Executive Director

  • Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group
  • New York, NY
Full Time Nonprofit

Job Description

UnLocal is a dynamic and rapidly growing community-centered legal service organization that provides direct legal representation and community education to New York City’s undocumented immigrant communities.  UnLocal seeks to identify specific gaps in services that are not sufficiently provided elsewhere and tailors its programming to best serve undocumented New Yorkers. UnLocal accomplishes its mission through its two main programs: the Legal Representation Program and the Community Education Program. In 2019, UnLocal's legal team collectively worked on over 600 immigration cases. Through outreach, UnLocal coordinated 68 community education events throughout the five boroughs of New York City with 82 grassroots partners. 1,810 attendees participated in Know-Your-Rights trainings, emergency planning sessions and informational seminars on current events in immigration law, and received free legal consultations. In an environment of unjust and harmful immigration policies, UnLocal has committed to stand by all immigrants by expanding programming and exploring new ways to collaborate with immigrant communities on a grassroots level that keeps constituents informed and connected.


UnLocal, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Michele Lampach and Laura Stein and originally conceived as an online resource for immigrant New Yorkers to provide information about New York-based social services.  UnLocal, Inc. volunteers conducted a needs assessment by organizing a meeting of immigrant leaders and services providers, wrote a business plan in collaboration with NYU’s Stern School of Business and created an internship program at the International High School of Prospect Heights, in which recent immigrant teens participated in the business plan process.


After a pause, in 2011, UnLocal became active once again and secured 501(c)(3) status with the support of CUNY School of Law’s Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN) Incubator for Justice, an incubating space for individuals and nonprofits aimed at serving communities underserved by legal services. With CLRN’s support, UnLocal revised its mission and became a direct legal services provider and community education organization for New York’s City’s undocumented immigrants.


Now, UnLocal finds itself at a pivotal moment as the organization’s founder, Michele Lampach, steps down from her role as Executive Director. While UnLocal has grown since its founding and has been able to show flexibility in program delivery over the years, it has always stayed true to its values:


  • Providing and expanding access to immigration legal representation especially for undocumented immigrants, that is community-based, trustworthy, collaborative, affirming and multilingual.
  • Developing projects to fill gaps in services that address emerging and changing needs.
  • Recognizing the need for holistic advocacy, including referral-based case management and collaboration with community-based organizations and services, to provide truly comprehensive legal representation.
  • Listening to directly impacted individuals and communities to drive the direction, dissemination, and priorities for UnLocal’s legal representation and community education.


The new Executive Director will steward UnLocal’s multifaceted approach that aims to address longer-term needs: social and political rights, cultural and religious diversity, and citizenship and participation. Ultimately, this approach will lead to increased stability and opportunities among New York City immigrant communities.


More information about UnLocal may be found at: https://www.unlocal.org/.



Opportunities and Challenges Facing the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and will work closely with a talented team and community leaders to engage in the following opportunities and challenges:


Lead processes to ensure ongoing alignment around UnLocal's vision and strategies. This alignment will be guided by the intersecting strategies of legal advocacy and community engagement, ensuring space for innovation and creativity and addressing new and changing needs of immigrant communities. The Executive Director will assess new opportunities designed to meet the needs of undocumented immigrants who are not effectively served by other peer organizations. She/He/They will support the organization in navigating the complex needs of undocumented immigrants, guiding decision-making on how the organization can work within and outside legal avenues for serving clients and pursuing social change.


Steward fundraising and external communication efforts. The new Executive Director will maintain strong relationships with UnLocal's existing funders and continue to build and diversify UnLocal's funding streams, with a particular focus on revenue that aligns with and is flexible to respond to the changing needs of UnLocal's client community. She/He/They will work in partnership with the Board of Directors and Development Manager to enhance UnLocal's development systems and capacity. The Executive Director will foster relationships between UnLocal and community leaders, strategic partners, funders, and the media. She/He/They will proactively represent UnLocal to the public, policy makers, public officials, partners, and other constituents to benefit New York’s undocumented immigrant communities.


Manage UnLocal’s talented team and lead a culture of creativity and collaboration. The new Executive Director will possess a leadership style that is built on a social justice and anti-oppression framework. She/He/They will support and develop a talented and passionate staff who have a deep commitment to their work and their clients. The Executive Director will ensure a continued inclusive decision-making culture that is focused on the motivation and drive of staff, clients, board members, and partners. She/He/They will support an ongoing culture of team wellness, recognizing that the mental and physical health of team members are central to the teams' effective support of immigrant communities. She/He/They will work closely with UnLocal’s Legal Director to ensure effective stewardship of autonomous legal decision making with alignment of goals and work for a growing team. She/He/They will oversee the ongoing hiring, development, and retention of a talented and passionate team.


Sustain and grow governance and operational structures that support organizational growth. The new Executive Director will bring strong project management, communication structures, and process orientation to the organization, making sure that appropriate policies and protocols are in place to support key functions. In collaboration with the Legal Director, Education & Outreach Director, and Operations Manager, she/he/they will work to continuously improve client services, strengthen internal systems, ensure that work is of the highest caliber, and continue sound fiscal stewardship. She/He/They will build a strong partnership with the Board of Directors, engaging with Board members as critical thought partners and key advisors. Additionally, she/he/they will effectively leverage the Board members’ diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences in the advancement of UnLocal’s strategy and programmatic efforts and collaborate with the Board Chair on board expansion and planning.



The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to UnLocal’s mission and understand the critical role that legal services and advocacy and community engagement play in protecting the rights of undocumented immigrant communities. While no one person will embody all of the desired qualities, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:


  • A deep passion for service to immigrant communities and the ability to center the needs and voices of community members across all aspects of an organization’s work; relevant experience working with immigrants, refugees, and displaced people, or other vulnerable communities;
  • A demonstrated record of successful management experience, with the commitment to and experience successfully employing an anti-racist/anti-oppression lens to foster a diverse, equitable working environment and creating diverse teams that reflect communities served;
  • Initiative, vision, creativity, and willingness to take calculated risks in crafting and executing strategies; a natural curiosity and personal drive for self-reflection, improvement, and learning;
  • An observable track record of success in developing or improving organizational capacity, with an eye toward opportunities for process improvement; a systems thinker with the ability to translate ideas into action, and a creative and resourceful problem solver;
  • Experience that informs an authentic understanding of the challenges faced by vulnerable communities and a sophisticated understanding of the historical nature of structural power differences with a lens into how that impacts social justice efforts today;
  • A successful track record in identifying and securing funding from foundation, corporate, and individual donors; experience building successful coalitions, partnerships, and alliances that help to increase the reach and impact of an organization;
  • A collaborative, collegial style and a proven track record and commitment to mentoring and coaching staff and building internal leadership; a management style that fosters respect, teamwork and innovative approaches in leading a highly independent team;

Highly organized and flexible; able to multi-task and manage a high-volume workload; excellent time management skills; strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to understand and handle sensitive and confidential information;

  • An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, patience, and perseverance necessary to advance efforts to ensure that undocumented immigrants have greater access to services;
  • A law degree and admission to practice law in New York, or any other state bar, is preferred, though significant experience in community organizing, coupled with an in-depth understanding of US immigration systems and policies, is also highly valued;
  • Spanish language proficiency or other language skills relevant to New York City is preferred; and
  • Must be based in New York City (or willing to relocate).


More information can be found at https://nonprofitprofessionals.com/additional-searches/ul-ed





This search is being conducted with assistance from Callie Carroll and Yuniya Khan of NPAG. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: UL-ED@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.


UnLocal believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong workplace and serving clients well. It strongly encourages interest and applications from people with lived experiences in the communities that it serves, members of other marginalized communities, and individuals whose identities are underrepresented.


Strategic Planning