FreeState Justice, a Baltimore-based legal services and advocacy organization experiencing an exciting period of growth, is seeking a visionary Executive Director who will lead the organization in promoting and protecting the equality of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people across Maryland. With a staff of seven and a robust, active board, FreeState Justice is uniquely positioned to continue effecting change at a statewide level and to positively impact the lives of the people it serves. The organization recently completed a needs assessment of LGBTQ+ Marylanders and is poised to update its multi-year strategic plan, on which the incoming Executive Director would have significant input and a hand in shaping.
Given the current political and social environment, the work of FreeState Justice is more important than ever. The FreeState Justice Board is seeking an Executive Director who is passionate about the priorities and needs of Maryland’s LGBTQ+ communities and able to navigate a shifting political landscape with vision and drive. A successful candidate will possess experience in a combination of the following: organizational management, fundraising, policy advocacy, LGBTQ+ service or advocacy, legal services, policy advocacy, outreach, education, fundraising, coalition-building.
FreeState Justice is a 501(c)(3) social justice organization with a $600,000+ annual budget. It envisions a Maryland where people across the spectrum of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities are free to live authentically, with safety and dignity, in all communities throughout our state. We understand that the lived experiences of freedom can vary based on a number of factors, including various identities and socioeconomic status, and we work to create a more even field for all. Our work brings to the forefront the experiences of those of us at greater risk for discrimination, such as youth, communities of color, individuals with low incomes, and transgender and gender non-conforming people.
FreeState Justice has a dynamic range of services. We provide free legal representation and policy advocacy in areas arising from a person’s LGBTQ+ status, such as health care discrimination, safe and equal access to school services, family law matters, name and gender changes, and discrimination in places of public accommodation. Services, both legal and policy-focused, are provided by staff attorneys, as well as by volunteer attorneys who serve on FreeState’s pro bono panel, and student interns.
FreeState Justice has achieved a large number of legislative wins thanks to the hard work of our staff. Some of FreeState Justice’s recent accomplishments include: the passage of a statewide ban on the discredited practice of conversion therapy on minors; securing a precedent-setting ruling in the Federal District of Maryland reaffirming the rights of transgender students (MAB vs Talbot County Board of Education); the passage of a bill allowing an undesignated gender marker on state-issued IDs; and streamlining the process of second-parent adoptions for same-sex couples.
More information about the organization can be found at www.freestate-justice.org.
This is an exciting moment in FreeState Justice’s history and we anticipate continued growth and further successes with a new Executive Director. The Executive Director will inherit an organization with a dedicated and sharp staff and Board of Directors, strong relationships with its core funders, and a record of providing excellent services to clients and the larger LGBTQ+ community. The Executive Director will lead a small staff team that is highly competent, dedicated, and committed to FreeState Justice’s work and the success and mission of the organization.
The Board is looking for an Executive Director to grow the organization and build its capacity. The Executive Director will work with the Board to strengthen and expand the organization’s financial base, including increasing the organization’s visibility, enhancing the communications strategy, and further investing in supporting the staff and operational systems.
FreeState Justice seeks an Executive Director with the drive, skills, and talents to build on its strengths and expand the organization’s resources, programs, and impact. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide leadership to the organization, manage its day-to-day affairs, and work with the Board and staff to chart the future direction of the organization. Key responsibilities for the Executive Director include:
• Vision & Strategy: Provide visionary and strategic leadership to the organization and translate that vision and strategy into concrete actions that advance the mission.
• Management: Provide management and direction to staff, maintain a strong team culture and positive work environment, and manage staff development by building their skills, experience, and performance.
• Client Focus: Ensure excellent service is provided to FreeState’s clients.
• Policy Advocacy: Lead FreeState’s legislative and administrative advocacy and policy efforts.
• Fundraising: Manage the organization’s fundraising efforts and foster positive relations with prospective and existing donors, including foundations, individual donors, corporate donors, and public funding sources.
• Communications: Communicate the mission and programs of FreeState Justice to various audiences, and develop and maintain sound relationships with collaborators, supporters, media, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
• Partnerships: Oversee the development and implementation of strategic partnerships with outside organizations that further FreeState’s work.
• Public Education: Support public education and training initiatives and community outreach.
• Focus on Equity: Maintain a deep focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of FreeState’s work with a particular focus on gender identity and race.
• Financial Management: Ensure fiscal responsibility and security, and maintain a continuous understanding of the organization’s financial position and outlook by working with our part-time bookkeeper to maintain accurate and updated financial reports for a $650k+ annual operating budget.
• Board Governance: Support the Board of Directors in its governance role, foster its ongoing development, and keep it informed on internal conditions and important external developments.
• Operations: Manage the day-to-day operations of a small non-profit, including ensuring bills are paid, insurance policies are current, and technology infrastructure is sufficient to support the organization’s ability to succeed.
The successful candidate for this position will share our commitment to serving LGBTQ+ persons, particularly those at greater risk for discrimination, such as youth, communities of color, individuals with low incomes, and transgender and gender non-conforming people, and will bring a variety of experience and attributes to FreeState Justice, including:
• A deep commitment to and belief in FreeState’s mission.
• Experience promoting and supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
• Experience providing successful, results-oriented leadership, setting high standards with a style that is positive, energetic, and inclusive.
• Demonstrated success in fundraising/fund development and sound fiscal management.
• Strong relationship-building skills, ideally including a track record of successful work with coalitions, stakeholders, and external partners.
• A demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically to problem solve and to plan adeptly to manage change and seize opportunities for growth.
• Demonstrated people management skills including staff supervision, building strong culture, encouraging collaboration, and coaching and developing through goal setting and feedback.
• Proven ability to manage multiple, high-impact projects and strategies at once.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Ability to champion the voices of LGBTQ+ people and families and a vision to expand services to this population.
• Knowledge of Maryland’s legal environment for LGBTQ+ citizens and the political landscape is a plus.
• A law degree is not required.
• Ability to travel around the state is required.
Salary & Benefits
The salary range for this position is $80,000-$100,000 annually. Excellent benefits package.
To apply, please complete a candidate intake form at the following URL: https://www.tfaforms.com/4810468. The priority deadline for this role is April, 30 2020. Resume reviews begin immediately.
If necessary, questions may be directed via email to Jennifer Barr Weiss- email@example.com; no calls please. More information about the organization can be found at www.freestate-justice.org.
Equal Opportunity Employer
FreeState Justice is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, HIV status, or any other status protected by applicable law. Transgender people, people of color, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Download the position description here.