Director, Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Programs

Director, Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Programs

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Location Flexible, USA   |   April 20, 2020

About Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges – from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system.

Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice and Opportunity, CZI is pairing engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy work, and movement building to help build an inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Values

CZI believes they can help build a future for everyone.

  • They aim to be daring, but humble: They look for bold ideas – regardless of structure and stage – and help them scale by pairing engineers with subject matter experts to build tools that accelerate the pace of social progress.
  • They want to learn fast but build for the long-term: They want to iterate fast and help bring new solutions to the table, but also realize that important breakthroughs often take decades, or even centuries.
  • Stay close to the real problems: They engage directly in the communities they serve because no one understands our society’s challenges like those who live them every day.

CZI’s success is dependent on building teams that include people from different backgrounds and experiences who can challenge each other’s assumptions with fresh perspectives. To that end, they look for a diverse pool of applicants, including those from historically marginalized groups – women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, veterans, and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

For more information on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, please visit

The Opportunity

This is an opportunity to play a key, high-visibility role in a dynamic, cross-functional organization. CZI is leveraging grantmaking, advocacy, and technology development to hasten and deepen social impact efforts across the country. Within CZI’s Justice & Opportunity Initiative (JOI), this position will directly oversee two CZI efforts, Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration.

CZI is looking for someone who brings a unique perspective to this work and is energized by significant responsibility, ready to interact directly with CZI leadership on a regular basis. This role requires support and supervision of a highly cross-functional team, including data scientists, policy experts, grant program officers, finance experts, and researchers. Emphasizing management over personal execution, the right person in this role will rally the team to drive results in the field as well as within CZI, including implementing CZI’s approach to impact evaluation and CZI’s internal operating model.

The Director’s responsibilities include setting the overall strategic vision for these programmatic areas and working collaboratively with partners in government, research, philanthropy, and business to learn, enhance program strategy, and support innovation. Additionally, the Director must ensure excellence in grantmaking in each of these programs, with attention to stewardship, alignment with program strategies, broadening the consensus for reform across legacy partisan divides, and collaborating with other partners to support innovation.

The core responsibilities of the Director, Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Programs will include:

  • Execute a comprehensive strategy to contribute to a deep transformation of the American criminal justice system and comprehensive, dignity-centered immigration reform. This work will include, for example, support of issue advocacy and related work, policy implementation, technological innovation, and capacity-building to support a stronger coalition in support of continued reform on all sides of the aisle. Lead strategic reviews on program strategy with CZI’s leadership and hold overall responsibility for the programs’ budgets, evaluation efforts, and results.
  • Center diversity, equity, and inclusion in their personal and organizational leadership, inspiring others both through example and as an explicit management priority in all of their work.
  • As a manager and leader at CZI, embody servant-leadership in all interactions with every teammate to include CZI staff, executives, and external partners; model resilience in the midst of change or ambiguity; demonstrate excellence in people-management through coaching teammates to succeed, grow and, where appropriate, change course.
  • Provide clear, effective day-to-day leadership to drive a unified program vision with a broader cross-functional team who collaborate on criminal justice reform and immigration efforts but who do not directly report to this position; these cross-functional collaborators include communications, movement capacity-building, technology, and operations teammates.
  • As a grantmaker and investor, oversee a disciplined, data-informed approach to programmatic grantmaking, reflecting fidelity to strategy, sustainability, equity, and good stewardship; partner closely with JOI experts on program evaluation and grantcraft to align all program officers with effective, equitable grantmaking practices; partner closely with JOI experts to execute program impact evaluation efforts that are equitable, innovative, and informative for the program, its grantees, and the field.
  • Build trusted relationships and champion collaboration with other leaders in these and related fields; serve as CZI’s chief external spokesperson for criminal justice and immigration matters, as appropriate.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • 8-10+ years leadership experience in criminal justice as a practitioner and/or organizational leader, with preference for a practitioner or leader with other direct experience.
  • Recognized subject matter expertise in criminal justice policy, with preference for experience in both criminal justice and immigration policy or advocacy. Strong knowledge of and demonstrated passion for immigration reform.
  • At least 5 years of experience as a people-manager, with preference for leaders who have directly managed large teams and have managed other people-managers.
  • A track record of bold leadership, informed risk-taking, learning from failure, and supporting others in the same.
  • A track record of having achieved significant reforms, through legislative or administrative policy change, implementation, innovation, or a combination thereof, with preference for experience accumulated in a role working for an elected official, in a policy-making role in government, issue/ballot measure campaign experience, or related experience.
  • Experience managing complex stakeholder relationships with government, policy, and advocacy partners.
  • Demonstrated passion for engaging partners and stakeholders who hold differing viewpoints and values, including passion for working across proverbial ideological or partisan aisles, with the goal of developing a shared vision.
  • Past experience that reflects a personal commitment to service, which may include, for example, public service experience, experience serving a nonprofit or community organization, military service, or other forms of service (whether formalized or not) to one’s community.
  • Demonstrated ability to build new teams and supportive systems and cultures.
  • Proven ability to navigate complex organizations and processes to deliver results.
  • Experience working collaboratively to support work across multiple teams and outcomes.
  • Professional or conversational fluency in a language other than English is preferred.
  • CZI endeavors to stay close to real problems and remain closely connected with the communities they serve and the challenges they face; CZI values direct/lived experience with the criminal justice legal and immigration systems, and strongly encourages potential candidates with a personal connection to these issues to apply.
  • An interest in or skills related to data science, engineering, evaluation, grantmaking, and/or philanthropic processes would be a plus.

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Meghan Franklin are leading this search. To express your interest in this role, please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative wants to do their part to dismantle systemic inequality and champion equal opportunity. To that end, CZI seeks to include those from historically marginalized groups – women, people with disabilities, people of color, people who are formerly incarcerated, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

CZI is committed to fair treatment, access, and advancement for all members of the CZI team – from interns to top management. A sense of belonging is important to CZI, so CZI actively fosters a workplace where everyone is and feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.

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