The Rights & Democracy Institute (RDI) was founded in 2016 to advance human rights and strengthen our democracy through grassroots organizing, transformative policy and supporting the development of a new generation of leaders from rural communities across Vermont and New Hampshire. We recognize that there are powerful forces that strategically use racism and hate to divide our communities, but we know that when we all come together we can build a strong multiracial democracy in which everyone can thrive. The Rights & Democracy Project (RAD) is our sibling 501(c)(4) organization.

Executive Director (RDI/RAD)

Location: Remote (Vermont/New Hampshire)

The Rights & Democracy Project (RAD) and the Rights & Democracy Institute (RDI, working together as Rights & Democracy  (RAD/RDI) advance human rights and strengthen our democracy through grassroots organizing, transformative policy, and supporting the development of a new generation of leaders from communities across Vermont and New Hampshire. We recognize that there are powerful forces that strategically use racism and hate to divide our communities, but we know that when we all come together we can build a strong multiracial democracy in which everyone can thrive.  

Rights & Democracy is a rapidly expanding and dynamic organization, focused on building a people’s movement to win tangible victories that improve the lives of poor and working-class families, immigrants, and communities of color.

Our successful programs include a powerful Deep Canvass program in partnership with People’s Action that engaged thousands of conflicted Granite State voters in one of the most critical Presidential elections in our country’s history. We are now expanding that program for down-ballot to municipal and state elections in New Hampshire and Vermont. Our 501(c)4 organization, Rights & Democracy Project, also works toward a just and equitable future as a key member of the Renew New England Alliance and the Green New Deal National Network. Our 501(c)3 organization, Rights & Democracy Institute, has developed leadership programs, including Catalyst Leadership and the Race-Class Academy, to help emerging leaders organize and unite our communities.For more information: visit RDI’s website, or see RAD’s work in Vermont and New Hampshire.  

The Opportunity

Rights & Democracy seeks an Executive Director (ED) to lead the organization to achieve even greater levels of strategic influence, impact, and innovation – knowing that these external indicators derive from a healthy organization with talented staff, strong partnerships with affiliates members and movement allies, and a solid reputation in the field. This is an incredible opportunity to assume leadership of a dynamic, fast growing organization with a strong reputation of leading and winning campaigns and delivering incredible impact through its own work and network of affiliates. The timing of the current political and social moment is ripe for new leadership to take RAD/RDI to the next level. 

The Rights & Democracy Executive Director reports to the RAD and RDI Boards of Directors and works in deep collaboration with the 20+ member RAD/RDI staff team and  to advance human rights and help build a real democracy.

The ideal candidates for this position will be a collaborative and thoughtful leader with a deep understanding of the pervasive impacts of racial capitalism, a demonstrated commitment to racial equity and the fight for freedom, justice, and dignity for all people, a movement-building sensibility that aims to build, harness, and deploy the collective power and potential of the network. Ideal candidates will also bring a talent for communicating bold and visionary ideas that drive collaboration internally, with partner affiliates, and through organizing and base-building across the movement.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Galvanize the team to achieve the organization’s vision for itself, the affiliate network, funders, supporters, and partners;
  • Work with the staff leadership team to build the infrastructure of the organization; ensuring systems, processes, and work plans across the organization are aligned to a common vision and that day-to-day operations are set up for maximum impact; ensure strategic priorities are reflected in an actionable plan with measurable milestones and outcomes;
  • Continue RAD/RDI’s work to advance its commitment to racial equity internally and externally; provide inspirational and compassionate leadership and maintain a participatory, inclusive, and collaborative culture that ensures that RAD/RDI is a place where talented, mission-driven people can come, stay, and do their best work;
  • Lead RAD/RDI’s fundraising strategy and initiatives, building fundraising capacity across the organization and ensuring a network of committed, engaged supporters;
  • Lead by example and ensure all levels of management work to deepen and strengthen a culture of inclusion and equity across the entire organization;
  • Provide strong partnership, collaboration, and leadership to the RAD and RDI Boards of Directors, ensuring open lines of communication and high levels of engagement, and ensure that RAD is driven by its membership in a democratic fashion
  • Provide supportive and empowering leadership for a diverse range of extraordinarily passionate, committed, and skilled team members; foster a culture of radical candor, authenticity, collaboration, and joy;
  • Serve as the external ambassador and lead spokesperson for RAD and RDI and its affiliates with the media, donors, elected officials and other external stakeholders.

Candidate Profile

The RAD/RDI ED will be a passionate, accomplished leader with a demonstrated ability to manage a large, dynamic and evolving organization. They will be committed to our mission and will have the skills required to drive the organization’s vision and impact through collaborative strategic planning and leadership grounded in empathy, kindness and humility.

Leading candidates will have some if not all of the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership: The ED will bring proven experience operationalizing a vision and ensuring that strategy, structures, systems, and processes are aligned and functioning for maximum impact. In addition, they will have experience with the progressive movement and its strategies, and a history of centering the people and issues too often excluded from political power.  

Inclusive and Engaged Leadership and Management Approach: The ED will bring experience building effective relationships and fostering collaboration across a complex organizational structure, ensuring programs and teams are communicating, partnering, and working in concert toward a broader vision and set of goals. The ED will be a strong leader, assertive communicator, and experienced collaborator who is skilled at listening to, and learning from, staff and affiliates and applies a proactive and transparent approach. The ED will lead with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will be able to foster an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of people of different perspectives, backgrounds, generations, and cultures. They will understand the importance of building and maintaining a strong staff and membership, as well as effective cross-movement relationships. They will be enthusiastic to partner with senior leaders in developing the strengths and leadership of the staff. The ED will value having a unionized staff and want to meaningfully engage.

Fundraising, External Affairs, and Passion for Relationship Building: As the leading fundraiser, the ED will share responsibility for aggressively fundraising for RAD and RDI. They will bring a demonstrated track record in fundraising, ideally with knowledge of and existing relationships with relevant and aligned funders. They will have equal experience or ability in developing relationships with movement partners, political leaders, supporters, and other important stakeholders.

Public Leadership: The ED will be comfortable representing RAD and RDI in public, with philanthropic partners, in earned and social media, with affiliates and in cultural organizing spaces, as well as with elected officials. They will bring experience advancing and disseminating an organization’s mission and seeking out opportunities to participate in public forums, movement spaces and press outlets. They will have experience acting as a negotiator with key partners, creating buy-in through persuasion with stakeholders, and speaking clearly to the issues that are most important to RAD and RDI. The ED is responsible for maintaining a regular public presence through writing, public speaking, and events that expand RAD/RDI’s reach and make its work highly visible.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary will be determined according to a salary scale which takes into account years’ experience but is expected to be $80,000 to $95,000. RAD/RDI has a generous benefits package, including health insurance and dental benefits, retirement benefits and generous time off policies. 

Application Process

To express your interest in this role please submit a cover letter and resume with the subject line: RAD/RDI ED Application to All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Rights & Democracy is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to equity and inclusion. Core to our work is an understanding of the multiple and intersecting ways in which society is constructed to disadvantage and marginalize people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, indigenous peoples, women, low-income people, people with disabilities, previously incarcerated people, and others. We believe that underrepresented and marginalized communities must be centered in the work that we do and we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or from these communities.

Rights & Democracy does not discriminate against or tolerate harassment of any employee because of race, color, gender identity, religion, creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, physical or mental disability, any other basis prohibited by law, or protected activity under the anti-discrimination statutes.