JOB: Executive Director, Southwest Women’s Law Center

The Southwest Women’s Law Center is a public policy and legal advocacy organization working to improve women’s lives by combating gender discrimination, reducing poverty among women and their families, and ensuring that all women have access to comprehensive healthcare, including family planning and reproductive health services. The Center is governed by a Board of Directors, which sets policy and establishes the Center’s mission.

The Center seeks a passionate, skilled and creative Executive Director to lead the Center in its next stage of development, following the departure of its Founding Director in late 2011. The Executive Director will be a strategic and effective leader who is highly knowledgeable and experienced in women’s rights issues and public policy advocacy, and has significant non-profit organizational development, fundraising and management experience.

The Southwest Women’s Law Center was founded in 2005, and is one of only six state-based women’s law and policy centers in the country. The Center furthers its advocacy agenda through extensive collaborations with New Mexico community groups, advocates and policymakers, and with advocates for women’s rights and civil rights in other states and on the national level. The Center also provides extensive legal and policy expertise to government officials and to direct service, community and advocacy organizations that work on behalf of women and girls.

Current Center programs focus on advocacy to: improve economic security for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; increase gender equity in athletics opportunities for middle and high school girls; promote and protect women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health services; and ensure that healthcare reform implementation in NM maximizes all women’s access to healthcare, including family planning and abortion care services.

In the six years since its founding, the Center has already won significant and groundbreaking reforms in state law and policy governing abuse survivors’ job security, athletics equity, and access to family planning and emergency contraception. The Center has also become recognized as an invaluable resource for New Mexico women and girls, their service providers, and policymakers working to improve the health, safety and security of women and families.

The new Executive Director will assume leadership at an exciting and critical time in the evolution of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, which offers an extraordinary opportunity for the right candidate to bring visionary leadership, creative organization-building and innovative ally-engagement to improving the lives of women and girls in New Mexico and nationally.

The Executive Director must:

·     Shepherd the Center through the transition from a founder-led organization, while maintaining the Center’s extraordinary level of systems change impact, visibility and collaborative advocacy to attack the issues underlying disproportionate poverty among women and girls in NM

·     Build upon the Center’s initial revenue base of individual donors, foundation partners and contract awards to significantly increase revenue from all funding streams to support programmatic expansion, secure financial stability and ensure institutional sustainability

·     Effectively manage and harness staff, contractors, Board, volunteer and community partner resources to ensure the Center can advance its pro-active advocacy agenda, while also being responsive to persistent and emerging issues affecting women

·     Establish a presence in the community and maintain an effective and productive working relationship with organizations, collaborators, governmental entities, public officials and supporters of the Center

·     Identify major public policies, legal developments and trends that impact the Center’s mission within the arena of women’s rights

·     Develop strategies for achieving the Center’s public policy, legislative, advocacy, collaborative and related program goals, and engage key local, state and national partners, experts and stakeholders in collaborative work to implement those strategies

·     Hire, supervise, evaluate and cultivate staff members, contract employees and consultants

·     Establish a healthy, collegial work culture that supports staff member communication, productivity, creativity, retention and professional development and accomplishment

Required Skills and Qualifications

·     Law degree and/or Advanced graduate degree and significant public policy advocacy experience

·     Demonstrated experience and personal commitment to reproductive justice and addressing women’s rights and/or human rights, civil rights, and social justice

·     Drive to assume leadership in building the capacity and infrastructure of a young non-profit social change organization

·     Documented record of progressively responsible upper-level non-profit management experience, including responsibility for financial management

·     Documented record of successful fundraising experience, both from major donors and foundations

·     Demonstrated forward-thinking vision and ability to execute a strategy to achieve goals that advance the organization towards its mission

·     Experience managing organizational change, and building and managing a diverse team

·     Experience in program development and project management

·     Excellent written, verbal and presentational communication skills, including the ability to explain complex policy issues to lay audiences and diverse communities

·     Track record as an effective external relationship builder

·     Experience working with and serving as a support to a non-profit board of directors and board committees

·     Experience with fund accounting and related financial statements

·     Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to work well with a wide variety of people and communities and public officials

·     Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task, work under pressure, meet deadlines

·     Ability to work collaboratively and with individuals with diverse work styles

·     Strong Computer skills (including Microsoft Office and PowerPoint)

Desired Skills and Qualifications

·     Expertise in reproductive law and policy, and reproductive justice advocacy

·     Expertise/experience with quantitative and qualitative program evaluation

·     Expertise advocating for issues related to women and their families in one or more of the following; health, including treatment or access; civil rights and/or human rights, including education, employment, or government benefits; social justice issues, including discrimination based on gender or poverty and violence against women

The Southwest Women’s Law Center currently has a staff of 4 members, a Board of 8 members, and an annual budget of approximately $300,000.

This will be a salaried (exempt) position. The salary is competitive in the New Mexico market. Benefits include health insurance, paid holidays and paid leave. The Southwest Women’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample by November 21, 2011.

By email to: or

By mail to: Southwest Women’s Law Center, 1410 Coal Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104.

No phone calls please.


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