PREGNANCY JUSTICE SEEKS ITS NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
With the fall of Roe in 2022, Pregnancy Justice is at a critical inflection point, transitioning from its esteemed founding leadership to its next era of work with a new brand, grounded in a vision where the rights of pregnant people are protected. With a passionate and innovative staff, dynamic and supportive board, a $3.3M+ budget, Pregnancy Justice now seeks a new Executive Director who will chart the organization’s next phase, leveraging learnings from its past work to shift and improve national and state policy affecting pregnant people.
The new Executive Director will partner closely with the Deputy Executive Director, staff, and board to build on the organization’s strengths to bolster a movement that defends pregnant people in the face of growing threats that are emboldened by the recent Dobbs decision. The work ahead calls for a leader with a clear vision and passion for reproductive justice and protecting pregnant people’s constitutional and civil rights, a sophisticated racial analysis, dedication to building broad multi-issue coalitions, commitment to building and sustaining anti-oppression and anti-racist organizational culture, and understanding of how we arrived at this historic moment. This next stage also requires that Pregnancy Justice cultivate more partnerships, ensure the most important voices are at the table, including centering the experiences of BIPOC communities, communities at the margins, and wide-ranging geographic perspectives.
Pregnancy Justice, formerly National Advocates for Pregnant Women, established in 2001 by Lynn M. Paltrow, is dedicated to defending pregnant people against criminalization and other rights violations because of pregnancy and all pregnancy outcomes. The organization and staff are guided by the principles of reproductive justice: a human rights framework created and led by Black women. We believe that the criminal legal system and family policing system, commonly known as the child welfare system, should never be involved in pregnancy and pregnancy-related outcomes; that all people are entitled to dignity, equality, and respect; and that the threat of pregnancy criminalization, like the criminal legal system itself, targets communities of color and is deeply rooted in racism. While Pregnancy Justice must operate within the criminal legal system and the family policing system, we also recognize that we must work to dismantle them. Since its founding, the organization has worked across disciplines including public health, drug policy, criminal justice reform, racial justice, prosecutorial accountability, among others, to achieve its mission.
Pregnancy Justice is the leading legal advocacy organization fighting to protect pregnant people's civil and human rights — by defending those who've been criminalized, shifting public perceptions, and organizing for policy change. Pregnancy Justice firmly believes that no person should fear arrest or be subjected to other forms of government control or punishment because of pregnancy or any outcome of pregnancy, and leads in providing free legal assistance to people who have been charged with crimes because of pregnancy or any pregnancy outcome, including experiencing a pregnancy, having an abortion, or engaging in behavior that poses some perceived risk of harm to the fetus.
In 2022, Pregnancy Justice trained over 7,000 frontline healthcare providers, criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, social workers, policymakers, and child welfare workers through webinars, conferences, and lectures on their power to reject pregnancy criminalization. We represented or provided legal case support to 30 people facing pregnancy related criminalization; published 8 highly-cited reports; supported or opposed a dozen pieces of legislation; filed 4 amicus briefs on behalf of experts in medical and public health, drug policy and reproductive justice in cases in Ohio, Arizona, New York and Alabama. When contacted by over 200 people needing help, Pregnancy Justice provided resources, referrals, know-your-rights information, and direct assistance.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
“Even with our rights under attack, imagine what we can achieve together in the year ahead.” – Pregnancy Justice
Pregnancy Justice is positioned to work to ensure that no one loses their rights because of pregnancy or because of their capacity for pregnancy, focusing on pregnant people who are most at risk of state control and criminalization, those who are low-income, of color, and drug-using. As the organization transitions from founding leadership to a new Executive Director, the new leader will engage with the following challenges and opportunities:
Provide Visionary Leadership to Guide the Next Era of Pregnancy Justice’s Work
The next Executive Director of Pregnancy Justice will bring visionary and pragmatic leadership aligning staff, board, partners, and resources towards Pregnancy Justice’s goals at this critical moment. They will continue to advance Pregnancy Justice leadership in the movement, and to grow its capacity to build on its work towards broader policy making and narrative shaping that protects pregnant people. The new Executive Director’s leadership will center equity and bring a sophisticated racial analysis to all aspects of the organization’s work.
Expand a Sustainable Funding Base
The Executive Director will represent Pregnancy Justice to existing funding partners and will work to build the donor base through creative and proven outreach strategies with funders across the field of reproductive justice, racial justice, and criminal justice. The leader will be the public face of Pregnancy Justice, acting as a storyteller who articulates the work externally in a compelling way.
Leverage Strengths of the Board
The Executive Director will leverage strengths of board members, including longstanding and newly engaged board members, and will clarify the board’s strategic roles as Pregnancy Justice moves into its next phase. The Executive Director will also explore opportunities for expanding and deepening board expertise. During this transition time, the Executive Director and board will work in close partnership to ensure a successful, supportive change.
Cultivate Strategic Partnerships with Aligned Organizations
The Executive Director will build relationships with aligned movement leaders in the harm reduction, public health education, social justice, criminal justice, and reproductive justice space to build and leverage collective power toward shared goals. Through partnership work, the new Executive Director will deepen Pregnancy Justice’s national presence.
Cultivate Positive Team and Organizational Culture
The Executive Director will partner closely with the Deputy Executive Director to lead, develop, motivate, and mentor a diverse and values-driven team. The leader will champion a culture of shared leadership, collaboration, learning, effective communication, care, and creativity, and will build space for accountability and healing during challenging times. They will cultivate a shared analysis of racial justice across the team that is applied internally across the organization, which includes the board.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
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:
Leadership and Vision
- Unwavering commitment to the mission and work of Pregnancy Justice with a big picture, strategic, birds-eye view of the criminal justice, drug policy, reproductive rights, gender justice, and reproductive justice movements.
- Deep understanding of, commitment to, and experience advancing racial equity work, internally and externally to an organization.
- At least ten years of professional experience in criminal justice, civil and human rights, reproductive justice, and knowledge of their intersections preferred.
- Knowledge, lived, or professional experience and awareness around criminalization of pregnancy within various states and municipalities.
- Ability to think across systems, sectors, and social justice movements to identify opportunities for collaboration and shared outcomes.
- Natural connector and strong relationship builder with an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others. Ability to establish trust with staff, board, network partners, and clinicians.
- Externally facing leader and storyteller who can share the story of Pregnancy Justice in a way that galvanizes existing and new partners, donors, and collaborators.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant field; J.D. preferred.
Organizational and Financial Management
- Demonstrated organizational management experience with the intersection of operations, finance, and development for effective stewardship of resources.
- Experience overseeing planning and management of a comparably sized budget and funding streams.
- Experience in effectively building and utilizing systems, standard operating procedures, and technology to align organizational direction and resources.
Fund Development and Partnerships
- Success in developing and cultivating authentic relationships with donors and funders, and the ability to leverage creative approaches to fundraising and developing high-impact partnerships.
- Demonstrated history of driving successful fundraising campaigns and fostering key relationships with individuals, major donors, and institutions.
- Exceptional writing and ability to tell compelling stories across multiple formats and audiences.
- Experience in financial sustainability through growth and diversification of fundraising capacity with proven results.
Team Culture Leadership
- 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 sophisticated approach to leading teams and major bodies of high-impact work through periods of significant change and/or growth.
- High emotional intelligence, an empathetic and active listener with a values-driven approach.
The salary range for the Executive Director role is $225,000 – 250,000.
Benefits Include: Medical, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance and AD&D; FSA; commuter benefits; 403(b) Retirement Plan (with employer non-elective contribution); paid time off (up to 20 vacation days, up to 10 sick days, up to 5 personal days, all federal holidays, 1 floating holiday, holiday end-of-year closure; paid family leave; paid sabbatical; professional development support; one-time $1,000 remote work allowance.
More information about Pregnancy Justice may be found at: www.pregnancyjusticeus.org
This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Danielle Higa of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
Pregnancy Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against any individual based on any non-merit factor and is committed to an equitable workplace where everyone is treated as a respected and valued member of the team. In fact, Pregnancy Justice actively seeks to build and maintain a diverse staff with regard to race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, ability, religion, national origin and sexual orientation. In addition to Federal law requirements, Pregnancy Justice complies with applicable New York State and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.