Executive Director Job Description
The Disability Law Center of Massachusetts (DLC) is seeking an Executive Director to lead this non-profit organization responsible for providing legally-based protection and advocacy services that advance the rights of individuals with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. DLC’s next Executive Director will continue to advance the high quality advocacy, legal representation and connection with the disability, civil rights and social justice communities in the state.
DLC’s mission is to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts. In order to achieve this mission, DLC provides a range of services including information, referrals, technical assistance, trainings as well as individual representation and systemic advocacy regarding legal rights and services for people with disabilities.
About the Position
DLC’s next Executive Director comes at a time of great opportunity and challenges for the disability community in Massachusetts. The Executive Director will communicate DLC’s understanding of the challenges faced by the community, and expand DLC’s vision and ability to meet these challenges. More specifically, the Executive Director’s duties include policy and advocacy leadership to the disability community and for the staff, oversight of administrative, human resources and financial operations of the organization while building the public profile and funding base of the organization. The ideal candidate for this position combines a commitment to the mission of advancing the rights of people with disabilities and a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader who has strong non-profit management and fundraising experience.
Summary of Executive Director Responsibilities:
Articulate and implement a strategic vision and leadership for DLC
- Complete, articulate, and implement a strategic vision and leadership for DLC. Complete and implement a plan that sustains the organization, including identifying resources needed to accomplish the plan. Clearly communicate vision to internal and external stakeholders.
- Position DLC to meet the challenges of the disability community.
- Motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goals.
- Expand DLC’s agenda for systemic change to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, leveraging policy opportunities, and effectively understanding and working within the political landscape.
- Assume a position of leadership for DLC within the disability, civil rights, social justice and other key stakeholder communities.
- Assist the Board of Directors in its development of knowledge and skills for its stewardship of the organization. Keep Board of Directors apprised of programmatic, resource, and employee relations matters and timely notify Board of any significant issues.
Management of the enterprise
- Deploy resources efficiently and effectively toward organizational goals, work with staff to balance workload and effort.
- Affirm sustainability and growth of DLC.
- Build the skills of key staff in the organization, so that they can mentor, encourage, and motivate staff. Provide regular feedback so that key staff can continuously improve their supervision and mentoring skills. Provide advice to key staff on personnel and resource allocation issues. Oversee performance management and professional development for staff.
- Create an inclusive and collaborative environment enabling the staff to provide accessible, equitable, and culturally competent services to clients with disabilities of all backgrounds
Maintain, increase and diversify funding resources and provide strong stewardship of financial resources
- Assure adequate resources are available now and in the future to accomplish the mission of DLC.
- Engage in long-term fiscal planning to provide for the fiscal stability of the organization.
- Develop annual budgets that reflect long-term fiscal goals.
- Create fundraising plans in concert with the Board of Directors. Develop and cultivate relationships with individual, corporate, and foundation donors. Conduct research on viable foundation funding opportunities and grant writing opportunities.
- Ensure that all reporting and compliance requirements are met for each funding source.
- Notify Board of Directors of fiscal status and highlight fiscal issues that may require the Board’s attention.
- Negotiate contracts on behalf of DLC, including external contracts as well as the collective bargaining agreement for unionized staff.
Raise the profile of DLC through external communications
- Serve as an active spokesperson for DLC through personal contact with media, finding opportunities to promote the policy agenda of DLC and increase public awareness of the DLC mission.
- Communicate the programs, policies, and purpose of the agency to public constituencies, government bodies (executive, legislative, judicial) and staff in a way which will motivate them to support organizational operations, goals, and objectives.
- Foster effective working relationships with other agencies involved in service to citizens with disabilities, and civil rights and social justice organizations.
- Passionate commitment to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities and to the mission of DLC.
- Demonstrated knowledge of disability and civil rights laws, issues, and history.
- Experience in leading and managing a complex organization including setting strategic vision, implementing business plans, managing personnel, overseeing finances and internal control systems, creating and implementing fundraising plans, fostering good relationships with external stakeholders.
- Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire staff and funders.
- Demonstrated experience working with organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives, including staff, the public, elected and appointed officials, and consumers of service.
- Keen understanding of public policy issues and processes involving the rights of individuals with disabilities.
- Demonstrated ability and a desire to develop and expand the resources of DLC.
- Juris Doctor is strongly desired but will consider candidate with strong nonprofit or legal services management experience.
- Interest in and commitment to living and working in Massachusetts.
- Energy and enthusiasm for policy and advocacy work.
- Creativity in devising new strategies for managing the organization and growing the funding base.
- Integrity and fairness in working in a complex environment, particularly with respect to collective bargaining employees.
- Flexibility in dealing with staff issues, balancing the needs of the individual and the needs of the organization.
- Ability to listen well to a variety of perspectives, including board, staff, funders and outside stakeholders.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing, in detail, your interest in the position of Executive Director of the Disability Law Center and your experience that you believe can demonstrate your ability to contribute to the future of DLC and its client community. The letter should be accompanied by a current resume and names and contact information for three references.
Electronic submissions are preferred. Materials should be emailed to email@example.com in Microsoft Word format. Mailed and faxed submissions will be accepted.
DLC offers a competitive salary and benefits package. DLC is an equal opportunity employer. DLC encourages candidates with disabilities, women, persons of color and others who represent distinct linguistic or cultural communities to apply.
About the Disability Law Center
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is the Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts and a member of the National Disability Rights Network. DLC is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. DLC receives federal, state, and private funding but is not part of the state or federal government.
Please view the DLC website for additional information about the organization, its priorities, and a list of employment benefits.