Court Watch NOLA Executive Director

Overview

Since 2007, Court Watch NOLA (CWN) has fought for transparency, accountability, and transformative justice in the New Orleans criminal courts and beyond. CWN educates and trains hundreds of local volunteers each year to monitor prosecutors, police, judges, public defenders, the sheriff, private defense attorneys, and the clerk of court. Court Watch NOLA’s reports have been featured in international and national publications and the sweeping reform its campaigns have achieved have changed the criminal court landscape in New Orleans and beyond.

Position Profile

We are seeking a collaborative leader to be the new Executive Director of our small but mighty organization. As Executive Director for Court Watch NOLA, your chief responsibility will be to serve as CWN’s public voice, main mover and shaker, champion, and fundraiser. You are visionary, strategic, and tenacious, with a keen understanding of the current cultural and political landscape of the United States, Louisiana, and New Orleans. You are as bold, truthful, and innovative as these times demand. You are not just comfortable in, but energized by, this largely public role that requires you to hold those with power accountable while also praising successes. You are also not shy about the resources needed to make our organization the best it can be.

This is a regular, full-time, exempt position based remotely until CWN Office Space is secured.

Leadership Skills, Disposition, and Strengths

You are (disposition and approach):
  • Someone with an unending dedication to CWN’s clear and focused mission: fighting for transparency, accountability and transformative justice for all in the courts of New Orleans; An expert in understanding and speaking about the nuances of the criminal legal system in New Orleans;
  • A leader who is energized by being the public face and voice of the ambitious work of CWN, confident in articulating our unique vision, strategy, and impact in the press, to potential funders, community allies, and more;
  • A visionary team leader with the ability to anticipate and create possibilities during challenges and see the big picture while paying attention to the details;
  • Someone who leads by empowering others to lead, whose ego is satisfied by the success of their ability to foster a culture of learning and belonging for the entire CWN team.
  • A leader with high levels of respect, empathy, and ability to build relationships with people across the spectrum of political views, identities, and cultural backgrounds; a deep level of self-awareness and the ability to mitigate any personal biases or agendas;
You definitely have (qualification requirements):
  • 5+ years experience as a leader in: criminal justice or legal settings, community organizing, non-profit leadership & development, or other relevant experience including:
    • A strong track record of successful fundraising or funder relationships through grants, events, and individual donor solicitation;
    • Prior experience in organizational leadership and team management, skilled in conflict resolution and mediation;
    • Ability to boil down complex concepts and communicate them diplomatically to diverse target audiences;
  • An expert level understanding of the New Orleans criminal legal system;
  • Status as an admitted attorney in Louisiana or another US State or territory;
  • Proficient in Google Workspace or Microsoft Office.
Ideally, you have (preferred qualifications):
  • Familiarity Louisiana criminal court systems and legal structures;
  • Familiarity with some or all of the following platforms: Survey Monkey (data collection), Action Network (CMS), Volgistics (volunteer database), WordPress (website), Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin (social media), Asana (project management), Signal/Zoom/Google Meet (internal communications), Adobe Creative Cloud (graphic design).

Compensation

Annual salary will be $92,000 non negotiable. Excellent benefits including health, dental, vision, and 401K. Substantial PTO, parental leave, and health & wellness (sick) leave policies. Court watch NOLA provides a laptop for all work related activities.

Physical and Mental Requirements

As of October 18, 2021, CWN staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Staff may make requests for reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

Other physical/mental requirements for this position include:

Mental Effort – Requires attention to detail, interacting with others in-person, and through email, and via web conferencing, using critical thinking and listening skills, and active participation at meetings. Strong ability to write reports, funding proposals, and press releases.

Physical Requirements – May include long periods of sitting, working on a computer, accessing various work areas on multiple floors, walking to various work areas, going up and downstairs, talking using the phone, working with other office/computer equipment, attending meetings, driving to various locations, and sitting at a desk or table while listening, talking, and taking notes.

Working Conditions – This position primarily works remotely and regularly interacts with a wide variety of people across all political and cultural spectrums, both virtually and in person. Frequently visits and attends meetings in a variety of environments.

Accountability and Supervisory Responsibility

  • ED reports directly to: Board of Directors. Indirectly to the community of New Orleans.
  • Direct reports to ED: Deputy Director (direct); Development Consultants (direct)
  • Indirect reports to ED: Office Manager, Director of Volunteers, Chapter Development Specialist, Data Consultant(s).

To Apply

Please email a cover letter, detailed resume, and list of three references to hiring@courtwatchnola.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We will start scheduling interviews starting on January 6, 2022. Please use the subject line “Executive Director.” Questions may be directed there as well. No phone calls, please. Due to a high volume of responses, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Cover letters and emails can be addressed to “Court Watch NOLA Hiring Committee.”

Court Watch NOLA prioritizes and actively works to realize intersectional diversity and an inclusive, safe culture in the workplace. We strongly encourage all qualified candidates to apply. If you feel like you are qualified for this position but would face unique barriers in this job as it’s currently written, please still apply and we will work to the best of our ability to provide needed support for the right candidate.

Additional Position Details

The detailed breakdown of the Executive Director’s duties are as follows:

Program Leadership and Implementation (40%):
  • Cultivate relationships with criminal legal system officials to ensure programmatic goals and objectives in ethics compilation, effectiveness, fairness, victim rights, constitutional rights, and efficiency are recognized
  • Cultivate relationships with whistleblowers who work in the criminal court system, ensuring whistleblowers anonymity when they provide information and tips by which Court Watch NOLA can initiate and continue their organizational campaigns
  • Cultivate relationships with the local and national media to ensure coverage for the annual report and on current affairs to ensure Court Watch NOLA’s consistent impact
  • Coordinate and direct the creation of the annual report; work with the Deputy Director and the Court Watch NOLA Board’s Policy Committee to initially plan and later write the annual report; work with the Statistician and the Chapter Development Specialist who will assist in the creation of the Annual Report.
  • Create and support local issue-based community coalitions that align with Court Watch NOLA objectives
  • Present CWN’s findings to diverse audiences such as the media, court officials, funders, City Council members, groups with various political beliefs, community organizations, civil rights attorneys, academics, legislators, and international diplomats; Interact regularly with City Council and other legislative bodies to initiate and oversee local legislative policy
  • Teach a Loyola Law School class on courtwatching, training students on court observing and criminal procedure as well as teaching through relevant academic literature
  • Work with the Deputy Director in long-term strategic planning.
Development and Fundraising (35%):
  • Lead and implement successful resource mobilization strategies, securing support from foundations, corporations, and individuals, and developing innovative approaches to earned income and national expansion
  • Develop, nurture, and maintain key funding relationships, especially among foundations and major donors
  • Work with the Board, the Deputy Director and the Director of Operations to adopt and monitor annual budget, as well as ensure long-term financial health and stability of the organization
Administration (15%)
  • Ensure CWN has full resources needed for successful administration and operations of the organization; ensure smooth functioning of ongoing programmatic efforts
  • Support the Deputy Director in managing team members, and in cultivating an inclusive, respectful, and productive work environment
  • Supervise both the Development Director and the Development Consultant
Board Cultivation & Stewardship (10%)
  • Work closely with the Board to steer the organization in meeting its goals and mission
  • Coordinate and lead all board meetings in conjunction with the board chair
  • Coordinate and take part in all Board Committee meetings
  • Cultivate new board members in conjunction with the Nominations
  • Committee, lead the Board Orientation for new board members