Chief Executive Officer

Washington D.C.
Apr 11, 2017
May 16, 2017
Executive, Chief
Full Time

Chief Executive Officer for a small, national nonprofit organization that addresses sexual assault, rape culture, and misogyny in the military. 

Protect Our Defenders

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a new position, replacing the current pro bono CEO and Founder, who will become the Board Chair. The CEO will be responsible for leading the evolution of and implementing the strategic plan of the organization and managing overall operations. Other key responsibilities include fundraising, communications, and community outreach. The successful candidate will report directly to the Board. Military service not required.

Strategy and Leadership

  • Collaborate with the Chair, President (a recently retired Colonel and former chief prosecutor of the US Air Force), and Board of Directors to refine and implement the organization’s strategic plan and create associated operational plans to ensure that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with POD’s core mission and objectives.
  • Develop plans to advance POD’s objectives with Congress, Executive Branch officials, other NGOs, media, and influencers and partner with the President to execute these initiatives.
  • Develop an efficient organizational structure necessary to fulfill mission; evaluate current roles and staff to determine whether structure supports goals and objectives.
  • Develop an annual goal setting process to ensure resources (staff, funding, etc.) are focused on the high impact work necessary to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Provide inspirational leadership and direction to POD team members, and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization.
  • Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Chair to ensure open communication regarding the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • In partnership with the Board Chair, help build a diverse, creative, experienced and inclusive Board representative of the community that is highly engaged and willing to leverage and secure resources.

Development/Revenue Generation

  • Ensure that the flow of funds permits POD to make continuous progress towards achievement of its mission and that meets present needs and future potential.
  • Formulate and execute comprehensive development, communications, and branding strategies that will enhance revenue from individual donors and foundations.
  • Build fundraising budget reflecting revenues needed to support operations and ensure organizational resources are in place to achieve financial goals.
  • Explore alternative revenue streams as appropriate; speakers’ bureau, consulting etc.


  • In partnership with President and Board Chair ensure the delivery of high-quality policy reform proposals and timely and relevant movement and coalition building, advocacy and services.
  • Recruit, develop and motivate the organization's staff.
  • Develop HR policies needed to create positive culture of achievement.
  • Facilitate collaboration and promote a positive, multicultural work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy, operations, communications, fundraising and data collection.
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization including developing long- and short- range financial plans; monitor the budget and ensure sound financial controls; set priorities and develop policies (including Audit) to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the strategic plan, meeting the needs of our programs, projects and staff.
  • Develop technology strategy for POD and ensure systems and platforms are in place to support organizational objectives
  • Lead staff and allies to implement and build upon POD’s programs and other functions, such as
    • Public Education and Advocacy,
    • Marketing and Media Relations,
    • Congressional Relations,
    • DOD Advisory Relations,  
    • Programs: POD’s Pro Bono Network, Education & Training, Survivor Support Network
    • Military Justice Reform Coalition

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Looking for a courageous, politically astute leader; a strategic self-starter with the ability to set clear priorities and delegate and implement effectively; keen analytical skills; organizational and problem solving skills, which support and enable sound decision making.  Demonstrated financial acumen. Technology savvy.
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, with an MBA, MPA, or related advanced degree helpful.
  • At least ten years of overall professional experience in related function.
  • Prior nonprofit experience ideal; public policy, advocacy, movement building, or campaign experience important.
  • Significant strategic planning, board development, fundraising, communications, and fiscal management experience needed.
  • Excellent coalition building skills with the ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders; a persuasive, diplomatic negotiator able to achieve consensus among differing opinions.
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills and the experience and proclivity to be an outgoing spokesperson, relationship builder, and fundraiser.
  • Superb analytical and professional writing ability.
  • Strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse, high performing team.
  • Background in criminal justice or military law and policy or prior military service is beneficial but not required.
  • Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) desirable.

Protect Our Defenders:
Protect Our Defenders (POD) is the only national organization solely dedicated to ending the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military and to combating a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and retribution against victims.

Our work includes: educating the public about the scope of the crisis, its impact on the military and civilian society, and the need for reform; researching and exposing dysfunction in the military’s training and criminal justice systems, and in the Veterans Administration (VA) system, related to sexual assault and harassment; advocating for the enforcement and respect of victims’ rights and for a safe environment for women, LGBTQ and people of color serving in our military; amplifying survivors’ voices within the policy debate; helping survivors access support services, including providing pro bono legal assistance; and advocating for policy reforms that will ensure all survivors have access to a fair and impartially administered system of justice outside the chain of command.

Founded just five years ago, POD has operated as a small but highly effective team. POD has achieved major policy reforms that have significantly improved the experience of victims navigating an often hostile justice system, and have led to greater accountability across the military. We are looking for a strong, proactive leader and implementer with the ability to evaluate current issues, anticipate situations, and adapt and respond rapidly to a shifting landscape.

Situational Overview:
The Depart of Defense (DOD) is the world’s largest employer and – despite recent reforms – remains an unsafe and unfair work environment for many women and minorities. The US military, for good or ill, is a cultural beacon, with significant influence on our society as a whole. Consequently, further progress in the military has the potential for much broader societal impact.

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are pervasive in our military. This crisis results in wide-ranging negative effects on service members and on civilians and local communities as well. The prevalence of abuse and victim retribution, coupled with the military’s broken and dysfunctional justice system, has allowed the crisis to continue, and damages the cohesion and morale of our armed forces, likely impacting performance and ultimately national security. The military’s commander-controlled justice system exacerbates the pain of sexual abuse and helps perpetuate an abusive and discriminatory environment. Moreover, it blunts the role of the military as a mechanism for upward social and economic mobility for women and marginalized communities.

POD leads the effort to provide service members a safe and respectful work environment free from sexual violence, misogyny, and discrimination.  We work to improve the military’s justice system to ensure greater protections for victims and more accountability and transparency within the military process. POD’s success highlighting this issue and engaging directly with leaders in Congress, as well as in the Executive Branch and military services, has led to significant legislative and other policy reforms and administrative changes, and culture shifts that have improved military processes and attitudes towards survivors.

POD is well positioned to leverage bi-partisan support in the Senate, our success working with the media to expose injustice and abuse, and our strength as an advocacy organization rooted in the survivor community we serve, to fight back against any efforts to roll back progress and continue to push forward on critical reforms.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience.

Location: Washington, D.C.

How to Apply:
Applicants should send a resume and cover letter outlining how they meet the specific requirements of the position to

While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for initial interview will be contacted.

For more information about POD visit:
Annual Report:

Protect Our Defenders is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and consider all applications without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or physical ability.