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Citizen Advocates

Company: Citizen Advocates and the North Star Family of Services
Location: Malone, NY


(Malone, NY) 



Citizen Advocates and the North Star Family of Services (Citizen Advocates) is a multi-service 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides caring, professional, and certified care to over 7,000 individuals each year through its programs in mental health, substance use disorder treatment and prevention, and residential, habilitation and vocational services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

Founded in 1975 as a small sheltered work program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, today Citizen Advocates is the largest private employer in Franklin County, NY, with a staff of over 700 employees.

The organization partners with numerous state agencies, including the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH),  the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), and the NYS Department of Health (DOH).

Headquartered in Malone, NY with an operating budget of $40M, Citizen Advocates operates extensively throughout Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton and St. Lawrence Counties in northern New York State, often referred to as the North Country.  The large catchment area means the agency’s transportation systems log over 800,000 miles each year transporting clients.

Citizen Advocates is committed and passionate that their evidence-based, culturally sensitive, trauma informed and family/patient-centered care programs help their regional population address behavioral health needs that achieves best outcomes and improves quality of life for all.


The North Country encompasses New York's northern frontier, bordering Lake Ontario on the west, the Saint Lawrence River and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec on the north and northwest, and Lake Champlain and Vermont on the east. It is located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains with the natural beauty of mountains, lakes, ski slopes, verdant valleys and steep cliffs. The Adirondack Region is home to the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states.  The Adirondack Park covers six million acres, and is almost the land size of the state of Massachusetts.

Malone is about 50 miles from Lake Placid, 80 miles from Burlington Vermont and 70 miles from Montreal, Canada. The community has long been attractive to those seeking rural living, coupled with a love of the outdoors while still being an easy drive from cultural and other large city attractions in Montreal. 

To learn more about all of Citizens Advocates visit http://www.citizenadvocates.net


The COO has the responsibility and authority for all aspects of Citizen Advocates’ operations. S/he is responsible for ensuring programs operate in compliance with CA’s policies and practices, Council on Quality and Leadership Accreditation Standards and State and Federal requirements. The COO provides leadership and direction to the heads of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, Facilities and Transportation, and Information Technology.  S/he directs and monitors the consistent implementation of the CA’s strategic plan.

Reporting to the CEO, the successful COO will have the skills, sensitivity and inclusive management style necessary to motivate and develop the staff and deliver an excellent quality of services to the community.

As Citizen Advocates looks to continue growing in program quality and increasing its impact in New York State’s North Country, the COO will be a key partner to the CEO in enhancing its existing management structure for future growth. S/he will also serve as a staff liaison to the Board of Directors.

The COO will work internally throughout the organization and in collaborative support of the CEO to address Citizen Advocates’ objectives in engaging and developing partnerships with other agencies, expanding its name recognition, and becoming an employer-of-choice in the region.

The COO must work closely with the staff to promote and maintain an open, inclusive environment that emphasizes transparency and teamwork.


  • Responsible for ensuring program delivery within the core lines of Citizen Advocates’ business, behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disabilities are soundly managed, and that best practices are deployed that lead to positive outcomes for all clients.
  • Provide strong and inspirational day-to-day leadership and oversee all administrative/operational functions.
  • Support an open door policy among all staff; cultivate the values of a client driven culture throughout the organization.
  • Work with the Director of Information Technology to ensure the organization’s current technology needs are properly addressed.  Be strategic in continual examination of the benefits of new hardware and software.
  • Ensure that the organizations’ programs are in compliance with all federal state, funding, and city regulations, certifications, and licensing requirements.
  • Lead and manage training and ongoing development for staff.



  • 10+ years of progressively responsible professional management experience in human service program delivery, including knowledge of compliance standards and fiscal regulations with a minimum of five years in a leadership role.
  • A proven track record of success as a strong, collaborative internal manager and external representative of an organization.
  • Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people.
  • A team builder who has experience in managing organizational change including complexity of systems and communication between programs.
  • Knowledgeable in the fields of behavioral health and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities or related experience within comparable human service delivery organization.
  • An ability to develop, manage and assess budgets and financial reports in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • Strong planning and organizational skills; effectively interacting with a large workforce and client base.
  • Comfortable initiating new projects, able to work self-directed, have good instincts and a willingness to ask for help when required.
  • Capacity to help staff establish goals and objectives and to be accountable for outcomes, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up and cultivate teamwork.
  • A creative and energetic personality with strong interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work or equivalent advanced degree or an advanced non-Human Services related degree. 


Please submit a resume and cover letter.