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Executive Director


MacArthur Justice Center
Executive Director

Job Description

The MacArthur Justice Center works to combat injustice in the criminal legal system, representing those most impacted by the system. Founded in memory of Rod MacArthur, who fought during his life for fair treatment for all persons, regardless of their race, religious affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity, the Center operates in five locations, with the headquarters in Illinois.   Exposing racial injustice, correcting systemic failures in the criminal system and fighting for the rights of the oppressed is particularly important today.  

The MacArthur Justice Center is hiring a new Executive Director, who will have the unique opportunity to shape the growth of a leading national civil rights legal organization, tackling some of today’s most cutting-edge issues in criminal legal system reform. The Executive Director must have a deep commitment to civil rights and social justice for under-served and under-represented people impacted by the criminal legal system.  They must share the vision of the organization to protect the rights of those most vulnerable, to root out and challenge discriminatory and unjust practices in the criminal system, and to speak truth to power, including in circumstances where the client or issue may be unpopular.   

The MacArthur Justice Center is an organization of approximately 40 to 50 employees comprised of several regional offices which operate under the leadership of both their own regional director(s) and the Executive Director. This structure facilitates the organization’s flexibility, nimbleness, and creativity in its advocacy. It also allows each regional office to respond quickly and adeptly to needs on the ground. 

The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Directors, but will work closely with the Policy Committee, composed of the organization’s internal leadership, in advancing the vision of the organization, implementing internal policies, and ensuring a culture that values diversity, collaboration, integrity, and excellence.  

In conjunction with the Board and Policy Committee, the Executive Director will also be responsible for recommending budgets and equitably allocating resources to ensure everyone in the organization has the necessary operational support.  They will work collaboratively with the Senior Legal Director and Policy Committee in defining and achieving the overarching litigation goals as a reflection of the mission of the organization. They will work with the Communications Director in advocating for the organization’s clients, cases and attorneys. The Executive Director will also collaborate closely with the Human Resources Director to ensure employees are provided with resources to succeed in their positions and opportunities to develop professionally.  

The Executive Director should have the ability to inspire others and to lead by example, as well as to represent the organization with community partners and other collaborating organizations. They must have a demonstrated commitment to criminal legal system reform and to confronting racism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression. They must also be an excellent manager, committed to an inclusive and transparent environment where communication and collaboration are essential to successful outcomes.  They should have a track record of proven, concrete success in the following areas: (1) leadership in a non-profit organization, (2) management of attorneys and other staff who contribute to litigation, (3) understanding and experience with practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion, (4) successful implementation of an operational initiative(s) and (5) experience mentoring staff and supporting staff retention and morale.




·      At least 15 years’ experience managing a complex and diverse organization, preferably in the nonprofit sector

·      Demonstrated ability and success in developing and implementing effective strategic business, financial and operations plans that will maintain a financially stable and sustainable organization.

·      Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·      Strong professional judgment and ability to maintain confidentiality and build trust among staff at all levels.

·      Keen analytical and problem-solving skills that enable sound strategic decision-making; resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.

For more information about the MacArthur Justice Center, please visit their website at

The criminal legal system disproportionally harms people of color, people from low-income communities, the formerly-incarcerated, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals. We strongly encourage those who identify within these and other communities underrepresented in the legal profession to apply. All applicants must have and be committed to the cultural competence required to work with clients and co-workers who come from different backgrounds and experiences. People with experience in community activism and/or organizing are also strongly encouraged to apply.

All positions at the MacArthur Justice Center are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  All are encouraged to apply.  


To Apply: 

The MacArthur Justice Center has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, CEO & Managing Partner
Anne McCarthy, COO
Harris Rand Lusk

Please put “MacArthur ED” in the subject line of your e-mailed application.


Submission Deadline: 
October 11, 2021
Organization Information: 
MacArthur Justice Center
375 E Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
United States