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5 Jan 2021

Full-Time Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer

Councilmember Castaneda-Lopez – Posted by Councilmember Castaneda-Lopez Detroit, Michigan, United States

Job Description

Office of Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López

Chief of Staff/ Chief Operating Officer

Values: Integrity, Equity, Access, Wellness

Vision Statement: A Detroit where every voice is valued

Mission Statement: Promoting a just and thriving Detroit through community advocacy, public service, and inclusive policy.


Under the leadership of Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López, the Chief of Staff plays an integral role acting as an adviser, strategist and implementer, ensuring that all activities within the organization move forward smoothly. As Council Member seeks to enhance the quality of life of the residents in Detroit, the Chief of Staff serves as confidant and right hand for the Council Member, managing all staff, planning and overseeing all strategy efforts, as well as financial and operations activities for the organization, creating and fostering an environment that ensures the long term success of the organization.

The position’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Executive Management Functions

  • Acts as an adviser and confidant to Council Member.
  • Supports the Council Member in driving the general vision and direction of the organization.
  • Develops, along with the Council Member and Strategy Manager, the office strategy, priorities and major goals to support the office vision and values.
  • Organizes and prioritizes critical issues and required information for Council Member to facilitate efficient decision making.
  • Represents Council Member internally and externally, speaking on her behalf whenever necessary.
  • Assesses inquiries directed to Council Member, determines the proper course of action and delegates to the appropriate staff members to manage.
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with staff, City Council Chiefs of Staff, Mayoral Chief of Staff, and department directors.
  • Provides oversight and guidance to projects of high importance.
  • Is the lead project manager for the office.

HR/Staff Management Functions

  • In charge of the supervision of all staff members, ensuring all staff issues are addressed properly, efficiently and judiciously; mediating, deescalating disputes whenever necessary.
  • Creates a supportive, welcoming environment that fosters the creativity and growth amongst the team.
  • Creates and maintains an environment of professionalism, ensuring fluid communication amongst staff and Council Member.
  • Directs all hiring/firing efforts of all staff/interns/fellows/volunteers.
  • Directs all vacation and payroll related matters.
  • In charge of coordinating all internal team meetings as well as 1:1 meetings, ensuring the pipeline of communication is opened and the direction of all work moves the right direction.
  • Drives conversations and content for staff evaluations, this includes but not limited to: regular check-ins, mid-year and end of year conversations.
  • Develops professional development plans for all staff members, assisting staff in identifying trainings, workshops and conferences for their professional growth. 
  • Ensures all staff members have the necessary tools to perform their job duties.

Strategy Functions

  • Manages and drives the execution of all strategic initiatives; this includes but no limited to: working with an external consultant, developing all action plans, facilitating conversations with Council Member and staff to ensure the well implementation of the strategic plans. 
  • Fosters an atmosphere of critical analysis and creativity to support the team in evaluating initiatives on an ongoing basis.
  • Supports program evaluation in consultation with the consultant and the executive team.
  • Assists the strategy manager in monitoring the implementation and evaluation of the annual strategic plan.

Operations Functions

  • Develops procedures, reviews and monitors all budget functions, this includes but not limited to: monitors closely the administrative budget, initiates conversations with the Finance Dept., or other necessary departments, to ensure information is up to date, requests re-appropriations of funds, and overall ensures the healthy management of the office budget. 
  • Manages all vendor related matters, this includes but not limited to: drafts contracts, manages all accounts payable, follows closely outstanding invoices. 
  • Manages the running functions of all offices ensuring a safe and productive work environment. This includes: ordering supplies, fixing any malfunctioning issues, and ensuring the maintenance and cleanliness of both offices.

Special Initiatives

  • Immigration Task Force (ITF) & Detroit Indigenous Peoples Alliance (DIPA)
  • Manages, drives and oversees the execution of all strategic initiatives for both ITF and DIPA.

Ideal Candidate:

  • 5+ years of experience in leadership/management/executive roles.
  • Master’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration or closely related field.
  • Bilingual (Spanish or Arabic) is a plus.
  • Must live in Detroit or be willing to relocate.
  • High Emotional IQ, self-awareness and empathy
  • In depth knowledge of issues impacting City of Detroit residents and respect for communities and diverse cultures is highly preferred.
  • Experience with budget management.
  • Experience with HR and staff management
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must possess impeccable organizational and project management skills.
  • Must be outcome oriented.
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.
  • Ability to work strategically and collaborative across departments, internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize workload.
  • Must be an individual who approaches challenges effectively, pro-actively and is solution focused.
  • Must be comfortable representing Council Member with the media (video and pictures) and with general interactions with the public.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and social media outlets.
  • Possesses a strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work a very flexible schedule including early mornings, evenings, and weekends.
  • A motivated individual who is passionate about a bright future for Detroit and the wellbeing of its residents. 
  • While all of us as human beings are biased, an individual who is able to recognize her/his own biases, and continues to think critically about how to overcome these.

Salary Range:


Dependent upon experience & contract type


To Apply:

E-mail a letter of interest and résumé to

Please include “Chief of Staff/COO” in the subject line.

About Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López

Raquel Castañeda-López, a lifelong Detroiter, made history in November 2013 by becoming the first Latina elected to the Detroit City Council. A social worker by trade, Castañeda-López has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector and is committed to working for social justice to improve the quality of life for all Detroiters. She developed a strong resident service program, through grassroots organizing and a mobile office, helping residents and businesses cut through the ‘red tape’ in order to access services and resources. She is working to ensure Detroiters have a voice on City Council championing policies that promote access, inclusivity and equity.

How to Apply

To Apply: E-mail a letter of interest and résumé to Please include “Chief of Staff/COO” in the subject line.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: human resources, local government, and non-profit management. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 79 days.

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