Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA   |   November 15, 2019

About Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs). Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through its programs and services Advancing Justice – LA advocates for the AANHPI community, civil rights, and social justice.

Advancing Justice-LA is an affiliate of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of AANHPIs and other underserved communities. Other affiliates include:

  • AAJC, Washington, DC
  • Asian Law Caucus, San Francisco
  • AAAJ, Atlanta
  • AAAJ, Chicago

Each organization operates independently but work together on national policy and litigation initiatives to further shared values, mission, and vision. The CEO of Advancing Justice – LA will be a leading voice and advocate in partnership with these affiliates. Advancing Justice – LA is based in downtown Los Angeles, with regional offices in Orange County and Sacramento.

Programs and Services

Direct Services: Advancing Justice – LA provides free and low-cost legal services and education to individuals, especially those who speak little or no English. With multilingual intake, Advancing Justice – LA’s assistance may range from advice provided over the phone to representation in court.

Leadership Development: Advancing Justice – LA develops leaders for a multiracial society, including developing leadership skills amongst social change advocates in Los Angeles.

Policy and Research: Advancing Justice – LA defends and advances civil and immigrant rights through research and policy advocacy that has the potential to result in systemic changes in government, business, and society.

Impact Litigation: Advancing Justice – LA brings lawsuits to protect, enforce, and expand the rights of low-income and immigrant communities. Key cases have focused on the rights of low-wage immigrant workers and language access.

Capacity Building: Advancing Justice – LA empowers the AANHPI community-based organizations throughout California through training, technical assistance and financial support.

For more information on Advancing Justice – LA, please visit

The Opportunity

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is seeking an innovative, inspiring, and bold advocate to be its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This is a unique opportunity to be at the helm of the largest civil rights and legal services organization representing the AANHPI communities in the country, as Advancing Justice – LA evolves to respond to current challenges to the social justice movement.

The CEO is responsible for the overall successful operation and performance of Advancing Justice – LA. This includes oversight of all programs and fund development efforts, as well as the fiscal health and structural soundness of the organization. Reporting to and working closely with the Board of Directors, the CEO manages an annual budget of $13 million, and oversees 70 talented and passionate staff members. The CEO also serves as the primary spokesperson for Advancing Justice – LA with community members, policy makers, funders, and partner organizations.

This is a compelling opportunity to work with a historically powerful civil rights organization that helped shape the Asian American movement, that has the people power to mobilize around initiatives, and that possesses the clout to truly work with partner organizations and policies to advance a progressive agenda. This exciting stage in Advancing Justice – LA’s trajectory offers the new CEO the chance to be daring in spearheading innovative and impactful work for vulnerable communities while elevating Advancing Justice – LA as an AANHPI leader in a new “intersectional” movement with uncompromising vision.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Develop concrete vision and direction for the organization
  • Work with Board of Directors to chart vision and a five-year strategic plan
  • Engage staff in vision, direction, and tactics for the five-year strategic plan
  • Develop and implement the five-year strategic plan
  • Lead and develop senior leadership team
  • Support and develop collaborations and intersectional coalitions
  • Work with affiliated Advancing Justice groups throughout the country
  • Support and develop strategy areas
  • Collaborate with staff to determine the organization’s position on emerging civil rights/social justice issues and current events

Fundraising Leadership

  • Design and drive comprehensive fundraising plan for funding from diverse sources
  • Develop and grow strong relationships with foundation, corporate, and government funders
  • Develop and solicit individual and major donors
  • Lead and cultivate internal development team members to improve comprehensive donor development
  • Build Board capacity for fundraising and leverage Board connections to diversify fundraising strategy

External Relations

  • Develop and implement comprehensive public and community relations and communications plan
  • Increase visibility of the organization among media, donors, community-based organizations, corporations, foundations, and legislators
  • Represent the organization at public forums; network at different functions to develop strategic and key relationships
  • Increase visibility of the organization’s senior leadership
  • Work to establish the organization as a trusted expert voice for civil rights, social justice, and the AANHPI community

Strong Operations Management and Supervision

  • Provide strong financial management of the organization
  • Ensure execution of sound human resources and facilities practices
  • Lead efforts to maintain and increase employee engagement and foster a positive work culture
  • Oversee implementation and evaluation of key program areas in partnership with the senior leadership team
  • Support the professional development of staff in collaboration with senior leadership and maintain current knowledge of the organization’s work areas
  • Develop and enhance internal communication processes
  • Participate in regular management team, unit, and office staff meeting
Core Competencies

The CEO will be a visionary leader with a proven track record as a change manager with excellent fundraising, operations, relationship-building, and advocacy skills. The CEO will have the passion for Advancing Justice – LA’s mission and the good judgment needed to establish the necessary trust and credibility with the Board of Directors, staff, community members, policymakers, and partner organizations. This individual will have a track record as a civil rights leader and will ideally have had exposure to a legal environment relevant to Advancing Justice-LA’s mission.

The ideal candidate will bring at least seven years of experience in a senior management position within a large nonprofit organization. This individual will have extensive experience working in the diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, as well as working collaboratively and respectfully with other communities of color and marginalized communities, such as immigrants, limited-English proficient populations, low income communities, and LGBTQ communities.

In addition, the successful candidate will have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership: The CEO will be a strategic leader and imaginative thinker who will have the drive and passion to continue to develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission of Advancing Justice – LA. Working closely with the Board of Directors and staff, the CEO will create an inspiring, holistic, and unifying vision for the organization. This forward-thinking, courageous, and decisive leader will work collaboratively to advance a progressive agenda to advance the rights of AANHPI and other historically marginalized communities. The CEO will have a history of being innovative and creative in translating vision into strategic programming, increasing organizational impact, and capturing new opportunities to bring about systemic change.

Expertise in Fundraising: The CEO will bring to the role a measurable track record of success in and genuine enthusiasm for development, including a strong background in institutional, individual, and corporate giving. Bringing an impressive networking capacity, this charismatic fundraiser will have the ability to diversify Advancing Justice – LA’s revenue stream, with a focus on growing its individual donor base and developing and enhancing new and existing relationships with institutional donors. The CEO will have a strategic vision for long-term revenue generation and will offer innovative ways to increase funding.

Board Relations: The successful candidate will have a track record of success working with a board of directors and will possess the confidence and expertise needed to make recommendations to the Advancing Justice – LA Board of Directors regarding the organization’s strategic direction. The CEO will proactively inform the Board of the financial position and health of the organization and furnish accurate data guiding critical decisions.

Management and Operations Excellence: The CEO will be a strong and experienced organizational and change manager, with strong financial and budgetary skills and a thorough understanding of best-in-class nonprofit management practices. This individual will excel at building and scaling a nonprofit infrastructure, and will be comfortable implementing new systems, policies, and procedures to optimize the operations at Advancing Justice – LA. The CEO will have the ability to evolve financial systems and use new technology to streamline processes.

An inspiring, transparent, and unifying manager with a shared leadership style, the CEO will build trust with staff and establish clarity on roles, responsibilities, and targeted outcomes. This individual will be outcomes-driven and will demonstrate the ability to build, nurture, and retain a strong team of diverse professionals, creating a culture of accountability. In particular, this person will have the ability to identify and build a leadership team that will energize and drive the organization. The CEO will understand the value of unions and will establish a healthy relationship between the bargaining unit and management.

Community Relations, Relationship Building and Communication: The CEO will be a charismatic and diplomatic leader who is able to communicate effectively with and garner respect from a diverse group of stakeholders. As the spokesperson for the organization, the CEO will position Advancing Justice – LA and its work within the social justice movement and confidently communicate the organization’s value-add to all constituents.

The CEO will build on their experience with social justice movements and campaigns to build relationships with peer organizations, policy makers, community leaders, and funders to build a collective movement on the local, regional, and national level. This approachable leader will excel at community organizing and coalition building to effect social change.

The CEO will be an engaged and active listener, and will value transparent communication across all levels of the organization. Bringing deep experience with board relations to the role, the CEO will work to develop the Board and to take them to the next level as a governing body.

Passion for the Mission: The CEO will have a passion for the mission of Advancing Justice – LA, deep ties to the AANHPI community, and a demonstrated commitment to social justice. This inclusive leader will have a compelling track record of civil rights advocacy. The CEO will display the highest degree of integrity in the role and will serve as a model for all staff.


Advancing Justice – LA has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Naree Viner. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Michelle and Naree at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Naree W.S. Viner
Managing Director

Advancing Justice – LA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic factors, military/veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit