Executive Director

Executive Director

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Minneapolis, MN   |   August 6, 2020

About Minnesota Freedom Fund

The Minnesota Freedom Fund (“MFF”) pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to do so themselves. Grounded in a belief that wealth should never determine who is kept in jail, MFF envisions a future free of discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.

MFF stands against cash bail as unjust. The United States and the Philippines are the only two countries in the world where someone has to put up cash to avoid being imprisoned before their trial. In Minnesota, growth of the prison population is due to increases in pretrial incarceration. This system of wealth-based discrimination serves as a vehicle for the criminal justice system to target vulnerable populations. Black, Indigenous, People of Color (“BIPOC”) and immigrants face key disparities in the setting of bail compared to white citizens, including higher rates of arrest and harsher sentencing.

Founded in 2016, MFF pays bail as a way to reduce harm to individuals in the immediate term. When bail interventions are paired with sustained activism and political outreach, groups like MFF can highlight the injustice of cash bail and serve as a voice to give urgency to the struggle for its abolition.

In Minnesota, people in immigration detention are housed in County Jails, and for the most part are housed with the same people awaiting criminal trial. Like the pre-trial bail process of the criminal justice system, the deportation detention system comes with similar challenges and pervasive ills for those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The act of imprisonment is a powerful coercive tool that forces people to choose between exercising their rights or giving up in order to be released. For many immigrants, being released means separating from family.

While not all individuals detained by ICE are offered the option, a comparatively small number are given the chance to leave ICE’s jails if they can pay a sum of money. As a result, poor people are disproportionately subject to being held and detained at county jails while they go through the process of deportation. Known as bond, this money is designed to ensure that those detained by ICE will appear at future court hearings.

The difference between making bond and being stuck in detention makes a huge difference for every detainee. For some, it is a chance to put their affairs in order and manage finances before returning home. For others, it dramatically increases their chances of gaining asylum and staying in the US.

Over 1 million people from all over the world have donated more than $30 million to MFF in recent months. Previously operating on a budget of $250,000, MFF is humbled and deeply grateful for the overwhelming support the organization has received as the global community responds to the senseless murder of George Floyd.

MFF is committed to being transparent about funds raised and spent, including being accountable to its Black-led movement partners, knowing that funds were donated to support the movement for Black liberation and abolition of racist policing and pretrial detention. Further, MFF maintains its commitment to Indigenous and immigrant communities.

Looking ahead, MFF will continue to fight for a future where there is no cash bail – a society that will no longer condition pretrial freedom on class or identity, that will end mass incarceration and invest in restorative and transformative justice. This future vision is focused on helping to build a society that values its people, their freedom and recognizes their contribution to the greater good.

For more information about MFF, please visit: www.mnfreedomfund.org.

The Opportunity

During this unprecedented time following the uprisings sparked by the killing of George Floyd, MFF seeks a compelling and proven strategic leader who will lead and direct the organization through a dynamic, rapidly changing environment.

As MFF enters this next chapter, the Executive Director (ED) will provide overall leadership and have primary responsibility for the management of the organization, with particular emphasis on strategic direction, administration, and Board relations.

Reporting to and partnering with the Board, the ED will set a clear vision and provide thoughtful, strategic direction for the organization. The ED will be charged with fulfilling the organization’s mission and further elevating MFF as a leading model for organizations fighting to end cash bail.

The ED will have the essential character, confidence and deep knowledge necessary for success in this visible and collaborative role. A respected and valued leader and trailblazer, the ED will have a high aptitude for fostering close-knit communities built on a compelling vision for the future, shared learning and collective development.

The ED will provide leadership and vision to multiple sets of stakeholders, including:

  • MFF staff and community: In partnership with the staff, this leader will design and develop strategies and initiatives that strengthen the mission of MFF to advance the well-being of those navigating criminal bail and immigration bond in Minnesota.
  • Policymakers and other community stakeholders: The ED will be the central public face of MFF Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Midwest and nationally. This responsibility includes maintaining relationships with existing stakeholders, while growing new partnerships and relationships with policymakers and other key allies.
  • The Board of Directors: The ED will partner with the Board of Directors, which consists of civic leaders within the Minnesota community, to ensure the integrity and impact of MFF. The ED will actively support the Board in building its capacity for visionary leadership and responsible stewardship of the organization.

The ED will be instrumental in achieving MFF’s aspirational objectives.

Key responsibilities for this leader include:

  • Embodying a clear, inspiring vision and translating strategies into effectively executed plans;
  • Ensuring effectiveness and impact through quantitative and qualitative analysis;
  • Creating an environment and internal systems that foster growth, learning and impact for staff, including the Communications Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Bail Support Specialist;
  • Maintaining a close fit between MFF’s priorities, initiatives and the needs of the community it serves;
  • Ensuring that MFF has the systems and tools to find, engage, grow and retain talented people;
  • Taking a collaborative approach in working with other organizations, civic leaders and institutions;
  • Assure the integrity and stability of MFF by developing and executing partnership, external communications and fund development efforts, as appropriate;
  • Cultivating strong and effective relationships with the Board of Directors to harness their talents and their passion for the mission of MFF; and
  • Advising the Board on organizational achievement of strategic objectives, significant trends and important developments in the community.
Candidate Profile

The most competitive candidates for the position will have the following personal and professional qualities, skills and characteristics:

Passion for the Mission

The ED will bring an uncompromising commitment to ending cash bail. A champion of this movement, this leader will consistently demonstrate a deeply rooted passion for fighting injustice. Dedicated to continuing this work, the ED will uphold the legacy of the movement’s activists and beneficiaries alike. The ED will have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt MFF to a changing political environment.

The ED will lead by example, demonstrating humility, empathy, respect, self-awareness and sense of humor. Embodying MFF’s values, this leader readily draws on others’ ideas, achieving alignment via transparency and open dialogue. The successful candidate will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values, and someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The ED has an inclusive, collaborative leadership style that leverages others’ expertise and fosters high trust with collective ownership of strategies and plans. Skilled at building effective relationships, this leader will have a high level of emotional intelligence with a demonstrated ability to quickly build trust and credibility with a wide variety of people.

The ED will have a natural inclination for developing strong relationships and networks to develop productive and fulfilling relationships with the Board, staff and other external partners. A strong leader, communicator and collaborator, the ED will be skilled at listening to and learning from constituents. The ED will possess a unique balance of confidence and humility, befitting of MFF’s cross-cultural community. The ED will have a strong working relationship with key leaders, including grassroots organizers, civic leaders and the heads of other advocacy and justice-oriented organizations. An engaging and supportive leader, the successful candidate will have a track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through teamwork, creativity and by leveraging individual strengths to meet organizational goals.

An Ambassador and Advocate

The ED will work tirelessly as an advocate and ambassador for MFF and the communities it serves. Passionate and informed, the ED will have the skills to articulate and broaden the vision of the organization to its community members and supporters, current and future staff and key stakeholders.

The ED will be a movement leader and an exceptional communicator who builds community by uplifting the voices of others. A collaborative and persuasive leader, the ED will be able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions. The ED will have a deep understanding of effective advocacy, with an instinctively inclusive leadership philosophy. Culturally competent, the successful candidate will have the character and integrity necessary to develop rapport with people of varying experiences, backgrounds and philosophies.

Operational & Financial Management

An engaged manager, this leader will have a proven ability to develop, inspire and guide a diverse team toward a shared goal. An effective ‘big picture’ strategist, the ED will understand and implement best practices for organizational management, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. This leader will have the ability to develop a robust partnership with the Board and ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management practices and accountability while remaining creative and innovative. The ED will have a demonstrated understanding of how to run a financially sound organization by managing through complexity with transparency and accountability. Fundamentally, the successful candidate is a ‘change agent’ with the ability to successfully lead MFF through a period of transformation.

Compensation & Benefits

The annual salary for this role will be $90,000-$110,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

MFF offers a very generous benefits package, including payment of 75% of the health insurance premiums for employees (and 75% of the premiums for spouses, domestic partners, and qualified family members). MFF also offers other benefits, including long-term disability protection. Additional benefits are also being explored.

Contact

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Chartise Clark and Trisha Sutrisno are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here or email [email protected]. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

MFF is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBTQI-GNC people, and formerly incarcerated people are strongly encouraged to apply.

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.