Executive Director

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has been a leader in the fight for economic and worker justice in the United States since 1996. IWJ organizers mobilize people of faith, workers and work rights advocates in support of economic justice and worker rights at the local, state and national levels. Today there are more than 60 affiliated organizations in the IWJ network, including a variety of interfaith groups and more than two dozen worker centers.

IWJ is the nation’s leading producer of interfaith resources and materials to help inspire and inform people on worker and economic justice issues. Congregations across the nation rely on IWJ to provide worship and educational resources that draw people into the movement for worker justice.

IWJ works with its partners and allies to influence the national conversation on its core issues: wage theft, jobs, paid sick days and workplace standards, and protecting the rights of workers to organize. But IWJ is also at work with and through its affiliated worker centers and interfaith bodies to pass pro-worker legislation at the local and state level. And, with a growing network of E-Advocates, IWJ influences both government and corporate policies. 

IWJ is a national 501C3 organization with a budget of approximately $1.5 million, 13 staff, a 40 person national board and an amazing network of affiliates with powerful local leaders and activists.

The Opportunity: IWJ plays a critical role in the economic justice landscape. The organization has a solid reputation and a strong network of affiliates around the country upon which to build. IWJ is eagerly poised to take on new challenges and fights for justice.

Executive Director Purpose:

  1. To provide leadership and vision for the movement for worker justice and the building of IWJ and its affiliates.
  2. To organize and support the staff and board in carrying out the mission of the organization.
  3. To manage the overall growth and work of the organization.

Accountability: The position is directly accountable to the board of directors.

Location: The ED location is flexible, given willingness and ability for regular travel. Approximately 30 percent of the director’s time will likely be travelling to represent the organization, meet with funders and support our affiliates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:  

1) Public Representation and Leadership (20%)  

  • Lead IWJ’s collaborative creation of an inspiring vision for a more just society and the role of the religious community in advocating for worker justice
  • Frame issues of labor and faith with a compelling analysis
  • Represent the organization with the media in speeches, workshops and meetings
  • Build and strengthen relationships with key union, religious and worker center movement leaders

 2) Fundraising (25%)

  • Ensure sustainable funding
  • Build a fundraising culture among the staff and board
  • Develop strong relationships with foundation staff
  • Build relationships and meet regularly with large donors
  • Challenge unions, faith organizations, individuals, law firms and organizations to support the work 

3) Staff Management (20%)

  • Hire, train, and supervise staff, or empower others to assume these responsibilities
  • Ensure strong organizational systems for staff supervision, communication, and support
  • Work with staff to set clear goals and objectives
  • Create a positive team spirit
  •  Lead negotiation of union contract (and personnel policy for those not in the union) and assure adherence to the contract/policy
  • Set high ethical and professional standards for staff

4) Program Leadership (25%)

  • Lead the development and implementation of strategic directions and plans
  • Engage IWJ’s diverse constituencies around the country in the development of new strategies, tactics and programs that respond to changes in the faith, labor and work environments
  • Assist staff members and develop their expertise in planning and implementing key programs
  • Generate resources to cover new programs

5) Board Support (10%)

  • Participate in all board meetings and serve as the key link between the board and staff
  • Assist the board’s decision-making process by providing strong preparatory material, analyzing input and making recommendations
  • Make program recommendations to the board
  • Work with the board on recruiting and involving board members
  • Assure board committees have staff support

Qualifications: Below are the ideal qualifications sought in a new director. Above all, the organization seeks a passionate leader committed to IWJ’s mission and vision. The ideal candidate will have:

  1. Passion for IWJ’s mission. Strong commitment, relationships and experience working with an interfaith approach in the religious world, working with labor including new forms of labor, and working in partnerships of faith and labor.
  2. A track record of proven leadership as a visionary, charismatic and passionate leader and public spokesperson who can inspire and organize board, staff and constituents to act and accomplish their aims. Adaptable and persistent.
  3. A talent for critical thinking with a cutting edge, big-picture analysis of the issues in which IWJ plays a national leadership role. Ability to frame issues of labor and faith in a way that calls to conscience and compels public engagement in the movement for worker justice.
  4. Strategic planning and program development competency. Proven ability to develop creative programs that advance a strategic plan and respond to changing needs and trends. Commitment and experience developing programs collaboratively with grassroots constituents and in partnerships across organizations.
  5. Successful experience with fundraising. Comfort and enthusiasm regarding the ED’s role as chief fundraiser. Knowledge of foundations and major donor fundraising.
  6. Excellent relationship, communication and listening skills. Strong network of contacts in the field. Demonstrated understanding of how to communicate in the faith and labor worlds and how to build relationships with donors and foundations.
  7. Collaborative, team building leadership and management style that delegates and holds accountable and develops the leadership of others. Experience working effectively with a board and as a board member. Openly invites and engages a variety of opinions and can also make decisions. Integrity and the ability to set a tone of ethics and values.
  8. Management experience (supervision, finances, program effectiveness) and experience in building an organization or new program.
  9. Ability to engage with media and social media.

Compensation: This is a full-time, exempt position. Interfaith Worker Justice is dedicated to ensuring workers’ rights and offers full and comprehensive benefits to its employees including medical, dental and disability, 401k retirement plan with organizational contribution, pre-tax transportation plan, and a competitive salary. Interfaith Worker Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Process: Applicants should send 1) a resume, 2) a maximum two-page cover letter describing qualifications and interest in the position, compensation requirements, and availability for preliminary interview dates below, and 3) three references. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Email applications to jobs@iwj.org and put “Executive Director” in the subject line. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply. No calls please. 

Prepared by: Interfaith Worker Justice Search Committee

Allison Zidek

Cathy Junia

Jeanette Smith

Juan Ruiz

Kathy Saile

Ligia Guallpa

Louis Kimmel

Rev. Michael Livingston (chair)

Rabbi Renee Bauer