Title:  Executive Director
Posting: Sep 22, 2023
Closing Date:  Open until filled. Review of applications will start on Monday, October 9th, 2023.
Type: Full-time, Salary Employee (Exempt)
Location:  Greater DC Metropolitan Area or willing to relocate
Supervised by: Board of Directors

About the Organization

The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) is a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit that seeks to promote meaningful and systemic changes to the criminal legal system at the national and local levels. Since 1997, JPI has become one of the most thoughtful and progressive voices for developing workable solutions to problems plaguing juvenile and criminal legal systems. JPI produces action-based research informed by the lived experiences of impacted communities. JPI’s research, disseminated through numerous media outlets, shapes the conversation around criminal legal reform issues and fuels advocacy efforts. JPI’s research is frequently cited by policymakers and in leading print and electronic media. (For more information visit, www.justicepolicy.org)

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Justice Policy Institute (JPI)  staff, programs, planning, and the execution of its mission. She/he/they will have knowledge of the criminal legal reform field, provide a clear vision, build from the organization’s successes, and lead the organization into the next phase. The ED will understand the impact of our criminal justice system on BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and youth populations and demonstrate a passion for progressive criminal legal reform. Fundraising and management experience is essential to this position. 


Leadership & Management:

  • Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Actively engage and energize JPI staff, board members, allies, partners,  partnering organizations, funders, and individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. 
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio member of the board and committees; seek and build board involvement in developing and implementing the organization’s strategic direction.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain a diverse, high-performance senior management and staff team.
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress and regularly evaluate program components to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Demonstrate experience working with organizations, individuals, impacted groups, allies, government, and funders in criminal legal reform.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Be an inspirational speaker and a good communicator. 
  • Have a strong understanding of policy development and implementation.
  • Expand fundraising activities to support existing program operations, focusing on diversified funding sources and increasing unrestrictive flexible funding. 
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations to create a stronger brand.
  • Use external presence and relationships in criminal legal reform to promote JPI’s work and brand.

Planning and Programs:

  • Clear vision to lead JPI into the future consistent with the organization’s mission and  strategic plan and guide the next phase of the organization
  • Oversight of program development in collaboration with staff, stakeholders, and impacted people. 
  • Explore building new partnerships and expanding relationships with funders.
  • Be an external local and national presence that publishes and communicates program results, emphasizing programs’ successes as a model for partners, allies, and government entities.


The ED will be thoroughly committed to the Justice Policy Institute mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • Passion for the mission and values of the organization
  • Minimum of 10  years of experience in the field and demonstrated experience in senior-level leadership roles or equivalent combination of education or other relevant experience.
  • Preferred advanced degree or equivalent work experience
  • Well-connected and respected in the field of progressive policy
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Experience in supervision of diverse staff
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to organizational planning and fundraising
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion,  integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed


This position is a full-time position. JPI provides  medical, dental and vision insurance coverage (100% covered for employees and 60% for dependents), JPI covered AD&D, LTD, STD, and life insurance coverage, access to a 403b retirement account (currently JPI does not provide a match), three weeks vacation in addition to holidays  (JPI recognizes all federal holidays, DC Emancipation Day and closes the between Christmas and New Year’s Day). Annual salary is between $150,000 and $175,000 a year based on experience. This is an exempt position.

How to Apply

Please click here to complete the online application submission. The position is open until filled. Applications review will begin Monday, October 9, 2023.

If you know someone who would be a good fit for this position please click here to submit a candidate referral.