Deputy Executive Director

  • Advancement Project, National Office
  • Washington, DC

This position has been filled.

About Advancement Project, National Office

Advancement Project is a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, Advancement Project exists to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. Advancement Project uses innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.

Advancement Project envisions a future where people of color are free – where they can thrive, be safe and exercise power. Driven by the genius of ordinary people and their movements, racism will no longer exist and justice will be radically transformed.

A decade ago, Advancement Project’s founding team of veteran civil rights lawyers believed that structural racism could begin to be dismantled by multi-racial grassroots organizing focused on changing public policies and supported by lawyers and communications strategies. The collective experience of Advancement Project’s founders, as well as the conclusion of some of the most creative thinkers in the civil rights field, suggested that when this method of change is employed, it can have much greater resonance than policy advocacy, litigation, or organizing tend to have on their own. Yet racial justice efforts that incorporated this essential- and powerful-mix of lawyers, organizers, and communications experts rarely occurred.

To implement our theory of change, Advancement Project operates on two planes:

  • Locally, Advancement Project provides direct, hands-on support for organized communities in their struggles for racial and social justice, providing legal, communications and campaign organizing resources for on-the-ground efforts, while assisting in building their own capacity and power in their communities.
  • Nationally, Advancement Project helps weave movement and create context for breakthroughs on race. The organization serves as a convener to build momentum beyond place, creating a space to learn from one another and work together across space. Advancement Project connects partners doing similar work across geographies and provide legal, policy, strategic campaign and communications support including shaping the narrative, exposing the problem and highlighting solutions. Advancement Project also actively broadens and extends the practice of community-centered racial justice lawyering through training, networking, and the creation of tools and resources. Advancement Project uses strategic communications to influence public opinion on issues of race, democracy and justice, creating an opening for local change to occur.
  • Advancement Project chooses project activities, whether national or local, with the potential to build power at the grassroots level and to reframe and accelerate the quest for racial justice. Moreover, Advancement Project does not shy away from difficult issues and its staff are typically first responders to civil rights crises, as well as on the cutting edge of racial justice issues.

For more information on the Advancement Project, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director will play a key role in supporting the ongoing growth and infrastructure-building of this high-impact, $11 million organization. The Deputy Executive Director will have both internal and external facing responsibilities, including strategic leadership, administrative oversight and fundraising support.

As a member of Advancement Project’s leadership team, the Deputy Executive Director will be instrumental in overseeing day-to-day internal operations, including coordinating the activities of the leadership team and Program Directors. The Deputy Executive Director will be focused on effective cross-team planning and coordination, and will ensure strong alignment, communication, and cohesion across the organization. The Deputy Executive Director will directly supervise the Program Directors.

As the ED’s ‘trusted counsel’, the role requires a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, self-motivation, and strong analytical skills. The Deputy Executive Director will assist the ED with strategic priorities, and monitor tasks related to execution and implementation of organizational goals.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and detailed-oriented movement lawyer who is able to effectively manage and empower people to achieve results. The Deputy Executive Director must be a continuous learner who has a demonstrated commitment and investment in developing others. The Deputy Executive Director will have a strong work ethic, a commitment to clear goals and measurable outcomes, an ability to learn quickly, a history of working well in teams and a passion for the vision and mission of Advancement Project.

Candidate Profile

The Deputy Executive Director of Advancement Project will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Strategic Partnership and Culture-Rich Leadership

  • Build on Advancement Project’s current vision to fuel a courageous national movement to dismantle structural racism, using the skills of both cheerleader and coach to galvanize the staff to action
  • An influencer, sharing insights and contributing to the larger ecosystem of racial justice, while also absorbing learnings from the field to improve internal practice
  • Both inspiring and inspired – quick to share vision and aspiration that galvanizes a team, and equally quick to share enthusiasm and celebration for what the team has itself created
  • Not afraid to share best practices and best failures, bringing an ability to quickly build trust and foster a culture of learning
  • Present to the pulse of the employees, while keeping an eye on external priorities and opportunities to support continued evolution

Inclusive and Engaged Manager

  • Skilled at building effective relationships and fostering collaboration across a complex organizational structure, ensuring programs, offices, and teams are communicating, partnering, and working in concert toward a broader vision and set of goals
  • An empathic leader, communicator, and collaborator who is skilled at listening to and learning from others
  • Will have the ability to develop a powerful sense of shared purpose in others and motivate a diverse range of extraordinarily passionate, committed, and skilled team to engage the opportunities and challenges ahead
  • A track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through creativity and teamwork

Relationship Builder

  • The relational glue for key stakeholders, including partners, organizers, community members and donors
  • Skilled at building, cultivating, and retaining cross-functional teams, engaging them in key imperatives
  • Experienced in engaging diverse partners and coalitions to help drive awareness of and contribution to a mission
  • Ability to move people with stories and impact, compelling others to action through inspiration and a sense of connection

Commitment to Building teams

  • A compassionate and accountable leader
  • Experienced in working with multi-racial and ethnic staff, with the character and integrity necessary to develop rapport with people of varying experiences, backgrounds, and philosophies
  • A resourceful coach and capable facilitator, skilled in encouraging, guiding, and leading others in developing awareness, comfort, and confidence to address and champion equity in all aspects of the organization
  • Track record of leading and retaining teams that allow staff to grow and build together

Passion for the Mission

  • Energized by the cause and bold vision of justice
  • Derives energy from the hard and creative work of helping transform communities
  • Exudes accessibility, curiosity and a deep respect for and knack at building community
  • Brings a deep appreciation for complex challenges and an excitement to be part of a team at the forefront of the next generation of the social and racial justice movement
  • Someone who can be trusted without reservation

Additionally, strong candidates will hold a J.D. and bring experience in movement lawyering, social justice advocacy, and/or program leadership.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role begins at $150,000 annually.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Chartise Clark of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email Chartise directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Advancement Project is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

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