Skip to content

Director of Operations

Website Essie Justice Group

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones. Our community includes cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming (GNC) people, elders, and young people.

After eight years of building an active membership across California and beyond, Essie is deepening its base-building and leadership development strategies with the 1 in 4 women with incarcerated loved ones to propel bold decarceration agendas across the nation. We seek to transform the criminal legal system and create a Black feminist future rooted in care, equity, community safety, and liberation. At Essie, our values are foundational to how we operationalize our work. In the midst of significant organizational growth, we are seeking an experienced, strategic, and values-aligned Director of Operations to join our team. 

The ideal candidate is a highly collaborative, seasoned, and confident leader who brings both operational acumen and experience, and relishes the opportunity to build and lead in implementing internal solutions across the organization. This person approaches their organizational responsibilities with rigor, precision, and a strong connection to our politic and movement purpose. As a part of the organization’s leadership team, the Director of Operations will help shape Essie’s present and future—contributing to strategic decision making in the present while helping to architect Essie’s internal growth in alignment with our values.

Core Responsibilities

Vision, Strategy, and Culture-Setting for Resources & Operations Team – Lead the strategic coordination of the team towards a collectively built strategy.

  • Manage and guide the Resources & Operations Team to set strategic goals, priorities, and collaborative work plans in alignment with an ambitious organizational strategy.
  • Directly supervise and coach supervising staff. Develop professional development supports for staff as needed. Foster a culture of growth, innovation, and inclusion.
  • Create and maintain processes by which we regularly measure and evaluate the team’s impact and progress.
  • Ensure careful management of resources, vendors, technology, and tenant-landlord matters across Essie’s two offices in Oakland and Los Angeles.

Operations Management – Lead the development and maintenance of internal administrative systems to keep Essie functioning smoothly.

  • Oversee Essie’s technology systems and digital security; advance the level of technological fluency of the members of our team in order to accomplish their work more effectively.
  • Develop guidelines and standards to support connectivity through hybrid work.
  • Identify new operational system needs; delegate and oversee implementation.
  • Identify or vet needs to customize or upgrade our internal database.
  • Serve as an internal leader stewarding data collection and data-driven decision making.
  • Manage major organizational infrastructure projects such as establishing new offices.
  • Ensure careful management of resources, vendors, technology, and tenant-landlord matters across Essie’s two offices in Oakland and Los Angeles.
  • Collaboratively design and recommend risk management policies and procedures, including insurance policies.
  • Manage team members dedicated to ensuring smooth and accurate financial processes; coordinate with external accounting firm as necessary.
  • Develop & manage relationships with vendors including Salesforce consultants, technology companies, real estate professionals, and others necessary to support operations.

Organizational Leadership – Serve on the Essie Directors Team in order to strategically steward organizational resources in alignment with Essie’s mission and vision.

  • Work collaboratively and consistently with other directors at Essie to define strategic priorities, make decisions about unanticipated opportunities, and manage to operational plan goals, leading in special projects as needed.
  • Establish and maintain sound stewardship of Essie’s Resources & Operations materials, intellectual property, and departmental budget.
  • Hold external relationships necessary to run the Resources & Operations Department successfully.
  • Embody and promote Essie’s Black Feminist culture and values internally and externally.


Who We’re Looking For 

Ideal Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience in operations with a minimum of 3-4 years serving in management role(s) within the nonprofit sector.
  • Superior knowledge of multiple operational functions and principles, including risk management. Proven experience designing systems and processes that are deeply aligned with organizational values and support the achievement of organizational goals and mission.
  • Ability to interpret basic non-profit financial reports, manage a budget, and familiarity with the weekly and monthly procedures of financial management.
  • Meaningful experience supervising multiple full time staff, especially managers of managers, and experience supporting colleagues with direct experience of incarceration.
  • Significant experience supervising people in a way that acknowledges differentials in privilege and power, recognizes their gifts, encourages their confidence, supports their growth, and holds them accountable to standards.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects, and is comfortable working in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Impeccable attention to detail and effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Adept with Mac operating systems, Google Suite, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel, Powerpoint, and Word).
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie with a demonstrated passion for progressive politics, specifically in gender justice, race justice and ending mass incarceration.



  • Sees infrastructure as their contribution to people power.  You care deeply about the impact of systems and processes on people. You believe that by demystifying inaccessible systems, you can help organizations and teams be more effective, and individual team members be more confident in the process. Moving with a keen awareness of the organizational power inherent in your role, you can self-regulate in order to mitigate the harms of hierarchy.
  • Lends gravitas to the day-to-day of “back-office.” You understand exactly why and how seemingly small items – like a workflow for data entry or a clearly drafted rental agreement – can impact the successful pursuit of an organization’s mission and goals, and you are able to clearly explain that connection to others. You are accomplished in your field and consistently make strategic decisions that inspire respect and confidence from others. You bring clarity and calm to your collaborative practice.
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy.
  • Committed to evolution. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Values people, process, and results. You are an exceptionally hard worker. You have an uncanny ability to create an inspiring environment in which stuff gets done with speed, great impact, and focus.

The Position

The Director of Operations is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Deputy Director. The salary for this position is between $125,000 – $155,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California. All Essie staff are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, with limited exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

To Apply

Please address a personal, specific, and thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal ( Your resume tells us what you can do; your cover letter should tell us who you are and why you want to work with Essie.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming (gnc), and gender fluid people.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

About Essie Justice Group
Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Essie is Great Place to Work-Certified™ and a recognized leader in Black feminist institution building.

Learn more at

To apply for this job please visit