Position Information

Position Information Message
Executive Director
The Opportunity
At this moment in our country’s history, NACDL is searching for an Executive Director (“ED”) with a transformative vision for the criminal legal system.
To implement that vision, the next ED will work with a highly motivated 47- member Board of Directors, thousands of members and affiliate members, and approximately 45 staff. The ED will steer an approximately $8.5 million budget toward that vision. That vision must raise the profile and visibility of NACDL’s important work and lead the organization to fulfill its strategic priorities.
While leading NACDL with vision, the ED must serve three core functions. First, the ED serves as Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for managing NACDL’s committed and professional staff and providing direction to the Officers and Board. The ED will also serve as head of the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ), leading an 11-member Board of Trustees dedicated to raising both resources for, and awareness of, NACDL.
Second, the ED will manage the publication of The Champion magazine, NACDL’s award-winning journal. Ten times each year, The Champion addresses critical and timely topics in the criminal legal system, providing invaluable information, guidance, and resources to criminal defense lawyers.
Third, the ED will continue with the implementation of NACDL’s Strategic Plan. This includes increasing constructive growth for NACDL by diversifying revenue streams; planning, budget development and management; development of programs and events; and building and maintaining synergistic relationships with other organizations.
Recognizing that the country is in a critical moment in history, the next Executive Director will raise the profile and visibility of NACDL’s important work, expanding a strong national media presence in order to become the go-to organization on criminal justice issues. A renewed focus on diversifying membership, member engagement, technology, communications strategies, and developing innovative ways to target mission-focused efforts towards “added value” for all members will be key.
To apply, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Andy Birrell at andy@birrell.law. Application deadline is September 3rd, 2021.
NACDL envisions a society where all individuals receive fair, rational, and humane treatment within the criminal justice system.
The mission of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is to serve as a leader, alongside diverse coalitions, in identifying and reforming flaws and inequities in the criminal justice system, and redressing systemic racism, and ensuring that its members and others in the criminal defense bar are equipped to serve all accused persons at the highest level.
NACDL is the leading national criminal defense bar association, and the only such association for both public defenders and private criminal defense lawyers, as well as military defense counsel, law professors, and judges.
NACDL was founded in 1958. It currently has a nationwide membership of approximately 9,200 members. Additionally, NACDL’s more than 90 affiliate organizations in the United States and throughout the world share NACDL’s determination to ensure justice and due process for those accused of crime, improve the integrity, independence, and expertise of the criminal defense profession, and promote a more fair and rational approach to crime and punishment.
NACDL is committed to enhancing the capacity of the criminal defense bar to safeguard fundamental constitutional rights and to fight against racial inequality and disparity in the criminal legal system. NACDL supports its membership of criminal defense lawyers at all stages of their career to promote professional development by providing widely acclaimed continuing legal education, a vast compendium of resources, policy advocacy, and pro bono opportunities.
The organization harnesses the diverse views and forward-looking viewpoints of its members to advocate for policy and practice improvements in all areas of the criminal legal system. It does so in collaboration with a wide range of partners from across the ideological spectrum who share a commitment to core constitutional principles and promoting criminal justice reform.
For more information about the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, visit www.nacdl.org.

The National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is an equal opportunity employer. NACDL provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation or political affiliation or any other protected classification which may be applicable under the law of the particular state or locality in which you are applying for employment. No question on this application is used for the purpose of limiting or excluding any applicant from consideration for employment on a basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. Equal access to employment, services, and programs is available to all persons. Those applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application and/or interview process should notify a representative of the organization.
Position: Executive Director
Organization: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
Location: Washington,  DC 
United States
Posting Start Date: 8/18/2021
Date Posted: 8/18/2021
Passion for the Mission of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
The next ED of NACDL is a proven, accomplished leader who exhibits passion for the mission of the organization and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of those impacted by the criminal legal system, as well as in the lives of NACDL’s membership.
Vision, Management Acumen, Strong Communication Skills
The next ED casts a vision of NACDL’s work at the intersection of systemic racism and reforming the criminal legal system. The ideal candidate provides direction to the Officers, Board, staff, Foundation Trustees, and creates a collaborative atmosphere. This individual possesses exceptional management abilities, highlighted by a track record of high-level program administration, business and financial acumen, exceptional written and verbal communication skills, comfort and facility with public speaking, and a demonstrated presence within the criminal justice field.
Strategic and Collaborative Planning Skills
NACDL’s next Executive Director will lead the organization to fulfill its strategic priorities and to establish a system of periodic review. This individual is a strategic thinker and problem-solver without seeking or desiring to solve problems on their own. A healthy and intentional reliance on staff and volunteers (including Officers and Board members) is required. The individual demonstrates effective management approaches in building consensus, identifying solutions to multi- faceted problems, delegation of responsibilities, and acting with decisiveness.
Board Relations and Governance
The individual develops strong partnerships with Officers, members of the Board of Directors, multiple highly-engaged committees, and the NFCJ’s Board of Trustees, with a mutual interest in furthering the mission and increasing the organization’s scope of outreach and influence. The Executive Director maintains a climate of trust in all leadership and Board- related matters, as well as a learning environment that encourages active engagement by the Board in pursuit of organizational effectiveness.
Ability to Establish Positive Organizational Culture of Transparency and Teamwork
The ideal candidate demonstrates an ability to firmly establish a positive organizational culture of mutual respect, diversity, cross-system communication, and teamwork. This individual also encourages and pursues an environment of integrity, transparency, and service, and appreciates and acknowledges the work of NACDL’s dedicated staff, while advancing their professional excellence. Other core skills are evident in seeking diverse views and perspectives, building consensus, and acting with integrity.
The ideal candidate demonstrates fundraising success and the ability to strategize around revenue generation and diversification, through active solicitation of contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and through development of a supportive, diverse Board of Directors and trustees.
A J.D. is highly preferred, but not required. Current or prior experience in the criminal justice arena, including but not limited to policy work, teaching, grant writing surrounding the criminal justice arena, or some form of criminal justice advocacy is essential.
Status: This listing expires on: 11/16/2021
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Organization Information
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
1660 L St. NW, 12th Floor

Washington,  DC 20036
United States
Andy Birrell