July 20, 2018 – Los Angeles-based Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has been retained to find a new executive director for the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) in New York City. Managing partner Kevin Chase is heading the assignment along with senior associate Catie DiFelice.
TLDEF’s executive director is responsible for day-to-day leadership and operation of the non-profit’s programs and services, fundraising, finance and administration functions, as well as staff supervision, said the search firm. In partnership with the board of directors, the executive director is expected to work to ensure that TLDEF remains a visible, impactful and sustainable non-profit leader in the fight for full lived and legal equality for trans and gender non-binary people.
The executive director, who reports directly to the board of directors, is charged with developing and implementing a vision to cement, communicate and expand TLDEF’s unique place in the transgender advocacy movement, said Kevin Chase Executive Search.
The strategic priorities for the new executive director include elevating the TLDEF brand and visibility and increasing public understanding of its work and mission; growing financial resources by means of a robust, diverse fundraising effort; strengthening organizational structure and professionalizing systems, policies and procedures; expanding education and outreach efforts individually, as well as in collaboration with movement partners (ACLU, Lambda, NCTE, etc.)
The successful candidate should be skilled in organizational leadership, staff supervision, fundraising, relationship management and financial management, said the search firm.
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TLDEF’s new executive is expected to be an energetic, passionate, and mission-driven leader with proven commitment to justice and equality for transgender individuals and the broader transgender community, said Kevin Chase Executive Search. The individual should have an inclusive and transparent management style and the ability and desire to lead an organization – and its staff, constituents, and stakeholders – through a time of transition and renewal.
Successful candidates must also have the leadership and visioning skills to identify growth and change opportunities for TLDEF, particularly in the context of the increased visibility and the remarkable public conversation society is now having about the transgender community.
Candidates should have a minimum of five years’ management experience, preferably including non-profit organization leadership as an executive or board member; deep personal understanding and lived experience of the social and legal issues and challenges facing individuals across the spectrum of the transgender community; a track record of involvement in advocating for, or activism in support of, the rights of transgender and gender non-binary individuals; and fundraising knowledge and experience, including working with members, donors, and external partners to bolster an organization’s development efforts, reputation, and reach.
Defending Transgender Rights
Other requirements, according to the search firm, include financial and budget management experience; a combination of big picture, strategic visioning skills and hands-on, operational expertise; attention to detail and highly organized without losing sight of larger objectives; the ability to build productive and collaborative working relationships across broad communities of diverse people; excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to make impactful connections with a wide range of constituencies – including groups that may be hostile to the advance of transgender rights.
A bachelor’s degree is required. While not mandatory, a law degree could be beneficial in the role.
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TLDEF, founded in 2003, is committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services and public policy efforts. Along with its signature Name Change Project, which provides free legal name change services to community members through partnerships with some of nation’s premier law firms, TLDEF’s legal programs bring test-case litigation with wide impact in all areas of transgender equality.
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group is a national consulting and executive search firm serving mission-based, non-profit organizations in the human services, social justice, healthcare philanthropy, education, and arts & culture sectors. The firm partners with boards, search committees, senior leadership teams and stakeholder groups on critical leadership transitions.
In a career of more than two decades, Mr. Chase has led dozens of executive search and leadership transition engagements for non-profit organizations as well as companies in the finance, technology and professional services sectors. Most of his engagements are for executive director/ CEO, senior development and board positions, though he has also conducted searches for C-level leaders of finance, operations and programs. He has particular expertise in working with small- to mid-sized, mission-driven non-profits, providing consultation and advisory services to the boards and leadership volunteers responsible for governance and organizational development.
Bringing more than five years of retained executive search experience, Ms. DiFelice’s primary focus is non-profit and higher education assignments. She has also worked in the technology, healthcare and consumer markets. Although she has helped recruit C-suite and other senior executives in many markets and sectors, she said she feels most connected to her work on behalf of mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations. Her broad non-profit search experience cuts across the healthcare, civil rights & social justice, education and arts & culture sectors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media