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Job Opportunity

September 1st, 2010


Application Deadline:  November 1, 2010
Start Date: March, 2011

Death Penalty Focus (DPF), a national nonprofit organization founded in 1988 working for abolition of the death penalty, is seeking an Executive Director with excellent leadership, advocacy, organizing, management, fundraising, and public speaking skills.  The present Executive Director is retiring.

DPF, based in California, is one of the largest, most respected advocacy organizations in the nation dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment through public education and grassroots and political organizing; original research; media outreach; local, state, national and international coalition building; and the education of religious, legislative, law enforcement and civic leaders about the death penalty and its alternatives.  DPF is recognized as one of the most innovative abolitionist organizations in the country.

DPF has an active board of directors composed of representatives from the legal, entertainment, educational, religious, medical, social justice and human rights fields as well as eleven active volunteer chapters in California and more than 25,000 members and supporters nationwide.

DPF manages grassroots organizing projects in key California counties, and brings the voices of influential groups to the public debate: death penalty opponents who are law enforcement professionals, clergy members, and victims' family members.  DPF also works to highlight individuals who have been wrongly convicted.

DPF organizes public education and professional media campaigns, develops conferences, seminars and workshops, and sponsors research projects and opinion polls. It also publishes and distributes a variety of publications and manages an interactive website. DPF produces and aggressively disseminates opinion editorials, letters to the editor, press releases and reports to newspapers. Board members and staff participate in hundreds of radio, television, and print interviews each year.

Finally, DPF mobilizes death penalty opposition by organizing educational events, rallies, vigils and other public demonstrations.

The Executive Director is the chief paid executive of the organization, responsible for all aspects of the organization's governance, functions and programs.  In addition to the Executive Director, DPF has three full-time and one 3/4-time staff, and several project directors.  DPF has an annual budget of approximately $600,000 and is located in San Francisco.

Among the Executive Director's responsibilities are:

• Work with board of directors to set long-range strategy, program goals and objectives and create a fundraising plan for achieving them. Oversee the implementation of all organization goals and   objectives and supervise the day-to-day work of the organization.  Oversee the financial management of the organization.

• Create a strong public voice for DPF by maintaining relations with news media, issuing statements and press releases, making speeches, testifying before the legislature, writing op-ed pieces and other publicity activities, and ensuring that DPF makes full use of the internet and new media.

• Serve as liaison between DPF and major leaders in the national and international abolition movement, and religious, social justice, human rights and political communities. Ensure effective and sensitive outreach to a broad range of racial, ethnic, economic and community groups.

• Plan, lead, and help execute development efforts. In collaboration with the board and the staff, meet and network with funders, cultivate and solicit prospective donors, and take primary responsibility for helping to enhance revenue streams.

• Engage and encourage a strong, active board of directors that assists the organization in fulfilling its mission. Ensure that the board is actively involved in planning, fundraising, and outreach activities that help build relationships and resources beneficial to DPF.

• Travel within the state and nationally, as required.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate passion for the mission of abolishing the death penalty and have significant experience leading a nonprofit human rights or social justice organization, including demonstrated skills in:

• Strategic planning, program development and management
• Fundraising, budgeting and nonprofit financial management
• Advocacy and community organizing
• Communications and media activism
• Staff and volunteer supervision and management
• Public speaking
• Developing and working with boards of directors
• Maintaining positive relations with other organizations and the community at large


DPF is offering a competitive salary appropriate for an organization of its size, along with an excellent benefits package.

To apply: email resume and cover letter explaining qualifications and listing three professional references to: searchcommittee@deathpenalty.org.

Please send a cover letter and resume only. No inquiries or phone calls.

Death Penalty Focus is firmly committed to affirmative action.  All applications are welcomed and women, people of color, LGBTQ, disabled people, and those over 55 are particularly encouraged to apply.
Allyson West, Executive Director California Reentry Program P.O. Box 483 San Quentin, CA 94964 www.ca-reentry.org 415-599-6586