Senior Program Officer – Economic Development

Company: Chicago Community Loan Fund

Location: Chicago, IL

Job Function: Business Development


The mission of the Chicago Community Loan Fund is to provide flexible, affordable and responsible financing and technical assistance for community stabilization and development efforts and initiatives that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, families and individuals throughout metropolitan Chicago.

CCLF was founded in 1991 by a group of visionary social-investment advocates. Their aim was to create a nimble, flexible nonprofit lender who would fill the community development credit gaps as they emerged across the city and region. In particular, CCLF was created to ensure that Chicagoland community developers (including small and emerging groups) would have a lender to turn to for harder-to-underwrite projects and enterprises.


CCLF’s Senior Program Officer – Economic Development assists in the functions of the Economic Development Department including program management; new business development (including special initiatives and partnership development); commercial real estate (CRE) deal identification, originating, packaging, closings; and representing CCLF at public events as determined. The Senior Program Officer – Economic Development will network with community groups as well as community leaders, including meetings hosted by other agencies as they relate to the CCLF objectives or when a valuable relationship can be established.

People who work at CCLF come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds. CCLF values a work environment where all staff can show up as their authentic self, feel valued and engaged, and know that their voice is heard. We are looking for individuals to join our team who have:

  • Passion for our mission and are true believers in our core purpose,
  • Courage to be fearless advocates to advance communities by unlocking potential, ensuring fairness in opportunities, and pursuing justice for all,
  • Desire to be part of an innovative and collaborative team to overcome the lack of economic progress in the communities CCLF serves,
  • An open mind, are able to actively listen and collaborate with community residents and partners who share CCLF’s values, vision, and passion for change.


  • Assist in implementing departmental strategy
  • Assist in managing existing and new economic development programs and initiatives
  • Market department services including business development for the department
  • Assist in identifying, originating, underwriting and packaging economic development loans, including presenting transactions to the Loan Committee and/or Board of Directors for approval
  • Assist in providing deal structuring and project planning technical assistance to customers, including NMTC, HTC, TIF, Neighborhood Opportunity Funds and other financing tools
  • Assist customers in recruiting funding and tenants
  • Assist in recruiting efforts for funding of CCLF’s economic development activities (e.g. Activate Retail, NMTC, HFFI, Federal loan/guarantee programs, etc.)
  • Assist with the development of workshops and technical assistance to promote loan production for the department
  • Follow –up with residents, community groups, CDC’s, nonprofit organizations, community leaders and other service providers on activities related to CCLF events
  • Coordinate and carry out all logistics for meetings, events and relevant activities for CCLF projects
  • Attend and participate in policy forums, committees, community meetings and public events as required
  • Track departmental social impact, manage community benefits agreements


The Senior Program Officer – Economic Development will have economic development experience to manage and implement strategic plans for the continued growth of CCLF.  They will possess the skills and ability required to be a part of an economic development team (once CCLF is in a position to hire additional staff for the department) while maintaining the flexibility, decisiveness, creative problem resolution and relationship-building skills required of a team member of economic development activities for CCLF. The ideal candidate will also possess the following:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in commercial real estate (CRE) deal identification, originating, packaging and closings to nonprofits, small businesses, and developers in a financial institution or CDFI in the community economic development arena
  • A working knowledge of loan underwriting will be useful
  • Presentation and public speaking experience
  • Working knowledge of affordable housing, commercial retail, commercial real estate, economic development, other community financing and deal structuring
  • Excellent project and process management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong marketing skills
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills
  • Ability to organize and handle multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of community-based groups
  • A keen attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Project or other database programs required
  • Working knowledge of loan underwriting, advising customers on the financial tools of deal structuring (NMTC, HTC, TIF, Neighborhood Opportunity Funds, etc.)

Minimum educational requirement:  Bachelor’s degree in business, economics or related field. Master’s degree in Real Estate Finance or Development, Business Administration, Public Policy, Public Administration or Urban Planning is preferred.  Bilingual skills (English/Spanish) are preferred, but not required.

To be considered and remain eligible for employment with CCLF, individual must be an established Illinois resident at or by the time individual commences employment and remain a permanent Illinois resident throughout the individual’s employment with CCLF.

Compensation and Benefits

CCLF offers a holistic benefits package that reflects how much we value our employees. Benefits include:

  • Medical Coverage
  • Dental Coverage
  • Vision Coverage
  • Life Insurance, STD, LTD
  • 401(k) Plan
  • SEP (CCLF contributes 6% after first year)
  • Generous time off (vacation, sick and personal days)
  • Generous Parental Leave
  • Birthday holiday
  • Hybrid Remote Working Schedule
  • Sabbatical Leave
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


How to Apply

Please address cover letter and resume to Deborah Sabol and email to with Senior Program Officer – ED in the subject line. Projected start May/June 2022.