Chief Executive Officer, Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal
New York
Mission Statement: 

The mission of Lambda Legal is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

Position Description: 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer will be a key leader in defining the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement in the 21st Century.  In collaboration with the board and staff, the CEO will define Lambda Legal’s vision and set its strategic direction. The CEO will operationalize the day-to-day leadership, management, and planning necessary to ensure Lambda Legal’s continued growth and impact. The CEO will develop and implement innovative strategies to advance the organization’s mission. The CEO’s primary responsibilities include the following: Leadership

  • Inspire, motivate, and lead a team of highly intelligent, accomplished and committed professionals united by a common mission and vision;
  • Attract, recruit, and retain an innovative and high-performing team with the aim of fostering an inclusive environment, instilling a culture of teamwork, ensuring organizational cohesion, and offering opportunities for professional growth;
  • Listen actively with respect to all opinions, including dissent, and make difficult decisions when necessary;
  • Champion a culture of inclusion throughout the organization by fostering diversity and implementing robust equity policies.

 Fundraising and Fiscal Stewardship

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including individuals, foundations, law firms, and corporate donors;
  • In partnership with the Chief Development Officer and the Development Department’s strategy, cultivate and solicit major gifts;
  • Lead the development of short-term and long-range strategic plans and budgets that advance organizational goals and objectives;
  • Oversee the effective and efficient management of the organization’s financial resources ensuring its fiscal stability and long-term viability.


  • Serve as the primary face and voice of Lambda Legal, while enhancing brand and external communications efforts, making Lambda Legal more broadly visible to a range of constituencies;
  • Foster strong relationships with other leaders in the LGBTQ+ and HIV advocacy communities, while collaborating with other social justice and civil rights organizations;
  • Represent Lambda Legal in the media, the community, and at events.



Professional Requirements The ideal candidate will be a visionary and respected social justice thought leader. They will have an authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and evident cultural competency. They will also be a transparent and collaborative leader, compelling public speaker, and engaging communicator. Based in New York, this position requires significant travel. The new CEO will bring the following: 

  • Demonstrated success building strong and effective teams, supported by a track record of leading by example to create cultures defined by excellence, professionalism, trust and respect;
  • Prior experience working with a nonprofit board and a demonstrable understanding of board development, governance, and decision-making, including vision development and strategic planning;
  • Media experience with a proven ability to distill complex issues into accessible language to a wide range of audiences;
  • Extensive fundraising experience, including a history of forging lasting relationships with stakeholders, individual donors and institutional funders;
  • Organizational and staff development expertise, with the ability to effectively communicate and manage change;
  • Understanding of nonprofit fiscal structures and funding streams, combined with strong business acumen;
  • Knowledge of the history and issues affecting LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming/non-binary (GNCNB) individuals and people living with HIV, including an awareness of how the evolving political and social climates impact those issues;
  • A deep understanding of how various impact litigation, policy, and advocacy strategies are employed to expand civil rights;
  • Familiarity with the intersectionality of race equity and economic justice issues;
  • Prior experience managing a represented workforce is preferred;
  • A bachelor’s degree is required; a graduate degree, ideally a juris doctor, is preferred.

 Personal Characteristics The successful candidate will exhibit authentic, visible passion for the work of Lambda Legal to improve the lives of the persons and communities it serves. They will be genuinely interested in listening, with the humility to collaborate and process diverse perspectives and the ability to transform what they hear into action. They will have the integrity and dexterity to establish trust and build confidence within and among staff, board, and stakeholders. Above all, they will possess the emotional intelligence to appreciate the wisdom and focus the passion of Lambda Legal’s esteemed and committed staff. 

Application Deadline: 
Friday, June 14, 2019
Application Instructions: 

Please submit a brief cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to: Michelle Kristel, Managing Partner | McCormack+KristelSoladé Rowe, President | WB&B1740 Broadway, 15th FloorNew York, NY 10019Email: search [at] mccormackkristel.comOffice: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599          Website 

Position Level: 
Michelle Kristel
Country/US Territory: 
United States