instill effective governance practices, mechanisms, and opportunities to marshal the board’s collective capacity to champion and advance BDT’s mission.

Leverage relationships with funders and partners to increase and diversify BDT’s funding base
The new CEO will be a seasoned, committed, engaging, and intuitive fundraiser who brings the gravitas and drive to nurture and manage a diverse group of funders and partners to build upon BDT’s success to date. Partnering with the development team and senior leadership, the CEO will lead the continued growth and diversification of BDT’s funding, with a focus on unrestricted capital, major gifts, contracts, as well as
deepening and expanding philanthropic partnerships. The CEO will bolster the organization’s business model through braided funding that allows BDT’s inputs to translate customers’ objectives into clients’ outcomes.

Promote a strong, resilient, values-based organizational culture
BDT prides itself on a culture that is deeply rooted in values, in which staff can thrive, grow long-term, and contribute to mission effectiveness in a variety of ways. Looking to the future, the CEO will help build and preserve a culture that is built on and leverages diversity and inclusion at all levels across the staff, leadership, and board, and reflects the communities and people that BDT serves.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Demonstrated passion for BDT’s mission and commitment to helping individuals meet their basic needs, improve health, and increase economic mobility;
  • Sophisticated executive leadership skills and presence developed through a minimum of fifteen years of progressive strategic leadership in a high-impact, best-in-class organization, ideally in a social-sector or cross-sector context;
  • Content expertise in health and human services transformation, not-for-profit scaling, technology for good, poverty and inequality, the social determinants of health, or a related discipline;
  • Experience stewarding the application and integration of leading-edge technology to drive impact;
  • Demonstrated track record of partnership building with government, the private sector, community-based organizations, and philanthropic organizations;
  • Proven financial, organizational, and personnel management skills to lead a motivated, engaged, and highly capable team in the context of rapid field evolution;
  • Demonstrated experience and success in building or scaling a complex non-profit organization with an eye towards sustainability;
  • Successful track record engaging new funders including national foundations, major individual donors, and healthcare organizations;
  • Credibility and drive in cultivating and building trust with funders to sustain the financial health of the organization and expand its impact;
  • Strategic ability to articulate an organizational vision internally and externally, apply design thinking toward strategy development, and operationalize a multi-dimensional strategy;
  • Proven ability to support cross-functional teams; a natural orientation towards collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and experience bringing together diverse groups toward shared goals;
  • Appreciation of the financial and administrative building blocks necessary for compliance, risk, treasury, facilities, etc. management;
  • Experience developing, collaborating with, and leveraging a committed board;
  • A leader who is disciplined and focused while also being agile and adaptive; and
  • An empathetic and humble servant leader who appreciates being challenged and is proactive about creating new ways to tackle big, entrenched problems and actively seeks counsel both inside and outside the organization.

To Apply

This search is being conducted with assistance from the national search firm NPAG. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, and applications will be reviewed as they are received. Please send nominations and/or applications including cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position to: [email protected]. Benefits Data Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.