Sep 16, 2022

Executive Vice President of Programs & Strategy

$190,600 - $238,300 yearly
  • NPAG
  • Los Angeles or DC preferred; remote option may be available
Full-Time Executive Management (CEO/ED) Programs Strategic Planning

Job Description

Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is a leading non-profit organization (501(c)3) in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their loved ones. NILC’s mission is grounded in the belief that everyone living in the U.S. regardless of race, gender/gender identity, immigration status, or economic status — should have equal access to justice, resources, and educational and economic opportunities that enable them to achieve their full human potential. Together, NILC and the affiliated NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (IJF), a 501(c)4 organization, work to advocate more directly for federal immigration reform policies. NILC is committed to advancing its mission — which intersects race, immigration status, and class — through racial, economic, and gender justice and equity orientation.

NILC is at an exciting moment in its organizational trajectory, supporting our five-year strategic framework and scaling the organization and its work through influencing systems, policy advocacy at the federal and state levels, engaging in movement and power building, and narrative and culture strategies in addition to continuous improvements to our operational model. NILC is evolving its executive leadership structure to sustain healthy growth, systems, and culture and to live into greater shared leadership, role clarity, and accountability. Over the next 12-24 months, NILC is inviting an interim ED/President to steward the shift toward a permanent, evolved leadership team and infrastructure that will sustain and support the next chapter of growth for the organization and its impact. To that end, NILC invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Vice President of Programs & Strategy (EVP), who will provide important, executive leadership both to NILC, the IJF, and the immigrant justice movement during a dynamic time by guiding internal and external alignment and integration of NILC’s strategic framework to program activities and goals.

The ideal candidate for EVP will be a seasoned manager and skilled communicator who thrives in a complex, multistakeholder environment and has demonstrated success developing, implementing, and externally representing a multipronged strategy for successful outcomes. They will have experience at the executive level managing high-performing teams and driving collaborative decision-making. They will ideally bring political savvy and experience in advancing effective policy at both the state and federal levels as well as additional lived and professional experience relevant to NILC’s work. They will be an entrepreneurial, results-driven, relationship builder who is committed to NILC’s mission and values of racial justice & equity, valuing diversity, fostering partnerships & collaboration, encouraging respect & personal well-being, and striving for transparency, integrity, and honesty.


The Executive Vice President of Programs & Strategy (EVP) serves as a critical member of the NILC Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and advances the NILC mission by acting as the strategic leader for the on-going execution of the NILC/Immigrant Justice Fund (IJF) Strategic Framework from a programmatic lens. In collaboration with the organization’s President, program leaders, and subject matter experts, the EVP drives the planning and execution of NILC’s advocacy, policy, and legal strategies. Leveraging these and additional partnerships, this position will engender an organization-wide commitment to strategic clarity by building the organization’s programmatic capacity to the scale required to carry out the strategic impact as outlined in the strategic framework.

An experienced, inspirational, and decisive leader who knows how to leverage relationship and organizational influence to drive progress, the EVP will advance a robust strategy for immigrant justice that is people- and community-centered and grounded in intersectional rights, needs, and opportunities of immigrants and their loved ones. This role is external-facing and strategy oriented, driving the big picture strategy and prioritization of NILC’s program work alongside external relationship building using knowledge, skills, and expertise of the overall immigrant rights movement and political landscape. The successful candidate will refine and clarify organizational process and strategy—for themselves and for each programmatic function, ensuring that all stakeholders understand the details of an evolving strategic framework, the process through with their input is received and considered, and how their work connects to the organization's vision and impact.

NILC has a strong partnership with the labor movement and has welcomed an ongoing collective bargaining process with its staff union. This role is not a member of the Bargaining Unit.

The EVP will be responsible for providing leadership and driving success in the following key areas:

Specific Position Responsibilities

Organizational & Strategic Leadership

  • Work closely with the interim President and ultimately the long-term President as a member of the Executive Leadership team to develop a clear, long-term vision and strategic direction for all NILC and IJF program strategies and campaigns.
  • Serve as an executive manager and decision-maker providing the organizational leadership required to establish processes for team input to strategy while driving positive change and ensuring strategic alignment, integration, and execution across programs and departments.
  • Work in partnership with the President and Finance team to monitor and evaluate program budgets and ensure financial reports are fiscally and administratively sound.
  • Develop and support strategic partnerships to drive innovation, impact, and ensure NILC & IJF's role in the sectors and movements and to gain visibility and opportunities for NILC and IJF.
  • Support fundraising and development needs for the organization in collaboration with the Executive Vice President of Development & Marketing, the Vice President of Development, Development team, and Executive Leadership Team to develop shared understanding of fundraising strategies.
  • Work with program and development staff to identify new grant sources and prospects for funding partners.
  • Ensure strong organizational relationships and cross-organizational/cross-movement collaborative approaches are nurtured and/or deepened.
  • Support relationship development efforts with movement partners and other key stakeholders.
  • Position NILC in the immigration movement/cross-movement space as a power player.
  • Serve as an on-the-record spokesperson for NILC and IJF.
  • Serve as a part of larger cross functional projects using the MOCHA framework/methodology.

 Internal Management & Execution

  • In partnership with the Program leadership team, ensure integration with the organization’s programs and operations responsibilities including supporting, coaching, and developing individuals, and providing course-correcting guidance when necessary.
  • Drive the design, planning, execution, and integration of NILC and IJF strategies to support growth and mission impact.
  • Drive NILC & IJF’s organizational planning and prioritization process and work collaboratively with leaders across NILC & IJF to ensure priorities are successfully executed and objectives met on time.
  • Contribute to fostering a collaborative and results-oriented culture supported by processes that help drive agile, executive decision-making and reinforce accountability for those directly carrying out NILC & IJF strategy.
  • Assess progress on strategic objectives and communicate that progress to ELT, the Board of Directors, and staff.
  • Ensure cross departmental work is aligned, working groups have larger vision and strategic framework at the core, ensuring program leadership & SLT are aligned around bodies of work.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Recruit, interview, hire, and train staff.
  • Oversee the daily workflow of direct reports.
  • Act as a coach and mentor including providing constructive and timely feedback to foster a collaborative environment that develops strengths, improves weaknesses, and encourages creative problem-solving.
  • Handle discipline and termination of employees in accordance with organization’s policy.
  • Directly manage 5 employees, and indirectly manage Program department overall, with the possibility for overseeing other staff.
  • Approve and oversee outside consultants, third party administrators, and vendors that service the Program department.

Shared Organization Responsibilities

  • Champion NILC & IJF’s mission of advancing the rights of immigrants with low income by demonstrating a commitment to human rights, and racial, economic, and social justice.
  • Attend and actively participate in NILC meetings at the organization, department, project, and individual level.
  • Develop relationships and support NILC and IJF colleagues across all teams, recognizing that each individual brings a unique background and perspective to the work and assuming good intent from each other.
  • Act with a clear sense of ownership individually and collectively by taking personal responsibility for decisions, actions, and failures, establishing clear responsibilities and processes for monitoring work and measuring results, and designing feedback loops into work.
  • Learn quickly when facing new situations by experimenting to find fresh solutions, taking on the challenge of unfamiliar tasks, and extracting lessons learned from failures and mistakes.
  • Act with integrity by following through on commitments, being direct and truthful, keeping confidences, and showing consistency between words and actions.
  • Commit to centering NILC’s values of racial justice & equity, valuing diversity, fostering partnerships & collaboration, encouraging respect & personal well-being.

In recognition of the fluidity of the work and ecosystem that NILC operates in, other duties may be assigned depending on organizational need.

Hiring Organization

National Immigration Law Center


While no candidate will have all of the qualities and attributes desired in a new leader, the ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • Commitment to NILC & IJF’s mission of advancing the rights of immigrants with low income and a demonstrated commitment to human rights, racial, economic, and social justice, and equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice for all.
  • Collaborative, proactive, and action oriented working style with a strong service mentality promoting mutual accountability and inspiring trust and confidence from colleagues, other NILC team members, and NILC leaders alike.
  • Demonstrated sound judgement in decision-making, high integrity, and utmost respect for confidentiality.
  • Seasoned managerial experience and ability to engage team in agile and inclusive decision making.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills: ability to read, analyze, and interpret as well as draft documents such as reports, correspondence, and presentations for various audiences.
  • Builder of strategy, vision, teams, and organizational culture that brings to life the strategic framework of the organization in a clear, scalable way.
  • Self-starter with a strong ability to move daily tasks forward in alignment with NILC’s broader organizational needs and goals.
  • Creative, results-oriented leader who can strategically lead the Program work at NILC to higher levels of effectiveness, efficiency, and collaboration.
  • A deep understanding of the intersectional issues related to immigrants’ rights.
  • Capacity to make “hard choices” with sound judgement in decision-making relating to organizational positions, coalition decisions, and allocations of resources. Ability to prioritize department resources among competing demands.
  • An inclusive management style that places deep value on diverse perspectives and emphasizes the development and growth of team members and encourages learning and continued improvement.
  • Ability to recognize each team member's unique background and perspective to achieve team goals in a positive and motivating working environment.

 Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in strategy, programming, and other related fields within the social justice movement including deep leadership, supervisory, and management experience.
  • A track record in managing complex plans, projects, budgets, and deadlines that require coordination across multiple stakeholders and with minimal support.
  • Experience working with diverse audiences, including elected officials, community leaders, coalition partners and managing conflict.
  • Experience working in the Federal and/or State political landscape, including working with state, local, and federal decision makers, partner groups, and the general public, or in an organization such as a 501(c)4.
  • Experience developing strong team dynamics with internal staff and external partners across the country through remote access/technology.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and related software.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree, MBA, JD, or other advanced degree in a related field strongly preferred.
  • Experience in immigration law, policy and/or advocacy is strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with the political landscape as it relates to immigration issues and experience working on immigration issues either legislatively or electorally is preferred.

At NILC, we know that talented people may have different backgrounds or experiences, and if your education and experience doesn’t exactly align with the above, that’s okay. NILC believes that diversity in all dimensions of the organization supports and bolsters the innovative thinking essential to its success and is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all qualified applicants. NILC’s goal is for our people to reflect the communities in which we live and serve and to ensure representation of people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities in our organization. We encourage you to apply and let us know in your cover letter why you are qualified and the right fit for this role and NILC.

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Public Policy, Social Justice




Location & Travel:  All staff are currently working remotely, and all travel is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Post pandemic, up to 10-20% of overnight interstate travel may be required; travel is typically quarterly to the NILC Washington, DC office or another location within the US for 3-5 nights.

Compensation:  NILC’s compensation philosophy is to pay competitively in the nonprofit sector and ensure equity across the organization. The salary range for this role is $190,600 - $238,300 per year. Compensation for the role will depend on several factors including qualifications, skills, competencies, and experience.

NILC provides an incredible benefit package that includes employer-paid healthcare coverage (100% for employees and 75% for dependents), employer-supported dental and vision coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan including an automatic contribution from NILC, paid parental leave, monthly cell phone and wellness stipends, pre-tax accounts for transit, health, and childcare benefits (FSA), and employer-paid short- and long-term disability and life insurance. NILC also provides a generous paid-time-off policy, 15 holidays and a one-week company-wide holiday in December and 22 days of paid time off annually (increased to 32 after 2 years of employment).

NILC is also a qualifying public service employer, which means all full-time NILC employees qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. To learn more about the program, please visit:

Physical Demands

  • Remaining in a stationary position, often sitting or standing for prolonged periods.
  • Communicating with others to exchange information.
  • Repeating motions, like typing or answering a phone, that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.

Application Instructions

For more about the National Immigration Law Center, please visit:

For more about the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, please visit:

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

NILC is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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