Updates from NoVo

NoVo is hiring: Director of Capital Projects and Real Estate

15 April 2019


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NoVo Foundation Overview

Founded in 2006, the NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. They support the development of capacities in people — individually and collectively — to help create a caring and balanced world. They envision a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women.

A single set of deeply shared values guides everything that NoVo does:


We place a high priority on a compassionate view of the world and on the highest definition of philanthropy — in the roots of the words anthro and philo — “for the love of human beings.” The only way to create real change is with love at the center.


We are deeply inspired by indigenous values of reciprocity and interconnectedness. We recognize that spirit is an active force that connects all things, and seek out holistic solutions that restore greater balance and harmony in our world.

Respect for lived experience

Centering the leadership of people who live every day with injustice is the single most powerful way to create transformative change. We believe that the best solutions to community challenges come from within those communities, and we support social movements that build the power of people to create lasting change.


We recognize the inherent power and privilege of philanthropy, and strive to act as humble, respectful and thoughtful stewards. We pursue our mission with rigor and strive to ensure that our resources help to create lasting conditions for change.

Social Justice

All of our work is driven by a deeply-held belief in the dignity and human rights of every person, and a determination to confront sexism, racism, and other overlapping oppressions that prevent people from achieving their full potential. We believe that our own liberation is inextricably connected to the liberation of others. We value healing and self-care as fundamental components of social justice.

Patient partnership

We value long-term partnerships, and we recognize that meaningful progress is only achieved in relationship with others. We strive to ensure that our vision of a world based in collaboration and mutual respect is modeled in our own philanthropy.

Embracing risk

We venture where others are unable to go, and embrace uncertainty and complexity as a necessary part of philanthropy. By establishing mutual trust with our grantee partners, we strive to create a space for creativity, serendipity, flexibility and untraditional thinking.

Radical hope

We are deeply optimistic that we can contribute to systemic progress that addresses the root causes of injustice. Grounded in that optimism, we remain focused on long-term solutions and join our voices with those who proudly advocate for fundamental social change.


New York, NY with main office in Brooklyn, NY, an office in Kingston, NY, and a major project site in Chelsea / Manhattan. NY, and a major project site in Chelsea / Manhattan.


Position Overview

Reporting to the NoVo Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, the Director is a newly created position responsible for the planning, coordination, and overall management of the design and construction of The Women’s Building, a 100,000+ square foot building in Chelsea, NYC, that will serve as a hub for the girls’ and women’s justice movement. The building will be designed by the architectural firm Deborah Berke Partners, and the new Director will play a critical role during the ongoing planning and design process. In addition, the Director will be responsible for collaborating with NoVo’s owner’s representative, construction manager, consultants, city / government agencies, community boards, and various other outside parties throughout all phases of the project. NoVo aims to have 35% of their labor on the project to be women, and they expect the Director to uphold their organizational values when faced with decisions big and small on the project. Ultimately, the Director will be successful by designing and managing efficient, effective, collaborative, and transparent processes to align internal and external stakeholders toward a collective goal.

In addition to the Director’s responsibility for The Women’s Building project, they will also serve as NoVo’s internal expert on planning, design, construction, facilities management, and real estate matters across the organization. NoVo will be actively exploring unique projects to advance their mission in parallel to The Women’s Building project, and the Director will support those ongoing efforts as needed. With the Director being a new position within the organization, they also will help to establish formal processes, procedures, and policies to create best practices for managing NoVo’s collective construction and real estate portfolio.

Along with being a technical expert and adept leader, the Director must have core attributes that foster teamwork and the proper cultural fit. First, the Director must be enthusiastic about NoVo’s mission, vision and values in order to embody them in work and life. The Director should possess minimal ego with an eye toward the bigger picture without losing sight of critical details. While being strategic and analytical is important, the Director will also have to be willing to take an active hands-on role in managing various projects, people, and initiatives on a daily basis.

Essential Knowledge, Experience, and Abilities

  • Creative and enthusiastic approach to collaboration, all while steadily moving a project forward to meet budget and schedule guidelines.
    • NoVo Foundation is a highly collaborative, consensus-oriented institution that believes deeply that the process to achieve an outcome is as important as the outcome itself, highlighting the importance of identifying and infusing values in all of the work and decision-making.
    • Ideal candidates should be eager to operate in such an environment and demonstrate a similar philosophy and demeanor.
  • Technical expertise and knowledge of the entire planning, design, and construction process with a focus on large construction project management, design development, and construction administration. Experience successfully delivering large projects in Manhattan is important.
    • Ability to review drawings and contracts to provide critical input, make recommendations, and provide approvals.
    • Experience creating and implementing a record-keeping system of electronic files for all project related correspondence, contracts, drawings, specifications, and other documents.
    • Experience reviewing and approving RFP bid documents, administering the bidding process, and awarding contracts to construction professionals, vendors, consultants, and suppliers.
    • Ability to review all financial aspects of a project, including estimates, project budget, funding, purchase orders, change orders, and requisition payments, from feasibility through close out. Ability to maintain full control of project budget, cost reports, and schedule.
  • Demonstrated experience supervising and working collaboratively with a team of expert
  • consultants including architects, engineers, environmental consultants, contractors, owner’s representatives, and others.
  • Expertise representing organizations to various sophisticated stakeholders, including government agencies and regulators. Ability to prioritize, curate, and craft effective reporting across the parent organization’s staff and Board of Directors, external advisory bodies, governmental entities, and the public.
  • Ability to discern and prioritize what should be elevated for discussion with the COO and ED as well as the broader community behind the projects.
  • An impeccable professional reputation, unquestionable ethical standards, and a calm, steady demeanor suitable for the profile of the organization and project.
  • Accountable and responsive to The Women’s Building community.
    • The Women’s Building will be home to a community that values inclusivity, sisterhood, and building power. NoVo is creating The Women’s Building not only for the girls’ and women’s rights movement, but also with them. Successful candidates should believe in the value of community input and be proactive about identifying varied opportunities for community participation in all aspects of the project.

Core Competencies

Values First

  • Act and lead with the utmost ethical standards, integrity, and respect at all times while embodying the core values of the Novo Foundation. Use NoVo’s values as the compass for decision-making.

Practical Creativity

  • Conceptualize and relay new and refreshing ideas that can be translated into the real world. Balance big-thinking with action and constructability. Translate big ideas or solutions into simple messages that all can understand.

Collaborator & Communicator

  • Operate as true team player who is serving the mission of the organization and overarching project goals. Leverage the input and ideas of stakeholders and community. Know how to engage and communicate with people at all levels internally and externally.


  • Serve as the planning, design, and construction authority with a keen eye for delivering large construction projects on budget and on schedule. Also know how to build strong teams and relationships in the face of deadlines, pressure, and the unexpected.


  • Operate with the understanding that you are serving the women/girls movement and not solely the NoVo Foundation. There are practical items (budget, schedule, etc.) that are important, but the people who The Women’s Building, foundation, and broader community will serve is most important.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, or a related field. Relevant experience will be weighted heavily in juxtaposition with formal training and education. A Master’s degree is ideal, but not required.
  • Minimum of 15 years of relevant leadership experience including planning and design management and implementation of multi-year capital programs. Experience with projects involving event spaces is ideal.
  • Demonstrated success in leadership of real estate organizations and financial management along with demonstrated ability to manage the programming and design of large, complex facilities projects.
  • Excellent collaboration skills and the ability to provide effective communication with various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience troubleshooting and developing cost-effective solutions to largescale, complex renovation projects.
  • Demonstrated success managing budgets and schedules for all aspects of projects including design, construction, relocations, furniture procurement & installation, and move-in.
  • Experience with NYC Building Codes, NYC DOB, and FDNY.
  • Experience working on projects with considerable government involvement is a plus.

Helpful Links

  • NoVo Foundation – https://novofoundation.org/
  • The Women’s Building NYC – http://womensbuildingnyc.org/

Equal Opportunity

NoVo Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and we strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, immigrant, bilingual, and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. NoVo is firmly committed to complying with all federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) laws. NoVo Foundation strictly prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of the individual’s race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, height and/or weight, disability, gender identity or expression, medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS- related conditions, marital status, partnership status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, arrest record and any other characteristic protected by law.

Please Submit Applications or Nominations to:

Helbling & Associates, Inc.
8000 Brooktree Road, Suite 100
Wexford, PA 15090

Tom Dunn – Managing Director
E: tomd@helblingsearch.com
O: (724) 935-7500 x104
C: (412) 523-0381

Wendy Zang – Managing Consultant
E: wendyz@helblingsearch.com
O: (724) 935-7500 x116
C: (703) 507-4273