Director of Work Equity

NELP’s program work is divided into four teams: Social Insurance, Work Equity, Work Structure, and Work Quality. The Director of Work Equity will bring an innovative mindset and experienced analysis to ensure that securing work and advancing within work does not depend on skin color, country of origin, current employment status, criminal history, or credit history. This work has a particular focus on high impact sectors and targeted geographic regions such as the South. Specifically, the current Work Equity portfolio includes fair chance employment and may include immigrant workers’ rights. In addition to leading the Portfolio, the Director will have a particular focus on implementing Breaking Barriers, a project within the Portfolio that is focused on improving job access, wages and working conditions for Black workers in Mississippi and Louisiana by building worker center capacity. As the Director of Work Equity, you will report directly to the Deputy Program Director.

As the Director of Work Equity, you will provide guidance, direction and leadership to the team. In addition, you will represent NELP as a national policy expert within the areas of the Work Equity portfolio described above. Responsibilities include:

  • Develop and execute an annual work plan that aligns with and furthers the organization’s strategic plan and theory of change.
  • Identify resource requirements across a variety of functions (including communications and research) and manage the deployment of resources across the Work Equity
  • Use policy advocacy experience or expertise in racial equity to evaluate the long-term potential of the portfolio in meeting the mission, financial, and strategic impact goals.
  • Engage with allies from other organizations to identify and act upon opportunities for collaboration or coordination.
  • Lead local and state advocacy in priority areas, as described above in the Work Equity portfolio, by engaging key constituencies, allied organizations, and policymakers.
  • Provide strategic support for campaigns, including developing model policies and analyses and potentially identifying opportunities for strategic litigation.
  • Contribute as an expert to NELP’s published reports, newsletters and web materials.
  • Represent NELP as an expert in outward-facing activities and coordinate the team’s collective activities in the public sphere, including conference participation, publications, maintenance and dissemination of timely and topical resource materials, and communications products, in conjunction with the communications team.
  • Support thoughtful, strategic coordination between the four portfolio areas of NELP’s work and NELP’s functional teams, which include Government Advocacy, Research, Legal, Communications and Strategic Initiatives.
  • Empower team members to grow and develop professionally through coaching and mentorship, including direct supervision of three team members.
  • Participate in fundraising activities, including assessing possible funding opportunities, tracking and reporting progress on deliverables and accomplishments, attending meetings with funders, and assisting with grant reporting.
  • Actively contribute to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of social justice, diversity, and inclusion.

Who You Are

  • You have substantial advocacy experience promoting social justice, racial equity, immigrant workers’ rights and/or civil rights.
  • You are an experienced team leader skilled at both motivating and inspiring team members and ensuring timely and effective execution of the team’s annual plan. You excel at project management, cultivating positive team dynamics, and strategic thinking.
  • You are exceptional at translating a team vision into a workable tactical plan. You have a demonstrated ability to oversee and coordinate programmatic work, develop and implement work plans, hold team members accountable to processes and deadlines, assess quality of work, and handle conflict.
  • You enjoy and have demonstrated success in managing, developing, coaching and retaining team members. You view it an important part of your role to empower your team members to grow and develop professionally.
  • You are an effective public speaker and have experience speaking in a variety of public forums.
  • You are a persuasive writer and pay meticulous attention to detail.
  • You are comfortable managing multiple projects and often conflicting priorities; you have strong time-management skills.
  • You are comfortable with ambiguity and change.
  • You have a bachelor’s degree, though a law degree or Master’s in relevant field is preferred. (Ten years of directly relevant experience and demonstrated effective performance in fulfilling central elements of the position may be substituted for educational requirements.)

We do not expect that candidates will have this full range of experience, but the following is desirable:

  • Experience working in the deep South, and/or with worker centers or other community-based organizations.
  • Experience working in an advocacy organization or public agency focused on labor law and policy, labor unions, or workers’ rights.

Start Date, Location, Compensation & Benefits:  This position will be based in New York City or Washington D.C. (though consideration may be given to Berkeley, California as the position location). Start date will be as soon as possible. Salary is competitive within the non-profit sector and commensurate with experience and education based on NELP’s collective bargaining scale. Excellent benefits package. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320.

To apply:  Email cover letter, resume, and three references to, noting “Director of Work Equity” in the subject line. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting “Director of Work Equity” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Applications due by January 5, 2018.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

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