Executive Director

March 1, 2013

Executive Director

AIUSA seeks an exceptionally talented and deeply committed Executive Director to lead the organization and serve as a spokesperson and advocate for the human rights movement in the US and globally. The Executive Director will mobilize and collaborate with AIUSA's incredibly powerful and unique asset: A highly engaged and passionate force of more than 300,000 grassroots members.

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is based in New York and is the largest section of the parent organization (Amnesty International) with 307,000 members, including over 1,000 student and local groups. It projects 2013 revenues of $36.6 million and employs a 100+ staff concentrated primarily in New York and Washington, DC.

The Executive Director will bring exceptional leadership and strategic abilities, strong organizational management and communications skills, and a deep sense of respect for the power of grassroots organizing. S/He will be comfortable with a shared leadership model of organizational governance, and be passionate about ensuring AIUSA's enduring role in the human rights movement.

This is a unique opportunity to assume a leadership role at the world's largest grassroots human rights organization with a 50-year history of investigating and exposing abuses, educating and mobilizing the public, and helping transform societies to create a safer, more just world.



The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. S/he directly supervises the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Chief Advocacy Officer, Chief Campaigns and Program Officer, Chief External Affairs Officer, and the Chief Membership Officer.

The Executive Director's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Strategic Human Rights Vision and Leadership

  • Serve as a visionary and inspirational leader in the human rights movement nationally and within AI as a global organization
  • Lead AIUSA in effective implementation of Amnesty International's vision, mission and core values as a global organization
  • Effectively represent AIUSA's position and actively further its mission by ensuring its continued influence and relevance as one of the world's best-known and largest grassroots organizations

Organizational Management

  • Provide inspirational and motivational leadership for a complex grassroots organization with a diverse range of extraordinarily passionate and committed members and a highly skilled staff
  • Provide leadership to the senior management team, which is responsible for day-to-day operations and program oversight and execution
  • Assume overall responsibility and accountability for the annual budget, ensuring proper fiscal accounting and controls as well as legal and fiduciary compliance
  • Oversee and strengthen the organizational infrastructure necessary to support and sustain AIUSA's growth
  • Collaborate closely with the Board of Directors to ensure the effective execution of the current AIUSA Strategy and Business Plan within the broader context of the AI integrated Strategic Plan and serve as a strategic leader and visionary for AIUSA, ensuring the successful development and execution of new and current initiatives and programs
  • Identify, build and nurture coalitions and collaborative partnerships with other social justice and human rights organizations


  • Work closely with the Chief External Affairs Officer to ensure that AIUSA is maximizing all current fundraising opportunities and executing strategic initiatives to broaden funding base and increase funding overall
  • Drive efforts to increase individual and foundation giving for the organization, including working with the Board of Directors, the Champions of Conscience Network (AIUSA's highest level donors), and development staff to build long-term, sustainable sources of income for the organization, including an endowment
  • Ensure cooperation and information sharing across departments, coordinate, inform, and strengthen efforts to raise funds and increase awareness and activism
  • Cultivate a fundraising culture within the organization

Membership Cultivation and Stewardship

  • Work closely with the Chief Membership Officer to ensure the effective recruitment, retention, empowerment, and development of a robust and active membership
  • Direct strategies to diversify and grow membership including engaging a new generation of AIUSA supporters through revitalization of its local groups, Young People's Amnesty International (YPAI), regional grassroots organizations and student affiliates at colleges, universities and secondary schools
  • Maintain the support of AIUSA's broad-based membership through the development and execution of programs relevant to its needs and interests; listening to, collaborating with, and acting upon member issues and concerns
  • Communicate with the organization's membership through regional and national forums as well as through action alerts and periodic bulletins


  • Promote, strengthen, and extend AIUSA's public presence and international brand by serving as a leader in the social justice and human rights movements and accurately and effectively representing the organization's position
  • Oversee the development and execution of AIUSA's strategic communications initiatives and strategies, including ensuring the continued development of AIUSA's new digital media strategies to reach out to constituents through social media
  • Serve as AIUSA's primary liaison and spokesperson to the public, funders, media and other audiences

Board Relations

  • Collaborate closely with the Board of Directors to deliver on organizational goals and priorities set in accordance with AIUSA's current Strategy and Business Plan- as well as the approved 2013 program priorities, based on policy initiatives from the international movement
  • Serve as an active participant in the Board's standing committees and in the Board training process
  • Provide relevant and timely updates and information to the board and generally serve as a resource to the Board to help it achieve its full potential as a governing body

International Organization

  • Liaise with the international movement through the Executive Directors' Forum.
  • Serve on the Global Management Team, an international group of AI Section Directors with responsibility for coordinating the overall work of the organization
  • Consult and collaborate regularly with international staff at the International Secretariat on human rights policy and management issues



Ideal candidates will be ardent and experienced leaders who can articulate a vision and move a diverse range of stakeholders forward through clear communication, inspiration, and motivation. Successful candidates will also bring previous experience in the human rights and/or social justice sectors, exceptional management and communications skills, and a deep belief in the power of grassroots movements.

Other desired qualifications include the following:

Skills and Experiences

  • Deep human rights and/or social justice leadership expertise
  • Excellent leadership and management skills, including the ability to manage a strong Executive Team and serve as the leader of a large, complex, membership-based organization
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills; the ability to communicate a vision and motivate a broad range of stakeholders as well as represent AIUSA and its interests in the media and with policy makers
  • Deep change management skills; experience driving significant organizational change and developing and strengthening a positive organizational culture
  • Previous experience working with grassroots members strongly preferred
  • Experience raising significant funds, in particular, a track record cultivating and stewarding major donors and foundations is strongly preferred
  • Exceptional project management skills; the ability to drive simultaneous, complex, multiple stakeholder projects to measurable success
  • Excellent facilitation and mediation skills; comfortable navigating complex issues and making difficult decisions
  • An entrepreneurial approach to growth and impact; including a demonstrated ability to forge dynamic partnership and coalitions and drive measurable growth
  • Extremely high level of emotional intelligence and flexible, intuitive relationship management skills

Personal Characteristics and Values

Strong candidates will demonstrate the following:

  • Deep passion for human rights and social justice
  • Authentic respect for AIUSA's unique history and its future potential
  • Respect for and belief in the power of grassroots volunteers
  • An open-minded listener who seeks and values a range of view points but is also comfortable making a final decision
  • Highly collaborative, team-oriented approach to work
  • Patience, persistence, and resilience: The ability to hold on to a vision or desired outcome regardless of obstacles, coupled with the ability to change tactics and approach when necessary
  • Comfortable giving and receiving critical feedback and having difficult conversations
  • Commitment to and understanding of the concept of shared leadership and ability to serve as an effective leader in an organization where a range of stakeholders (Board of Directors, Staff, Membership, International Secretariat, and National Sections) all feel ownership and play a critical role in driving the organization's agenda and progress
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • A sense of humility and self-awareness, including the ability to collaborate with and work alongside a wide range of stakeholders
  • A sense of humor and the desire to work with highly skilled, motivated, and engaged colleagues to create social change


Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


How to Apply

Amnesty International USA has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan at https://koya.refineapp.com/jobPosting/apply/622

AIUSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


About Amnesty International USA

Amnesty International is a global movement of 3 million supporters, members and activists who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected. Its vision is for every person to enjoy all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

With its International Secretariat located in London and governed by an elected International Executive Council, Amnesty International is funded mainly by its membership and public donations. No funds are sought or accepted from government. Amnesty International is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion.

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is based in New York and is the largest section of the parent organization with 307,000 members, including over 1,000 student and local groups. It projects 2013 revenues of $36.6 million and employs a staff of 107 concentrated primarily in New York and Washington, DC. In addition, there are staff members in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. AIUSA's Board of Directors comprises 18 people elected for up to two three-year terms by the members at large. AIUSA works on a broad range of human rights issues across the globe.


About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

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