Executive Director

Human Rights Funders Network
September 20, 2019
New York, NY
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
Not specified



Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) is an internationally recognized non-profit committed to connecting human rights grantmakers and philanthropists to advance human rights.  As a global network of almost 450 institutions that engages over 1,800 individuals, HRFN regularly convenes colleague human rights donors to share insights, strategies, and learnings, as well as mobilize resources for human rights. Looking to strengthen its network, leverage its membership, and plan for continued impact and innovation in human rights philanthropy, HRFN seeks a seasoned leader, strategist, and coalition builder to serve as its next Executive Director (ED).

With an expansive membership base that includes member organizations from all over the globe, HRFN is uniquely and strategically poised towards moving philanthropy towards effectively resourcing human rights work and movements globally.  In light of growing threats to human rights, the rise of populism, and recent pushback on philanthropy, HRFN’s mission is more urgent than ever. HRFN’s annual conference, working groups, and research initiatives have served as strategic opportunities for productive dialogue and collaboration around these issues for HRFN’s peer-led network of nearly 450 institutions. The new Executive Director will lead HRFN in the creation of innovative strategies and program design that empower and equip members to respond effectively to these challenges. Where necessary, the new ED will seek ways to enhance the relevance of these programmatic elements, as well as identify opportunities for new program offerings and initiatives.

HRFN is uniquely positioned to define its role and deepen its impact in the human rights philanthropy space. The new Executive Director will work with staff and Steering Committee to craft and execute an organizational agenda that builds on its strong network and reputation, generates new opportunities for HRFN to drive national and global conversations around human rights, and positions HRFN as a key thought leader in the space. S/he/they will help to shape a future-facing vision for the organization that aligns with HRFN's mission and theory of change, staff leadership and capacity, and the collective needs of its members. This exciting opportunity calls for an inspirational thought leader and manager with an exceptional combination of qualities, skills, and experiences, including: a sophisticated understanding of human rights movements and international philanthropy; expertise and experience in creating and implementing innovative strategies, programs, and organizational infrastructure; proven partnership building skills and creative thinking around how to tap into new opportunities; a track record of effective vision-setting and investment-building among diverse stakeholders; and a demonstrated commitment to strengthening a culture of collaboration, equity, and inclusion.


While no one candidate will possess all the qualifications listed below, the ideal candidate will embody many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Demonstrated success in both start-up settings and established organizations; experience creating strategies, programs, infrastructure, and innovation, without a clear or pre-existing template for success, while leading effectively within existing structures.
  • Organizational acumen earned through experience leading staff in all facets of operations, from talent and budget management to strategic planning, communications, etc.
  • Strong entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrated ability to identify opportunities for growth, solicit feedback and ideas from diverse groups of thought partners, and design innovative strategies to drive change and success.
  • An executive leader with broad knowledge and standing in the fields of both human rights advocacy work and philanthropy on a global scale.
  • Exceptional cultural competency: flexibility and sensitivity to work effectively in a wide variety of geographic, political, and cultural settings.
  • Firsthand experience or deep understanding of developing and implementing robust fund development strategy drawing on both effective grants and a dues management system.
  • A deep and authentic connection to advancing human rights advocacy and the global communities affected by social injustice, including the ability to recognize both their abiding power and resiliency, and the complexity of the challenges they face.
  • Strong relationship-building skills, and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; the ability to establish trust with a diverse set of stakeholders; a commitment to honoring and elevating community expertise and wisdom.
  • Experience influencing policy and advocacy efforts, and establishing meaningful collaborations with relevant partners, agencies, and coalitions.
  • High emotional intelligence; the ability to effectively command the spotlight, combined with the wisdom to know when to strategically direct it elsewhere and share leadership.
  • Effective communication skills, and a compelling personal presence that reflects and embodies HRFN’s mission and values.
  • Advanced degree preferred or equivalent lived experience that is aligned with HRFN’s approach and values.


This search is being conducted by Tamar Datan, Hallie Dietsch, and Yuniya Khan of the national search firm NPAG. Nominations and applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume (in Word or PDF format) should be submitted to: HRFN-ED@nonprofitprofessionals.com.

For more information about HRFN, please visit their website.

For a full position description, please click here.

Cultivating a diverse and inclusive team is an essential component of HRFN’s commitment to advance equity. Candidates of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

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