Established in 1977, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) is one of the first women’s funds in the world and the only solely dedicated to LBTQI rights globally. Their founders – a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists – dreamed of a feminist movement that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. For over four decades, Astraea has uniquely supported women’s rights and LBTQI movements working at the crossroads of gender justice, racial justice, bodily autonomy, sexual rights, and self-determination.
As a LBTQI women’s fund, Astraea uniquely fuels groups at the nexus of feminist and LBTQI movements. Astraea’s reach is unparalleled: since its inception, they have granted over $40 million via nearly 5,000 grants to 1,700+ grantee partners in 100+ countries and nearly all 50 states in the United States (U.S.). Astraea shifts power and resources to LBTQI and feminist activists so that they can build strong, intersectional movements that combat violence and discrimination, counter structural economic and social inequalities and drive transformational cultural change.
Headquartered in New York City, Astraea’s mission is advanced by more than 30 staff in the U.S. and around the world. The team comes from diverse backgrounds and possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge. Tied together by a deep passion for human rights and social justice, the staff places a high value on self-awareness, commitment to racial justice, shared learning, and genuine kindness.
Over the years, Astraea has continued to honor the legacy of its founding mothers: uncompromising in a vision of rights for all, upholding values such as belief in self-determination, community empowerment, movement building, and building across issues and generations. The organization that grew from this lesbian feminist vision is a multi-gendered, multi-racial, multi-identity public foundation that last year granted over $4.2 million to 190 grantee partners in 64 countries, including the United States.
Astraea operates with a budget of $14 million and is governed by a 12-person Board of Directors. To learn more, please visit: https://www.astraeafoundation.org/
The mission of Astraea is needed now more than ever. Our world and our people are up against unending challenges – closing civil societies, the rise of nationalist governments, escalating anti-Black, anti-immigrant violence, discrimination of people already pushed to the margins, increased economic inequity, growing power of religious, cultural and economic conservatism, and the use of gender “paranoia” to mobilize masses of people toward these conservative and increasingly authoritarian agendas.
Astraea experienced exponential and transformative growth over the past several years. With a significantly increased base of institutional funding, Astraea radically increased its reach and impact. Now, while continuing to build power and challenge the status quo, Astraea is utilizing this leadership transition period to invest in organizational development and staff well-being. The new leader(s) will inherit a financially stable, mission-driven organization with a strong culture that is living its feminist social justice values.
With the confluence of global health, political, and economic disruptions unfolding amid tectonic shifts in philanthropy and LGBTQI movements, the need for bold queer feminist funding has never been greater. This is an exceptional opportunity for a strategic and visionary leader(s) to build on four decades of innovative grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy to fuel the organizing of powerful grassroots movements and realize a world where all people can actively and enthusiastically belong.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the new Executive Director or Co-Directors will build on Astraea’s proud radical history to create a nimble, thriving, and resilient organization that effectively and efficiently shifts power to LGBTQI people. In collaboration with the board and staff, the new Executive(s) will leverage the organization’s expertise to center its activist-centered grantmaking and expand its global presence. In keeping with Astraea’s commitment to upholding feminist leadership principles and decentralizing power, the Board of Directors is open to structuring the role for an individual Executive Director or for a team of two Co-Directors. Primary responsibilities include the following:
● Inspire, mentor and motivate an international team of experts connected by a deep passion for human rights and social justice;
● Model feminist leadership principles that support self-determination and advance equity and inclusion;
● Champion a culture grounded in transparency and accountability;
● Center healing justice practices and uphold the ongoing supportive work to nourish and strengthen staff;
● Leverage networks to develop a global board of directors.
Strategy & Vision
● With staff, board, grantees, advisors, and peers, develop a strategic plan that defines Astraea’s role in the global ecosystem of feminist funds and movements;
● In collaboration with regional and feminist funds, enhance Astraea’s role in building LGBTQI movements and the philanthropic infrastructure;
● Center participatory grantmaking that shifts power to activists and refine funding models to be even more nimble, responsive, and flexible.
Fundraising and Fiscal Stewardship
● Enthusiastically lead and actively engage in Astraea’s diverse fundraising efforts;
● In partnership with board and staff, develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders including individuals and institutions to expand Astraea’s base of supporters;
● Leverage external presence to grow Astraea’s fundraising initiatives;
● Diversify and increase unrestricted funding sources, especially from individual donors, and grow Astraea’s reserves and endowment;
● Oversee the effective and efficient management of the organization’s financial resources ensuring its fiscal stability and long-term sustainability.
Communications & Outreach
● With an authentic and progressive voice, represent Astraea in the media, in the activist and philanthropic communities, and to a broad range of stakeholders including grantee partners, donors, and advisors;
● Increase visibility and provide leadership within the network of women’s funds;
● Serve as a trusted advisor to governments, private foundations, movements, and grassroots organizations.
● Ensure the organizational structure supports the recent expansion of grantmaking and programs, while centering staff and reinforcing an anti-oppression frame;
● Dedicate resources and expertise to build a robust human resources department;
● Oversee the updating and integration of technology systems adequate to meet the needs of globally distributed organization;
● Refine and implement policies and procedures that reflect Astraea’s values;
● Center mentoring and coaching of the management and senior teams, providing support to build strong teams;
● Support the development of a leadership pipeline for diverse staff;
● Prioritize professional development and mentoring for the next generation of leaders.
The ideal candidate(s) will be transformative leader(s) and respected social justice thought partner(s). They will have a nuanced understanding of the philanthropic climate including current trends and tensions, and Astraea’s place among global LGBTQI and feminist funders. They will have deep connections to grassroots communities and movements. The successful candidate(s) must have the following:
● Executive or senior leadership experience with a global or multinational organization, including experience managing remote teams;
● Prior executive or senior leadership experience in a grantmaking or philanthropic support organization;
● Proven success building strong and effective teams and creating cultures defined by transparency, accountability, trust and respect;
● Strategic fundraising experience that includes cultivating individual and institutional donor relationships, soliciting major gifts, and negotiating government contracts;
● Prior experience working with a nonprofit board and a demonstrable understanding of board development, governance and decision-making;
● Financial acumen to develop, track, and manage a $14 million budget that includes restricted government contracts, foreign funds, complex investments, and fiscal sponsorships;
● An understanding of the fiscal and donor reporting requirements associated with global grassroots grantmaking;
● Demonstrated experience leading the creation and implementation of strategic plans;
● Exceptional communications skills including the ability to effectively convey radical ideas and to engage individuals and large groups;
● Fluency in English and another/other language(s);
● Enthusiasm for significant domestic and international travel;
● Authorization (for the Executive Director or at least one Co-Director) to work in the United States.
The new Executive Director or Co-Directors will be fierce feminist leaders with an uncompromising commitment to advancing gender, racial, economic and environmental justice. They will be rooted in the politics of global solidarity, and comfortable holding and articulating a radical vision. They will be an innovative, transparent and adaptive leader(s) with a commitment to lifelong learning and a drive to mentor, coach, and support leadership. They will bring an international perspective to Astraea and ideally will have lived experience in the Global South and/or East. The ideal candidate(s) will have the emotional intelligence to engage in honest self-reflection and receive constructive feedback, and the humility to share power and make collective decisions.
Commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate(s), the salary range for the position(s) is $200,000 – $225,000 per annum. In addition to generous PTO, our client provides an excellent benefits package including health, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, and ancillary insurance, as well as flex spending and health reimbursement accounts, and a 401(k) savings plan with employer match.
Reimbursement of basic relocation expenses will be considered for the exceptional individual(s) they are seeking.
Astraea’s new Executive Director or at least one Co-Director will work in the Foundation’s New York office.
How To Apply
For individuals wishing to be considered for the Executive Director position and pairs wishing to be considered for the Co-Director roles, please submit a cover letter and résumé(s) as attachments via e-mail to:
Please note: Pairs wishing to be considered for the Co-Director positions, must apply as a team. Individual applications for Co-Directors will not be combined.
Michelle Kristel, Managing Partner
Soladé Rowe, Senior Consultant
1740 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599
All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Please note that your education, dates of employment and other information will be verified prior to an offer.
Astraea is an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to select, place, train and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience so as to provide equal opportunity for all of our employees in compliance with applicable local, state and federal law, and without regard to non-work related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all activities, including but not limited to, recruiting, hiring, training, transfers, promotions and benefits. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination and access to benefits and training.