The First Amendment Coalition is seeking an executive director.
About the First Amendment Coalition:
The First Amendment Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, California-based organization that seeks to foster civic engagement, make government more accountable, protect freedom of speech and press, and defend the public’s right to know. It serves a diverse audience, including traditional news organizations, digital news and information companies, community organizations, and individual citizens. FAC’s work is focused on California state and local matters, but the organization also weighs in on relevant national issues.
FAC’s work includes: strategic litigation in state and federal courts; a free-to-the-public Legal Hotline and a database of information to aid citizens in obtaining government information; public education programs around California; and legislative oversight and testimony.
FAC has two full-time employees and a fundraising consultant. In recent years, the annual budget has been approximately $400,000 – $500,000. The organization leverages several times this amount annually in pro bono and reduced-fee legal services from top law firms that handle litigation and the Legal Hotline, as well as from board members who assist with various projects.
For more information on FAC programs, please refer to the Coalition website.
The Executive Director (a full-time position) is the First Amendment Coalition’s chief executive officer, program director, and spokesperson, responsible for implementing the organization’s mission, policies and objectives as established by the Board of Directors. He or she reports to the Board of Directors. FAC’s office is presently located in San Rafael, California; it was previously located in Sacramento. Where within California the new ED will be based can be flexible.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The Executive Director is expected to:
● Supervise litigation handled by outside attorneys to enforce First Amendment Rights, open meetings and open records laws; develop or join amicus curiae briefs in significant appellate cases; help provide legal representation for otherwise unrepresented journalists confronted with subpoenas for notes and sources.
● Oversee and promote other Coalition programs, including the Legal Hotline, public forums, and an annual awards program.
● Arrange and attend quarterly Board meetings, provide timely communications to the Board, support the work of Board committees, and prepare annual operating and capital budgets for Board approval.
● Oversee and actively participate in the Coalition’s fundraising efforts, in coordination with FAC’s development consultant.
● Engage the Board as appropriate in public education efforts, fund-raising outreach, and other ad hoc roles in support of Coalition goals.
● Working with Board members, engage in efforts to expand and diversify the Coalition’s board and constituency.
● Track relevant state and federal legislation and engage with like-minded organizations to seek beneficial outcomes.
● Maintain close working relationships with the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Online News Association, and other organizations that share the Coalition’s goals.
● Supervise the administrative staff and volunteers.
● Communicate regularly and knowledgeably with the media, and speak for the Coalition through public forums, published commentaries, and monthly newsletters.
The successful candidate will be an excellent leader and administrator with a passion for First Amendment and related issues and will have creative ideas for how to grow an organization.
Candidates for Executive Director should possess:
● Management, administrative, legal, and/or journalistic experience in a non-profit organization, a traditional or digital media company, or a law firm. At least five years experience preferred.
● Demonstrated interest in and experience with issues of freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the public’s right to access government meetings and records.
● Knowledge of and experience with relevant bodies of law, including the First Amendment, California Public Records Act, and the Brown Act. A law degree is desirable.
● Strong organizational and administrative skills.
● Ability to collaborate with an active and engaged Board.
● Excellent writing and speaking skills.
● Experience in communications to the press and public.
● Thorough understanding of financial and business aspects of organizations of similar magnitude, with particular emphasis on nonprofits.
● Experience in raising funds for a not-for-profit organization or comparable private sector experience.
● Familiarity with managing and posting to websites, using social media, and using spreadsheet and database management software
Compensation will be negotiated based on qualifications and experience and will be competitive with other non-profits active in civil liberties work.
How to apply:
Applicants should email a resume and detailed cover letter outlining their suitability for the job to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible; applications are preferred by September 1.