Are you a passionate visionary with strong business acumen and an interest in social justice? Do you want to be a part of making Vermont a better place to live for everyone? If yes, we want to hear from you!
Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) seeks a visionary and mission-driven Executive Director who demonstrates a passion for serving and advocating on behalf of low-income and other vulnerable populations. This leader will guide our nationally recognized, statewide civil legal aid organization as we begin a new chapter and refresh our mission and goals for the next several decades. This is an exciting opportunity to build on the solid base established by current leadership and take VLA into the future.
WHO WE ARE
Vermont Legal Aid, one of the state’s largest law firms, is where Vermonters turn when they face a civil legal problem that threatens their rights, shelter, income, health, or well-being. We strive to advance fairness and justice in the civil legal system, address the socio-economic barriers faced by our clients, and confront the underlying causes of poverty, discrimination, and inequality. VLA is non-profit 501(c)(3) law firm and our services are free to our clients.
WHO YOU ARE
The ideal candidate will bring experience in leading a mission-driven organization, fundraising at scale, brand-building, strategic transformation, and cultivating a deep network across the state’s public, private and nonprofit sectors. You understand how to build and foster a culture of collaboration, teamwork, caring and support both internally and throughout the communities VLA serves.
If you share our values and our passion for addressing poverty, discrimination, and inequality, you will find a home at Vermont Legal Aid!
The Executive Director, in partnership with the VLA Leadership team including the Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Administrator and Project Directors, will:
- Direct and oversee the work of the leadership team, including recruitment, hiring, day-to-day supervision, and performance evaluation. Maintain an organizational climate which attracts, retains, and motivates a quality, diverse staff. Support the continued learning and professional development of the staff, ensuring cohesion and teamwork among personnel;
- Manage and be a thoughtful partner with VLA’s staff in the development and execution of all VLA fundraising efforts, programming, recruitment, DEI and general strategy;
- In conjunction with the CFO, ensure the organization’s financial health and stability including preparation of budgets and oversight of financial systems and controls;
- Maintain VLA’s leadership role among city, state, community partners and national poverty advocacy organizations, and coordinate its work with those groups;
- Lead policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of VLA’s key issue areas. Activate a committed network, including VT-based elected officials and civic leaders, to affect the implementation of smart policy related to how laws or rules impact vulnerable Vermonters;
- Maintain and grow outreach programs to increase VLA’s profile in the legal community, with client communities, and with the public-at-large; and
- Coordinate organizational goals, visions and activities with VLA’s partner organization, Legal Services Vermont, to ensure the maintenance of a unified legal services delivery system.
There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. That said, we are more likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate most of the qualifications and experiences listed below:
- Demonstrate a passion for social and racial justice.
- Possess strategic vision and agility – think strategically, foresee trends, and adapt the organizational plan in response to changing external realities;
- Willingness to be an ambassador for VLA, working effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders and to speak publicly on the greatest issues facing the vulnerable communities in Vermont;
- Strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team;
- Demonstrate significant fundraising experience through partners such as foundations, corporate sponsors, and major donors and obtaining state or federal grants;
- Understand financial matters, including budgets, compliance with grant and contract requirements, and financial oversight;
- Minimum of 10 years progressive leadership experience, preferably in policy, business, law, or nonprofit sectors.
VLA has an annual budget of over $9.5 million. VLA works closely with Legal Services Vermont to serve more than 25,000 individual clients annually and focuses on achieving systemic change for its client communities. VLA has a robust presence in the Vermont Legislature, before state agencies, and in the State’s Supreme Court.
VLA has a staff of about 90 and five offices located in Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, Springfield, and St. Johnsbury. Our clients come from all walks of life and VLA is doing the work to make sure that we reflect the communities we serve. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it will also make VLA stronger! Read about VLA’s core values and commitment to diversity and inclusion at work at: VLA Core Values and VLA Diversity Statement and our services for clients at VTlawhelp.org(link is external). Read about our law projects.
To receive full consideration, you are encouraged to submit your application materials by April 7, 2023. Screening of candidates begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. Please submit: 1) a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications (including transferable experience) and what you hope to be able to contribute to Vermont Legal Aid’s future, 2) a resume and 3) the names and contact information for three professional references.
Materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org(link is external) in Microsoft Word or PDF format with subject line of “Vermont Legal Aid Executive Director Search”. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact Gretchen Slusser at the email address above.
Salary Range is based on experience. Benefits include a generous leave policy, excellent family health insurance, life & disability insurance, and a 401(k) plan, the opportunity for a remote or hybrid arrangement, and the camaraderie of a team of committed advocates for social, racial, and economic justice.
We have a Racial Justice Committee that meets monthly and informs racial justice training for staff throughout the year and with new hires. The RJC is involved in each step of the hiring process from job descriptions and postings to application screening and candidate interviews.