Executive Director

Executive Director

Women’s Law Project

Pennsylvania, USA   |   January 23, 2022

About Women’s Law Project

Founded in 1974, Women’s Law Project (WLP) is a nonprofit public interest legal organization working to defend and advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people in Pennsylvania and beyond. WLP leverages the power of the law to eliminate gender bias and discrimination and envisions a society in which justice and equality of opportunity are not determined by sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, economic status, or intersecting identities, including race, ethnicity, and immigration status.

WLP has two offices, one in Philadelphia and one in Pittsburgh, and is one of only a few state-based law centers in the nation devoted to women’s rights and gender justice – it is the only one in Pennsylvania. It employs four multi-pronged strategies to promote gender justice: impact litigation, strategically selected individual representation, and amicus curiae briefing; policy and legislative advocacy; community and stakeholder education; and collaboration with affinity organizations. WLP employs these strategies to dismantle discriminatory laws, policies, and practices and eradicate institutional biases and unfair treatment. WLP has developed groundbreaking legal practices to advance equitable opportunity in many arenas, including reproductive rights, healthcare, education, athletics, employment, public benefits, insurance, and family law, and seeks justice for survivors of gender-based violence.

WLP places a high value on listening to the voices of its constituents and to serving them in return. For more information on Women’s Law Project, please visit its website https://www.womenslawproject.org/.

The Opportunity

Women’s Law Project seeks an Executive Director (ED) to lead and manage a high-performing team in advancing strategies that meet critical objectives and program goals in the service of the organization’s vision and mission. WLP is seeking a leader with a demonstrated commitment to the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people, and a dedication to leadership and workplace culture informed by the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The primary responsibilities of the ED will be developing and implementing the organization’s strategic direction in partnership with the Board of Trustees and staff, overseeing its development efforts, overseeing day-to-day operations, and ensuring that staff capabilities are aligned with the mission. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the ED will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and that its programs are meeting current and emerging needs consistent with the strategic direction and mission as determined by the Board and staff. The ED will be adept at optimizing both internal performance and external impact and visibility.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

Vision and Strategy

  • Build on past successes by inspiring the creation and implementation of strategies that advance gender justice, including reproductive rights, in the context of a challenging state and national legal and political climate;
  • Work in partnership with the Board of Trustees and staff to implement, review, and refine the current strategic plan and implement future strategic planning processes that help define the direction of the organization, establish priorities, and identify funding needs; leverage the expertise of staff in considering options for WLP’s program and policy work and strategies;
  • Exhibit courage and clarity when addressing highly controversial and complex issues and lead the Board and staff through thoughtful consideration of options for WLP’s work and strategy;
  • Ensure that the Board is kept fully informed on the condition and work of the organization; and in furtherance of this goal that Board meetings and Board committees operate effectively and efficiently;
  • Champion and value equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) on the Board of Trustees and with staff; regularly assess how WLP is incorporating EDIB principles and best practices internally and externally.

Resource Development

  • Play an active role in recruiting and maintaining diversified donors to include foundations, individuals, and other giving entities to support WLP priorities;
  • Initiate funding opportunities with individual donors and others that ensure multiple streams of financial support that build long-term stability;
  • Anticipate funding needs and engage program staff as needed to ensure that staff have the resources they need to be successful, and to maintain the continuity of important initiatives;
  • Support and engage in creative program development.

Organizational Management and Staff Leadership

  • Ensure that day-to-day operations are professionally administered, and that appropriate technologies are employed to maximize organizational efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Manage financial operations, including financial controls and budgetary planning, human resources, communications, and programs, and ensure that revenue streams are diverse and replenished;
  • Provide a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences; create a work environment that recognizes and respects the diversity and individuality of each employee, and encourages collaboration;
  • Motivate and maintain a cohesive staff ensuring that there is strong internal communication, coordination, collaboration, and accountability; recruit and train staff as needed; support and promote inclusive decision making;
  • Work with staff to establish goals for their respective work, and provide performance assessments; supervise, lead, inspire, and mentor staff to meet their priorities and strategic initiatives to fulfill the organization’s mission;
  • Support and promote a culture of mutual respect and appreciation for the expertise and skill set of staff;
  • Cultivate a workplace environment that reflects the workers’ rights policies WLP promotes and advocates.

External Partnerships

  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for WLP, articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission;be the face of WLP on critical issues, including reproductive rights and justice, gender-based violence, and educational and economic opportunity;
  • Initiate, support, and strengthen relationships and collaborations with affinity organizations and leaders who are connected to the mission and purpose of WLP, and the broader community that WLP serves;
  • Oversee a communications strategy that values a diverse set of voices to represent the organization’s positions and work.
Candidate Profile

A J.D. is required to fulfill this role. In addition, the ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • A deep personal passion for and demonstrated commitment to WLP’s mission, vision, and values, including but not limited to protecting reproductive freedom, opposing gender and racial discrimination and gender-based violence, and attaining equal access to economic equality and educational opportunities;
  • Ten or more years of legal and managerial experience in non-profit, academic, or for-profit spaces; experience in senior roles required;
  • Experience in strategic planning, fund development, budgeting and finances in the private, not-for-profit, or public sector;able to balance big-picture, longer-term strategy with urgent needs;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, creatively problem-solve, and exercise good judgment;
  • A strategic, resourceful, and politically astute individual who is inspiring, able to translate vision into action, to conceptualize and express ideas, and to anticipate and act nimbly on events which may create opportunities for WLP;
  • Proven experience managing a staff that includes lawyers and other professionals; experience coaching and mentoring staff through collaborative program development and implementation and goal-setting processes;
  • Empathetic, compassionate, and collaborative leadership style with the ability to listen to Board members, staff members, donors, partners, and the public with respect and genuine openness to constructive input;
  • Successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources, including major donors and foundations, and ability to connect WLP to resources and opportunities outside the organization;
  • Proven success at working effectively and collaboratively with diverse staff as well as local officials, media or press, and community members and groups; ability to navigate across the political spectrum and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
  • Robust understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, as well as experience successfully leading and integrating these principles into organizational policies, practices, management, and culture.
Salary

The Executive Director position is a full-time position. The salary range for the role is $130,000 – $150,000 annually with a generous benefits package which includes: vacation, personal, and sick days in addition to office holidays; health, life, short-term, and long-term disability insurance; and a retirement plan including contributions from the organization.

Contact

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 materials here or email [email protected] and [email protected] directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. If you require reasonable accommodation during your application process, please let the team at Koya know.

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 www.koyapartners.com