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Executive Director


The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is the leading advocacy organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their loved ones. NILC’s mission is grounded in the belief that everyone living in the U.S. - regardless of race, gender/gender identity, immigration, and economic status - should have equal access to justice, resources, and educational and economic opportunities that enable them to achieve their full human potential. Leveraging its 501(c)4 affiliate, the Immigrant Justice Fund (NILC IJF), and with a $20 million annual operating budget and 90 staff members, NILC combines narrative and culture change, movement power building, and policy, advocacy and litigation to both strengthen the legal protections for immigrants and shift the public debate around immigration toward the notion that everyone regardless of their place of birth or socioeconomic status has a stake and constructive role to play in shaping the country’s future.

Since 1979, NILC has served as a foundational pillar of the immigrant justice movement, simultaneously shaping the immigration ecosystem to defend and advance the rights of low-income immigrants and empowering like-minded organizations to do the same. The organization has gradually evolved over the course of its history – from a direct-service provider of legal services to the multi-faceted organization of today that employs a variety of methods to achieve its aims, including advocacy, impact litigation, and strategic communications.

Following a period of unprecedented growth, NILC is in a position to consolidate the gains it has made in recent times and chart a path for continued scaling and increased impact. With a robust strategic framework aligned with NILC’s mission and with movement needs throughout the greater ecosystem, the organization is working to activate a proactive multi-faceted approach over the course of the next few years. In addition, as this nation’s deep systemic racial, social, and economic injustices are continuously thrown into sharp relief, NILC must continue to reckon with the immigrant justice movement’s intersections with other justice movements as well as its role in bringing many worlds together in support of creating a thriving, healthy society.

Succeeding an influential and visionary long-time Executive Director, the new leader will lead and oversee NILC and its 501(c)4 political arm, the NILC IJF. This new leader will advocate for NILC’s core commitments to intersectional racial equity, movement and coalition building and the advancement of policies that protect and empower immigrants from a diverse range of nationalities, races, cultures, and languages. The Executive Director (ED) will champion and compel actions that support immigrant communities in their ongoing struggle to be treated humanely, integrate socially, establish and sustain themselves financially, and step into their own power as they civically engage and mobilize around issues of citizenship and access to the opportunities that derive from it. Building on established organizational values, over 25 years of successes, and a comprehensive strategic framework, the Executive Director will collaborate with policy makers, sector leaders, staff, and community stakeholders to shape the next iteration of NILC’s work and impact, and work closely with supporters, staff, and funders to ensure the long-term viability of NILC as it continues to grow to meet the ever-evolving needs of diverse immigrant communities.

NILC’s and the NILC IJF’s next Executive Director will draw on relevant lived and professional experience to bring empathy, humility, and credibility to support their vision and action plans for the work as well as savvy, deep relationship-building skills, strategic thinking, and excellent judgment, allowing them to deftly navigate a charged national political landscape. The Executive Director will be an innovative and dynamic leader, able to translate NILC’s bold vision into strategy and action while amplifying the voices of the communities that NILC works with and alongside of. S/He/They will collaboratively guide the direction and strategy of NILC’s and NILC IJF’s work; empower and partner with Executive and Senior Leadership Teams to determine the organization’s metrics of success and to design and implement organizational development and management priorities; represent the organization externally; ensure alignment of the organization’s stated mission and ongoing work; and cultivate and steward NILC’s external relationships to ensure that the organization maximizes its impact.

 Success in this role will require someone who is:

·         A dynamic, emotionally intelligent, and empathetic leader with the skills to mobilize and bolster the long-term financial sustainability of a multifaceted, growing organization;

·         An exceptional relationship manager who can build rapport, trust, and transparency across a diverse and growing community of passionate, talented stakeholders, including staff, policymakers, elected officials, and community partners;

·         A strong listener, public communicator, and storyteller who can articulate and amplify the values, lived experiences, and lessons that demonstrate the potential and impact of the work; and

·         A thoughtful leader who will partner with the communities and organizations most impacted by the organizations’ work to elevate their voices, make space for collaborative impact, and work towards a shared vision for the future of immigrant justice.

 A minimum salary of $250,000 will be provided to the successful candidate and is flexible and commensurate with experience.



While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Strategic Leadership and Core Knowledge of NILC’s work and the Immigrant Justice Movement

  • Broad knowledge of the historical, current, and evolving systems, networks, context and resources throughout the immigrant justice movement and the nonprofit sector as a whole, as well as the levers utilized to affect change in and across these movements; experience with legal advocacy is a strong plus.
  • Demonstrated experience leading people, teams, and major bodies of high impact work through periods of significant change and/or growth, particularly in a senior leadership capacity and for a multifaceted organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to align vision, strategy, and execution.
  • Ability to develop agile organizational structures and strategies that can be both responsive in a dynamic context and strategic in anticipating future needs and opportunities.
  • Ability to think across systems, sectors, and movements to identify opportunities for collaboration and shared outcomes; experience advancing legal, policy, narrative or power-building change as effective levers to advance the immigrants’ justice movement.
  • Sophistication with programmatic strategies that embed evaluation and learning and a commitment to community-based learning.
  • Demonstrated understanding of legislative advocacy and electoral politics.
  • Demonstrated passion for and investment in advancing justice and equity. Highly developed critical consciousness and a combination of professional and lived experience aligned with NILC’s mission and values.


Systems and Management

  • Commitment to creating a strong and healthy workplace that reflects internally the values NILC advocates for externally and that centers diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Demonstrated skill in organizational design and management; a willingness to rethink or improve upon established systems and processes.
  • Experience working in a highly collaborative unionized workplace, preferred.
  • Ability to assess and identify pain points in a growing organization and devise strategies to ensure that processes and systems are being developed in a consistent manner to guide growth and provide staff with opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Experience mentoring, developing, and providing leadership to high-performing, multi-disciplinary teams and partners that engages staff, members, and sub-recipients/contractors to achieve project/program goals.
  • A collaborative and reflective leadership style that values staff contributions and experiences and effectively manages and motivates teams toward a shared vision and measurable goals.
  • A leader who prioritizes a relational work environment that builds trust and seeks to foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and integrity.
  • Experience collaborating with team members and stakeholders to document and apply lessons learned to improve programs, both internally and externally.
  • Experience working in partnership with a board of directors and leveraging a board’s resources.


Relationship Stewardship and Cultivation

  • Demonstrated experience as a versatile and effective fundraiser with a measurable track record of securing multiple large gifts across both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 funding, proven ability to establish and manage deep relationships with partners and funders; adept at aligning their work with funders’ strategies and setting achievable expectations; familiarity with community-centric fundraising a plus.
  • Strong convening and facilitation skills and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; ability to establish trust with a diverse set of stakeholders and a commitment to honoring and elevating community expertise and wisdom.
  • Demonstrated ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues including funder expectations, grantee priorities, and community and movement concerns; highly developed emotional intelligence and active listening skills, and the ability to use interpersonal skills in collaborative, diplomatic ways.
  • Superb communication and external relations skills and demonstrated success in building an organization’s profile and reputation in local, regional, national, and professional communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as public spokesperson for the organizations at high-level functions and across media platforms that lift up the work of NILC and NILC IJF.


To Apply: 

For more about the National Immigration Law Center, please visit:

For more about the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, please visit:

This search is being led by Whitney HerringtonJulian Jackson, and Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

NILC is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.


Submission Deadline: 
February 19, 2022
Organization Information: 
National Immigration Law Center
United States