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Executive Director

Website https://twitter.com/MigrantFreedom Freedom for Immigrants

Devoted to abolishing immigration detention

About Freedom for Immigrants

Freedom for Immigrants (FFI) is a national nonprofit devoted to abolishing immigration detention. We work with people inside of and impacted by detention, our volunteer base, and community partners to monitor human rights abuses inside the immigration detention system and advocate for local, state, and federal policies that will end this cruel and inhumane system. As abolitionists, we dream of and advocate for a people-centered, just, and humane vision in which immigrants are welcomed with the provision of community-based support and services in place of carceral and punitive systems. We do this work because we believe that liberation and the right to move and migrate freely are inherent and human rights held by all people.

Since FFI’s creation in 2012, our initiatives have grown significantly in complexity and scale, and we anticipate continued evolution in the years to come. We currently have a staff of 11 full-time employees, are on track to fill two more full-time positions before the end of the year, and have an FY2023 operating budget of $2.8 million.

FFI is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applications from immigrants, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

We invite you to explore our approach, strategies, and theory of change at https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/.

 

Executive Director Position Overview & Candidate Profile

Download to read the full job description as a PDF here.

The Executive Director (ED) will have strategic and operational responsibility for leading FFI’s journey and evolution from a small, founder-led startup into a midsized, national organization. They will have the opportunity to shape and cultivate an organizational culture rooted in racial equity and antiracism practices; ensure that transparency and accountability are embedded in internal and external communication and workflow practices; and, co-create collective and inclusive decision-making agreements and processes among staff and board.

  • We are expanding our definition of experience and expertise beyond the traditional requirements. Previous ED experience is not required. Instead, we are prioritizing lived experience of immigration detention or the broader immigration system, diverse leadership experience, and a commitment to abolition and immigration justice.
  • This is a full-time remote position, and the candidate may live anywhere in the United States. FFI offers a robust and competitive benefits package to all staff. Just as importantly, our team strives to create a culture centered in care, sustainability, and compassion for our shared humanity – this is the type of workplace where group therapy is embraced to enhance our work and relationships!
  • The ED will work collectively with the Board and staff to co-create a work plan for the first six months that is aligned with how the selected ED learns and works best.
  • The ED will receive onboarding support from staff, Board, and a coaching consultant.
  • The ED will report directly to the Board and will be responsible for leading strategic planning, organizational management, community relations, partnerships, and resource development.

 

A successful Executive Director will:

  • Lead with a strong commitment to racial equity and antiracism principles across the organization and its programming.
  • Partner effectively with the Board to develop a guiding vision of the organization’s future.
  • Achieve robust financial growth.
  • Balance effective leadership of major initiatives with attention to organizational management.
  • Increase the organization’s visibility, impact, partnership, and leadership within the immigration detention abolition community.
  • Cultivate, deepen and expand partnerships and collaborative relationships with local and national movement partners.
  • Lead strategic planning process and oversee implementation.
    Shape the vision and priorities for the organization’s programs according to strategic goals.
  • Enhance the organization’s public profile as its primary spokesperson and “public face.”
  • The Executive Director is responsible for long-range planning, fund development, Board relations, marketing, and media strategy, external relations, employee management, and program planning and oversight. Responsibilities also include collaboration with the Board as a whole and with individual members. The Executive Director will also provide leadership in the following areas:

 

Fundraising

● Work with the Board and Development team to raise funds by strengthening existing relationships, cultivating new donors, and expanding opportunities for earned income.

● Work with the Board and staff to develop and maintain traditional as well as innovative fundraising strategies.

● Develop a multi-year funding plan to meet annual budget goals.

● Maintain and expand relationships to build a reliable revenue stream from individual donors, foundations, corporations, government entities, and other funding sources.

Finance

● Demonstrate competence in the development and understanding of all financial documents, including budgets, cash flow, income statements, balance statements, and statements of functional expenses, as well as understand the basics of a 990-tax return, financial reviews/audits, and compliance.

● Work with the Board Treasurer and the Director of Finance & Operations to review and approve the annual financial review and tax filings.

● Oversee the annual budget and operating plan, ensuring proper fiscal accounting and controls.

● Provide support and mentorship to the Director of Finance & Operations to ensure proper oversight of budget spending and controls.

● Ensure compliance with all legal, fiduciary, local, state, and federal entities.

● Approve org-wide salary increases and benefits package.

Board Governance

● Work closely and collaboratively with the Board, utilizing the knowledge, skills, and experience of Board members to periodically evaluate and fulfill the organization’s mission.

● With the Board, determine and refine organizational vision, goals, and policies.

● Support and collaborate with the Board Chair and Executive Committee on the organization’s fiduciary and strategic initiatives.

● Support and drive Board recruitment activities.

● Evaluate current programs/priorities and develop a strategic planning process.

● Staff liaison to all Board Committees.

● Prepare all Board meeting materials.

Programming & Staff Management

● Supervise the Deputy Director, Director of Finance & Operations, and Director of Development.

● Provide leadership and management of staff to build and nurture an organizational culture that amplifies a transparent vision, vibrant teamwork, and accountability. ED directly supervises the Deputy Executive Director, Director of Finance, and Development Director.

● Refine and guide a renewed organizational voice and FFI’s communications and narrative strategy.

● Working with staff and various constituents to prepare a content strategy to guide programming decisions, including relevance, impact, and audiences.

● Inspire, energize, coach, and develop a diverse team with multiple perspectives and talents, and motivate and collaborate, actively seeking input from all staff.

● Hire qualified staff needed to achieve program goals and support administrative functions.

● Oversee the annual review process of staff.

● Plan and execute the allocation of available resources to achieve the organization’s mission and strategy most effectively, including working with consultants and independent contractors.

Organizational Guidance

● Oversee operational and technological systems to ensure organizational growth, including human resources, finances, data management, property management, website development, marketing and communications, social media, and earned revenue streams.

● Consult with legal and finance professionals as needed.

Communications/Community Relations

● Serve as the primary liaison to external organizations.

● Serve as the organization’s liaison and spokesperson to the public, funders, the media, and other constituents and allies.

● Approve press releases and press inquiries; be available for interviews and speaking engagements as needed.

Leadership Profile & Attributes

*While no candidate will possess every quality, the successful candidate will possess many of the following qualifications and attributes. Even if you aren’t sure but are excited about the position, we encourage you to apply!*

The right leader for this role is someone who is highly strategic, collaborative, and team-oriented, effective at resource development and management, and intimately familiar with the power of collective action. This person need not look like a typical ED, but their commitment to abolition and immigrant justice must shine through their life experiences and work.

FFI is an organization that strives to retain and elevate our humanness in the workplace. This is a supportive culture where staff/group therapy is embraced to enhance our work and relationships. FFI strives to create a culture centered on care, sustainability, and compassion for our shared humanity by finding ways to connect with and celebrate one another outside of our regular work. We have a staff music playlist and wear silly hats to Zoom parties, so not taking yourself too seriously is a ‘must’.

Ideal candidates will have most, if not all, of the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • Mission, vision, and values alignment demonstrated through work, activism, and/or personal experience:
  • Passion for justice and equity, including familiarity with anti-oppression/antiracism frameworks, and racial and social justice movements
  • Curiosity about, and ideally, knowledge of, and experience (lived experience preferred) with immigration detention.
  • Ability to imagine and build new systems that foster a more equitable, liberated world.
  • Awareness of the contradictions embedded in the non-profit industry and willingness to navigate those contradictions with integrity.
  • Commitment to Anti-Racism
  • Lived Experience and Movement Work
  • Shared Leadership
  • Fundraising and Passion for Relationship-Building
  • ***While undergraduate and graduate degrees in a relevant field are very helpful, neither are required when candidates can demonstrate significant evidence of equivalent experience and training. Equally, direct experience in non-profits, immigrant justice, and detention abolition work is highly desirable but is not a deal-breaker.

 

Professional Competencies & Personal Characteristics

Connection to the Mission

The Executive Director will have lived experience with navigating the US immigration system, including immigration detention (highly preferred), and a deep personal commitment to the lived experiences of people impacted by immigration detention. The Executive Director will have a strong commitment to racial, gender, and economic justice and will ensure these values will be reflected in every aspect of FFI’s work. An unpretentious individual of unquestionable integrity and ethics, the Executive Director will possess emotional intelligence and exude empathy and care when meeting partners, community members, staff, and board members where they are while moving FFI’s work forward. Bringing a social justice and activist lens, the Executive Director will apply organizing skills to center the voices of the directly impacted while uniting people with disparate experiences and opinions around a shared mission.

Strategic Vision and Leadership

The Executive Director will be an inspiring leader and visionary thinker with the ability to create a culture of racial equity/antiracism, excitement, and energy. They will have the capacity to think strategically about the detention abolition movement and the organization’s role within it. This individual will be capable of establishing a clear and understandable vision for amplifying the visibility of immigration detention, lifting BIPOC experiences in particular, and engaging the entire community in the implementation of FFI’s vision and goals. The Executive Director will be an innovative and strategic thinker who embraces and excels at bringing ideas together to build upon the organization’s legacy. This individual will have experience planning and executing programs that include ongoing maintenance and potential expansion. A problem-solver, they will understand the subtleties of motivating and directing, as well as delegating, handling, and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities. They will be a practiced leader and advocate who can negotiate with care and intention, while remaining decisive, proactive, and prioritizing relationships over tasks.

Relationship Builder & Collaborator

The ED will be a strong networker and skilled at building effective relationships at multiple levels within an organization, coalition, or community. They will have a high level of emotional intelligence and be able to build trust to develop productive and fulfilling relationships with the Board, staff, movement partners, community partners, and donors. The ED will be a strong leader, communicator, and collaborator skilled at listening to and learning from the people in and impacted by immigration detention. This leader will have the ability to develop a powerful sense of shared purpose in others and motivate them to engage and partner in preparation for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Resource Development & External Affairs

The Executive Director will have meaningful leadership and management experience, preferably gained in complex organizations, coalitions, or community organizing that bring together diverse audiences; prior nonprofit management experience is beneficial, but not a prerequisite. Ideal candidates will have experience in fundraising and engaging donors around a compelling mission through strategic partnerships, private philanthropy, and/or individual giving. Bringing an established network of donors to the role is a plus; this proven fundraiser will be a flexible, confident, and self-motivated thought partner who will work with the Board of Directors and Development team in identifying and devising development strategies for FFI in order to strengthen its resource base.

The Executive Director is an effective and influential communicator, possessing strong verbal and written advocacy skills and the capacity to articulate FFI’s mission to audiences to advance the organization’s profile through marketing, media outreach, and external affairs. This individual will be inspired to listen intently to a variety of constituent groups, synthesize input, make decisions, and share information broadly to build consensus and support for action with a clearly articulated vision. The Executive Director will be a visible and passionate advocate for the organization both locally and nationally.

Organizational Leadership and Management

The ED will have a track record of success in management and empathetic leadership. They will be committed to leading a people-centered organization and engendering trust in the staff through a transparent and collaborative management style, focused on developing pathways for advancement, accountability, and innovation throughout FFI.

A proven leader, the Executive Director will bring strengths in maintaining budgetary and fiscal controls and sound administrative procedures. They will be equally effective in operating independently as well as on teams, and they will havebeen successful in building cohesive, collaborative, and joyful work environments. They will bring a positive track record in recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse and talented team, with a strong commitment to supporting the professional development of all staff.

The Executive Director will ideally have experience managing and developing Boards and ensuring Board engagement. This individual will lead with new ideas that are responsive to changing attitudes and technologies. They will have demonstrated leadership in coalition building and implementing programs and initiatives and institutional practices that support the organization’s values.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position. The salary range begins at $175K. All FFI staff are offered a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision plans. Paid time begins at 25 vacation or closed-office days in your first year, sick and mental health leave, 13 holidays, and a generous sabbatical policy. Other benefits include life insurance, long and short-term disability, retirement planning with an employer match, remote office and cell phone stipends, and professional development funds.

Equal Opportunity

FFI is an equal opportunity employer, and we strongly encourage and seek applications from women, BIPOC, immigrants, people with disabilities, people who are bilingual or multilingual, including nonnative speakers, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. FFI is firmly committed to complying with all federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) laws. FFI strictly prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of the individual’s race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, height and/or weight, disability, gender identity or expression, medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related conditions, marital status, partnership status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, arrest record and any other characteristic protected by law.

Accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application. While performing the job responsibilities, accommodations will be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the job’s essential functions.

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this job description. We’re looking forward to getting to know you!

To apply for this job email your details to hr@freedomforimmigrants.org