Director, Racial Equity

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Job location
1901 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
National Legal Aid and Defender Association
Street address: 
1901 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 500
District of Columbia
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

NLADA seeks an inspiring, visionary, and courageous leader with strong interpersonal and management skills to be the Director of NLADA’s Racial Equity Institute. This position is in Washington, DC (Association presently working remotely) and it will report to the Vice-President of Strategic Alliances and Innovation. The Director of the Racial Equity Institute will develop the framework and strategic vision for the new Institute. The Mission of the Center is to develop leaders, inform policy, and educate the public on why race equity is at the core of achieving excellence in access to justice in America. The Director will be responsible for the day-to-day planning, coordination, and implementation of the Institute programming. He/She/They will collaborate as a thought partner with the NLADA leadership team to develop a sustainable fundraising and business model for the Center. If you are innovative, forward thinking, professional, thorough, and extremely passionate about combatting systemic racial injustice and advancing racial equity, then this is the job for you!


The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. We lead a broad network of advocates on the frontlines to advance justice and expand opportunity for all by promoting excellence in the delivery of legal services for people who cannot afford counsel and serve as a strong national advocate. We provide advocacy, guidance, information, training and technical assistance for members of the equal justice community, especially those working in public defense and civil legal aid. For more than a century, we have connected and supported people across the country committed to justice for all.

The NLADA community is uniquely positioned to drive lasting change. We seek to strengthen our commitment and impact as a community in advancing racial equity. NLADA members dedicate their lives to promoting equity and justice for all. Our members are civil legal aid organizations, client and community advocates, public defenders, and pro bono attorneys who fight daily to secure racial equity and civil rights in America. We work on behalf of individuals and communities who experience first-hand the impact of racial inequities. The legal challenges for the communities that we serve are symptoms of entrenched historical and systemic racism that are often well beyond the scope of any one case. We understand the roles that the genocide of Native Americans, enslavement of African people, and legacy of white supremacy play in constructing barriers for communities of color who find themselves trapped in cycles of poverty. We are committed to being anti-racist organizations and advancing these values in our work.


To lead NLADA’s racial equity initiative, you will:

Strategic Planning & Stakeholder Engagement

• Develop the strategic plan for the Institute in collaboration with NLADA members, staff, and strategic partners

• Work with communications and development teams to develop messaging and promote the Institute

• Identify and build strategic partnerships with stakeholder groups, sponsors, and community organizations to further the mission of the Racial Equity Institute

• Serve as a thought partner to the NLADA CEO and Leadership Team to lead strategic implementation and growth.

Operations/Program Management

• Provide oversight of administrative and operational functions for Institute programming, including Intensive trainings, policy briefings, and community conversations.

• Monitor and communicate the process and progress of core programs.

• Lead and Support the development of in-person and online forums throughout the year and during NLADA Conferences.

• Assist with identifying and coordinating speakers and authors for NLADA sessions and publications.


• Assist in the production of persuasive and informative Race Equity materials, including issue specific policy reports, fact sheets, action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, op-eds, website updates, and recommend communications messaging and strategy.

• Stay abreast of national racial equity trends in areas of focus in the civil, defender and client community.




• You have a J.D. or Master’s degree, or graduate work in public policy, law, social sciences, or related fields.

• You have three years of proven relevant experience.

• If you have experience in research, programming, planning events and/or administration that is a plus.

• You are able to work effectively with a membership organization and have the ability to leverage the expertise and resources in the field.

• You are committed to racial justice through public policy, professional experience, or community-related activism.

• You are experienced in operations and program management.

• You have effective and efficient time management, planning and prioritization skills, including a high level of organization, attention to detail, and strong follow-through, while balancing and prioritizing multiple activities and responsibilities.

• You are a big-picture thinker and have the ability to translate strategy into written plans and presentations; you are confident in presenting and advocating those plans both internally and externally.

• You are able to collaborate effectively with staff and members in connection with large-scale conferences and events.

• You are capable of effectively managing and balancing administrative responsibilities with capacity to deliver on organization goals and objectives.

• You have the skills to serve as a spokesperson, as necessary.

• You have exceptional written and oral communication skills.

• You are a strong multi-tasker and have the agility to work well with a variety of people in a fast-paced/ever-changing environment.

• You are able to maintain a good working relationship with co-workers, volunteers, and stakeholders.

• You are a strong leader with proven experience engaging in creative problem solving and taking initiative, while utilizing a solutions-oriented approach and exhibiting flexibility and good judgment.

To apply: 

Applicants encouraged to apply by October 29, 2021 but position is open until filled. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position. 

HOW TO APPLY: Please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

Salary: $100,000+; Commensurate with experiences. 

Benefits: NLADA offers a generous benefits package. 

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
$100,000+; Commensurate with experience
Submission deadline: 
Friday, October 29, 2021