Cook Silverman Search Retained to Find New Executive Director for the Eviction Defense Collaborative

December 22, 2023 – Greenbrae, CA-based Cook Silverman Search was recently called by the Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) to lead in its search for a new executive director. Victoria L. Silverman, managing founder of the search firm, is leading the assignment. Eviction Defense Collaborative is seeking a remarkable civic leader who is passionate about social justice to serve as their next executive director. This leader is responsible to the board of directors for the successful vision, leadership, management of the organization including community engagement, city and state government relations, fundraising/development, human resources, strategic planning finance, and executive communications.

During the period of COVID, EDC expanded at a rapid pace from a modest budget to an influx of municipal and state funds, resulting in explosive growth in services and programming. The incoming executive director will right-size the organization and budget in service of current needs. The executive director plays a key role in fundraising, engaging and empowering community members, volunteers, partners, staff and elected officials to achieve EDC’s mission to level the playing field by providing emergency legal assistance to our low-income neighbors.

The ideal candidate will bring 10+ years of successful executive level management experience managing teams of 25 or more. They should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; advanced degree and/or JD preferred. Candidates should also have a track record of working with a culturally-diverse population of community leaders, board members, volunteers, and staff. They must have demonstrated experience with deep culture work within an organization that has gone through tremendous, unprecedented, and rapid growth.

Related: Surging Non-Profit Sector Seeks Senior Leaders

In addition, Cook Silverman is looking for candidates with a track record of serving as a torch bearer for a positive and productive organizational culture and advocating on behalf of staff needs. Experience working in a legal aid organization preferred as well as comprehensive knowledge of lack of affordable housing, homelessness, wrongful eviction, and the structural systems that create these conditions.

Demand Intensifies From Non-Profits Seeking Senior Talent
Non-profit organizations in 2023 are facing inflation, declining donations, increased demand for services, workforce shortages, and more. A recent non-profit trends report by Forbes says that the changing workforce is presenting challenges for both for-profit and non-profit leaders. Being ready to consider alternative staffing options would put many of them ahead of the shifting landscape, says Forbes. Fractional staffing possibilities exist from the administrative level through the executive director level, says the report, and may be worthy of consideration for both short-term vacancies and long-term solutions. For senior-level positions, many leading non-profits are turning to executive search firms.

A search for a non-profit executive has much in common with any personnel search, and most boards have members who have hired many people in their careers. The distinctions in the hiring of an executive by a volunteer board, however, create special process issues, and a specialized search firm is best suited to address these, says a report from The Moran Company.

The Eviction Defense Collaborative is the principal organization in San Francisco helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Each year, they provide emergency legal services and rental assistance to over 5,000 tenants in the region. EDC also represents clients who have been evicted from city run shelters at hearings and arbitrations.

Non-Profit Specialists

Cook Silverman Search focuses on senior development positions for not-for-profit organizations, predominantly in Northern California. Its client base represents a broad span of organizations, including independent schools, universities and faith-based organizations, as well as those serving conservation, health care, social service, museums, science and culture. The firm has placed advancement executives for Peninsula Family Service, Moreau Catholic High School, Children’s Council of San Francisco, and Pinewood School, among others.

Ms. Silverman has more than 30 years of experience in the philanthropic sector. Throughout her career, she has worked in senior fundraising, advancement, and management positions at Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of California, the American Film Institute, and the Buck Institute for Age Research, among others. Her search work focuses on higher education, the arts, biotech and environment sectors. She has been speaker for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and has served on fundraising advisory committees for several non-profit organizations.

Related: Cook Silverman Seeks Chief Development Officer for The Osher Marin JCC

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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