Executive Director

Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
Mission Statement: 

The Alliance is a 7-year old organization created out of the merger of Creating Safe Schools for Illinois (CSSI-formerly GLSEN Chicago) and the Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation (CESO). The mission of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (“the Alliance”) is to promote safety, support and healthy development for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois schools and communities, through advocacy, education, youth organizing and research.The Alliance envisions a world in which youth develop to their fullest potential, learning in safe and nurturing schools, living in communities that accept and honor differences, where everyone has the freedom to express their sexual orientation and gender identity.The work of the Alliance includes: 1) Youth Organizing: To engage youth across the state of Illinois to become leaders in the LGBTQ safe schools movement and be agents of change in their own schools and communities; 2) Professional Development and Public Education: To educate and involve school personnel, community organizations, parents, public officials, youth and the general public in Illinois, regarding sexual orientation and gender identity issues and the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools; 3) Policy Advocacy: To conduct advocacy activities that will result in the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity issues in the programs and policies that support the safety and well-being of youth; and 4) Research: To gather and evaluate data on the impact of school policies and practices on the well-being of LGBT youth.

Position Description: 

ABOUT THE POSITIONThe Illinois Safe Schools Alliance is seeking a full-time Executive Director who can provide strategic and visionary leadership to the organization. We are seeking an experienced, inspirational, strategic, dedicated and self-starting leader who can engage our various constituencies to share in the Alliance’s growing reputation and influence in the safe schools national movement. We are seeking an individual who is a social justice champion and one who understands the intersection of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.The Executive Director is responsible for managing the daily operations of the Alliance and implementing the vision, strategic goals and objectives of the organization. The Executive Director supports the Board, directs the staff, builds and maintains stakeholder relationships, develops and manages sources of income, and ensures the quality and effectiveness of policy and program-related work. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/FUNCTIONS:
1. Organizational Development/Communications·       Establish and maintain strong partnerships with internal stakeholders (e.g., the staff, volunteers, and board members) to build the Alliance’s capacity.·       Establish and maintain strong partnerships with external stakeholders (e.g., other LGBT organizations, other safe schools and education justice organizations, funders, elected officials).·       Monitor the strategic plan, and oversight of new planning as needed.·       Be the primary ISSA spokesperson with the media and at special events/public gatherings. Share role as appropriate with youth and other staff.·       Ensure consistency of messaging and efficacy of outreach efforts.·       Maintain the credibility, reputation, and good standing of the organization.2.  Program Development and Policy (in conjunction with program staff)·       Ensure programming is developed and carried out in line with strategic plan goals.·       Ensure that programs are mission driven and youth focused in delivery and content.·       Oversee program evaluation tools to ensure programs are meeting outcomes.·       Oversee research that can inform the work of the Alliance, and of the larger safe schools movement.·      Lead policy and advocacy efforts with local, state, and national-level policymakers.3. Fundraising (in conjunction with the development staff)·       Establish, maintain, and grow strong partnerships with external stakeholders such as individual donors, elected officials, corporations, foundations, and local & national LGBT groups, to build the Alliance’s capacity.·       Direct grant research, writing, and reporting.·       Create, design, and implement an annual fundraising plan to increase the donor base and overall dollars raised.·       Provide leadership and direction for special events, including the annual fundraising event.·      Provide guidance and training to Board of Directors to support their fundraising efforts. 4. 
Financial and Operational Management·       Develop and monitor the Alliance’s annual budget and cash-flow model.     ·       Maintain financial records in coordination with the Board finance committee, treasurer, and accountant/auditor.·       Properly manage income and expenses.·       Prepare and present monthly financial reports to the Board.·       Work with auditors to ensure a clean, unconditional annual audit.·       Monitor the Alliance’s fiscal agreements.·       Negotiate and manage relationships with consultants.·       Negotiate office lease/space.             ·       Supervise/guide all staff, including hiring, firing, performance reviews, and professional development.·       Oversee Board relations, including development of materials and staffing committees.·       Ensure recruitment and retention of volunteers.COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS·       Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Please include salary history and requirements in cover letter.·       Health and hospitalization coverage, short-term and long-term disability insurance, and life insurance.·       Paid vacation, sick leave, and personal holiday leave as part of a Paid Time Off (PTO) accrual plan, in addition to other paid holidays.


·       Demonstrated understanding of LGBT youth issues, intersectionality of race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.·       Experience in fund development, with demonstrable results.·       Senior-level nonprofit management experience, preferably including experience serving on nonprofit boards of directors.·       Exceptional interpersonal skills, with an ability to grow and maintain key relationships with multiple stakeholder groups.·       Excellent written and verbal communication skills.·       Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant field, or comparable experience.·       Organizational leadership skills, including:o   Capacity for, and comfort with, building a team-based work environment.o   Ability to hire, retain, and supervise paid, intern, and volunteer staff.o   Ability to manage finances and prepare/execute an annual budget
.o   Ability to implement strategic objectives and annual program plans.o   Ability to multi-task and juggle competing projects and interests.o   Detail-oriented.o   Willing and able to travel (state-wide regularly and nationally as necessary).o   Skilled using technology for planning, management and communications, including Microsoft Office, web platforms, and social media.o   Substantive experience with local, state, regional, and national LGBT entities and leaders.·       Experience working with youth (preferred).·       Experience with advocacy, youth organizing, professional development and public education, and/or research (preferred).

Competitive and commensurate with experience. Please include salary history and requirements in cover letter.
Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 7, 2014
Application Instructions: 

The Alliance has engaged Morten Group to assist in this recruiting effort. Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to Christina Smith at chris [at] mortengroup.com with subject line “The Alliance Executive Director Search.”Documents should be emailed in .doc or pdf format and should include your last name in the title of each document (e.g., SmithResume.doc, SmithCoverLetter.pdf, etc.). Cover letters are required, as they will be evaluated as a writing sample; resumes without a cover letter will not be considered.Interested candidates should apply no later than Friday, February 7 by 5 p.m. CST for best consideration. Questions must be directed to Christina Smith at the email address above. No phone calls, please.Please note that due to the number of applications we receive, we will only respond to those candidates whom we would like to invite to interview for the position. If we are interested in your candidacy for the position, we will contact you directly. However, even if you do not hear from us, your materials will remain on file at Morten Group for future executive searches.The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Position Level: 
Christina Smith
Country/US Territory: 
United States