DLC Seeking Executive Director
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is seeking an Executive Director to lead an established and
well-respected non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of individuals with
disabilities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Executive Director is a visible
spokesperson for DLC and the rights of people with disabilities and fosters a collaborative
relationship with the disability community as well as with public and private funding sources.
The Executive Director is supported by a committed and experienced Governing Board and
staff. DLC’s main office is in Boston with a satellite office in Northampton.
The Disability Law Center, a non-profit organization, is the Protection and Advocacy
organization in Massachusetts providing legal advocacy for persons with disabilities throughout
the State. DLC is a leader with respect to law reform advocacy, impact litigation and legislative
and administrative advocacy for persons with disabilities.
DLC’s staff provides a wide range of services, including legal representation, training,
information and referral, legislative advocacy, technical assistance and counseling.
With a current staff of 22, DLC represents clients with disabilities and their families in a range of
issues, including but not limited to, discrimination in housing, employment, access to public
accommodations, benefits, government services, health care, free and appropriate education
services, and rights and conditions while in a private or state-operated facility. DLC works in
partnership with the Independent Living Centers, the network of Massachusetts legal service
providers, a variety of health and human service agencies and numerous disability organizations
throughout the state.
DLC has an annual budget of $2.7 million, 70% of which comes from 7 different federal grants.
The other 30% comes from a variety of public and private sources including the Massachusetts
Legal Assistance Corporation, the United Way, private donations and attorney fee awards.
ABOUT THE POSITION
DLC seeks a dynamic and experienced leader with a commitment to social and economic justice
for people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The new Executive Director must have the ability
to work with and represent the diverse disability community in Massachusetts, maintain and
build partnerships and linkages to the disability community, as well as promote new
opportunities for collaboration. The new Executive Director must be able to respond to local and
federal funders, continue to diversify sources of funding and be an effective advocate for
increased funding for the agency as well as for funding for health care and other services for the
DLC has a highly skilled, unionized staff. The new Executive Director will be expected to work
cooperatively with the organization’s collective bargaining unit and have experience negotiating
and implementing collective bargaining agreements.
Please submit a letter expressing your interest, a current resume, in confidence, and a sample of
professional written work to:
DLC Executive Director Search Committee
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, MA 02108
Attn: Maureen Henrikson
Application deadline is close of business Monday, March 24, 2008. Candidates with questions
about the position or search process must submit questions in writing to Maureen Henrikson at
the address above or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please view the DLC website for an overview
of the agency, the executive director job description and a list of employment benefits.
DLC offers a competitive salary and benefits package. DLC is an equal opportunity employer
and encourages candidates with disabilities, women and persons of color to apply.
Executive Director Job Description
Position: Executive Director
Reports to: Board of Directors
Wage Class: Exempt
Responsible For: Leadership, management and oversight of the Disability Law Center, the
Protection and Advocacy organization for the state for protecting the
rights of persons with disabilities. Duties include oversight of
administrative, human resources and financial operations of the
organization, policy and advocacy leadership and building the public
profile and funding base of the organization. The ideal candidate for this
position is a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader who is committed to
disability rights and has strong management and fundraising experience.
Summary of Executive Director Responsibilities:
Lead and manage the enterprise
Develops a vision and long-term strategic plan and works to identify the resources
needed to accomplish the plan. Clearly communicates vision to internal and external
Motivates and inspires staff to work collaboratively toward vision and goals.
Deploys resources efficiently and effectively toward organizational goals, working with
managers to balance staff workload and effort.
Builds the skill of managers in the organization, so that they can mentor, encourage and
motivate staff. Provides regular feedback so that managers can continuously improve
their supervision and mentoring skills. Provides advice to managers on personnel and
resource allocation issues. Oversees performance management and employee
professional development for staff.
Develops an agenda for systemic change to advance the rights of persons with
disabilities, leveraging policy opportunities and effectively understanding, leveraging,
and working within the political landscape.
Keeps Board of Directors apprised of employee relations matters and timely notifies of
Provide strong stewardship of financial resources
Responsible for assuring adequate resources are available now and in the future to
accomplish the mission of DLC. Engages in long-term fiscal planning to provide for the
long-term fiscal stability of the organization. Develops annual budgets that reflect long-
term fiscal goals.
Develops fundraising plans in concert with the Board of Directors. Develops and
cultivates relationships with individual, corporate and foundation donors. Conducts
research on viable foundation opportunities and grant writing opportunities.
Responsible for assuring that all reporting and compliance requirements are met for each
Keeps Board of Directors apprised of fiscal status and timely notifies of any fiscal issues.
Negotiates contracts on behalf of the DLC, including external contracts as well as the
collective bargaining agreement for unionized staff.
Raise the profile of DLC through external communications
Serves as an active spokesperson for the DLC through personal contact with media,
finding opportunities to promote the policy agenda of the DLC and increase public
awareness of the DLC mission.
Communicates the programs, policies and purpose of the agency to public constituencies,
government bodies (executive, legislative, judicial) and staff in a way which will
motivate them to support organizational operations, goals and objectives.
Fosters effective working relationships with other agencies involved in service to citizens
Juris Doctor, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration,
Master of Public Health, or similar credential. If academic credential is other than a Juris
Doctor degree, a solid understanding of the role of litigation in advancing public policy is
Ability to lead and manage a complex organization including setting strategic vision,
implementing business plans, managing personnel, overseeing finances and internal
control systems, fostering good relationships with external stakeholders.
Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the ability to motivate and
inspire staff and funders.
Demonstrated experience working with organizations and individuals with diverse
perspectives, including staff, the public, elected and appointed officials, and consumers
Keen understanding of public policy issues and processes involving the rights of
individuals with disabilities.
Experience with fundraising for non-profit enterprises.
Passionate commitment to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities.
Interest in and commitment to working in Massachusetts.
Energy and enthusiasm for policy and advocacy work.
Creativity in devising new strategies for managing the organization and growing the
Integrity and fairness in working in a complex environment, particularly with respect to
collective bargaining employees.
Flexibility in dealing with staff issues, balancing the needs of the individual and the
needs of the organization.
Ability to listen well to a variety of perspectives, including board, staff and outside
stakeholders such as funders.