Job Title: Interfaith Worker Justice Executive Director
Location: Chicago
State: Illinois
Position Description:

Interfaith Worker Justice plays a critical role in the economic justice landscape. The organization has a solid reputation, base around the country, and foundation upon which to build. IWJ is eagerly poised to take on new challenges and fights for justice.

The new director will be blessed to build on:

- Strong internal systems within the organization.
- Competent and highly committed staff.
- A wise and diverse board of directors that is willing to help build the organization and work positively with a new director.
- A founding director who is willing to introduce the new director to funders and supporters and understands the importance of giving the new director space to develop his or her own vision and direction.
- A strategic directions framework that has been developed by the staff and board and provides directions and focus, but flexibility.
- A diverse funding base, including a growing base of individual donors.
- A strong track record of victories on wage theft, minimum wage and paid sick days.
- Deep respect and trust within the labor movement.

Executive Director Purpose:

-To provide leadership and vision for the movement for worker justice and the building of the organization.
-To organize and support the staff and board in building and promoting the organization.
-To manage the overall growth and work of the organization. The ED leads a strong senior leadership team to which many tasks can be delegated.

Accountability: The position is directly accountable to the Board of Directors.

Location: The ED can be based either at the Chicago or at the DC IWJ office. Most staff are currently based in Chicago and IWJ is building its DC presence. Wherever the ED is based, the position requires approximately 30 percent of the director’s time to be spent travelling to represent the organization. The ED has a fair amount of control over the travel schedule in order to assure time with family and friends.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

1. Public Representation and Leadership

- Lead IWJ’s collaborative creation of an inspiring vision for a more just society and the role of the religious community in advocating worker justice.
- Frame issues of labor and faith with a leading analysis and a conscience that compels public attention and engagement.
- Represent the organization with the media and in speeches, workshops and meetings.
- Strengthen and build relationships with key union leaders and religious leaders.

2. Program Leadership

- Lead the development and implementation of IWJ’s strategic direction and plans.
- Engage IWJ’s diverse constituencies around the country in the experimental development of new programs that respond to significant changes in faith and labor.
- Assist staff members and develop their expertise in planning and implementing key programs.
- Generate the resources necessary for program development.

3. Fundraising

- Ensure sustainable funding and the funds necessary to carry out the strategic plan.
- Build a fundraising culture among the staff and board.
- Develop strong relationships with foundation staff.       - Lead the organization’s interactions with key foundations.
- Build relationships and meet regularly with large donors.
- Invite unions, faith organizations, individuals, law firms and organizations to support the work.

4. Board Support

- Participate in all board meetings. Serve as the key link between the board and staff. Assure that board committees have staff support for their work.
- Assist the board’s decision-making process by providing strong preparatory materials, analyzing input, and making recommendations for moving forward.
- Make program recommendations to the Board.
- Work with the Board on recruiting and involving board members.

5. Staff Management

- Hire, train, and supervise staff, or empower others to assume these responsibilities.
- Ensure strong organizational systems for staff supervision, communication, and support.
- Work with staff to set clear goals and objectives.
- Create a positive team spirit. Participate in staff meetings and activities as able.
- Lead negotiation of union contract (and personnel policy for those not in the union) and assure adherence to the contract/policy.
- Set high ethical and professional standards for staff.

Qualifications: Below are the ideal qualifications sought in the new director. Above all, the organization seeks a passionate leader committed to IWJ’s mission and vision. The dream person will be/have:

- Passion for IWJ’s mission. Strong commitment, relationships, and experience working with an interfaith approach in the religious world, working with labor including new forms of labor, and working in partnerships of faith and labor.
- Track record of proven leadership as a visionary, charismatic and passionate leader and public spokesperson who can inspire and organize board, staff and constituents to act and accomplish their aims.          - Adaptable and persistent.
- A critical thinker with a cutting edge, big-picture analysis of the issues in which IWJ plays a national leadership role.

- Ability to frame issues of labor and faith in way that calls to conscience and compels public engagement in the movement for worker justice.
- Strategic planning and program development competency.

- Proven ability to develop creative programs that advance a strategic plan and respond to changing needs and trends.

- Commitment and experience developing programs collaboratively with grassroots constituents and in partnerships across organizations.
- Successful experience with fundraising. Comfort and enthusiasm regarding the ED’s role as chief fundraiser.   - Knowledge of foundations and major donor fundraising.
- Outgoing people-person with excellent relationship, communication and listening skills working with diverse and both small and large groups.

- Strong network of contacts in the field. Demonstrated understanding of how to communicate in the faith and labor worlds, and how to build relationships with donors and foundations.
- Collaborative, team building leadership and management style that delegates and holds accountable and develops the leadership of others.

- Experience working effectively with a board and as a board member. Openly invites and engages a variety of opinions and can also make decisions. Integrity, and ability to set a tone of ethics and values.
- Management experience (supervision, finances, program effectiveness) and experience in building an organization or new program.
- Ability to engage with media and social media.            - Willingness to travel approximately 30 percent of time.

Compensation: This is a full-time, exempt position. Interfaith Worker Justice is dedicated to ensuring workers’ rights and offers full and comprehensive benefits to its employees including: medical, dental and disability, 401K retirement plan with organizational contribution, pre-tax transportation plan, and a competitive salary. Interfaith Worker Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Process: Applicants should send 1) a resume, 2) a maximum two-page cover letter describing qualifications and interest in the position, compensation requirements, and availability for interview dates listed below, 3) whether the applicant would be based at the Chicago or DC office, and 4) three references from the faith and labor worlds. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Email applications by September 22, 2014 to and put “Executive Director” in the subject line. Applications may be accepted after this date if the search is extended. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. No calls please.

After an initial phone screening, the applicant and IWJ may mutually agree to proceed to first round and possibly finalist interviews. The following dates are being saved for first round interviews: October 13 and October 16.

Required Qualifications:


Desired Qualifications:


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