Executive Director

Executive Director

Critical Exposure

Washington, DC   |   July 1, 2020

About Critical Exposure

Critical Exposure trains youth of color in Washington D.C. to harness the power of photography and their own voices to fight for educational equity and social justice. Through campaigns and visual storytelling, youth at Critical Exposure raise their voices in conversations about issues in our community and build the public support and political will needed to address the issues they face. Critical Exposure has been creating a new generation of civic leaders who have:

  • the ability to analyze social issues,
  • the tools to express themselves,
  • the creativity to imagine new solutions to old problems,
  • the belief that youth have the right and ability to fight for those solutions, and
  • the skills to hold communities and public officials accountable.

Since their founding in 2004, Critical Exposure has trained more than 2,700 DC youth of color, who have used their images and narratives to fight for restorative justice programs, solutions to the school-to-prison-pipeline, and more than $500 million in new funds for public schools.

Critical Exposure has witnessed tremendous growth in the youth who learn to recognize their ability to be powerful agents of social change.

For more information on Critical Exposure, please visit their website.

People of color and DC natives are strongly encouraged to apply. Critical Exposure is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law and we hope individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds will apply for this position. We celebrate the diversity and lived experiences of all members of our nation and community and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision and who can contribute to our work and this mission.

The Opportunity

For this transformational role, Critical Exposure seeks an inspiring and visionary leader who is deeply and actively committed to working with youth and fighting for educational equity, social justice, and racial equity. Co-founder and current ED, Adam Levner, has worked tirelessly with staff and youth over more than a decade to build this unique and impactful organization. The next leader has a distinct opportunity to guide the organization as it continues to advocate for the power of young people, amplify youth voices, and support youth leadership in shaping the policy and social changes that impact their lives. With overall strategic and operational responsibility, the Executive Director will work closely with a committed Board, a dedicated team, and extraordinary young people of color from D.C. to ensure effective and relevant programming, a strong and diverse funding base, and effective financial and operational management. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for a strategic, entrepreneurial, and creative leader who is committed to youth leadership, social justice, and racial equity to build on Critical Exposure’s strong history to co-create and implement a vision for future impact.

Strategic, Visionary Leadership

  • Lead an inclusive process to revisit and recommit to Critical Exposure’s mission, vision, and values
  • Work with staff to translate mission, vision, and values into a strong program plan and strategic roadmap for the future
  • In partnership with the Director of Development and Communications, create a long-term strategic fundraising plan to include diverse sources of revenue
  • Actively engage young people in roles of organizational leadership, including the development of strategy and programming
  • Accountable for overall organizational success, including strategic, programmatic, budgetary, and fundraising goals
  • Serve as an external advocate for the organization, build and steward programmatic, funder, and partner relationships to meet organizational goals
  • Actively engage and energize all constituents, including Board members, funders, partner organizations, volunteers, and event committees, in support of the organization

Organizational Excellence

  • Attract, retain, and develop a high-performing team that reflects the identities of the youth Critical Exposure serves, that are committed to social justice and racial equity work with all Critical Exposure stakeholders; embody organizational values to build and coach team
  • Identify and build internal systems, staffing structure, operational plans, and best practices for organizational effectiveness
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of supporting functions including finance and administration, fundraising, and communications; recommend systems, timelines, and resources needed to achieve strategic goals
  • In collaboration with the Development and Communications Director, deepen and refine all aspects of communications—including web presence, social media, and external relations

Board Engagement

  • Work effectively with the Board as they support the mission and vision of Critical Exposure
  • Partner with Board to implement effective recruitment and retention strategies to ensure that the Board is representative of the community Critical Exposure serves and brings a diversity of skills and experiences
  • Serve as a thoughtful liaison between the Board and staff to cultivate relationships of respect, trust, and appreciation
Candidate Profile

The Board welcomes a visionary leader who is committed to engaging the voices of youth of color through an authentic and inclusive organizational culture, while demonstrating the ability to take appropriate risks and make difficult choices when needed.

As a strong candidate, you will offer many, though likely not all, of the following skills, experiences, and characteristics:

  • Deep, demonstrated belief in the power of youth to make change and the ability to effectively engage and support young people of color as they identify issues, create solutions, and work for educational and racial justice
  • Demonstrated commitment to undoing all forms of internalized, interpersonal, and institutionalized oppression, as well as an intersectional approach to the work (e.g. racial, economic, and gender justice)
  • At least 7 years of leadership experience, including developing organizational strategy, building transformational programming, and executing operational plans
  • Strong emotional intelligence, with the ability to foster an environment and culture that supports young people from historically under-represented communities in developing their voice, generates action-oriented problem-solving, and values transparent communication, flexibility, and authenticity
  • Experience working with photography, visual arts, and/or youth media
  • Experience in community organizing and/or policy advocacy and campaigns
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising across a variety of revenue streams, with an ability to build genuine and active partnerships with funders, schools, other youth-serving organizations, and activists
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders by building trust, buy-in, and effective, authentic relationships
  • Experience in serving as an organizational spokesperson for media, with policymakers, at conferences, and other opportunities to amplify youth voices
  • Demonstrated success building, coaching, and managing a high-performing team, including managing conflict and providing consistent constructive feedback in a timely manner
  • Experience setting and achieving strategic objectives, and managing the financial and operational aspects of an organization
  • Ability to build a high-performance culture that reflects the organization’s values and commitment to progressive workplace policies
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors, with the ability to cultivate relationships with current members while assisting with the recruitment of new members

The salary range for this position is $98,000 – $110,000.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cassie Scarano, Managing Director, and Charlotte Harris, Consultant are leading this search. To express your interest in the role or make recommendations, please visit this link. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member 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 Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.