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CEO, President, Head of School, and Executive Director, Legal, Nonprofit and Social Impact, Politics/Policy, Social Justice and Advocacy

Executive Director

  • Legal Aid Society of DC
  • Washington, DC
About the Legal Aid Society of DC

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (DC), or Legal Aid, was formed in 1932 to “provide legal aid and counsel to indigent persons in civil law matters and to encourage measures by which the law may better protect and serve their needs”. More colloquially, Legal Aid’s mission is to make justice real – in individual and systemic ways – for people living in poverty in DC. Their pursuit of an anti-poverty mission includes a commitment to racial justice and equity. 

The Legal Aid Society of DC is the largest civil legal services program in the District of Columbia. The bulk of their work is comprised of individual representation in housing, domestic violence/family, public benefits, immigration, reentry, and consumer law. From the experiences of their clients, they identify areas in need of law reform, public policy advocacy, and systemic reform litigation. Legal Aid aspires both to reflect the communities they serve and to value, respect, and empower their staff and clients to be effective agents of change.

For more information on the Legal Aid Society of DC, please visit their website at https://www.legalaiddc.org/ or their blog https://www.makingjusticereal.org/.

The Opportunity

The Legal Aid Society of DC seeks a visionary, and strategic leader to serve as the next Executive Director, to carry on the legacy of 90 years of zealous and client-centered individual civil legal services and systemic advocacy. The Executive Director will have ultimate responsibility, working with the leadership team and supervisory staff, for the legal work of the organization. The next Executive Director must have a demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice, and ensure that these principles are reflected in the organization’s strategy, values, and culture.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

Strategic Leadership
  • Lead Legal Aid in a regular strategic planning process and oversee the implementation of the strategic mission;
  • Engage and energize Legal Aid Board of Trustees (“the Board”) members, partner organizations, pro bono volunteers, and funders to support Legal Aid’s mission;
  • Plan for and implement infrastructure growth to parallel growth of the legal program;
  • Build and lead strategic partnerships across communities and organizations in an effort to deepen organizational impact;
  • Work on an ongoing basis to evaluate Legal Aid programming to ensure that it centers on the experiences of affected communities, and that programs and services reflect and meet the needs of the community being served;
  • Bring an understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and how these principles must guide the work.
People and Culture
  • Promote an organizational culture that fosters passion for the mission, cooperation, open and frequent communication among colleagues, teamwork, and a common organizational vision;
  • Develop and reflect an inclusive organizational culture and promote transparency and collaboration throughout the organization;
  • Attract, retain, lead, and mentor staff who serve the mission of Legal Aid effectively and with enthusiasm;
  • Work with Legal Aid’s experienced senior leadership team in continuing to implement the organization’s recently revised management structure;
  • Encourage staff development and education;
  • Assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the overarching strategic plan and vision of the organization.
Fundraising and Operations
  • Plan and oversee the development, management, and approval of the annual budget;
  • Oversee fiscal management, grants administration, and annual audit;
  • Review and update annual fundraising plans and fundraising activities, including grant writing, annual fundraising campaigns, and major gifts in collaboration with the Board and development staff;
  • Manage, develop, and communicate with key funders, and work to ensure diverse funding streams;
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new funding opportunities;
  • Communicate with a broad array of stakeholders with empathy, sensitivity, and respect, and demonstrate the ability to work cross-culturally.
Board of Trustees Governance
  • Be responsible to the Board for operation of all functions, programs, and services of the organization;
  • Work with the Board President to facilitate efficient and impactful Board meetings;
  • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions;
  • Assist the Board’s Nomination Committee in recruiting, maintaining, and supporting an engaged and active Board;
  • Facilitate regular interactions between the Board and staff.
Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Membership or eligibility for membership in the DC Bar; exceptional non-attorney candidates who meet all other qualifications may also be considered;
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible senior organizational leadership experience with understanding of the complexity of nonprofit organizations;
  • Strong commitment to racial, social, and economic justice;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem solve, exercise good judgement, lead change, and translate vision into action;
  • Success with recruiting, supervising and mentoring staff, supporting professional and leadership development, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace;
  • Empathetic and compassionate leadership style with the ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with clients, staff, partner organizations, pro bono attorneys, donors, grant funders, government officials, judges and court personnel, and members of local legal services and advocacy coalitions;
  • Excellent interpersonal as well as oral and written communication skills; ability to listen to stakeholders with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • The ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects and organizational responsibilities.
Compensation & Benefits

The Executive Director’s starting salary will range from $185,000 to $220,000. Generous benefits include fully paid health insurance (for the employee), annual discretionary retirement match, 12 paid holidays, three personal days and generous annual and sick leave allotments with 24 days of vacation and 15 days of sick leave per year.  

Contact

Trisha Sutrisno and Amber Gomes of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email tsutrisno@koyapartners.com and agomes@koyapartners.com directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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Legal Aid values an inclusive, diverse workplace and encourages applications from interested persons from diverse backgrounds of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications from people with personal experience with the criminal justice system and/or with lived experiences in the communities we serve. 

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the 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 www.koyapartners.com.