National Position
June 30, 2022

Alliance for Higher Education in Prison: Executive Director

The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison seeks a visionary leader to collaborate with staff, project partners and Advisory Board members, to serve as its next Executive Director.

The next Alliance leader will have an opportunity to lead work that: 

  • Creates a strong, unified vision for the future of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.
  • Increases visibility of the racial, gender, and class, disparity in prison, and opportunities for more equitable access to higher education.
  • Educates the general public about the benefits of higher education in prison as it relates to systemic inequity.

The Alliance will need a leader with the following skills: 

Program management: Able to organize programs and activities in alignment with the organization’s mission and goals with the help of a strong staff person such as a deputy director. Creating and accomplishing long-term goals can be managed with a strong team. The Director will develop a budget and operating plan for the programs with Advisory Board and fiscal sponsor support.

Lived experience from being system impacted: Having prior experience with incarceration or being directly impacted is strongly preferred so that we center the voices of those most impacted. Able to transfer your skills from your lived experience into a national leadership position.

Stakeholder engagement and relationship-building: Able to connect with individuals and build alliances among a wide range of players. Works well with populations that have been systematically marginalized; can bring in allies across diverse communities.

Commitment to social justice & racial equity: Recognizes the role of race, gender, and other identities in shaping disparities related to incarceration and access to higher education, is driven to improve conditions from a systemic perspective.

Strategic thinking: Proven ability to 1) use tools for analysis; 2) define a strategic purpose; 3) incorporate values; 4) share a vision; 5) identify critical goals; and, 6) execute an action plan.

Fundraising and financial management: Demonstrated ability to cultivate major donors, establish fundraising goals and a related fundraising strategy; experience monitoring an annual budget of $1.5 - $2.25million in operating and conference expenses; demonstrated ability to apply lived experiences to fundraising, budget management, and engaging major donors and supporters.

People development: Proven ability to engage with the staff to help them identify and reach professional development goals. Demonstrated success in supporting staff in their professional advancement using an equitable approach so that they have opportunities to develop outside of the historical systems that perpetuate inequities.

Communications: Able to connect with various audiences and express a compelling message when speaking and delivering presentations.

The 5 major areas of responsibility include:

  1. Engaging a diverse and national community of stakeholders to support the growth of quality higher education in prison.
  2. Establish and engage fundraising goals and a related fundraising strategy.
  3. Lead a team of 3-5 staff and multiple project partners and consultants to advance the Alliance's core projects and strategic priorities.
  4. Manage the day-to-day operations and administration of the organization.
  5. Partner with the Alliance's Advisory Board to create a vision and strategy for the future of the Alliance.

The salary range for the executive director position is $100,000 - $125,000 per year

Benefits include:

  • Retirement - automatic employer contribution (after 2 years of full-time employment)
  • Healthcare benefits: Dental, vision, Employee Assistance Program for emotional and mental health support
  • 15 paid vacation days, 11 paid holidays, 2 paid floating holidays
  • Pet insurance option (employee contribution)
  • Mobile phone and internet reimbursement (half)
  • $100 per month for wellness activities (budget dependent)
  • $1,000 per year for professional development (budget dependent)
  • Executive coaching and fundraising consulting support (budget dependent), in addition to Advisory Board participation and support in Finance, Fundraising, and Communications

Interested in Applying? Here’s how: Email your cover letter and resume in PDF format to: with the subject line "Application for ED"

Here’s what we are looking for with the cover letter:

  • How has your professional and lived experience prepared you for this leadership role?
  • What inspires you about this opportunity? Why at this time?
  • What part of the leadership description energizes you the most and why?
  • What part of the leadership description is most challenging for you and why?

The Alliance is an equitable opportunity employer which is why we are intentional about searching for a leader who has been historically excluded from leadership opportunities due to their experience with incarceration. The ideal candidate is a formerly incarcerated person who has direct experience in prison education programs; they are a strong team leader who also has the management ability to lead and continue to develop an organization that serves a diverse community of stakeholders in higher education in prison.

Statement of Non-Discrimination:

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination or harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/ domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, veteran status or former incarceration status. Our fiscal sponsor is Community Partners, an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, the organization will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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