Co-Executive Directors

Co-Executive Directors

The Center for Popular Democracy

Flexible Location, USA   |   February 19, 2021

About The Center for Popular Democracy

The Center for Popular Democracy and CPD Action (together, CPD/A) works to promote equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD/A currently works with more than 53 affiliates in 34 states and Puerto Rico and builds the strengths and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda. CPD/A is a rapidly expanding, changing organization that partners with organizations across the country to build political power and win tangible victories that improve the lives of low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities of color.

For more information on The Center for Popular Democracy please visit its website.

Read more about CPD’s values here.

The Opportunity

The Center for Popular Democracy seeks two Co-Executive Directors (Co-EDs) to lead the organization to achieve even greater levels of strategic influence, impact, and innovation – knowing that these external indicators derive from a healthy organization with talented staff, strong partnerships with affiliates members and movement allies, and a solid reputation in the field. The Co-EDs will help CPD/A to achieve its vision of a democracy where everyone can thrive. This is an incredible opportunity to assume leadership of a dynamic, fiscally sound organization with a strong reputation of leading and winning campaigns and delivering incredible impact through its own work and network of affiliates. The timing of the current political and social moment is ripe for new leaders to build on CPD/A’s rich history and chart a course for the future that is powered by vision, energy, and hope.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, composed of representatives of key constituency groups: state affiliates, core national partner organizations, and allied partners, and working in deep collaboration with an exceptional team of 140-plus, the Co-EDs will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for CPD/A staff, programs, growth, sustainability, and the achievement of its mission.

The ideal candidates will be collaborative and thoughtful leaders with a deep understanding of the pervasive impacts of racial capitalism, a demonstrated commitment to racial equity and the fight for freedom, justice, and dignity for all people, a movement-building sensibility that aims to build, harness, and deploy the collective power and potential of the network, and bring a talent for communicating bold and visionary ideas that drive collaboration internally, with partner affiliates, and across the movement through organizing and base building.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Galvanize the team to achieve the organization’s vision for itself, the affiliate network, funders, supporters, and partners;
  • Work with the senior leadership team to build the infrastructure of the organization; ensuring systems, processes, and work plans across the organization are aligned to a common vision and that day-to-day operations are set up for maximum impact; ensure strategic priorities are reflected in an actionable plan with measurable milestones and outcomes;
  • Continue CPD’s work to advance its commitment to racial equity internally and externally; provide inspirational and compassionate leadership and maintain a participatory, inclusive, and collaborative culture that ensures that CPD is a place where talented, mission-driven people can come, stay, and do their best work;
  • Maintain excellent, consultative and deeply authentic relationships with CPD affiliate organizations’ senior leadership through regular one-on-one conversations, field visits and collaborative work;
  • Lead CPD’S fundraising strategy and initiatives, building fundraising capacity across the organization and ensuring a network of committed, engaged supporters;
  • Lead by example and ensure all levels of management work to deepen and strengthen a culture of inclusion and equity across the entire organization;
  • Provide strong partnership, collaboration, and leadership to the CPD and CPD/A Boards of Directors, ensuring open lines of communication and high levels of engagement;
  • Provide supportive and empowering leadership for a diverse range of extraordinarily passionate, committed, and skilled team members; foster a culture of radical candor, authenticity, collaboration, and joy;
  • Serve as the external ambassador and lead spokesperson for CPD and its affiliates with the media, donors, elected officials and other external stakeholders.
Candidate Profile

The Co-EDs will be passionate, accomplished leaders with a demonstrated ability to manage a large, dynamic and evolving organization. They will be committed to CPD’s mission and will have the skills required to drive the organization’s vision and impact through collaborative strategic planning and leadership grounded in empathy, kindness and humility.

Leading candidates will have some if not all of the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

The Co-EDs will bring proven experience operationalizing a vision and ensuring that strategy, structures, systems, and processes are aligned and functioning for maximum impact. In addition, they will have experience with the progressive movement and its strategies, and a history of centering the people and issues too often excluded from political power.  At least one, if not both of the Co-Eds will have experience as organizers themselves.

Inclusive and Engaged Leadership and Management Approach

The Co-EDs will bring experience building effective relationships and fostering collaboration across a complex organizational structure, ensuring programs and teams are communicating, partnering, and working in concert toward a broader vision and set of goals. The Co-EDs will be strong leaders, assertive communicators, and experienced collaborators who are skilled at listening to, and learning from, staff and affiliates and apply a proactive and transparent approach. The Co-EDs will lead with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will be able to foster an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of people of different perspectives, backgrounds, generations, and cultures. They will understand the importance of building and maintaining a strong staff and effective cross-movement relationships. They will be enthusiastic to partner with senior leaders in developing the strengths and leadership of the staff. The Co-EDs will value having a unionized staff and want to meaningfully engage.

Fundraising, External Affairs, and Passion for Relationship Building

As the leading fundraisers for CPD, the Co-EDs will share responsibility for aggressively fundraising for CPD and affiliates organizations. They will bring a demonstrated track record in fundraising, ideally with knowledge of and existing relationships with relevant and aligned funders. They will have equal experience or ability in developing relationships with movement partners, political leaders, supporters, and other important stakeholders.

Public Leadership

The Co-EDs will be comfortable representing the CPD/A network in public, with philanthropic partners, in earned and social media, with affiliates and in cultural organizing spaces, as well as with elected officials including members of Congress. They will bring experience advancing and disseminating an organization’s mission and seeking out opportunities to participate in public forums, movement spaces and press outlets. They will have experience acting as a negotiator with key partners, creating buy-in through persuasion with stakeholders, and speaking clearly to the issues that are most important to CPD/A. The Co-EDs are responsible for maintaining a regular public presence through writing, public speaking, and events that expand CPD/A’s reach and make its work highly visible.

Application Process

Internal applicants, individuals who have held significant leadership experience within the CPD/A network/family of organizations, including current CPD staff, former CPD staff, and staff who have held senior leadership within a CPD affiliate, are strongly encouraged.

Individuals may apply singly, that is for one of the open Co-Executive Director positions, or as a team, that is as two people applying for the Co-Executive Director positions together. In either case, please clearly indicate in the cover letter of your application, your status as a solo or team applicant. If you are applying as a team, you may choose to submit one joint cover letter along with both of your resumes.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary will be determined according to a salary scale which takes into account years’ experience, location, job category, and other factors but is expected to be $185,000 to $240,000. CPD/A has a generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, 15 vacation days per year, 10 sick days per year, 14 paid holidays per year, and contributions to individual 401k plans.


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 cover letter and resume here or email [email protected] and [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


CPD/A is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and actively recruits people of color, womxn, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTIQA+ community.

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

Download the position profile HERE.