To create opportunities with LGBTQ+ young people to build their vision for a positive future.
Founded in 1999, the Ruth Ellis Center (REC) has established a national reputation for quality and innovation in providing comprehensive, trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of color experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system, and/or experiencing barriers to health and wellbeing. What began as a 500-square-foot safe space in Highland Park, MI has evolved into a multi-faceted organization operating four facilities spanning the cities of Highland Park and Detroit, providing outreach and safety-net services, fully-integrated primary and behavioral health care services and case management, skill-building workshops, HIV prevention programs, and more. REC works toward its vision through five core programs that support the LGBTQ+ youth and young adult community.
The Executive Director is the key management leader of the Ruth Ellis Center and is responsible for ensuring a vision and strategy to fulfill the organization’s mission. The Executive Director works closely with the Leadership Team to align the mission and vision, and to ensure that the team is working together to successfully achieve strategic objectives. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the center. They report to a 17-member Board of Directors and manage eight direct reports.
The ideal Executive Director will be a compassionate and collaborative leader who is able to bring teams together through a culture of trust and transparency. They will be a strategic, critical, and creative thinker capable of guiding the organization to be more proactive in its mission. They will center racial equity in the agency’s work, bringing a strong understanding of intersectionality and its impact on staff and participants. The Executive Director will be a vocal advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, a sought-after partner for other community organizations, and an adept fundraiser.
Within the first 12 to 18 months, the Executive Director will achieve the following major objectives:
With the Board and Senior Leadership Team, assess the current state of the Ruth Ellis Center and develop strategies that maximize program effectiveness, strengthen policies and procedures, and recognize the needs of a high-performing staff.
Further a culture of equity, transparency, and power sharing across the organization with a goal of increasing staff engagement and facilitating stronger collaborations between the staff and Board.
Deepen the external relationships that support the work of the Ruth Ellis Center, including external funders, government agencies, community partners, and the press.
The Executive Director will have the following primary responsibilities:
Lead the agency in a manner that supports and guides the agency’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors.
Ensure effective communication with the Board and provide accurate and timely information necessary for the Board to function and make informed decisions; establish a structure for and facilitate appropriate engagement between Board members and the agency’s staff, volunteers, supporters, and program participants.
Oversee and support the creation of a comprehensive development plan, leading to a broad and diversified funding mix; take a lead role in cultivating and soliciting individual donors, including maintaining and enhancing relationships with existing funders and engaging with new donors.
Engage the Board in targeted and meaningful fundraising endeavors.
Provide vision and direction to engage in the collaborative development of the strategic plan to ensure mission fulfillment.
With the Leadership Team, ensure that all programs align with the agency’s strategic plan to meet the needs of the community and carry out the mission.
Lead the Leadership Team to ensure long- and short-term planning and institutional effectiveness regarding all administrative and operational functions and services.
Identify changes or trends in the community served by the agency.
Cultivate and model an environment of transparency and communication throughout the organization; set the tone for collaboration and meaningful employee engagement.
Foster a culture that inspires, attracts, develops, and retains diverse, top-quality staff and volunteers.
Assess the organizational structure on an ongoing basis to ensure alignment with the agency’s strategic priorities, including staff capacity, program effectiveness, and sustainable growth plans.
Ensure that effective human resource practices are in place, including the recruitment, development, evaluation, and retention of a diverse staff.
Ensure commitment to and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations across the organization.
Enhance the agency’s image by being active and visible in the community, working closely with other professional, civic, public, and private organizations.
Serve as primary spokesperson to agency’s stakeholders, media, and the public.
The ideal candidate will bring most of the following qualifications and skill sets:
A commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the Ruth Ellis Center; a demonstrated understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ+ youth and young people.
Familiarity with trauma informed care, harm reduction, restorative justice, and positive youth development.
LGBTQ+ cultural competency and a dedication to racial equity; the ability to foster a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels.
At least five years of senior leadership experience in a nonprofit setting, preferably one with a mission or programs that address homelessness, child welfare, and/or youth wellbeing.
Exceptional leadership skills, with successful experience in fundraising, fiscal management, strategic planning, community relations, and staff and board relations.
Prior experience working effectively in partnership with a governance board and/or board committees; experience engaging board members in fundraising and advocacy initiatives.
Excellent communication skills with the ability to motivate and inspire staff, board, volunteers, and the community, and engage them in a proactive and positive manner.
Excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to work effectively with diverse individuals, groups, and communities; high-energy, confidence, and a sense of humor.
A critical and strategic thinker, with the ability to problem solve and proactively address concerns and challenges; strong conflict management and negotiation skills.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience is required. A master’s degree in business administration, nonprofit administration, social work, public health, or a related field would be an advantage.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The salary range for this position is $145,000 to $155,000. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; generous paid time off; twelve holidays; 403(b) retirement plan; and paid family leave.
The Ruth Ellis Center has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. The team for this project includes Emily Miller, Angèle Bubna, and Kris McFeely. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to:
Associate Consultant, Executive Search
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