Chief Safeguarding Officer
Description

U.S. Soccer Overview 


We are U.S. Soccer and we are the future of sport in the United States. Our mission is to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States. We embrace diversity, technology and global connections to drive the growth of our sport and serve our athletes and fans. We seek motivated, passionate, skilled people who can think, create and work on a team. 


U.S. Soccer is a growing company that looks for team members to grow with it. U.S. Soccer offers a comprehensive compensation package, fun work environment, an inclusive culture and an atmosphere for professional development.


The Federation's core principles set organization-wide standards to identify and foster our culture and inform how we interact and hold each other accountable. These principles guide U.S. Soccer: We Win Together. We Aim High. We Champion Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. To be successful as a USSF employee, it is critical to demonstrate and live up to these principles every day and with every interaction with peers, stakeholders, and partners. 


The Federation's core values are the individual attributes and characteristics that staff embody to uphold the organization's principles and succeed. These values guide our employees: Integrity. Commitment. Teamwork. Respect.


Position Description 


The Chief Safeguarding Officer is responsible for all players' and participants' safety matters related to strategy, policy, standards, education, guidance, and effective management of prevention and response across the U.S Soccer grassroots and professional landscape. The Safeguarding Officer is an active leader of a growing safety department responsible for ensuring that soccer in the United States is a safe, enjoyable and inclusive sport for all its participants. Player and participant safeguarding includes, but is not limited to, protection against physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; retaliation; exploitation; malnutrition; psychological damage; and severe training


Primary Responsibilities 

  • Reports to the Chief Executive Officer /Secretary General on all matters regarding player and participant safeguarding and works in collaboration with the Chief People & Diversity Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and Chair of Participant Safety Taskforce
  • Leads U.S. Soccer Federation's safeguarding policy and guidelines development
  • Supports the delivery of all aspects of the U.S. Soccer Safeguarding Strategy
  • Collaborates with and supports U.S. Soccer's organization members, such as its professional leagues (NWSL, MLS, USL, etc.), state associations, and national associations, on promoting safe practices and mitigating risks of abuse in soccer
  • Monitors and reviews professional leagues' and organization members’ annual safeguarding reports and provides guidance and support regarding player safety metrics, organization member compliance, and implementation of reforms geared toward player safety; could include player feedback and reporting mechanisms
  • Serve as the subject matter expert and resource for U.S. Soccer organization members and their Safeguarding Officers and staff
  • Drive the approach to promote fun, inclusive, and safe soccer environments for all while effectively managing risk
  • Serves as staff liaison on the Participation Safety Taskforce and provides quarterly board reports
  • Oversees safeguarding educational training and its implementation plan, together with the Participation Safety Taskforce
  • Works closely with regulatory and governing bodies, including FIFA, USOPC, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and other soccer governing entities on safeguarding matters and ensure that U.S. Soccer satisfies the compliance requirements of each; this also may include building relationships with state and federal agencies
  • Manages U.S. Soccer’s relationship with the U.S. Center for SafeSport in response and resolution of reports, training and education, policy development, and audit and compliance
  • Oversee response to reports of abuse or misconduct made to U.S. Soccer via its reporting platforms. 
  • In collaboration with the Chief People & Diversity Officer, oversee investigation and resolution of reports of prohibited conduct against participants in U.S. Soccer programs. 
  • Educate all participants as well as develop and implement processes, procedures, and guidelines for safeguarding standards
  • Develop the Safeguarding department, hire and manage safeguarding staff, and complete goal setting and performance review discussions with staff on an annual basis 
  • Cooperate and comply with U.S. Soccer's health and safety policies and procedures
  • Maintain an awareness of national and international safeguarding issues that impact the soccer environments
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date safeguarding knowledge and skills through regular training and professional development
Requirements

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor's degree or a combination of years of experience and education
  • 7+ years of experience with safeguarding, player health, and safety, or investigatory role
  • Comprehensive understanding of safeguarding prevention and response
  • Ability to work consistently in an area where emotionally distressing and sensitive issues and cases may arise
  • Proven capacity to listen and understand the perspective of others
  • Experience working with children, their families, and vulnerable groups
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, emotional intelligence, discretion, and a high level of confidentiality 
  • Clear and thorough understanding of the role and responsibilities of statutory authorities/agencies
  • Qualified to apply strong working knowledge of investigative processes and utilize all appropriate resources
  • Capacity to produce reports and written materials in safeguarding to a high standard
  • Able to identify behavior that is harmful to players, at-risk participants, and vulnerable populations and distinguish thresholds of poor practice or abusive behavior
  • Capable of working in fast-paced and demanding environments 
  • Exceptional time management skills and ability to prioritize workflow 
  • Ability to deliver high-quality work and execute under pressure and deadlines
  • Proficient experience with Microsoft Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook) 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication combined with a professional demeanor 
  • Able and willing to work non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends, as needed 
  • Able and willing to travel up to 30% of the year

Desired Qualifications 

  • Passion for soccer 
  • Master's degree in a related area
  • Bilingual (English and Spanish) knowledge of other languages is beneficial 
  • Relevant experience in safeguarding investigations, social care, or other safeguarding roles
  • Experience in high-volume case management including report intake, investigation, resolution, and tracking.
  • Experience and competence in presenting and/or delivering training
  • Strong knowledge of sports governance, previous experience with a club or national team 
  • Thorough institutional understanding of U.S. Soccer's mission, goals, technical plan, policies, practices, and procedures 

Working at U.S. Soccer is a unique opportunity. Employees who work at U.S. Soccer have the following attributes: 

  • Live our Principles & Values
  • Adopt a company-centric approach—Serve the Athlete and the Fan
  • Embrace and see learning as a lifelong pursuit 
  • Possess a growth mindset—keeps an open mind and seeks new challenges 
  • Practice self-assessment and self-reflection
  • Open to criticism and does not make excuses
  • Wants to be part of a team that wins
  • Has the ability to be firm but fair 
  • Communicate in a direct, open and honest manner
  • Build relationships through genuine interpersonal skills  

COVID-19 Vaccination

  • U.S. Soccer has mandated the Covid-19 vaccine and is requiring all staff to be fully vaccinated at the start of employment