JOB POSTING: Executive Director

Executive Director Job Description



For nearly 30 years, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago has worked to bring together the Asian American community and create change in our communities. We are deeply committed to grassroots community organizing and we invest in the leadership of grassroots community members through trainings, community education, civic engagement, and collaborative issue-based campaigns. In order to strengthen our work and transform the inequities in our city, state, and Midwest region, we work with multiracial coalitions that emphasize racial equity, accountability to those most impacted, and an infrastructure of grassroots leadership. Our advocacy work focuses on promoting racial, economic, and immigrant justice, including initiatives in the areas of voting rights, language access, and immigrant rights.

As part of the national Asian Americans Advancing Justice affiliation, Advancing Justice | Chicago is a leader in the nationwide Asian American movement. Regionally, Advancing Justice | Chicago is prioritizing the Midwest, and collaborating with partners across the Midwestern states to tackle common struggles and build power.


Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is seeking a new Executive Director with the passion and vision to advance the vision of this organization for progressive social values for Asian Americans 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 14+, act as the chief spokesperson and ensure that Advancing Justice | Chicago is well-positioned now and in the coming years.


Strategic Direction and Program Development
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 daily that support longer-term strategies.
  • Shaping the vision of programs and strategies in partnership with the board, staff, Advancing Justice affiliates, 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 the board, staff, alumni, Advancing Justice affiliates, 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.

Advocacy, Relationship and Movement Building
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 achieve our 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 campaigns.
  • Ensuring that Advancing Justice | Chicago plays a prominent policy advocacy role and maintains influence with government officials, legislators, and their staff, policymakers,, and leaders of other civil rights organizations.

Community, Stakeholder and Public Relations
The Executive Director is Advancing Justice | Chicago’s key spokesperson and ambassador responsible for:

  • 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.

Organizational and Resource Development
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 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 the 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 works 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 the 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 a relevant academic discipline, or equivalent directly-related experience.


  • Significant experience in public interest advocacy or community organizing with AAPI, immigrants, refugees, people of color solidarity and rights
  • A strong existing network including Midwestern institutions, organizations, and constituents
  • Specific expertise in an issue area relevant to key constituents of 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. The position is an exempt, full-time position. Advancing Justice | Chicago offers a full benefits package, including fully covered healthcare, dental, and vision insurance, generous paid time off, life insurance, short-term disability insurance, and long-term disability insurance.
Discreet, confidential explorations of this employment opportunity can be made by contacting the search committee at

Applications should be submitted electronically via email to and include:

  • Cover letter describing interest in the position and qualifications,
  • Resume with chronological employment history,
  • Writing samples and/or oral advocacy, and
  • Names of three references who can speak the range of qualifications sought

Please include “2021 ED Search Advancing Justice | Chicago” in the subject line of any email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The priority deadline is May 1, 2021.
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.