Sep 08, 2021

Director of Operations & Finance

$120,000 - $140,000 yearly
  • NPAG
  • Oakland or Los Angeles, California
Full-Time Administration/Operations Finance/Accounting Strategic Planning

Job Description

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones—and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender non-conforming (gnc) people, elders, and young people.

Building a sustainable grassroots institution that can be leveraged in the fight for a Black Feminist future is a priority at Essie. Through the development of thoughtful organizing models, a vibrant organizational culture, and scalable structure our aim is to break the isolation of the 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy through the leadership of women with loved ones behind bars. After seven years building an active membership across California, Essie is waging even more ambitious campaigns to divest from state-sponsored punitive control and invest in structures that support the self-determination, freedom, and dignity of Black women and gender non-conforming (gnc) people. In the midst of significant organizational growth, we are seeking an enthusiastic, mission-driven, and financially savvy Director of Operations & Finance to join our team.

At Essie, operations work is uncommonly prioritized as a key way we live our values. Building innovative approaches to non-profit functions that push us closer to a society free from race, gender, and class inequality will be an exciting challenge for this person. The Director of Operations & Finance is a steadfast and creative professional who thrives on managing a solid infrastructure from which an ambitious and visionary movement-building organization can be successful.

The Director of Operations & Finance designs and facilitates systems that strategically manage Essie’s resources. The ideal candidate is a highly collaborative, experienced, and confident leader who will be charged with overseeing a team to identify and implement operational and administrative solutions across the organization, including managing our financial and risk management systems, database, and facilities. This person approaches their organizational responsibilities with rigor, precision, and a strong connection to our politic, movement purpose, and goals of breaking isolation and bringing all of loved ones home. This accessible, trustworthy, and transparent leader operates from an unwavering commitment to ethics on a daily basis.

As a senior member of the organizational leadership, the Director of Operations & Finance reports to the Senior Director of Strategy & Operations and will help shape Essie’s present and future—contributing to strategic decision making in the present while helping to architect Essie’s internal growth in alignment with our values. At Essie, how we win is as important as what we achieve, and our ideal Director of Operations & Finance approaches Black Feminist organizational culture development and scaled organizing goals with equal rigor and commitment.


Essie Justice Group is a nonprofit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. We are building a membership of fierce advocates for race and gender justice — including Black and Latinx women, formerly and currently incarcerated women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming people.


Accounting and Financial Management - Oversee financial resources, budgets, and expenditures to ensure that Essie’s teams are well-equipped to make values-driven decisions.

  • Lead Operations team in ensuring smooth and accurate financial processes including internal controls and annual audit preparation.
  • Oversee the development of organizational budget and regular reporting procedures for cash flow projections and management.
  • Prepare financial reports and budgets for funding proposals.
  • Support the Board of Directors’ finance and audit committees in conducting their responsibilities on behalf of the organization.
  • Collaboratively lead organizational financial strategy including investment strategy and management.
  • Manage relationships with financial vendors including banking and credit card accounts, accounting firm, retirement advisors, and investment management firm.
  • Coordinate annual audit preparations and serve as an internal resource, model, and steward of strong internal controls.
  • Support Directors in managing their resources.
  • Continually assess the efficacy of internal financial policies and recommend updates, as needed.
  • Address inquiries regarding organizational finances from external partners such as funders.

Risk Management - Assess and mitigate potential harms to the organization.

  • Collaboratively design and recommend risk management policies and procedures, including insurance policies, and recommend system changes as necessary in alignment with growth of Essie’s staff and budget.
  • Develop new infrastructure as one-off, unique needs arise (e.g., fiscal sponsorship, pass-through grants, bail funds, 501c4, etc.).
  • Oversee the implementation of risk-management protocols, policies, and insurance including but not limited to digital security, COVID-19 protocols, and any other risks to physical or reputational wellbeing across the organization.

Operations Management - Lead the development and maintenance of internal administrative systems/solutions to keep Essie functioning smoothly.

  • Directly manage Operations Manager, who may manage up to three staff to run day-to-day operations, systems/technology oversight, and financial management processes.
  • Identify new operational system needs; delegate and oversee implementation.
  • Identify or vet needs to customize or upgrade our internal database.
  • Manage major organizational infrastructure projects such as establishing new offices.
  • Serve as a directors team resource on the ins and outs of the technological tools and other software we use.
  • Oversee resources, vendors, technology, and tenant-landlord matters across Essie’s two offices in Oakland and Los Angeles.

Hiring Organization

Essie Justice Group


While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:

Ideal Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience in operations and finance with a minimum of 2 years serving in management role(s) within the nonprofit sector.
  • Superior knowledge of multiple operational functions and principles, including finance, risk management, and data management.
  • Impeccable attention to detail and effective writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to consistently make accurate and clear assessments about a constantly changing organizational landscape and with foresight, make determinations, produce insightful ideas, and set forth impactful next steps.
  • Meaningful experience supervising multiple full-time staff and experience supporting colleagues with direct experience of incarceration.
  • Significant experience supervising people in a way that acknowledges differentials in privilege and power, recognizes their gifts, encourages their confidence, supports their growth, and holds them accountable to standards.
  • Track record as a collaborative leader who excels in managing multiple projects and is comfortable working in a fast-paced and non-traditional work environment.
  • Adept with Mac operating systems, Google Suite, and MS Office Suite (especially Excel, Powerpoint and Word).
  • Commitment to the beliefs and values of Essie with a demonstrated passion for progressive politics, specifically in gender justice, race justice and ending mass incarceration.


  • Sees infrastructure as their contribution to people power. You care deeply about the impact of systems and processes on people. You believe that by demystifying inaccessible systems, you can help organizations and teams be more financially effective, and individual team members more confident in the process. Moving with a keen awareness of the organizational power inherent in your role, you can self-regulate in order to mitigate the harms of hierarchy.
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful team member who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy.
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Crime/Legal, Social Justice




The Director of Operations and Finance is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Senior Director of Strategy. The salary for this position is between $120,000 - $140,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in one of Essie’s offices in Oakland or Los Angeles, California. Essie has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy.

Application Instructions

More information about the Essie Justice Group may be found at:

This search is being led by Whitney Herrington, Emily Wexler, and Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez of NPAG. Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” outlining your interest and qualifications, and submit along with a resume through the hiring portal.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history, traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones; formerly incarcerated people; people of color; women; queer, transgender, gender non-conforming (gnc), and gender fluid people.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, performance assessment, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Apply Now