Executive Director

ActionAid USA
Washington, D. C., District of Columbia, United States
Apply by 19 January 2013
Executive-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 20 December 2012

Job Description

ActionAid USA (AAUSA, www.actionaidusa.org) is seeking a dynamic leader who has the passion and leadership skills as well as experience in fundraising and international development to head this independent chapter of a highly respected international nonprofit organization.

About ActionAid USA

AAUSA is part of the global ActionAid International (AAI) federation working with over 15 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice. With a total budget of about $230 million in 2011, AAI is a globally respected development agency. AAI focuses its resources on working with millions of the poorest and most excluded women, men and children – taking sides with them and making long-term commitments to advance their human rights, particularly women’s rights.

Vision: A world without poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys their right to a life with dignity.

Mission: To work with poor and marginalized people to eradicate poverty by overcoming the injustice and inequality that cause it.

Approach: ActionAid works directly with people living in poverty to help them change their own lives. ActionAid believes in people’s right to food, water, shelter and education. But we also know that helping people understand, fight for and secure these rights is the most effective way to end poverty - for good. In the US, ActionAid educates policy makers about issues that impact global poverty. Around the world, ActionAid works in local communities to tackle the issues that allow poverty and injustice to persist - problems like gender inequality, corruption and poor governance. At ActionAid, we work side by side with inspiring people who are fighting their way out of poverty, helping them find their own solutions and their own voice.

AAUSA was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in October 2000. Located in Washington, DC, AAUSA works to create change with and on behalf of poor and excluded people worldwide. This is achieved through policy advocacy and public education about global poverty and by raising funds in the U.S. for innovative program work in developing countries that is carried out by other ActionAid affiliates. AAUSA advocates for public policies that promote poverty reduction, increase access to food, advance women’s rights, promote sustainable agriculture, foster climate change adaptation, and encourage more effective development financing. It builds solidarity with communities, organizations, and development networks worldwide, bringing the voices of the poor into public debate and acting as a bridge between American citizens and those fighting poverty around the world. AAUSA’s 2013 budget will be approximately $5.6 million, of which nearly $3.3 million funded development programs overseas. The core team at AAUSA consists of 16 staff members, governed by 10 board members. AAUSA has received a four star rating from Charity Navigator and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

The global federation: Founded in 1972, ActionAid International (www.actionaid.org) manages projects in 45 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. As an international organization with capacity and presence in both the global north and south, AAI supports thousands of communities, partners and peoples’ movements in lower income countries with participatory capacity-development, solidarity, campaigns and emergency responses. AAI makes people-to-people links across the world with those who share the vision of a poverty-free planet. AAI does not impose solutions, but works with communities over many years to strengthen their own efforts to eliminate poverty.

The Position & Leadership Opportunity

In just 12 years, AAUSA has established itself as a respected policy voice on international development and a reliable partner for foundation funders focused on rights-based international development. The new executive director will build on the strengths and expand AAUSA’s role in policy leadership and fund development to support AAUSA’s work in the US and work with poor people around the world.

Toward these ends, the board has outlined the following priorities for the first 12-18 months of the executive director’s tenure:

  1. Establish a firm understanding of AAUSA’s strengths, opportunities and future direction, and foster a strong working relationship with staff, board, key stakeholders and AAI leadership; develop a leadership profile within the global AAI federation.
  2. Understand and embrace the AAI Strategy 2012-2017.
  3. Finalize and implement the AAUSA strategy and business case, currently under development.
  4. Come up to speed on the current portfolio of policy issues and prepare to engage with high level decision-makers on the policy agenda items and emerging issues.
  5. Lead the effort to build a nascent major gift program into a significant revenue source for the organization, expand Foundation funding, and sustain an individual donor program.
  6. Develop an action plan, for implementation in 2014 and beyond, to elevate AAUSA’s visibility in the US and broaden the base of individual donors.

Reporting & Responsibilities

As a member of the ActionAid federation, AAUSA aligns with AAI strategies, policies and practices. Accordingly, the AAUSA executive director has a dotted line relationship to AAI. Reporting to the AAUSA board of directors, the executive director provides day-to-day internal and external leadership for AAUSA, including the following key responsibilities:

  • Provide visionary, strategic leadership to the organization and translate that vision into specific strategies and concrete actions that advance the mission; be accountable for the achievement of the organization’s objectives.
  • Champion the mission of AAUSA and AAI, and serve as the chief U.S. spokesperson for both organizations.
  • Build strong relationships with staff and board and cultivate the talents of the staff and board.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with strategically important individuals and organizations, particularly individual donors and foundations, Congress, select U.S. government agencies, AAI and its members and partners in other countries, and multilateral institutions.
  • Provide leadership and vision to AAUSA’s fundraising program, in partnership with the development team and board, to ensure that the organization meets or exceeds its fundraising goals.
  • Support and provide leadership to AAUSA’s policy development efforts, in partnership with the policy staff and board.
  • Oversee the internal operations, finances and programs to preserve AAUSA’s status as a well-managed, fiscally-sound, highly-respected organization and highly-rated charity.
  • Support the board of directors in its governance role, foster its ongoing development, and partner with it to achieve AAUSA’s vision and goals.

Ideal Candidates

The ideal candidate for this position will have a passion for the mission of working to end poverty and injustice, and:

  • Possess the ability to align with the ActionAid vision and be a credible, passionate spokesperson for rights-based development.
  • Have a minimum of five years senior level organizational leadership and management experience, with a strong preference for having worked within an international organization; must have a global perspective on development issues.
  • Demonstrate extensive experience in representing an organization at the senior level of partners, government agencies, private sectors and donors.
  • Be a gifted communicator with the ability to digest complex issues and make a compelling case that enrolls people into action and generates support.
  • Have demonstrated success in leading revenue generating programs. Experience soliciting major gifts and foundation funding is essential and broader experience in fundraising a definite plus.
  • Have an inspiring leadership style with a successful track record of building an organization and supporting high-functioning teams.
  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree; graduate degree preferred.

AAUSA offers a comprehensive salary package and superior benefits. Relocation allowance will be available for the right candidate.

AAUSA is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Application Process: Email cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: AAUSA@transitionguides.com. For other inquiries contact Don Tebbe at TransitionGuides, (301) 439-6635. Resume reviews begin immediately.