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Executive Director

Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Job Description


Full job description

Are you a passionate visionary with a keen business sense and a dedication to social justice? Are you eager to contribute to improving the quality of life for the communities of Kentucky? If so, we want to hear from you!


The Kentucky Equal Justice Center (KEJC) is searching for a visionary and mission-oriented Executive Director with a demonstrated track record of serving and working alongside low-income communities. Building on a strong foundation of service and solid reputation in Kentucky, the next Executive Director will be presented with a chance to shape the role of Executive Director, the organizational model, and the future of KEJC.


Formed in 1976, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center has a nearly 50-year history of working with legal aid organizations, grasstops policy partners at the state and national levels, and grassroots organizations across the Commonwealth to advocate for low-income Kentuckians. Together with these partners—from the courthouse, Capitol, and communities across Kentucky—we tackle issues Kentuckians face in health care, workers’ rights, immigration, hunger, and housing. We are a growing, flexible, and responsive non-profit poverty law advocacy center that through advocacy, education, and litigation, works to address systemic barriers to economic and social justice. Our mission is to build a more just and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. KEJC’s 2024 budget is $2,666,369 and we have a team of 28 people on staff. Further information about KEJC can be found at .


Kentucky Equal Justice Center seeks a visionary and strategic leader to serve as its next Executive Director. The ideal candidate will bring experience in leading a mission-driven organization, fundraising at scale, brand-building, strategic transformation, and cultivating a deep network across the state’s public, private, and nonprofit sectors. You will have the opportunity to shape the strategic direction of the organization and foster a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and support both internally and throughout the communities KEJC serves.

Should you align with our values and share our passion for combating poverty, discrimination, and inequality, you will discover a welcoming community at KEJC!


The Executive Director, in partnership with the KEJC Leadership team including the Operations Manager, Development Manager and Project and Program Leads will provide:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Develop and implement strategic plans in alignment with KEJC's mission and goals.
  • Provide inspirational leadership to staff, board members, and partners to drive organizational growth and impact.
  • Establish clear goals and objectives for legal aid services and advocacy initiatives, and regularly assess progress towards achieving them.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration and inclusivity within the organization and with external stakeholders.

Advocacy and Policy Development:

  • Lead KEJC's advocacy efforts to address systemic injustices and promote policies that advance economic and social equity.
  • Maintain KEJC’s leadership role among city, state, and community partners and coordinate its work with those groups.

Program Management and Oversight:

  • Oversee the delivery of high-quality legal services to low-income individuals and marginalized communities, ensuring equitable access to justice.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of KEJC's programs and initiatives, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives along with providing guidance and support to program staff in designing effective strategies and interventions.
  • Recruit, train, and retain a talented and diverse team of staff and volunteers, fostering a culture of professional growth and accountability.
  • Monitor program outcomes and evaluate impact to inform continuous improvement efforts.

Fundraising and Financial Management:

  • Lead fundraising efforts to secure financial support from foundations, donors, government agencies, and other sources. In parallel with cultivating and stewarding relationships with such funders and donors to sustain, diversify, and expand KEJC's funding base.
  • Manage the organization's budget, financial resources, and grant reporting requirements.

Community Engagement and Partnerships:

  • Maintain and build relationships with community partners, advocacy groups, and coalitions to amplify KEJC's impact.
  • Represent KEJC in public forums, media interviews, and speaking engagements to raise awareness of not only KEJC services but social justice issues.


There are countless avenues for professional learning, growth, and advancement. We value this diversity as we evaluate applications, considering each applicant's wide-ranging experiences. Our goal is to understand you and the distinctive qualities you'll contribute to the role. That being said, we are inclined to be more interested in your candidacy if you can showcase the majority of the qualifications and experiences outlined below:

  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree in law, public policy, or related field preferred;
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in progressive leadership roles within the nonprofit sector, advocacy organizations, or related fields;
  • Proven track record of fundraising success, including grant writing, donor cultivation, and relationship building;
  • Understand financial matters, including budgets, compliance with grant and contract requirements, and financial oversight;
  • Strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage diverse audiences and stakeholders;
  • Strong commitment to social justice, equity, and human rights;
  • Skilled in overseeing multicultural teams and addressing the needs of diverse communities.
  • Demonstrate strategic vision and adaptability - engage in forward-thinking, anticipate trends, and adjust organizational strategies in accordance with evolving external circumstances;
  • Knowledge of Kentucky's social, economic, and political landscape is desirable.

Application Process

To receive full consideration, you are encouraged to submit your application materials by April 8th, 2024. Screening of candidates begins immediately and will continue until the time of selection. Please submit 1) a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications (including transferable experience) and what you hope to be able to contribute to KEJC’s future, 2) a resume and 3) the names and contact information for three professional references.

Materials should be submitted electronically to gslusser@thredpartners.com in Microsoft Word or PDF format with subject line of “Kentucky Equal Justice Center Executive Director Search”. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact Gretchen Slusser at the email address above.

Benefits and Compensation

  • Salary Range is based on experience.
  • Fringe benefits include health, retirement, dental, life, and disability coverage, with optional vision coverage.
  • In addition to contributing required employer premiums, KEJC covers single employee premiums for health, dental, life, and disability insurance at no expense.
  • KEJC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but we provide health and retirement benefits through participation in the Kentucky Employee Health Plan and County Employee Retirement System (CERS).
  • KEJC contributes the CERS nonhazardous rate to employee retirement plans.


KEJC welcomes your application. As an organization, we are committed to anti-racism and are working to build a racial justice framework into our programming and policy initiatives. We acknowledge our history as a predominately white organization and are committed to ending white supremacy. Doing so is essential to our objective of full equality for all people.

KEJC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, pregnancy, childbirth (or related medical conditions, including, but not limited to lactation), physical disability, mental and/or intellectual disability, age, military status or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression), medical condition (including, but not limited to, cancer-related or HIV/AIDS-related), genetic information, or sexual orientation in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

​Women, people of color, transgender individuals and members of other underrepresented populations are encouraged to apply. KEJC also supports and encourages people who were formerly convicted to be active in their community. Background checks results that indicate a conviction do not necessarily disqualify you from employment. KEJC reserves the right to request further information to fully assess an applicant’s candidacy in relation to the job duties associated with the position.

Job Type: Full-time


  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Relocation assistance
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance

Ability to Relocate:

  • Lexington, KY 40507: Relocate before starting work (Required)

Work Location: In person

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