Organization: Center for International Policy

Location: Washington, DC

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About the Center for International Policy:

The election of Donald Trump represents one of the most serious challenges to global peace and stability since World War II.  In response, the Center for International Policy (“CIP”) seeks to ramp up its programs and advocacy of peaceful and just alternatives to war, corruption, climate change and U.S. unilateralism.

At the same time, after 42 years of successfully guiding the organization, CIP’s Executive Director, William Goodfellow, is stepping down. With the Democratic Party in tatters, and a Republican-led Congress in disarray, respected and influential non-governmental organizations like CIP have an opportunity to influence public policy as never before.

CIP has shaped some of the most important foreign policy debates and decisions of the past four decades. In the 1970s, CIP led the fight to link human rights to the provision of U.S. economic and military aid.  In the 1980s, CIP promoted Costa Rican President Oscar Arias’ peace plan that ended Central America’s civil wars.  During the 1990s, CIP led efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and for 24 years, CIP led the struggle to normalize relations with Cuba.

CIP has developed a reputation in Washington and among larger NGOs as one of the last remaining truly independent advocates for progressive, non-military solutions to the world’s problems.  CIP’s positions are based on first-hand research in trouble spots around the world.  CIP’s staff of scholars, former government officials, activists and journalists have access to influential people. They are insiders with an outsider’s agenda.

What CIP Believes

Over the past 42 years, CIP has been guided by the following principles:

  • Promoting respect for human and civil rights and encouraging democratic participation makes America and the rest of the world safer;
  • Governments that abuse their own citizens are not reliable allies and should not enjoy preferential treatment from the United States;
  • The use of military force for regime change and nation building has failed in Latin America and in the greater Middle East and elsewhere;
  • Soft power, including economic, social and humanitarian aid, is a much more effective way to promote peace and stability than are arms transfers and military training programs;
  • Civilian diplomats – not defense or intelligence officials – should be the principal implementers of U.S. foreign policy;
  • Relationships with foreign militaries should never be closer than ties to foreign civilian leaders; Active citizen and congressional oversight is essential to the success of foreign policy; and
  • Environmental degradation must be addressed within the United States and globally through international climate agreements.

What Makes CIP Effective

  • Relevant research: CIP documents human rights violations through first-hand, in-country research and develops policy recommendations;
  • Credibility: CIP does not accept contributions from corporations or the U.S. government. This independence safeguards the integrity of CIP’s research and publications;
  • Expert staff: CIP’s staff of former senior government officials, academics, journalists and activists are widely respected in their fields and have access to influential policymakers and media;
  • Partnerships with domestic grassroots organizations: CIP builds alliances with grassroots activists and civil society groups to greatly increase our impact; and
  • Partnership with international coalitions: CIP works with international coalitions to give our work a global impact.

CIP’s Programs

CIP’s programs have in common an independent and careful research-based approach to public policy advocacy. CIP’s core peace and security programs work toward a common objective: ending America’s endless wars in the greater Middle East and reducing excessive military spending. For all of CIP’s programs, CIP’s independent and thoughtful research offers alternative, actionable policies that advance peace and social justice abroad, making Americans safer at home and making the U.S. government more transparent and accountable.

CIP has four priorities in 2017:

  • Resist increasing the already-bloated military budget;
  • Preserve the six-party nuclear agreement with Iran;
  • Block attempts to roll back the opening to Cuba; and
  • Join with other environmental groups to keep the United States in compliance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

CIP’s Current Programs:

Win Without War

Win Without War is America’s largest anti-war coalition, which includes leading environmental, faith, and women’s organizations as well as foreign and military policy organizations. A leader in the fight to promote a more progressive national security strategy, Win Without War’s campaign-style operation aggressively attacks right-wing distortion while pushing elected leaders to stand up against the politicization of our national security policies.  Formed in 2002 to lead the national campaign against the war in Iraq and the disastrous policies of the Bush/Cheney administration, the Win Without War coalition reflects the diversity of the progressive movement.

Security Assistance Monitor

Security Assistance Monitor (SAM) is a unique web-based data-collection program that

informs policymakers, the media, scholars, activists and the public about trends and issues related to U.S. foreign security assistance. SAM seeks to enhance transparency and promote greater oversight of U.S. military and police aid, arms sales and training.

Arms and Security Project

The Arms and Security Project engages in media outreach and public education aimed at promoting reforms in U.S. policies on nuclear weapons, military spending and the arms trade. It advances the notion that diplomacy and international cooperation are more effective tools for protecting the United States than the use of military force.

Global Progressive Hub

Global Progressive Hub (GPH) brings together leaders from across the American progressive movement to build a stronger U.S. activist base for progressive global values, and to develop and implement strategies that promote those values both at home and abroad. GPH identifies opportunities for action on global issues and provides resources to promote a progressive foreign policy vision.

The Americas Program

For 35 years, the Americas Program has been a leading source of information for activists, academics and citizens concerned about U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, human rights and movements for social justice within the hemisphere. From its office in Mexico City, the Americas Program publishes a steady flow of original research and materials that report and analyze events throughout the hemisphere.

The Cuba Project

Taking advantage of this unique moment in history – as relations between the U.S. and Cuba normalize but prior to the end of the economic embargo – the Cuba Project is engaging private sector investors, corporations and NGOs through the formation of a unique partnership committed to a code of ethics, guiding principles and best practices for sustainable development in Cuba.

Environmental Programs

CIP has two environmental programs. Avoided Deforestation Partners, based in California, promotes U.S. and international forest and climate protection initiatives by convening public, private and civil society leaders to promote sustainable agricultural practices free of deforestation. Mighty, CIP’s newest environmental initiative, is a global campaign organization that works to protect the environment. The focus is on conserving tropical rainforests and protecting oceans.

History of CIP:

Former diplomats and peace activists founded the Center for International Policy in 1975 in the wake of the Vietnam War. CIP’s founders wanted to build on the massive grassroots roots movements that helped end the war and to make sure the lessons of the war were not distorted or forgotten. CIP’s mix of experts from inside and outside the government has shaped both its methodology and its agenda since the organization’s founding.

CIP has led an impressive number of citizens’ initiatives. Working closely with allies in Congress, including two members who were to become co-chairs of CIP’s board, Tom Harkin and Don Fraser, CIP campaigned to make sure that a foreign government’s human rights record was considered when allocating foreign aid.

CIP’s initial regional focus was on Asia. In the late 1970s, the Indochina Program promoted the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

In the 1980s, CIP staff turned its attention to Central America. Program staff became the Washington advocates for Costa Rican president Oscar Arias’s Central American peace plan. Executive Director William Goodfellow and Research Director James Morrell ran a U.S. campaign to publicize and build public support for the Arias peace plan, which ultimately silenced the guns in Central America.

In the 1990s, CIP added a number of senior government officials to its staff and expanded its agenda to include reform of the nation’s intelligence agencies. Former Ambassador Robert E. White organized an ambitious regional program to promote Central America’s post-conflict reconciliation.  The former chief of the State Department’s U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Wayne S. Smith, led a 24-year campaign to end the counter-productive isolation of Cuba.

In response to the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the Center shifted its geographic focus to the greater Middle East. Center staff members are deeply involved in efforts to promote political settlements to these wars that have been going on for fifteen years.

The opportunity:

CIP seeks an Executive Director (“ED”) who is prepared to join the fight, to shape and recruit programs and build a new American peace and security movement. At this critical moment in history, CIP is recruiting a new ED who will carry on and strengthen CIP’s mission to promote cooperation, transparency and accountability in global relations. CIP is searching for a courageous and pragmatic leader to take the organization in new directions in response to today’s unique foreign policy challenges.  Dedication to the mission is critical and equally important is a fighter who is unafraid to rock the boat.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, s/he will work in partnership with the Board and staff to develop a strategic approach to increasing CIP’s impact and diversifying its partners and its funding base.

A key role of the ED will be to articulate a clear vision of CIP’s unique niche in the Washington policy community. The Executive Director will guide the process for building consensus on new directions and leading the organization through implementation of new directions and ideas.

The ED will have overall strategic, operational and managerial responsibility for CIP. S/he will work to diversify and expand funding streams and revenues, lead the 24-person core and program staff, promote professional staff development, evaluate programs, recruit new programs, prepare and manage budgets, raise CIP’s public profile and cultivate relationships with other organizations and leaders in the advocacy, foreign policy and research community.

The ED will spend substantial time on fundraising initiatives and ambassadorship, including spreading the word about the work and impact of CIP’s programs, meeting with and cultivating donors, attending events and speaking on behalf of the organization. This work is not limited to interactions with other think tanks, governmental officials, agencies and NGOs, but also includes the media, foundations, individual philanthropists and the general public.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will be an inspirational and creative leader who is passionate about fulfilling CIP’s mission and has a personal commitment to CIP’s overall philosophy. S/he will have the character, confidence and personality to work successfully in a highly visible role and to interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues, funders, staff and media. S/he will have proven track record of visionary leadership, successful organizational management, and a proven track record of fundraising and development.

A Passion for the Mission

The ED must have a passion for and commitment to promoting a sustainable, just and peaceful world. Previous leadership experience in U.S. foreign policy, human rights, or a related field is a requirement.

Visionary Leadership

The ideal candidate will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who, along with the staff and Board of Directors, will articulate and implement a vision and a plan for increasing CIP’s impact in its next chapter. S/he will motivate others, both internally and externally, to engage in CIP’s mission and achieve new heights for the organization. The ED will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values. S/he must also have the capacity to shape policy positions, build strategic initiatives and advance an advocacy agenda.

Organizational Management

The ED will be a seasoned executive and strong manager who understands the importance of effective operational and financial administration. S/he is a facilitator of staff and Board teamwork and provides clear expectations and accountability measures for staff deliverables. The ED will be an inspirational and team-focused leader, welcoming the full participation of deeply committed and passionate colleagues in decision-making and maintaining a respectful working environment. S/he will be able to listen, evaluate and learn from criticism and respect differences. S/he will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from all stakeholders.

Fundraising and Development

The ED will have a solid record of fundraising success. S/he will have a deep understanding that fundraising and development of long-term relationships are fundamental to the organization’s success. S/he will have a strong professional network to further the mission of CIP and convene support from funders and partners to maximize the impact and visibility of CIP’s work. Concurrently, the ED will work to expand and diversify CIP’s funding sources, with a focus on individual and foundation relationships.

Public Speaking and Representation

The ED will be the public face of the organization and serve as its “ambassador” to the media, policymakers and funders. S/he will be a confident public speaker who can represent CIP locally, nationally and internationally in governmental, civic, philanthropic and advocacy arenas and utilize brand and marketing strategies to elevate CIP’s recognition. The ED will be effective at conveying CIP’s mission and priorities and will have the stature to work with senior officials, key funders and prospective partners.


Alison P. Ranney and Anne B. McCarthy of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please email them directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search 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