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Executive Director, Civil Rights/Social Action

American Humanist Association
District of Columbia, United States
$150,000.00 - $160,000.00
Closing date
Feb 27, 2024

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Position Type
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Summary

The American Humanist Association is seeking a visionary Executive Director with a track record of non-profit leadership, and a demonstrated commitment to community building that is inclusive of all demographic elements of our diverse society. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for overall operational leadership of the national non-profit, including fundraising, leading the Staff in the implementation of the Strategic Plan, and working with the Board to shape the future direction of the organization. 

Organization Overview

The AHA strives to bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted way to live a meaningful life. We accomplish this through the defense of civil liberties and secular governance, by outreach to the growing number of people without traditional religious beliefs, and through a continued refinement and advancement of the humanist worldview centering the fundamental worth of every human being.

Humanism encompasses a variety of nontheistic views (atheism, agnosticism, rationalism, naturalism, secularism) while adding the important elements of a comprehensive worldview and set of ethical values–values that are informed by scientific knowledge, and driven by a desire to meet the needs of people in the here and now.

The AHA is a non-profit membership organization with an annual budget of $2-2.5 million; a current staff of 13; 25,000 individual members and supporters; and a network of almost 250 chapters and affiliates nationwide. Core programs include legal work, policy/advocacy, education, and grassroots interaction with local groups.


    Drive the implementation by the Staff of the AHA’s mission through the Strategic Plan; work with the Board to shape the future direction of the AHA by contributing big-picture, bold, strategic thinking. Lead and coordinate fundraising efforts to ensure adequate resources to implement mission: work with development Staff and Board on overall funding strategies; create relationships with and cultivate current donors; help identify new sources and new prospects for funding. Take every possible step to ensure the AHA complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and to ensure the bylaws of the organization are always followed. Lead and supervise in a collaborative fashion, with a focus on transparency and accountability in decision-making. Oversee recruitment of a diverse and inclusive staff, work with directors to develop department work plans, and evaluate the performance of direct-report staff members. Ensure the AHA is a truly equitable and just workplace, ensuring fair hiring, promotion, salary and workload policies, and a culturally responsive climate. Serve as a compelling spokesperson for humanism and the AHA, engaging with diverse audiences through public speaking engagements, media appearances, and other communication channels. Ensure the AHA’s communication efforts are of the highest quality: work with the staff to formulate messaging and deliver captivating content through social and earned media. Broaden membership and supporter base, as envisaged in the Strategic Plan, through thoughtful and targeted outreach to new audiences, including young humanists. Cultivate relationships and deepen the AHA’s network: engage in meaningful and regular communications with current members; identify needs and opportunities to support programs of affiliated local groups; collaborate on mobilization tactics; recruit new organizational members. Work closely with leaders of other non-profit organizations with values and objectives similar to the AHA to provide synergy and critical mass in mutually agreed-upon efforts. Engage with the Board, and regularly update Board members on AHA activities, challenges, and opportunities. Oversee the Center for Freethought Equality and the Humanist Society, the adjunct organizations of the AHA. Execute other responsibilities covered by the bylaws and policies of the AHA and adjunct organizations.


    Demonstrated passionate and standing commitment to the principles and practices of humanism as they are defined by the AHA.  Commitment to the AHA’s Strategic Plan and its implementation.  Demonstrated ability to drive fundraising through sustaining donor relationships, drawing together divergent viewpoints, expanding networks, and leading staff implementation of fundraising initiatives. Strong team leadership style and proven ability to effectively manage supervisory, mentoring, partnering, and collaborative relationships with staff members.  Track record of collaborative leadership abilities necessary to work with volunteers, Board members, donors and supporters, government and elected officials, and leaders of peer organizations. Sense of humor, creativity, patience, and entrepreneurial drive. Compelling writing and inspirational speaking skills. Proven experience in community building and outreach, including racial equity, LGBTQ+ rights, anti-racist/intersectional feminism, and youth leadership development. Demonstrated abilities in centering communities traditionally at the margins of secular organizations and society. Willingness to acquire and maintain up-to-date technical skills and the ability to effectively utilize them across a broad scope of electronic media. The position requires regular travel and, at other times, the expectation of a strong in-office presence of at least three days a week. Relaxation in the expectation of the degree of in-office presence may be considered for candidates who are truly outstanding in all other respects.  

Education and Experience 

    A relevant advanced degree or equivalent professional experience is expected. At least 10 years of non-profit experience or the equivalent is required. Significant staff supervisory experience is required. Proven fundraising and development experience is essential. Track record as ED or in other senior leadership role is desirable.

ADA/EEO Statement:

Persons with mental and physical disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), are eligible for this position as long as they can perform the essential functions of the job after reasonable accommodations are made to their known limitations, and the AHA gladly welcomes applications from such persons. If the accommodation cannot be made because it would cause the employer undue hardship, such persons may not be eligible for this position.

The American Humanist Association provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, genetic information, religion, creed, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), age, marital status, citizenship status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.

Salary and Benefits

The AHA offers competitive benefits, including full health insurance, short-term and long-term disability policies, life insurance, a generous leave program, and a 403(b) retirement savings plan that includes a partial match. The annual salary range is expected to be between $150,000 and $160,000. The salary may be further negotiable for a truly outstanding candidate.

How to Apply

To apply and submit your resume, fill out the application here.

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