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Executive Director

Louisiana, USA

Job Type

Full Time

About the Role

The Opportunity
The Justice and Accountability Center (JAC) seeks a dynamic, experienced Executive Director who can bring a bold vision and new energy to the organization’s strong foundation and network of community partners.

Over the last ten years, JAC has grown into a thriving, mission-focused organization with a dynamic team of legal advocates, community organizers, and attorneys that work with clients and lawmakers to ensure that individuals have the appropriate services in the post-conviction phase of the criminal legal system. JAC is committed to not only providing quality direct services but also fighting through legislative advocacy for bold change alongside people impacted by Louisiana’s criminal legal system.

Since 2017, the staff and budget have doubled, and JAC is poised to significantly expand its work throughout the state over the next decade. Key opportunities for the next leader include:

-Partnering with the Board of JAC and staff leadership to develop a renewed strategic vision for the organization
-Diversifying funding sources while also maintaining its core funding
-Leveraging new opportunities to serve those impacted by the criminal legal system.

The Justice and Accountability Center seeks an Executive Director with a proven track record of fundraising and operational leadership for a social justice organization. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the next leader will help set the vision for growth and the strategic direction for JAC. The Executive Director will lead the daily operation and support program staff for the delivery of services and guiding the legal and legislative advocacy. A strong candidate will be entrepreneurial and have a proven track record of effective nonprofit management, fundraising acumen, and community relations.
Key responsibilities include-

Resource Development
-Provide immediate leadership and oversight for all fundraising efforts, including the creation of an annual fundraising plan, writing/submitting grant proposals, and developing additional strategic fundraising activities.
-Represent the organization with government agencies, major donors, the media, professional and civic organizations, and the general public.
-Meet or exceed annual budget goals through grants, donations, and campaigns.
-Identify new grant funding opportunities and build relationships with donors.
-Scale up individual donor contributions and identify and cultivate major individual donors.

Organizational Leadership
-Facilitate the development of current and long-range objectives, strategic plans, and policies.
-Provide oversight of grant deliverables management.
-Collaborate with the leadership team to strengthen team culture and work processes.
-Manage the leadership team, including coaching, mentoring, and training of supervisors and ensuring the strategic and successful management of subordinate staff.
-Establish and maintain an effective system of communication throughout the organization.

Operational Excellence
-Oversee the organization’s financial structure and accounting systems, including the maintenance of records necessary for financial audits.
-Develop and administer the organization’s annual budget; manage and oversee monthly finances to ensure sufficient operating cash to meet financial obligations.
-Implement measures to safeguard clients’ security and confidentiality as required by law and/or JAC’s policies.
-Draft/create contracts and manage contractors not otherwise delegated to staff.
-Review and sign all contracts and agreements entered into on behalf of the organization.
-Manage oversight for recruiting and hiring new staff that can achieve the goals of JAC programs.

Board Development and Management
-Advise, inform and provide data to the Board of Directors regarding the needs and operations of the organization as appropriate to ensure the Board can meet its fiduciary responsibilities.
-Serve as the primary communicator between the Board and the other staff.
-Implement the policies, procedures, and guidelines approved by the Board of Directors.
-In coordination with the Board Chair, ensure the timely preparation and distribution of regular board meeting agendas, materials, and financial statements.
-Advise and participate with the Board of Directors in the preparation of short and long-term strategic plans.


The salary range is $110,000k-$140,000k, commensurate with experience.

The higher end of the range will be considered for individuals with a proven track record of fundraising, prior successful business owners, and/or individuals with extensive litigation and/or legislative experience in Louisiana.

Featured Benefits:

-100% payment of employee health insurance, including dental and vision
-IRA with an employer-matched contribution of up to 3%
-Group Life Insurance
-Six weeks of paid parental leave
-15 paid holidays per year
-Malpractice Insurance for attorneys
-Bar Association Dues

How to Apply
Please email the following:
1. Cover Letter
2. Resume
3. A writing sample fully of your own creation. Preferably a grant proposal, brief, or policy paper.
4. Four professional references with contact information. - At least one reference should come from a recent or current supervisor and another should be someone you have directly managed.

Please include in the subject line: Executive Director Search [Last Name].

The priority deadline for applying is January 27, 2023. Early submission is encouraged. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If your experience doesn’t match the exact qualifications listed above, but you believe you would shine, we would invite you to apply and share why you would be a good fit.
We strongly encourage Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, formerly incarcerated, systems-impacted people, and applicants from other minority communities to apply.

The Justice and Accountability Center is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, nationalities, and military statuses.


Professional Qualifications

The following qualifications are essential to success in the executive director role.

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the social justice or legal sector (5 years of legal experience in one of JAC’s core legal areas strongly preferred). 

  • Knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to the mission, goals, and priorities of JAC, including a deep understanding of and commitment to criminal justice reform.

  • Experienced fundraising abilities with a proven track record of partnership development and relationship-building in the nonprofit and/or public sector.

  • Experience in nonprofit governance; comfort in working closely with the Board of Directors.

  • Commitment to anti-racist work, education, and growth.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; comfort communicating in public forums and across a broad group of stakeholders.

  • Strength in managing a small team to create a significant impact.

  • Ability and willingness to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule.

Additionally, these qualifications are not essential but preferable:

  • An attorney with five years of practice experience, civil and/or criminal, Louisiana preferred, currently licensed preferred.

  • Policy, advocacy, and organizing experience.

  • Familiarity with the New Orleans or Baton Rouge community.

About the Company

JAC eliminates obstacles to opportunity for people harmed by the systemic racism and economic impacts of the criminal legal system through legal services, public education, and policy advocacy. We envision a world without barriers or limits for people with criminal records and their families, where we all have a fair chance to thrive.

We are a ten-year-old, small, statewide non-profit that relies on pro bono attorneys, contract attorneys, law students, and volunteers, in addition to our staff, to accomplish our mission. We launch new programs and identify new clients primarily through legal clinics, as well as through cooperating with court administrators to bundle and fast-track cases, like our Re-Entry Docket Program, where we just reached the over $1M mark of court debt eliminated in Orleans Municipal Court. Much of our work is done through collaborative models with government entities and non-profit partners, whether we are providing legal services or engaging in advocacy work. JAC facilitates several statewide coalitions, including the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition and three different policy coalitions focusing on driver’s license suspensions, expungements, and criminal fines & fees. These coalitions have changed the law on solitary confinement for the first time in 150 years in Louisiana, as well as advanced expungement law changes that have expanded eligibility to thousands of people with criminal records in our state.

Our organizational leadership includes the Executive Director and three Programmatic Directors:
1. Advocacy which encompasses JAC's legislative and policy work, community education initiatives and participation in the legislative process, and client representation associated with ensuring compliance with or advancing priority legislation.
2. Outreach and Community Engagement, which encompasses JAC's social media presence to inform the public of our work and upcoming events, managing Outreach Specialists who present JAC Know Your Rights sessions, and engaging with and coordinating JAC community coalitions, including the New Endings and Opportunities (NEO) Coalition and the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition.
3. Legal Director who oversees all legal staff and coordinates JAC's legal clinics and events (both expungement and reentry) and legal representation and litigation around priorities to meet grant deliverables in the areas of expungements, child support, background checks, and public records.

The JAC team currently has a hybrid work model, and we anticipate the new Executive Director will be located in New Orleans or Baton Rouge.

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