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For over 25 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago has worked to bring together the Asian American community and empower them to create change in their communities. As the founding principle of our new strategic plan, we have revitalized our mission:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.

Advancing Justice | Chicago has made a concerted effort to lead and participate in campaigns that build power and solidarity across oppressed communities rather than solely centering on the Asian American community. In order to strengthen our work and transform the inequities in our city, state and region, we work with multiracial coalitions that emphasize racial equity, a fierce accountability to those most impacted and an infrastructure of grassroots leadership. That said, the Asian American population and electorate continue to be the fastest growing population in Chicago, in Illinois and in the nation over the last 25 years.

Advancing Justice | Chicago employs a holistic methodology of combining grassroots base building, advocacy and civic engagement to build power; strengthening our ability to hold elected officials accountable to a community-driven, progressive, legislative agenda in order to move us all further along the path to racial equity.

Our grassroots leaders are critical in mobilizing the community in our shared civic engagement and advocacy efforts. Together, we equip the community with the knowledge and resources to regularly engage with power-brokers and decision-makers at all levels of society for the advancement of social justice, equal rights, political representation, and human dignity. Simultaneously, we align, convene and collaborate with like-minded organizations to advocate for laws and policies that promote social, economic, political and racial equity including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, hate crimes and discrimination. As part of the Advancing Justice affiliation’s national civil rights focus, Advancing Justice | Chicago is prioritizing the Midwest region, collaborating with partners across the Midwestern states to tackle common struggles and build power.

Advancing Justice | Chicago is building a powerful Asian American voice for racial equity.


At this critical time in our nation’s history, a time when the rights of immigrants and other communities have been questioned by our government and increasingly more vocal sectors of our nation’s population, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago (“Advancing Justice | Chicago”) continues to be a leader in protecting the rights of Asian American communities in our city, state and region. This is also a critical time for our organization, and we are now positioned, both financially and strategically, to open a powerful, new chapter in Advancing Justice | Chicago’s history. Our current Executive Director, Tuyet Le, an unparalleled advocate and leader of our organization for the past 18 years, will be departing this year. We are therefore seeking a new Executive Director with the passion and vision to lead the organization into the future.

The Executive Director position presents a unique opportunity for a strong, dynamic and outspoken individual to take this organization in the new direction outlined by its board and staff in its new Strategic Plan, and to advance the vision of this organization for progressive social values for Asian American and other underserved communities.

The ideal candidate will have the proven leadership, commitment and skills to grow and lead Advancing Justice | Chicago through direct advocacy and an expansion of its programs and infrastructure, all while leading a talented and dedicated staff. The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Directors, manage all aspects of day-to-day operations, oversee a growing budget of over $1 million, supervise a staff of 11, act as the chief spokesperson and ensure that Advancing Justice | Chicago is well-positioned now and in the coming years.



Shaping and implementing Advancing Justice | Chicago’s strategic direction and ensuring that programs and activities are relevant and responsive to the needs of the community, including:

  • Engaging in consistent, thoughtful, and effective planning and ensuring that Advancing Justice | Chicago is making deliberate choices on a daily basis that support longer-term strategies.
  • Shaping the vision of programs and strategies in partnership with the board, staff and key partners.
  • Thoughtful stewardship of Advancing Justice | Chicago to navigate and address urgent or otherwise emergent policy, organizational or other issues that affect the organization or our constituents while maintaining Advancing Justice | Chicago’s strategic direction and operations.
  • Working effectively with board, associate board, staff, alumni, our coalitions, community members and supporters so that they are informed about and meaningfully engaged in the work of Advancing Justice | Chicago.
  • Keeping a current working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.


Leading the effort to create real and sustainable change outside of and within the AAPI community by:

  • Acting as the key spokesperson for Advancing Justice | Chicago.
  • Guiding Advancing Justice | Chicago’s ongoing efforts to actualize a racial equity mission.
  • Leading Advancing Justice | Chicago’s efforts in connecting with and mobilizing a base and coordinating an effective agenda.
  • Seeking consensus among multiple points of view to develop and win solutions.
  • Ensuring that Advancing Justice | Chicago plays a prominent policy advocacy role and maintains influence with government officials, legislators and their staff, policy makers and leaders of other civil rights organizations.


The Executive Director is Advancing Justice | Chicago’s key spokesperson and ambassador responsible for:

  • Outspoken and inspirational oral advocacy and public speaking on behalf of Advancing Justice | Chicago and its mission and programming.
  • Forging and maintaining relationships with city, state and national elected leaders, forming coalitions and caucuses, to support Advancing Justice | Chicago’s mission and constituents.
  • Securing Advancing Justice | Chicago’s representation, support and leadership in local, state and national coalitions, collaborations, institutions and organizations.
  • Providing consistent, timely and accurate information on issues important to AAPI communities to media, funders, governmental agencies, community members and the public.
  • Maintaining ongoing contact with key stakeholders including major donors, funders, and community leaders.
  • Ensuring that all communications reflect the philosophical, cultural, political and strategic priorities of Advancing Justice | Chicago.


Maintain and develop the financial, human and community resources needed to support a vibrant, active and growing organization; ensure that Advancing Justice | Chicago meets governmental, funder, contractual and ethical requirements in all aspects of its day-to-day operations by:

  • Working closely with the Executive Committee of the board of directors to nurture the health and engagement of the board, associate board, Leadership Council and advisors.
  • Planning strategic financial and stakeholder growth and effectively directing the implementation of development efforts.
  • Ensuring that Advancing Justice | Chicago and administrative infrastructure are effective and transparent. Financial systems and reports are accurate, useful and supportive of strategic decision making, and meet legal and ethical criteria, while maintaining appropriate risk management practices.
  • Ensuring success of programs, campaigns, and initiatives by integrating work plans for current programming, ongoing fundraising efforts with staff, program development, and continuing strategic planning and assessments.
  • Serve as a mentor and high-level strategic thought-partner for staff, be a source of information exchange between staff and the public interest field, and champion staff work externally.
  • Ensuring that all personnel practices are consistent with the policies and philosophies of Advancing Justice | Chicago,with ongoing leadership and skills development for staff, board of directors, committees and volunteers.


As both the chief administrator of Advancing Justice | Chicago and a public face for the organization, the Executive Director should demonstrate a unique blend of qualities and skills that reflect a passion and commitment to the organization’s mission, ideally the following:

  • Strong belief in the mission of the organization and demonstrated passion for advancing social justice.
  • Minimum of five years of successful leadership experience in the civil or human rights field.
  • Proven, effective experience in nonprofit management and development, including demonstrated skills in complex fiscal management, donor cultivation, fundraising, human resources, leadership development and nonprofit board development.
  • Successful track record and experience working with a variety of Asian American groups on civil rights issues and other issues facing low-income, immigrant and refugee populations.
  • Experience working with one or more local (i.e. Midwestern) organizations that support underserved communities.
  • Proven ability to successfully plan, implement and deliver strategic results while maintaining the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to sudden changes in the nonprofit environment.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, leadership, consensus and coalition-building skills, with ability to forge new relationships and foster existing ones.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; ability to persuade others.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines, work well with others under pressure, and multi-task.
  • Minimum B.A. or M.A. in relevant academic discipline, or equivalent directly-related experience.


  • Significant experience in public interest advocacy or community organizing
  • Strong existing network including Midwestern institutions, organizations and constituents
  • Specific expertise in an issue area relevant to Advancing Justice | Chicago
  • Demonstrated experience working in coalitions
  • Demonstrated experience and effectiveness in program development and oversight
  • Demonstrated experience raising significant donations from individuals, corporations and foundations
  • Demonstrated experience in forming and maintaining personal relationships with supporters and stakeholders


The salary will be competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications. A full benefits package is included.


Discreet, confidential explorations of this employment opportunity can be made by contacting the chair of the search committee, Karthik Raja (

Applications should be submitted electronically via email to and include:

  • Cover letter describing interest in the position, qualifications and salary history and expectations,
  • Resume with chronological employment history, and
  • Names of four references who can speak the range of qualifications sought.

Please include “ED Search Advancing Justice Chicago” in the subject line of any email.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.


Posted: February 1, 2018

Location Negotiable

This is an exciting new opportunity to help shape and coordinate the joint programming of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice – AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Atlanta, Advancing Justice – Chicago, and Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.

The new Director of Affiliation Strategy will help chart a course for Advancing Justice’s joint work over the next several years, at a critical time for immigration, voting rights, racial justice and other core priorities. The ideal candidate will draw on the expertise and talent of staff across the affiliation to launch bold new campaigns and engage community partners across the country to advance the affiliation’s vision for an inclusive democracy. The Advancing Justice affiliation represents an innovative model for joint advocacy, at a national scale that is unparalleled for Asian American communities.

In 2013, united by their desire to increase the impact of their advocacy, four of the nation’s largest and longstanding independent Asian American social justice organizations formed the Advancing Justice affiliation. Today, with presence on both coasts, the Midwest and Southeastern U.S., five affiliated organizations work together—as equal and independent partners under one name, speaking with one unified and powerful voice—to promote justice, empower Asian American communities, bring local and national constituents together, and strengthen America’s multi-racial democracy.

Working closely with the senior leadership and selected teams of the five affiliates, the Director of Affiliation Strategy will build upon the organizations’ deep expertise, experience and track record of advancing civil rights in the U.S. through litigation, policy advocacy, community engagement and communications strategies. This dynamic leader will help implement a shared vision for expanding the national role of Advancing Justice in reaching a broad range of Asian American communities, in partnership with immigrant and racial justice movements throughout the U.S.

This position calls for a creative, experienced leader with proven strategic and advocacy skills, as well as political savvy, strong written and oral communication skills, and an enterprising spirit. Informed passion for the mission and values of Advancing Justice is critical, as is sophisticated understanding of law and policy change, engaging communities, and operating within networks and campaigns.


The Director of Affiliation Strategy will help to design and implement overall strategy and drive key shared initiatives of the Advancing Justice affiliation. This position reports to the senior leadership (executive and/or deputy directors) of the five affiliates, with direct supervision by the executive director of Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, based in San Francisco. The Director of Affiliation Strategy will have the opportunity to hire and manage an additional staff position to help coordinate joint affiliation activities and programming priorities.

The principal responsibilities of the Director of Affiliation Strategy are as follows:

  • Significantly and strategically enhance and grow the public profile and programmatic reach of the affiliation through strategic communications, including a heightened use of online presence and social media.
  • Lead strategic planning and execution around shared priorities and campaigns of the affiliation. Support senior leadership of affiliates in setting overarching goals and priorities for the affiliation.
  • Ensure that the affiliation is nimble, bold and responsive to changing conditions, trends and unexpected challenges. Lead ongoing strategic review, evaluation and learning to make sure the affiliation’s joint programming is achieving desired impact.
  • Work with experienced teams and leaders across the affiliates to advance joint strategies and priorities around high-impact litigation, policy advocacy, communications, and community engagement. Coordinate joint meetings and activities with teams to drive key strategic goals and initiatives.
  • Keep senior leadership across the affiliation well informed about ongoing activities and provide them with concise, rigorously presented information to make sound decisions. Present regular updates to affiliate staff and Board leadership on strategies and programming of the affiliation.
  • Support joint fundraising goals of the affiliation.
  • Manage additional joint affiliation staff person(s) and consultants to affiliation, as needed.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • BA and graduate degree in law or public policy preferred.
  • At least seven years of experience in leading programming and/or campaigns to advance social justice, preferably in a legal or policy setting. Experience in managing staff and organizational development is strongly preferred.
  • Understanding of key civil rights policy issues affecting Asian Americans, including immigration, voting rights and democratic participation, national security and privacy, criminal justice and other issues of racial and economic justice.
  • Understanding of law and public policy, legislative and political processes, the ways outside forces impact government, and the role of media and social communications in driving change. Significant experience in developing and implementing communications and public education strategies.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with ability to inspire others, listen to and address diverse viewpoints constructively, and gain the trust and confidence of peers. Tenacity, pragmatism, energy, humility, patience and good humor.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work well in a team environment, collaborate, build consensus, identify points of contention, and drive toward joint decisions. Experienced leadership in networks or coalitions strongly preferred.
  • Innovative spirit and drive. Willingness to put forth new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Strong self-initiative, and track record of turning ideas into action.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience with social media as an advocacy tool would be an advantage.
  • Deep commitment to advancing the interests of low-income Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, immigrants and other underserved communities, and appreciation for the larger role of Asian American communities in shaping an inclusive democracy and equitable future for all.


Competitive salary and benefits package offered, commensurate with experience.


Interested candidates should e-mail the following to resume; cover letter summarizing interest, qualifications and experience; writing sample; and two references. Kindly put “Application – Director of Affiliation Strategy” in the subject line of the e-mail. Please submit materials in PDF format. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and accepted until the position is filled.

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action in employment. All persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.

AmeriCorps VISTA positions

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago administers the Asian American Community Empowerment Project through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, a federal program with a mission to build capacity for organizations to end poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members in this project serve for 1 year with an Asian American or immigrant serving organization with one of three primary responsibilities: volunteer recruitment, community outreach, and resource development. AmeriCorps VISTA members are paid a living allowance set at poverty level.

For more information on the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit the AmeriCorps VISTA website.

Each link below lists the host organization and the position title. Follow the links to view the full position description and apply directly through the My AmeriCorps portal.

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