Executive Director – Battered Women’s Justice Project
The Battered Women’s Justice Project seeks a strong, creative, seasoned leader who is oriented toward social justice, committed to ending gender-based violence, and has deep respect for advocacy and diversity, equity and inclusion practices.
The Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) is the national resource center on civil and criminal justice system responses to intimate partner violence (IPV). BWJP seeks to end all forms of gender- based violence, which we define as violence directed at individuals based on their biological sex or gender identity, whether occurring in public or private life, and which disproportionately harms women. Our past work has focused on intimate partner violence, one form of private gender-based violence.
BWJP promotes systemic change within the civil and criminal justice systems to ensure an effective and just response to victims and perpetrators of IPV and the children exposed to this violence. BWJP directs the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith and Credit and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms. BWJP partners with the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, and is a member of the Domestic Violence Resource Network.
The ultimate goal of BWJP is to ensure that the legal system effectively fulfills its role in ending IPV. Key constituents include advocates, victim witness assistants, civil attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, judges, probation and correctional officers, batterers program staff, social service providers engaged in court-related work, such as custody evaluators, Guardians ad Litem, and mediators, and local and federal policymakers. BWJP provides information and referrals to victim- survivors and their families and friends, and responds to information requests from the general public and the media.
BWJP conducts national and local trainings, develops and publishes policy analyses, and provides on- site consultation to jurisdictions around the country seeking to improve victim safety and offender accountability. BWJP offers the following services:
- Onsite or remote consultations with individual practitioners, agencies, and communities.
- Customized trainings, national conferences, and facilitated meetings or roundtables.
- Connections to experts or trainers to meet community needs.
- Research, analysis and written reports that address civil and criminal topics related to IPV.
BWJP provides expertise, technical assistance, training, and resources through the following project initiatives.
- The National Resource Center on Civil and Criminal Justice responses to IPV is funded and supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program of DHHS.
- The SAFeR project promotes IPV-informed decision-making in custody and visitation determinations.
- The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms, and its Safer Families, Safer Communities website addresses the prevention of domestic violence-related homicides involving firearms.
- Improving Criminal Justice Responses provides comprehensive technical assistance to enhance victim safety and offender accountability to grantees of the Dept. of Justice/Office on Violence Against Women.
- Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI): In partnership with the National Network for Safe Communities, BWJP provides intensive assistance and support to three communities implementing a deterrence-focused, victim-centered approach to IPV.
The 9-member board of directors governs the organization, and the Executive Director supervises a full-time staff of 17, located in offices in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, and a few home-based staff around the country. The current annual operating budget is $3M. Funding is supported primarily through federal grants and contracts. For more information, see www.bwjp.org and www.preventdvgunviolence.org.
The Executive Director must ensure that the organization fulfills its mission, lives its values, and implements a strategic plan for success. Responsible for the overall leadership of the organization, the ED maintains and expands BWJP’s programming and actively works to secure and leverage resources to magnify and expand BWJP’s impact. The successful candidate will build upon BWJP’s extraordinary past and advance BWJP’s thought leadership and strengthen the voice of the field.
The ED will be based in the main office in Minneapolis, which is mobility accessible. The position requires regular travel to DC and around the country.
Leadership Near-Term Priorities
The ED provides leadership both inside and outside the organization, continually increasing BWJP’s mission impact. Toward these ends, the executive’s near-term priorities for the next 12-18 months include:
- Thoroughly understand BWJP – our history, values, mission, programs, finances, fundraising, structure and challenges.
- Become the leading face and voice of BWJP.
- Work with board and staff to articulate a clear strategic vision and plan that proactively defines who we are, how we promote our expertise, and how will we grow our mission impact.
- Establish relationships and build trust with board, staff and key stakeholders.
- Strengthen the organization’s financial position and build a sustainable fund development plan that optimizes fundraising practices, identifies new sources of income, and integrates earned income or entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Maintain a culture of transparency and teamwork.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership to the organization and manages its day-to-day affairs. Primary responsibilities include:
Organizational Leadership & External Relations
- Represent BWJP in a professional and knowledgeable manner to the public, government agencies, funders, partner organizations, and the media.
- Drive the strategic planning process, identifying creative and innovative ways to maintain BWJP’s vital and influential leadership in the field.
- Build and sustain relationships across government agencies, and community, state and national organizations to stay informed on emerging issues.
- Participate in collaborative efforts with other national organizations to advance public policy in support of victims of gender-based violence.
- Oversee an organizational communications plan that effectively promotes BWJP’s programming and services to the field, and advocate for changes in public policy and institutional practices that better protect victims and their families.
- Direct the administrative functions of the organization and supervise the Executive Team, comprised of the Program Directors and the Director of Finance & Administration.
- Ensure that written and audiovisual materials produced are accurate and high-quality.
Fundraising & Financial Management
- Create, implement, and monitor a fund development plan to successfully diversify and grow new sources of funding that sustain current operations and future growth.
- Lead organizational efforts to identify new sources of grant funding, and oversee the development and submission of grant proposals.
- Develop and maintain positive relationships with all funding sources including government agencies, foundations, and individual donors.
- Direct development of the annual budget, monitor financial status, report on progress, and take corrective action as necessary to ensure financial integrity and continued financial health.
Board & Staff Relations
- Develop, maintain, and support the Board of Directors in its governance role, and foster its ongoing development and capacity building.
- Keep the Board informed of important developments and other information affecting the organization.
- Lead, mentor and develop staff, and maintain an organizational culture that values respect, diversity, work-life balance, professional development and teamwork.
Experience and Attributes
The successful candidate for this position must demonstrate a commitment to BWJP’s mission and core values, be an outstanding relationship builder, fundraiser, and communicator, and be an engaged, inspiring, innovative and visionary leader. The candidate will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the organization, including:
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the gender-based violence field, and coalition building experience at local, state, and national or tribal levels; and/or similar experience with a national, social justice-related advocacy organization.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and implement bold initiatives that work to ensure the well-being, prosperity and advancement of all survivors and their children.
- Involvement in, or an understanding of and commitment to legal reform, with policy experience at the federal, tribal and/or state level.
- A big picture thinker, willing to think beyond the present, and possessing an inspiring leadership style that energizes stakeholders around the organization’s vision.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including respect and compassion for others, approachability, gravitas, and comfort in leading difficult conversations when necessary.
- Strong relationship builder and communicator, including well developed written and oral communication skills, with the ability to build a strong network of connections and partnerships.
- Experience with and commitment to integrating diversity, equity and inclusion principles into an organization’s culture.
- Demonstrated success at raising funds, diversifying funding streams and seeking new ways to support program work.
- Proven business and financial acumen, with experience developing and managing budgets of at least $2M, as well as demonstrated success in maintaining fiscal stability.
- Experience working for, with, or on a board of directors and supporting its involvement in the work of the organization.
- Five to seven years of executive-level experience in a like-sized organization, or 10 years of deputy-level experience in a larger organization, including evidence of progressively responsible positions.
- Bachelor’s degree in social work, legal studies, criminal justice, political science, nonprofit management, feminist studies or related field at minimum; advanced degree desired. Equivalent experience may substitute.
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Equal Opportunity Employer
BWJP is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or any other category protected by local, state, or federal laws. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and strongly encourage applicants who are people of color, LGBTQ, women, people with disabilities; and/or formerly incarcerated people.
To apply, upload a cover letter that includes both your fit with the position’s requirements and the salary you desire for this position, and your resume by clicking here*. For other inquiries, contact Adrienne O’Rourke. Resume reviews begin immediately, with an intention to have the next Executive Director named in late summer.