Ex Dir, US Human Rights Network, Atlanta or NYC

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. The Network’s over 300 organizational members work to inform and promote the use of human rights in communities across the United States in order to secure dignity and justice for all.

USHRN utilizes multiple approaches to promote a rights-based discourse in the US and to bring about real and sustainable positive change. USHRN facilitates its members’ ability to work collectively to achieve structural change needed to fully realize human rights. It focuses on supporting members’ capacity to use the human rights framework to advocate for their priority issues and on strengthening their ability to work collectively to achieve their goals. USHRN brings members together through member meetings, conferences, and other convenings, and offers a myriad of training and other capacity-building opportunities. As the primary entity that engages participation of grassroots organizations and directly-impacted individuals, USHRN leverages international mechanisms such as the United Nations to advance United States accountability to human rights.

The Network was founded in 2003 by a group of human rights defenders, primarily women of color, interested in creating an anchor group to support and strengthen a human rights movement and culture in the United States. USHRN has since worked with communities addressing serious human rights issues throughout the United States using an intersectional approach with a priority on historically marginalized regions, such as the Southeast and Southwest.

USHRN has its headquarters in Atlanta, GA, as well as an office in New York City. The Network has a staff of seven that is divided between both locations and a twelve-member Board of Directors.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of USHRN with primary responsibility for advancing the vision and mission of the organization, managing the organization’s day-to-day operations and activities, leading the organization’s fundraising, serving as the lead spokesperson for the organization, ensuring the organization’s financial stability, and directing and coordinating the work of a professional staff. The Executive Director will also work closely with the Board of Directors and staff on an ongoing basis to define and implement the organization’s goals and the strategies to achieve those goals.

The Executive Director will be a dynamic, seasoned, and mission-driven leader and manager who excels at balancing internal organizational management with external impact and visibility. The Executive Director must also be a credible and strategic leader in the human rights and activist space, with demonstrated commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, both as a leader and a manager. As a natural consensus-builder, the Executive Director will be skilled in bringing together diverse groups of grassroots activists, as well as large institutions. The Executive Director will bring experience and enthusiasm for expanding funding and programmatic partnerships to increase USHRN’s impact.

This is a full-time position located in either Atlanta, GA or New York, NY, with regular travel between the two cities. For more information on USHRN, please visit www.ushrnetwork.org.

Candidate Profile:

The Executive Director will uphold the organization’s commitment to building collaboration among diverse groups of grassroots organizations and ensuring that a human rights frame is used to support the growth of an active, multi-sector movement. The Executive Director will demonstrate humility, flexibility, and a commitment to growing the organization.

The Executive Director will advance the work of the US Human Rights Network through the following responsibilities:

Organizational Development and Management
Oversee all long-range organizational planning, project and program development, and strategic planning, in partnership with Board and staff and with input from members
Manage USHRN’s financial operations, including developing annual budgets and monitoring expenditures and income
Ensure effective administrative systems and practices including payroll, human resources, insurance, annual audit, and others as needed
Lead all elements of staff management, working to ensure a healthy, collaborative workplace and organizational culture

Resource Development
Create and implement USHRN’s annual fundraising strategy, ensuring a diversified funding base including foundations, individuals, and special events that will total at least $1.4M annually
Establish and maintain relationships with all current and potential donors through a diligent process of research, identification, cultivation, solicitation, and acknowledgement
Oversee a grassroots fundraising plan and membership dues infrastructure
Ensure that resources are adequate to meet the annual budget

Communications and Community Relations
Serve as a visible and engaging spokesperson for USHRN by representing and promoting USHRN, its members, and its partners to key public officials, community members, press, and the public in order to ensure an accurate and positive public presence for USHRN and its mission
Leverage public speaking and writing to effectively convey USHRN messages
Develop and maintain strong relationships with USHRN members, leaders, and external stakeholders. Manage and nurture positive relationships with program partners and allies at city, state, and national levels

Organizing, Advocacy, and Program Leadership
Maintain current knowledge of issues core to USHRN’s mission in order to ensure that its programs are appropriate, effective, and timely
Develop and maintain active relationships with other members of the human rights community in order to facilitate sharing of knowledge, strategies for action, and best practices. Undertake joint projects when appropriate. Contribute to the national dialogue around human rights through speeches, writing, and other forms of engagement
Serve as the primary agent of USHRN in interpreting organizational policy, rules, and procedures, and managing sensitive and/or potentially controversial issues

Relationship with the Board of Directors
Serve as the key liaison and manage and maintain open communications with the Board of Directors, leveraging regular briefings
Assist in developing and supporting committees of the Board, as needed
Remain actively in touch with and well-informed about the Board’s activities


The Executive Director should have the following experience and qualifications:
At least eight years of proven, successful, senior-level management with fundraising, financial, and administrative problem-solving and organizational development experience
Expertise on the US human rights movement and connections to related social justice movements is strongly preferred. Beneficial to have additional insight and knowledge around international human rights and the United Nations
Experience with coalitions, networks, and/or membership organizations, including an understanding of the dynamics of coalition-building among diverse communities and the needs of a membership-based organization, is highly desirable
Proven and successful track record in creating and implementing programs. Experience creating partnerships and collaborations, US-based social justice organizing experience, and policy advocacy are desirable
A successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources
A history of communicating effectively in writing and orally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations. Ability to represent USHRN to a diverse public, including senior US government officials and local grassroots activists
Experience working effectively with diverse groups of people utilizing cross-cultural competence and a demonstrated commitment to diversity. Someone who is seen as a positive and high-energy leader
A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent is the minimum required educational credential; a graduate degree in a relevant discipline is preferred
The ability to undertake significant travel is required

Personal Characteristics

Ideally, the Executive Director should have the following qualities:
Committed to USHRN’s mission and core principles with demonstrated practices, behavior, and activities, which underscore a commitment to social change and progressive work
An outstanding connector, networker, and relationship builder, with existing ties to a broad and diverse range of social justice communities. Knowledgeable about the political climate and the dynamics of the US human rights policy environment
Able to communicate with and build consensus among people from a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, and priorities
A visionary leader who can create excitement and energy around USHRN’s programs. Persuasive and persistent in the pursuit of the organization’s goals
Strategic and resourceful
A team builder, coach, and mentor. Able to delegate and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities. One who inspires collaboration and functions decisively without being autocratic, with a well-established reputation for treating people fairly
Intelligent, creative, and able to conceptualize programs, originate ideas, and anticipate and act on events which may create opportunities for USHRN
Outgoing, open, direct, and trustworthy. An active and attentive listener who is open to change
Emotionally mature and self-confident, with a sense of humor in order to maintain balance and perspective
Ability to speak more than one language is preferable

Compensation & Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. USHRN offers a generous benefits package, including health, dental, and vision.


US Human Rights Network has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Melissa Madzel here.

US Human Rights Network is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

More information: https://koyapartners.com/search/executive-director-25/

Ms. Carmen Iezzi MEZZERA
Executive Director
Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs

This material is sent by Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, APSIA, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community. This is meant for information sharing purposes only.
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