We’re Looking for an Executive Director

March 1, 2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE) is announcing our search for a new Executive Director! The Board of Directors honors our history and impact of powerful, inclusive, strategic leadership, and we are excited to launch a process that continues to serve and elevate our constituency.

URGE today is a national multi-racial organization that trains, organizes, and mobilizes young people in leading the way to sexual and reproductive justice for all. Our local and state campaigns have worked with young people in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas to change narratives about abortion, defend DACA, ensure healthcare access for young people, and end transgender discrimination.

We are so grateful for the past 10 years of leadership from Kierra Johnson, now Deputy Executive Director at the Task Force, and for the current support of Susannah Baruch, URGE’s Interim Executive Director, in guiding this organization.

The Board of Directors is working in partnership with Elsa A. Rios of Strategies for Social Change LLC, to find a new leader with the vision, knowledge, and experience to grow and deepen URGE’s work. We look forward to a powerful and engaging process.

Please help us find our next extraordinary leader by widely circulating the ED job announcement below and available at this link.


Darshan Khalsa
URGE Board Chair

See the full Executive Director job announcement here.
Read a letter from Kierra about her transition here.
For updates on the transition process, visit this page.

Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE) 

Executive Director Job Announcement

URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity is looking for a new Executive Director to lead our work to achieve gender and reproductive justice. URGE seeks a principled and courageous leader and spokesperson with a keen intersectional analysis and the ability to align people and build power to shift the political and cultural landscape. Applicants should have relevant experience and be deeply and demonstrably committed to URGE’s mission and values.

Organizational Background

URGE works to build a world where all people have agency over their own bodies and relationships, and the power, knowledge, and tools to exercise their agency. Working with young people ages 15-30, URGE provides training, field mobilization and national leadership to move policy, systemic and cultural change — winning real victories for campuses and communities!

This is an exciting time of growth for URGE; over the last three years we have expanded our staff and significantly increased our budget. Our local and state campaigns have worked with young people in key states to change narratives about abortion, defend DACA, ensure healthcare access for young people, and end transgender discrimination.

The Executive Director will report to URGE’s active ten member Board of Directors. Presently, URGE has an annual budget of more than $3 million dollars, and a talented and enthusiastic staff of sixteen people, with room to hire several more. The Executive Director will take leadership in a dynamic organization with a solid financial outlook and a programmatic foundation based in state organizing and national policy issues.

Our priorities for the next phase of our work include:

To significantly increase the number of young people engaged in organizing and advocacy at the local, state and national levels.
To support young people to advance powerful messages and foster dialogue with the goal of policy and culture change in the areas of reproductive and sexual health and justice.
To amplify our advocacy efforts by increasing our power and infrastructure in five key states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas.

Our work is guided by the following values and principles:

  • We embrace sexuality as a universal, positive, and healthy component of human development.  We promote positive sexuality in culture, policy, and practice.
  • We believe that the individuals and communities most marginalized by current sexual and reproductive policy should be the ones to articulate a new vision. We create spaces for these people to lead us to a different future.
  • We promote bold, creative ideas and action.  We are timely, reflect diverse young communities, and build a vibrant, relevant and fun movement!
    We measure our work by concrete reproductive justice victories for our members, chapters and allies. We approach each campaign with the expectation of success at the local, state, and national levels.
  • We work in collaboration and partnership with organizations, institutions, and individuals.  We strive for transparency, honesty, accountability, and an assumption of good intent.
  • We value diverse voices and continually work to build an inclusive culture.

Executive Director Job Qualifications

The ideal Executive Director candidate will be an authentic, inclusive, and inspiring leader who has worked in communities of color on social justice issues. While no candidate will embody every skill set or quality, the successful candidate will demonstrate many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Commitment to gender, racial, and reproductive justice, and to URGE’s values.
  • Commitment and ability to center the experiences and perspectives of our constituents.
  • Excellent intellectual, analytical, and strategic thinking skills.
  • Big, visionary ideas and ideals and the capacity to convert them into solid strategies and action.
  • Adaptive leadership style with the ability to navigate complex situations and relationships and take advantage of strategic opportunities.
  • The ability to oversee and implement a vibrant communications strategy.
  • Skills in talent management, team building, mentoring and developing staff leadership.
  • A high level of emotional intelligence and capacity for self-reflection and self-improvement.
  • Compelling and persuasive public speaking abilities, presence and media savvy.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, including effective communication among wide audiences and diverse constituencies and stakeholders.
  • Ability to travel extensively in order to represent URGE.
  • Willingness to make a multi-year commitment to URGE.
  • Position is based in Washington, DC.

Required Experience

  • A track record of senior leadership and management in a mission-driven organization.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in social justice movement work; organizing and state legislative experience in moderate or conservative locations preferred.
  • Fundraising ability, experience, and enthusiasm, including a track record of raising significant funds from a variety of sources and a network of contacts with foundation funders and individual donor prospects.
  • Significant financial management and budget experience; grounded understanding of financial standards of practice.
  • Experience managing institutional growth and change.
  • Experience hiring, managing, and developing a diverse staff; experience with remote management is highly desirable.
  • Experience building and sustaining strong relationships with existing and prospective board members, funders, individual donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Experience building effective partnerships and coalitions among organizations and activists, from the grassroots to national levels.
  • A reputation as a principled strategic collaborator with keen listening skills and the ability to bridge philosophies and perspectives.

URGE is an equal opportunity employer. We prioritize leadership of trans, gender nonconforming, and women of color, and we strongly encourage people of all traditionally marginalized identities to apply. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

To Apply

Strategies for Social Change® LLC, a woman of color owned capacity building and coaching practice dedicated to working with social justice organizations, is conducting the leadership transition process and search.

Nominations, inquiries and application materials should be submitted in confidence to executivesearch@urge.org. Applications should be submitted electronically. Please include a résumé, three references and a cover letter that addresses: 1) Why you are interested in working with URGE and the constituents we serve, 2) What you believe you would bring to the position of Executive Director; and 3) How your past accomplishments are relevant to this position.

All inquiries and applications will be kept confidential. Résumés will be reviewed, and eligible candidates will be contacted about interviews. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, we expect to receive résumés from many qualified applicants and therefore highly recommend submission as soon as possible and no later than Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 5 pm ET.  Please submit your application to: executivesearch@urge.org.

For more information about URGE please visit our website.