New York, NY

Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for a Just Society

The Organization

About Foundation for a Just Society:

Foundation for a Just Society (FJS) envisions a world without discrimination and shares resources to strengthen movements that create a world where all people are valued and lead self-determined lives. Founded in 2011, the foundation has made commitments of nearly $45M in grants to date, supporting organizations working in Francophone West Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Central America and the US Southeast. Governed by a 5-member Board of Directors and with a staff of 15, the foundation is now poised for a new stage of growth and development.

FJS supports innovative, intersectional, grassroots strategies that meet immediate needs while igniting long-term, structural change in communities and regions that have been overlooked by philanthropy. Through this work, FJS supports the entire ecosystem of transformative movements — across issues and regions — by following the lead of marginalized women, girls, and LGBTQI people who catalyze change every day in their communities and countries. The Foundation invests in multi-year and general operating support as a reflection of long-term, collaborative partnerships with their grantees.

FJS currently seeks a seasoned executive to assume the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer. Working closely with the President (who is the organization’s founding donor), Board and senior leadership team, the CEO will fortify existing operations and programmatic work and lead FJS through its next stage of growth. Guiding the organization through its exploration into additional areas of philanthropic investment, the CEO will identify potential new philanthropic initiatives aligned with our vision of a world without discrimination.

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Position Overview

The Opportunity:

FJS seeks an outstanding Chief Executive Officer to lead the Foundation into an ambitious period of philanthropic and programmatic growth.

The Chief Executive Officer will bring exceptional leadership and strategic abilities, strong understanding of the philanthropic sector, and a deep sense of respect for the power of social change to advance human rights. S/he will display excellent emotional intelligence and will have senior-level experience, which will be used to skillfully manage both the staff and the Board of Directors.

The Chief Executive Officer reports directly to the Board of Directors, partnering closely with the President and Founder. Her/his responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop and execute a strategic vision for the Foundation’s next phase of significant growth that stems from best practices in philanthropy and human rights work and realizes the vision of the President and Founder
  • Serve as a key thought partner to the President and Founder and the Board of Directors, helping Board Members navigate their responsibilities and opportunities as a group and as individuals
  • Lead and guide an accomplished and passionate staff of Program and Operations professionals, serving as a coach and supervisor
  • Represent FJS publicly with grantees, the philanthropy community, press, and other stakeholders, acting as the face and voice of the Foundation
  • Oversee the development and implementation of procedures and policies that will boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the Foundation and enhance its

Candidate Profile:

Ideal candidates will be seasoned, collaborative, and communicative leaders with a track record of moving a diverse range of stakeholders forward through clear communication, inspiration, and motivation. Successful candidates will also bring previous leadership experience in the human rights and/or social justice sectors, outstanding management skills, and a demonstrated understanding of the strategies that advance social change for women, girls, the LGBTQI community, and other marginalized groups.

Desired qualifications include the following:

Skills and Experiences

  • 10+ years of senior/executive level leadership and management, with a track record of excellence in managing a growing staff.
  • Experience working closely with a Board and developing Board capacity
  • Excellent leadership and management skills, including the ability to manage a growing staff by providing leadership and ensuring the right staff structures are in place
  • Previous experience in family foundations is not required, but is a plus. The ability to build effective, collaborative relationships in complex environments is a must.
  • Knowledge and expertise of international human rights and/or issues impacting women and girls globally with demonstrated professional experience and tenure in human rights and/or social justice field strongly preferred
  • Track record of effectively creating and implementing strategic plans that support a bold mission, building strategic alliances and partnerships
  • A highly consultative and collaborative approach to leadership, including exceptional listening and communication skills and a focus on creative solutions with ability to build support for new ideas and initiatives across a range of stakeholders with multiple, and sometimes contradictory, points of view
  • Strong project management skills; ability to drive simultaneous, complex projects to measurable success
  • Outstanding facilitation and mediation skills; comfortable navigating complex organizational development issues and making difficult decisions
  • An entrepreneurial approach to growth and impact, including a demonstrated ability to forge dynamic partnerships and coalitions and drive measurable growth
  • Understanding of grassroots and movement-building work

Personal Characteristics and Values

  • Extremely high level of emotional intelligence and flexible and intuitive relationship management skills; ability to interact with empathy, patience, and a sense of humor
  • Deep passion for promoting human rights and social justice for marginalized communities in both the international and domestic spheres
  • Transparent and collaborative leadership style with Board, staff, grantees, and other stakeholders
  • An open-minded listener who seeks and values a range of viewpoints but is also comfortable making a final decision
  • A natural teacher and learner who enjoys staying abreast of trends and issues in the field and educating others about them
  • An analytical thinker who can develop and apply strategy using a thoughtful and inclusive approach

Compensation and Culture:

FJS offers relocation support, a competitive salary, excellent benefits, generous vacation, and a collegial working environment. The Foundation employs a small staff and is dedicated to promoting an environment of collaboration and work-life balance.


Molly Brennan and Melissa Madzel of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Foundation for a Just Society deeply values diversity and is committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals of underrepresented backgrounds, including gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

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