Koya Tapped to Recruit Human Rights Network Director

June 16, 2016 – Executive search firm Koya Leadership Partners has been tapped by The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) to lead its search for an executive director. Melissa Madzel, director of executive search, is leading the search assignment for Koya.

The organization’s executive director incumbent is expected to be a collaborator, building upon a diverse group of grassroots organizations to ensure that a human rights framework is used to support the growth of its active, multi-sector movement. The successful candidate will oversee all long range organizational planning, project and program development, and strategic planning, in partnership with board and staff and with input from members. He or she will also manage USHRN’s financial operations, including developing annual budgets and monitoring expenditures and income. In addition, the incoming executive director will ensure effective administrative systems and practices including payroll, human resources, insurance, annual audit, and others as needed.

Position Qualifications

The executive director should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least eight years of proven, successful, senior level management with fundraising, financial, and administrative problem solving and organizational development experience;
  • Expertise on the U.S. human rights movement and connections to related social justice movements is strongly preferred. It is beneficial to have additional insight and knowledge around international human rights and the United Nations;
  • Experience with coalitions, networks, and / or membership organizations, including an understanding of the dynamics of coalition building among diverse communities and the needs of a membership-based organization, is highly desirable;
  • Proven and successful track record in creating and implementing programs. Experience creating partnerships and collaborations, U.S.-based social justice organizing experience, and policy advocacy are desirable;
  • A successful track record of raising money from a variety of sources;
  • A history of communicating effectively in writing and orally, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations. Ability to represent USHRN to a diverse public, including senior U.S. government officials and local grassroots activists;
  • Experience working effectively with diverse groups of people utilizing cross-cultural competence and a demonstrated commitment to diversity. Someone who is seen as a positive and high energy leader.

The US Human Rights Network is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the U.S. led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. The Network’s over 300 organizational members work to inform and promote the use of human rights in communities across the country.

Koya Leadership Partners is a women-owned and led specialist search boutique serving the leadership needs of non-profit sector enterprises. The firm has recruited executive directors and CEOs for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, ChildServ, and Maine Women’s Fund, among many others. The firm is currently heading executive director searches for Corporate Angel Network and West Contra Costa Education Advocacy Organization.

Koya recently placed Mimi LeClair as the new president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago. Managing director Alison P. Ranney and Marissa Martin, vice president of executive search, led the assignment. The firm also recruited Angelique Power as president of The Field Foundation of Illinois. Ms. Ranney, senior manager of executive search Anne B. McCarthy, and senior associate Anny K. Chou, headed that search.


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As the economy continues to strengthen, hiring in the non-profit sector has been gaining momentum. In the past decade, employment in the sector grew by 17 percent. It has also become a hot area for corporate executives looking to switch careers. A recent article, ‘Profiting From Nonprofits,’ in United Airlines Hemisphere’s Magazine, said business managers and executives are turning to the non-profit world for employment in record numbers. The sector is now the third largest employer in the U.S. Nearly two million non-profit organizations employ 10.7 million people and produce revenue in excess of $1.9 trillion.

When we started, there were very few firms that focused exclusively on the non-profit sector,” said Koya CEO Katie Bouton. “The non-profit search practice was usually an afterthought or ‘nice to have service’ at a bigger firm. But now, non-profits are seen as viable career paths for top industry leaders. Today, 80 percent of the candidates we see are at the executive level.” As a result, she said, candidates and clients are demanding personalized attention and sector-specific expertise from search professionals.

“The line between the for-profit and non-profit sectors is increasingly blurring, meaning that top professionals are switching back and forth between the corporate sector and the non-profit sector throughout their careers,” she added. “Top recruiters need to be able to leverage and tap both worlds.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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