Job Application for Director of Organizing at Center for Employment Opportunities
Center for Employment Opportunities

Director of Organizing

The Opportunity

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides employment services to people who have recently returned from incarceration or have been involved in the criminal legal system. Across 31 cities in 12 states, more than 8,000 people participate in CEO’s program each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities. The Investment & Powerbuilding team at CEO is the anchor of the organization’s policy work and advocates for increased investment in employment-focused reentry supports, fair wages and vocational training programs that reduce racial disparities in employment opportunities. We push policymakers to reform the laws, regulations, and discriminatory institutions that keep people with justice involvement from success in the workforce, including reducing incarceration and legal responses that disproportionately harm people and communities of color. This advocacy work is key to our organization’s 5-year strategic plan which began at the start of FY22.

Over the past year CEO has begun developing an organizing strategy to help CEO’s community members bring their voice to policy work, inform CEO’s policy agendas, support broader coalition efforts, and develop skills and experience necessary to build a career in advocacy. This strategy involves growing CEO’s advocate councils, which are forums to provide leadership training and policy and advocacy experience to members, increasing our coalition building and legislative engagement efforts, and expanding our storytelling and narrative change work. CEO’s goal is to build an organizing function that can operate at scale within the organization and CEO is hiring a National Director of Organizing to lead this work. We strongly encourage people who have experienced incarceration and people with convictions to apply.

Who We Are

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides employment services to people with recent criminal convictions. Across the United States, over 6,000 people participate in CEO each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities.

What began as a demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice in the 1970s to address employment barriers facing the formerly incarcerated following release in New York City has grown into the leading reentry employment organization in the country, where over 25,000 formerly incarcerated individuals have secured full-time employment since 1996. Since 2009, CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Federal Social Innovation Fund, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2016, CEO embarked on a 5-year strategic plan to grow to serve 9,000 participants annually.

Who You Are

  • Lived experience / experience being directly impacted by the criminal legal system
  • Demonstrated track record of success in advocacy and/or community organizing work focused on racial justice, criminal justice and/or employment reforms
  • Experience as a strategist with the ability to co-create with others and execute impactful advocacy efforts
  • Ability to build lasting relationships with, engage and motivate a diverse group of stakeholders and work collaboratively with people who have a broad range of ideological positions
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences (e.g. business leaders, advocates, policymakers, and individuals impacted by the legal system)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a passion for team-based work
  • Creative problem solver, thriving in environments without a previously established path to success and adapting and adjusting course as needed
  • Experience managing and developing a geographically-dispersed diverse team to meet shared outcomes and goals; comfort in strategically delegating tasks and projects
  • Ability to be a self-starter and work well independently
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Experience, skill set and passion for working within a fast-paced, mission-driven, and social justice-minded nonprofit organization

Advocacy and Organizing

  • Develop and implement CEO’s advocacy leadership and organizing strategy, including elements to:
    • Expand CEO’s advocate councils and other engagement activities to reach a significant number of community members active in CEO’s program and support leadership training & development in advocacy
    • Work closely with CEO’s communications team to incorporate lived experience narratives and stories into policy campaigns to drive policymaker priorities
    • Establish CEO’s presence on (or help form) coalition(s) to create a forum & channel for CEO’s community members to engage with local, state and federal advocacy work
    • Connect individuals active in CEO’s program to opportunities to directly engage with lawmakers
    • Develop opportunities to leverage our constituent voice technology platforms as a tool to engage individuals active in CEO’s program participants and other individuals working with other service providers as advocates
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders including justice-impacted people, elected officials, business leaders, legal professionals, reform advocates, and other stakeholders committed to racial justice
  • Oversee the implementation of a policy fellowship program at CEO
  • Collaborate with Policy staff to develop campaign priorities in state and federal advocacy efforts each year
  • Develop and implement organizing plans with tactics that directly connect to CEO’s policy campaigns
  • Ensure that the interests and vision of individuals active in CEO’s program inform CEO’s policy work and that CEO’s policy work elevates the leadership of people with lived experience
  • Work with other policy & advocacy organizations to create direct hiring pipelines in advocacy jobs for individuals in CEO’s program
  • Develop strategic annual goals for organizing work, including quantitative measures of impact and success

Team Management

  • Supervise organizing managers/specialists responsible for implementing the leadership & organizing strategies in CEO regions
  • Provide coaching and guidance to managers/specialists and organizing fellows around recruitment, engagement and workshop facilitation
  • Manage staff to mobilize CEO community members to take action on legislative campaigns using a variety of tactics
  • Develop and manage CEO’s alumni network to engage in advocacy work (collaborating with other CEO teams in the process)

Collaboration and Technical Assistance

  • Provide specialized training, technical assistance and peer mentorship to build capacity within CEO for organizing
  • Engage national resources in message development and strategy refinement in collaboration with CEO’s Communications team
  • Work with CEO’s Investment team and Fund Development team at all steps from grant writing to execution of grant deliverables
  • Maintain positive relationships with current and prospective funders of CEO’s advocacy and organizing work


The salary range for this position is $82,400-98,000 annually. In an effort to be both equitable and transparent, CEO’s compensation philosophy considers a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, experience, internal equity, and home office location in making a final determination on our salary offer. We recognize that salary is a part of the overall compensation package and are happy to provide health, dental, 401k, and professional development opportunities to our staff.

We also offer paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more. We’re a workplace that promotes continual learning and teamwork, offering lunch and learns, team outings, holiday gatherings and more for our staff.

More About Us

We welcome diversity and highly encourage applications from people of color and people with convictions. We are an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. Learn more at

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