Manager, Catalytic Projects

About Community Solutions

Community Solutions is the team behind the 100,000 Homes Campaign and the ongoing Built for Zero initiative. The White House, the United Nations and the World Economic Forum have each recognized our fun, user-driven approach to helping communities end homelessness. This position is tied to the Built for Zero initiative, an international network of communities and partners working through a variety of projects to achieve functional zero and effectively end homelessness. Built for Zero communities have already achieved 10 functional zero proof points for their local veteran and/or chronic populations, providing the evidence that doing so is possible and a tipping point such that communities worldwide are now working towards this end.

Community Solutions seeks leaders at every level: extraordinary, mission oriented people not satisfied with the status quo. We are a team of values driven problem solvers motivated by results. We eagerly seek and support diverse applicants. We provide generous benefits and opportunities for inspiring and transformational professional growth. We pride ourselves in developing an inclusive workplace culture that encourages staff to bring their whole selves to work every day.


We seek an experienced, self-starting and curious individual to join our Catalytic Projects portfolio. This position reports to the Portfolio Lead, Catalytic Projects. The Catalytic Projects portfolio is unique and exciting in the breadth of the projects it contains and in the rapid pace at which those projects may arise, evolve, and/or be transferred to more permanent portfolio areas. In many ways, this is a research and development portfolio, and the projects within it often appear at the leading edge of our work. Most often, these projects will represent the first time Community Solutions is engaging a specific skill, problem or aim. The Manager, Catalytic Projects must feel very comfortable learning new skills and subject areas quickly and bridging disciplines and sectors in the pursuit of new strategies and solutions. This person will have a lot of autonomy and ability to innovate in their role. We envision this person fully owning and driving forward multiple projects that exist within this portfolio, being accountable for the outcomes of these projects. On our team, things change quickly! You should welcome that type of environment and feel comfortable with emerging new ideas, projects and strategies.

A Successful Candidate in this Role Will:

  • Implement project work plans and weigh in on strategic decisions about projects and portfolio itself as needed
  • Juggle multiple projects at one time and drive work plans forward to hit milestones and goals against tight deadlines
  • Speak up when they are unsure of how to move forward and invite the Catalytic Projects, Portfolio Lead and Built for Zero Co-Directors into problem solving conversations
  • Learn quickly and effectively on behalf of the organization— you will be like an Army Ranger of the Built for Zero team— first in and leading the way
  • Understand quickly and support work to implement the vision of the Built for Zero Principals, including advancing work plans and contributing to key decisions for the portfolio
  • Support and refine optimal ways in which Catalytic Projects offer opportunities to make other portfolios successful and help to bridge the knowledge gap with those portfolios as appropriate
  • Assist in early identification and evaluation of the risks associated with project and portfolio activities and communicate these directly to Portfolio Lead, Catalytic Projects

Essential Duties & Key Responsibilities:

  • Engage in Project Management and work planning for projects within the Catalytic Project portfolio
  • Perform direct project work through implementation of work plans for projects within the Catalytic Project portfolio
  • Support the management of contract scoping and execution as required by projects in the Catalytic Project portfolio
  • This includes the management of limited, project-specific contracts, budgets and key administrative duties, in coordination with Team Excellence and Team Directors/Principals
  • Exhibit strong data analytics skills, both for qualitative and quantitative data, and demonstrate the ability to interpret analysis and apply learnings to the Catalytic Projects strategy at the portfolio and project level
  • This includes using data analysis and data interpretation skills to recommend strategic pivots to project work plans and Catalytic Projects strategy as necessary
  • Exhibit familiarity with the Quality Improvement (QI) framework - QI is a methodology that comes from the healthcare sector - it helps us continuously improve the homeless serving system through planned small tests of change that introduce an intervention into a system, on a small scale (we like to say what can we test in 1 day with 1 person or at 1 agency in 1 day) to see if the intervention of that idea leads to a predicted impact
  • This portfolio requires that we translate any research or data analysis into small scale, testable projects that we can coach communities to implement in order to achieve an outcome of ending homelessness
  • Support coordination of the work across other Built for Zero portfolios as appropriate
  • Support refinement of strategy for admission of new projects with the Portfolio Lead, Catalytic Projects to respond to the emerging strategic direction of team and organization
  • Support ongoing and regular coordination across team, in conjunction with Team Directors/Principals, Project Manager, other Portfolio/Backbone Leads and Managers

Qualities and prerequisites:

  • Strong strategic thinking function
  • Incredibly self-motivated and curious in pursuing new projects that bring the best thinking from other sectors and disciplines to this work
  • High learning agility and unusually high tolerance for ambiguity
  • Ability to move projects forward in a shifting, often uncertain environment and handle multiple tasks in a fast paced setting
  • Able to see, and pivot between, multiple paths to the same goal
  • Comfort with Quality Improvement (QI) methodology and measurement
  • Comfort with public policy landscape and analysis
  • Three to five years previous work experience in a professional environment
  • Experience managing multiple competing projects
  • Excellent “soft skills,” including verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent relationship management skills and great judgement when working with external partners, communities and clients
  • Strong problem solving and project management skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office suite, as well as Google Apps
  • Strong, organized multitasker
  • Tendency toward, and high tolerance for, clear and direct communication
  • Curiosity around improving systems

Software/Apps Used:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Business Apps
  • Asana
  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Social media software and applications

Travel Requirements:

Up to three full weeks of travel may be required each quarter to attend team planning sessions, community and site visits, and other on-site trainings or convenings. Most travel is to major cities around the US, including current Built for Zero communities.


Salary range is $80,000 to $85,000, depending on experience.

Work Environment:

This position provides for the flexibility to work from a remote location without the standard support available at an office if such an arrangement meets the needs of Community Solutions. However, we are especially interested in qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, who also live in New York City.

To Apply:

Please submit your cover letter and resume here.