Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children


For more than a century, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children has found loving families in the United States for more than 25,000 children domestically and from 23 countries around the world. Its roots can be traced to the pioneering work of Clara Spence and Dr. and Mrs. Henry Chapin, who independently established nurseries for homeless infants abandoned in hospitals and shelters.

Spence-Chapin is a leader in the adoption field providing adoption and adoption-related services of the highest quality. It is recognized for its commitment to the well-being of and for providing a unique model of comprehensive support to all members of the adoption triad: birth parents, adoptive parents, and their children. Its mission is to help find loving families for children whatever their needs or circumstances and to provide counseling and support for all children and the families to whom they have been born or entrusted.

Spence-Chapin currently offers services such as:

  • Domestic Adoption: Spence-Chapin assists both the prospective parents and pregnant women through every step of the process including comprehensive options counseling. Spence-Chapin supports open adoption where adoptive and birth families meet and have on-going contact, a process that helps birth mothers choose the adoptive family for her child as well as maintain lasting relationships. Spence-Chapin is also a leader in Special Needs Adoption.
  • International Adoption: Spence-Chapin’s international adoption program began in the 1970’s. Today, Spence-Chapin is actively involved in finding homes for children from countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
  • The Modern Family Center (MFC): Spence-Chapin considers supporting birth parents and adoptive families and their children before, during, and after the legal adoption process as a fundamental part of its mission. MFC offers mental health and emotional health programs, including counseling, parent coaching, post-adoption support, mentorship and birth land trips. Spence-Chapin also supports the families of children adopted out of foster care, and provides training programs in adoption for foster care agencies.
  • Granny Program/Humanitarian Aid:  Since 1998, Spence-Chapin has been committed to humanitarian aid in order to improve conditions for children in orphanages in countries where Spence Chapin works. The Granny Program brings women from the local community into orphanages and long-term hospital facilities to devote time with the children each day.

Overall, Spence-Chapin is an organization with a strong history, heritage, and reputation as well as a culture of excellence and outstanding integrity in a field that has grown in complexity over the years. It has an experienced staff, a supportive and engaged Board of Directors, and a substantial endowment. This is a unique opportunity to shepherd a storied organization into a new phase of growth focused on its core mission of helping children in need.



The new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be a leader, strategic builder, spokesperson, and champion, reporting to the Board of Directors and overseeing a leadership team of six. The key priorities for the successful candidate will be to:

  • Provide visionary leadership in conjunction with the Board for future direction and strategy, leveraging Spence-Chapin’s reputation, resources, and considerable endowment;
  • Engage the Board, staff, and key stakeholders in increasing the organization’s impact while navigating the changing landscape of adoption; and
  • Increase Spence-Chapin’s visibility locally, nationally and internationally, promoting the organization as a thought leader and working to shift the cultural perception of adoption.



Setting Strategy

  • Lead a comprehensive strategic planning process in concert with the Board and senior staff that further defines the vision and plan to support Spence-Chapin’s mission and purpose; set strategic goals, develop policy, and enhance human and financial resources.
  • Review current programs and recommend and implement new initiatives and program modifications that build upon the organization’s strengths to increase the Spence-Chapin’s regional and national impact in an increasingly competitive environment.
  • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide in a timely and accurate manner all information necessary for the Board to be engaged, motivated, and able to make sound, well-informed decisions.

Relationships and Influence

  • Augment fundraising efforts and organizational resources, working with the Board and staff to maintain and develop relationships with existing and potential funders; ensure engagement with and develop stewardship practices for Spence-Chapin’s loyal alumni base.
  • Serve as Spence-Chapin’s spokesperson and enhance local and national recognition of Spence-Chapin’s innovative work and models of service; enable Spence-Chapin to take a leading role in the national dialogue on adoption policies and practices.

 Executing for Results

  • Ensure day-to-day operations, programs, and initiatives are successfully executed and appropriately measured, and communicate with the Board about operational or situational challenges facing the organization and/or its clientele.
  • Safeguard that the organization’s adoptions are conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations of various governmental entities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and domestic and international adoption accreditation agencies.

Leading Teams

  • Lead, motivate, supervise, recruit, and assess a competent and experienced staff and maintain and foster an environment of collaboration, collegiality, and compassion.
  • Recommend an annual budget for Board approval and prudently manage the organization’s resources within those budgetary guidelines.



The next CEO of Spence-Chapin will be a proven strategic executive with a track record of shaping and leading mission-based nonprofit organizations – ideally with experience in adoption services and/or child welfare.

The successful candidate will have developed and implemented strategic plans with an innovative and thoughtful approach. He/she must be an outstanding collaborator able to align, engage, and influence a senior leadership team, a board of directors, and external constituents.

The successful candidate will have the breadth of experience and intellect to guide the public profile of a nuanced organization across numerous audiences in a politically charged and complex environment. He/she will have executive-level gravitas, empathy and impeccable ethics and integrity.

The key professional and personal competencies and experiences for this role are as follows:

 Knowledge and Experience

  • An authentic leader with a true commitment to supporting vulnerable children.
  • Professional experience in or a deep understanding of child welfare, adoption, and family services.
  • Proven track record of collaborating with a board and staff as a strategic thought partner and engaging in governance, organizational direction, budgeting and fundraising.
  • Ability to connect and create strong relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, from the adoption triad to community engagement to donors; demonstrated comfort and success with fundraising and relationship building.
  • Experience serving as a national spokesperson with exceptional communication skills to increase an organization’s visibility and enhance its reputation.
  •  Proven execution skills with sound judgement that ensures strong programmatic and fiscal outcomes; committed to organizational performance and accountability.
  • A transparent and thoughtful manager with an ability to attract, retain, and motivate staff and promote inclusion, high performance, and a strong sense of teamwork.


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree strongly preferred.

COMPENSATION: Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.

TRAVEL: Domestic and international travel as appropriate.


Spence-Chapin is an equal opportunity employer.

Please email nominations or applications (cover letter and resume) in confidence to: