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President & CEO, Instituto del Progreso Latino

POSITION:                           President & CEO

ORGANIZATION:                Instituto del Progreso Latino      

REPORTS TO:                     Board of Directors

LOCATION:                         2520 S. Western Avenue Chicago, IL              



The mission of Instituto del Progreso Latino is to contribute to the fullest development of Latino immigrants and their families through education, training, and employment that fosters full participation in the changing US society while preserving cultural identity and dignity.



Established in 1977, Instituto del Progreso Latino (Instituto), is a leading organization addressing issues facing Latino immigrant communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Instituto provides comprehensive education programs and services to 10,000 families annually. Primarily, Instituto provides meaningful exposure to and viable pathways toward high growth careers for youth and adults, preparing them to participate more fully in society. At the heart of this work are career pathways programs for adults to prepare them for high growth, high earning potential careers in the fields of health care, manufacturing, and retail. In addition, Instituto creates programs that provide the supports necessary for individuals and families to take maximum advantage of educational and career opportunities, including financial literacy and planning, youth development and education, citizenship services, and English as a Second Language (ESL) training.  

Aligned with its focus on purposeful, career-focused education, Instituto is a Charter Management Organization (CMO) that operates two public charter high schools: the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA) and the Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy (IJLA). Together, these schools serve nearly 1,000 Chicago students annually with unique curriculum, extensive supportive systems, and high expectations.

IHSCA provides an education focused on preparing urban youth to succeed in competitive colleges and universities, obtain job-readiness certification for entry-level positions with competitive wages in health care, and gain new awareness of and seek out a healthier lifestyle. IJLA has a mission to re-engage Chicago’s out-of-school youth. IJLA offers a unique education program, combining the supportive resources to address students’ individual needs, while maintaining high expectations and a rigorous curriculum towards higher education and prosperous careers.  In both schools, empowering Latino immigrants is a central focus; for each student registered, an entire family is enrolled in the Instituto experience. 

In addition to its formal education programs for youth and adults, Instituto also offers a variety of opportunities for any high school student to join programs after school and during the summer for a safe and supportive environment.  Students from both Instituto schools and the local community enjoy activities such as dance and art programs as well as academic tutoring and college preparation programs.

With a commitment to find the best investments for communities and families, Instituto has become a trusted and thriving education center with nationally recognized programming.  Instituto serves individuals and families at all education levels - from learning how to read and write in their native language, to providing a pathway to higher-level skills, new careers – all focused on providing purposeful education opportunities that allow greater stability for families, while preparing them to participate more fully in society.

Key accomplishments include:

  • Investment over 18 years to elevate program impact and build the Instituto brand, resulting in national recognition;
  • Over $16 million in new income earned by families served;
  • 88% college acceptance at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy;
  • 86% graduation rate at Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy;
  • Over 100 bilingual and bicultural students attained Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) through the Carreras en Salud, a career pathways program that bridges limited English-proficient individuals into, Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Registered Nursing (RN) positions; and,
  • Funds secured to pilot innovative programming, including CYBER-ESL and a retail training career pathways program.

The combined operating budget for all the Instituto programs (including the two charter schools) is approximately $21M.  Much of the funding is received from government grants and contracts including Chicago Public Schools.  There is some private foundation and individual support as well as earned revenue, and this is an area that will be a focus for growth in the years ahead. Instituto is governed by a dedicated and talented Board of 15 civic and business leaders.  There are advisory boards that work with each of the charter schools.



For the past 18 years, Juan Salgado has served as the President & CEO (CEO) of Instituto, leading it to a period of national award winning recognition and historic organizational growth. During this period, Instituto has become known for innovative educational approaches to best meet the needs of families including the Carreres en Salud program and the creation of two charter schools.  In March of 2017, Mayor Emanuel appointed Salgado to serve as Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. The Board is now seeking a dynamic leader to build on the organization’s achievement of the past forty years.  The new President & CEO will inherit a beloved organization, with a dedicated Board, staff and volunteers that is perfectly positioned to continue its lead in innovation in providing opportunities for Latino immigrant children & families. 

Instituto has evolved organically, responding to community needs and ensuring that there are programs in place that support the education and career needs of immigrant families. Going forward, there is an opportunity to build on the tremendous growth and expansion of Instituto. To that end, the Board has engaged in an extensive strategic planning process.  Currently, there are a number of new initiatives in development, including: CYBER-ESL, a program offers a blend of online and in-person instruction on a flexible schedule; establishing a revolving loan program to provide support for individuals that want to pursue post-secondary education; and, the potential for Instituto to establish a two-year college.  An exciting next step will be to vet and prioritize programs with a focus on scalability.

The culture and philosophy of Instituto is a vital component of the organization’s success. The organization’s culture is rooted in disciplined innovation, programmatic excellence and empathy.  Instituto is recognized for its ability to develop fruitful and mutually beneficial relationships with the community, maximizing community benefit through constructive collaboration and strategic partnerships.

While Instituto has experienced rapid and successful growth, meaningful opportunities remain to enhance key areas of organizational culture and operations, including:

  • Leveraging the full talents of staff across all departments;
  • Enhancing the data infrastructure to cultivate an impact-focused program design and management culture; and,
  • Diversifying sources of philanthropic support, including an increase in individual and corporate gifts.



In partnership with the Board of Directors, the President & Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) is charged with carrying out the vision and mission of Instituto,  including driving the career-focused, purposeful education mission of the organization as a whole. Serving as CEO of Instituto entails leading the Charter Management Organization (CMO) in terms of goal setting, vision and accountability for the schools, driving the business initiatives, leading union negotiations, as well as being responsible for all compliance issues relating to a CMO. The CEO drives the overall strategic direction and operational responsibility for Instituto’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of the mission. S/he will stay ahead of the needs of the Latino immigrant community and design solutions to address emerging needs. 

The CEO ensures ongoing programmatic excellence, program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals. To that end, s/he will engage Board and partner resources strategically and will build relationships of trust with funders, policymakers, private sector partners, community leaders, other allies, and staff.

The CEO will be responsible for raising funds to advance the mission and programs, and for managing resources to achieve program outcomes and sustainability. This includes creating and sustaining relationships with major donors and funders.

With strong communications and relationship-building skills, the CEO will be the face of the organization with community members, partners, funders, the media and governmental entities.  This person will continue Instituto’s tradition of finding partners across the public, non-profit and private sectors to maximize resources and enhance community well-being.

The CEO is responsible for managing the budget of $21M.  Currently, direct reports include the IHSCA/IJLA leadership, Vice President of Education and Programs, the Chief Financial Officer and the development office. Strong evidence of previous success managing in the areas of human resources, finances, fundraising, union negotiations, grant compliance and management, and program evaluation is required.  



Visionary Leadership with a capacity to translate vision into effective action and an ability to see opportunities for strategic inititaves and new arenas for program development

Strategic Management to enhance and lead a productive and sustainable organization

External Relations to have deep knowledge of the community served by Instituto and represent Instituto to the community

Development to represent Instituto to funders and strategic public and private partners



Instituto Board of Directors is seeking a confident, metric-driven, entrepreneurial leader with an unwavering commitment to the mission of Instituto and immigrant issues. Qualified individuals will be active in the Latino community, ideally both locally and nationally. S/he will be a recognized leader in addressing the needs of the Latino and immigrant community.

The candidate must be a highly motivated, self-starter with the energy and tenacity to guide an award-winning organization with a track record of leadership, business acumen, innovation and sound financial control at a senior level. Demonstrated success establishing and cultivating strong relationships with staff, board of directors, community members, donors, the media and elected officials is required. An understanding of business principles applied to a nonprofit enterprise, including a background of good budget management, is necessary. 

A track record of building effective relationships with external partners, particularly individual donors, business and government at the highest level is required. Success in managing and motivating an organization and a successful fundraising track record is essential.

Qualified candidates will bring high emotional intelligence and demonstrated success managing change. S/he will have a comprehensive understanding of business risks and its management and control.  An ability to understand financial statements to plan, monitor and evaluate Instituto’s finances is required.

The person we seek will be an innovative marketer who will continue to grow visibility for Instituto locally and nationally. The ability to give clear, effective, empathetic, sensitive and consistent leadership with good attention to detail is a must. The candidate must possess excellent communication, negotiation, and advocacy skills with the ability and presence to represent Instituto externally. Integrity, resilience, passion, empathy, optimism, and a well-developed sense of realism is required.

A senior leadership role with expertise in workforce development and/or education is strongly desired.  A track record of influencing others to action and the ability to develop and create excitement for a vision for Instituto is sought.

The ideal candidate will have strong negotiation skills and will be decisive.  S/he will need to be poised and confident, both when working with Board and staff, as well as with external constituencies. An action-oriented, adaptable, and innovative approach is essential.

An undergraduate degree from a four-year college or university, or equivalent, with at least five years of senior management experience is required, as is the willingness to keep knowledge up to date and develop in areas relating to this role.  Postgraduate degree in a relevant subject matter is preferred.  Evidence of continuing professional education is desired.  

Fluency in Spanish required.

For more information, please see our website at or the Instituto website at


Noetic Search
150 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 2800
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 863-8577 


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