Position Description

Position Description

Centro Legal de la Raza

(Oakland, CA)

Title: Executive Director

View Position Brochure Here 


Founded in 1969, Centro Legal de la Raza is a community-based nonprofit legal services organization protecting and advancing the rights of low-income, immigrant, Black, and Latinx communities through legal representation, education, and advocacy. By combining quality legal services with know-your-rights education and youth development, Centro Legal de la Raza ensures access to justice for thousands of individuals throughout Northern and Central California. Centro Legal fills the growing need for no-cost quality legal expertise to provide access to justice for thousands of individuals and families. Centro Legal’s core values of justice, empowerment, compassion, integrity, and inclusion are carried out through its four program areas: Immigrants’ Rights, Tenants’ Rights, Workers’ Rights, and Youth Law Academy. Centro Legal has experienced exponential growth in the past three years, while maintaining itself as a relentless leader and change agent in the San Francisco Bay Area, State of California and nationally, as a premier community centered legal services provider, fostering leadership development and advocacy. With a current annual operating budget of $13 million and a 100-plus staff, Centro Legal is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies on the contributions of individuals, foundations, and government entities to support its work.

For more information about the work of Centro Legal, please visit their website.


Centro Legal is seeking an inspiring leader with demonstrated success in team and organization building and a commitment to social justice as its next Executive Director to support the growth and sustainability of this highly respected organization as it meets the ever-increasing demand for its services.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission, strategic goals, and fund development/financial objectives, helping to maintain Centro Legal’s excellent reputation. The Executive Director supervises and empowers the organization’s leadership team and assists the Board in fulfilling its governance functions, ensuring that the Board, staff, volunteers, and key external stakeholders are working to achieve a common vision and purpose. In addition to providing visionary and inspirational leadership and ensuring the financial health of the organization, the Executive Director leads long-range planning, Board relations, union and employee relations, fund development, external relations, and program planning and oversight. The Executive Director must work effectively with Centro Legal’s management team, staff, and clients, as well as with external stakeholders such as individual donors, institutional funders, and community partners. 

Specific duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

Program Strategy & Leadership

  • Provide effective management and team-building support to Program Directors to ensure that Centro Legal’s programs meet the operational and shared strategic goals of the organization.
  • Work with staff and Board to assess current legal services and programs and provide thought leadership to continuously improve the delivery of legal services and new programs.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity principles and ensure that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are embedded and advanced in the organization’s culture, programs, policies, and practices.

Fund Development

  • Work with the Board and development team to devise and implement an annual development plan and effective strategies to ensure substantial growth in organizational fundraising and increased financial sustainability.
  • Provide thought leadership and support to build and enhance a diverse range of funding sources.
  • Leverage contacts and resources to expand the donor/resource base.
  • Support the work of the development team in the year-round identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors through meaningful and individualized contact.

Management & Staff Development

  • Strengthen effective organizational structure and work closely with senior leadership and human resources to attract, hire, and retain diverse and talented staff. 
  • Help to create and foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment with a positive and supportive team culture that values collaboration, cohesion, staff well-being, transparent communication, integrity, ethics, and values.
  • Participate as a representative of the organization in labor relations, including regular communications with union leadership, conflict resolution with union members, and negotiation of benefits, wages, and other union members’ rights.
  • Develop and promote, along with Centro team members, collaborative relationships with the union with the goal of enhancing the work experience of employees and supporting the achievement of organizational goals.

Financial Oversight & Administration

  • Maintain primary accountability for the financial position of the organization including overseeing fiscal management and the development of budgets to ensure the financial integrity and viability of the agency; monitoring appropriate financial compliance, reporting, and auditing; providing the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets, and other property.
  • Devise and implement effective strategies for financial stability and growth.

Board Relations

  • Facilitate and promote timely Board communication, including reporting on the organization’s operations, fiscal health, and strategic and operational issues.
  • Promote interfacing between Board and staff.
  • Support the Board in fulfilling its governance function.
  • Promote an environment that is conducive to transparency, good governance, and productive Board work.
  • Work with Board Nominations Committee to identify Board candidates to further diversify Board membership and expand the Board’s collective cultural awareness, sensitivity, and commitment to social justice and the needs of the community.

External Relations & Communications

  • Ensure that Centro Legal is consistently presented in a strong, positive image by serving as a spokesperson for the organization, clearly articulating its mission, vision, programs, services, and impact on the community.
  • Maintain the leadership and program advocacy role of the organization by cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with other community organizations and key constituent groups, as well as with government and political leaders through both direct contact and collaborative partnerships.


The successful candidate will be a decisive yet collaborative leader with exceptional listening and interpersonal skills, a personal passion for the mission of Centro Legal, and the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. As such, the Executive Director must be a strong relationship builder with excellent communication skills who is able to relate and connect with diverse audiences both internally and externally. The ideal candidate is an inspiring team builder and mentor who operates with a strategic perspective while executing day-to-day activities. An inclusive leadership style that endorses collaboration, trust, and open, transparent communication between all stakeholders will be highly valued. This individual will accomplish goals through motivation, the delegation of authority, and the use of systems that are designed for effective planning, evaluation, and accountability. The successful candidate will have critical thinking skills and will display good judgment, financial acumen, strong organizational skills, and logical priority-setting skills. The successful candidate should have a reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, humility, strong ethics, and fairness. Above all, this individual must be deeply passionate about social justice and the work of Centro Legal and will be able to speak credibly and persuasively about the organization’s vision for the future and impact.


Preferred candidates will have demonstrated excellence in a senior leadership position in a legal services or nonprofit organization that is recognized for its dedication to exemplary service to the community. Experience as a practicing attorney in public interest law, public policy, or movement building while helpful, is not required. Most importantly, the successful candidate must have a track record of commitment to the work of Centro Legal and be able to draw from their understanding of the organization’s mission and clients to inspire others. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and forward-thinking individual who has shown success in generating widespread support for an organization through positive culture building, and collaborative efforts with internal and external stakeholders. Experience building and motivating a strong team with exceptional programmatic results while simultaneously growing an organization’s talent, systems, and processes to enhance its impact and financial sustainability will be highly valued. A good understanding of effective, forward-looking fiscal management, including annual budgeting and cash flow analysis, and implications for nonprofits is preferred. Team leadership experience is required. Familiarity and experience within a union environment or similar cooperative staffing model would be helpful. The successful candidate must demonstrate an ability to oversee, inspire, and collaborate with staff and will have a clearly articulated management philosophy which supports a positive team culture and well-being of staff, high performance, and employee retention. Exceptional communication skills, including public speaking and writing skills, and success in forming strong community partnerships are essential and expected. The successful candidate will articulate and demonstrate a deep commitment to and understanding of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, will possess a high level of cultural competence, effectively incorporating DEI into all aspects of their work, and will work productively across all lines of difference. 


The annual salary range for this role is $140,000-$160,000 plus generous benefits that include medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, paid vacation, and paid holidays.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234