Executive Director

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Job location
8325 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Advocacy Center
Street address: 
8325 Oak St
New Orleans
Job type: 
Position Description: 

The Advocacy Center of Louisiana protects, empowers, and advocates for
the human and legal rights of people with disabilities and seniors living in
Louisiana, in order that they may live an integrated life in the community,
free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation
The Advocacy Center of Louisiana (AC) is seeking an Executive Director to lead this thriving not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1977, the AC is part of a national system of federally-mandated, inde¬pendent disability legal advocacy organizations. The AC serves people with disabilities statewide of all ages, and persons over age 60 in the New Orleans area, and helps them access services and opportuni¬ties through its advocacy and legal expertise.
Committed Board, staff, and Friends of the Advocacy Center (FoAC) volunteers are among the stron¬gest advocates in the state, regularly challenging systems and society to create positive change and improve the lives of people with disabilities and seniors. The AC supports the right of each person to live with dignity, and to participate in the mainstream of society. The AC’s work, in collaboration with its many partners across the state, is an investment in productive, independent Louisianans who all too often are marginalized or ignored because of their physical or mental condition, or simply because they are old.
The AC has a staff of 55 who work out of offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette, and field offices throughout the state. Its $3.8 million budget is comprised of federal and state funds, attorneys’ fees, consulting and training fees, foundation grants, and corporate and individual donations.
• Information and Referral to match callers’ needs with available community resources
• Individual Advocacy to help people overcome barriers to independence, dignity, and critical services.
• Systems Advocacy to bring about broad policy changes affecting larger numbers of clients using
litigation and other tools.
• Outreach and Training to broaden the knowledge of AC services and share the AC’s expertise to
empower clients, family members, attorneys and other advocates to fight for the rights of people
with disabilities to pursue the greatest quality of life possible.
• Legislative Information and Education to equip policy makers with facts supporting decisions
affecting AC clients.
• Investigations of Abuse and Neglect to protect clients from abuse, neglect, or exploitation in
institutions and other community and supported living settings.
• Access: Eliminate physical and programmatic barriers to critical programs and services.
• Autonomy: Protect the rights of clients to make the decisions of which they are capable.
• Education: Protect children and youth with disabilities from illegal exclusion from schools and
empower them and their families to obtain appropriate transition services.
• Employment: Maximize opportunities to engage in competitive employment and empower clients
with accurate information about employment rights and services.
• Healthcare/Home and Community-Based Services: Advocate for affordable, accessible care so clients
can remain in their homes and communities and ensure that they have help with rights protection
and quality of life issues.
• Rights Protection: Protect the rights of clients living in institutions and residential facilities,
advocate for their access to alternative services in the community, and empower them to exercise
their autonomy to the maximum extent possible.
• Voting: Eliminate barriers to voting and empower clients to assert their voting rights.
The Executive Director (ED) of the Advocacy Center of Louisiana will bring passion, vision, expe¬rience, and leadership to a seasoned team dedicated to protecting, empowering, and advocating for people with disabilities and seniors. S/he will build on the 39-year legacy of success while addressing the continued challenges facing Louisianans with disabilities and seniors, such as:
• Protecting young people with behavioral disabilities from being trapped in the school-to-prison
• Empowering clients to obtain services needed to enter or remain in the workforce.
• Advocating to increase access to in-home and community services to avoid institutionalization.
Based in the unique city of New Orleans, s/he will guide the AC’s overall advocacy strategy, staff man¬agement, fiscal planning and management, fundraising activities, as well as public relations and mar¬keting. The successful candidate will collaborate with the Board to ensure that the continued alignment of the AC’s mission, values, and strategic plan lead to successful outcomes. The ED will also continue the AC’s history of close collaboration with state, local, and national organizations.
Lead the development and implementation of the AC’s strategic plan
• Works with the Board to review and refine the strategic plan.
• Forecasts future challenges and positions the AC to meet them.
• Motivates and inspires staff to work collaboratively to meet the vision and goals.
• Identifies opportunities for systems change and effectively understands and works within the
political landscape.
• Positions the AC as a leader within the disability, civil rights, social justice, and other key
stakeholder communities.
• Assists Board members in developing the knowledge and skills needed for effective stewardship
of the AC, and keeps them apprised of all aspects of the organization’s work.
• Deploys staff and other resources efficiently and effectively to achieve organizational goals.
• Is committed to the sustainability and growth of the AC.
• Builds skills of key staff to mentor and motivate other staff, gives feedback to continuously improve
their supervision and mentoring skills, and helps them develop skills to address personnel and
resource allocation issues.
• Oversees performance management and professional development for staff.
Maintain, increase, and diversify funding resources and provide strong financial stewardship.
• Leads, manages, and is committed to the AC’s overall development/fundraising strategic plan,
including federal grants, state contracts, consulting fees, litigation fees, foundation grants, and
corporate and individual donations.
• Develops and cultivates relationships with individual and corporate donors, as well as grant makers.
• Ensures that all reporting and compliance requirements of all funders are met.
• Keeps Board fully apprised of on-going financial status and highlights fiscal issues that need Board
• Maintains strong internal controls and financial systems including successful execution of all
contracts on behalf of the AC.
Raise the profile of the AC through external communications and relationships
• Serves as the active spokesperson for the AC through personal relationships with media, identifying
opportunities to promote its policy agenda, and increasing public awareness of its work statewide.
• Communicates the AC’s purpose, policies, and programs to public constituencies, government
bodies (executive, legislative, judicial), and staff to build support for its strategic goals.
• Encourages effective relationships with other groups serving people with disabilities, as well as
civil rights and social justice organizations.


• A minimum of 10 years senior management experience in an organization of similar size to the AC.
• Demonstrated commitment to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities.
• Demonstrated success in leading and managing a complex organization, including:
• Setting strategic vision
• Engaging in clear and decisive decision making
• Managing personnel
• Implementing business plans
• Overseeing finances and internal control systems
• Fostering good relationships with external stakeholders and collaborators
• Demonstrated success and skills in systems advocacy, using litigation to affect public policy,
coalition building, and relationship development.
• Proven ability to provide advocacy leadership within the disability community including working
with state, local, and federal government officials, coalition partners, stakeholders, and others.
• Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire
staff, funders, and communities served by AC and to be a strong spokesperson for the organization.
• Demonstrated personnel management skills and experience, including the ability to build consensus
among differing opinions, as well as to support, mentor, and maintain mutual respect and a positive,
open relationships with staff.
• Successful experience developing a diversified revenue base, including securing state, federal, local,
and foundation grants, and a strong commitment to participating in and expanding fundraising in
partnership with the Friends of the Advocacy Center.
• Juris Doctor, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public
Health, or similar credential. If graduate degree is other than a Juris Doctor, a solid understanding
of, and significant experience with, the use of litigation in advancing public policy is required.
• Interest in and commitment to working in Louisiana.
• Strong understanding of legal and other advocacy strategies including training, coalition work,
and other systems advocacy approaches.
• Knowledge of disability and civil rights law and issues.
• Committed to flexibility in managing staff, balancing the needs of the individual with the needs
of the organization.

To apply: 

Applications will be accepted until June 17, 2016.
Interested candidates should submit a letter expressing, in detail, your interest in the position of Executive Director of the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, as well as what you believe you would contribute to the future of AC and its client community. The letter must be accompanied by a current resume and sent to:
AC Search Committee
Email: [email protected]

AC is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates with disabilities, women, people of color, and others representing linguistic or cultural communities to apply.
Salary range: 
AC offers a competitive salary and benefits package.
Submission deadline: 
Thursday, May 12, 2016