Executive Director

26 Apr, 2023


Executive Director

Red Hook Initiative
Brooklyn, NY

Salary Info:






Red Hook Initiative (RHI) is a community-based nonprofit in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We believe that social change to overcome systemic inequities begins with empowered youth. In partnership with community adults, we nurture young people to be inspired, resilient, and healthy, and to envision themselves as co-creators of their lives, community, and society. Since 2002, RHI has worked alongside youth and adults of Red Hook to carry out resident-led solutions to local problems and to confront the impacts of racial inequity and decades of disinvestment on our historically under-resourced community.

RHI confronts generations of institutional racism and inequity, serving Brooklyn’s largest public housing community with a model that prioritizes youth and residents needs first. Over our 20-year history, RHI’s model and dedicated team have been nationally recognized for their innovative, place-based approach to social change.

To learn more about RHI and our program model please visit our website at www.rhicenter.org



RHI seeks a motivated, energetic, and dedicated individual as its next Executive Director (ED). Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will be a passionate leader who brings nonprofit management expertise and experience in community-based programs, youth development, advocacy/organizing, and/or other relevant disciplines. Our ideal candidate will be adept at balancing vision and strategy with hands on execution skills. They will be a highly collaborative leader with staff and other stakeholders and a problem solver who responds to challenges and opportunities effectively with sound judgment, high integrity, and a sense of humor.

The ED must possess a highly focused social justice lens, a deep belief in the power and potential of engaged communities and must demonstrate a connection to and a deep understanding of the unique challenges experienced by Red Hook and/or similar communities.


Strategic leadership

  • Provide hands-on leadership to a highly engaged, passionate, 50-person staff, with a focus on learning, coaching, and growing individual and team capacity, while directly supervising staff who lead development, finance, strategy, and programs.
  • In partnership with the Board, staff, and community members, operationalize RHI’s vision by building on existing successes and honoring its legacy. Mobilize, excite, and motivate staff, board and the community in the actualization of RHI’s vision.
  • Lead within a culture that centers social justice. Model collaborative leadership and shared decision-making empowering those with a deeper understanding and familiarity with issues to take the lead as appropriate.

Organizational management

  • Develop and implement equitable and inclusive talent management practices to ensure the successful recruitment, development and retention of staff with a wide range of experience and skills; encouraging a culture of transparency, diversity, and inclusiveness, with a focus on RHI’s commitment to creating local opportunities by prioritizing hiring from the community.
  • Maintain a flexible and responsive management structure to foster thorough review and timely, collaborative decisions on programs and policies. Maintain transparency and clear communications ensuring the effective flow of information between all functions and departments.
  • In consultation with the Board, develop and administer prudent, effective strategies for continuous quality improvement, risk management, internal evaluation, and compliance across all aspects of RHI’s operations, including programs, finances, facilities, people operations and technology.
  • Demonstrate a hands-on connection with staff and program participants requiring some evening and weekend presence as programming demands.

Resource development and fiscal oversight

  • Work in close partnership with the Director of Development and the Board to design and implement fundraising and communications strategies that increase RHI’s visibility.
  • Grow and diversify RHI’s funding and revenue streams in collaboration with the Director of Development
  • Oversee financial management, including the development of RHI’s annual budget; allocating resources for optimal effectiveness and efficiency; ensuring fulfillment of all contractual and regulatory obligations

External relations

  • Serve as an external spokesperson for RHI, ensuring that the organization is well represented and has a strong voice as needed, including knowing when another community or staff member may be the most effective spokesperson.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with key figures in the NYC governmental, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Maintain a communication strategy (including on social media) that effectively advocates for RHI’s mission and programs as a leader in place and community based and led programming.

COMPETENCIES (Knowledge, Skills & Personal Attributes)


  • Deep social justice values and a demonstrated commitment to the practice of racial justice, inclusion, and community-driven change. Fluency with related concepts around intersectionality, structural, institutional, and internalized racism and the ability to raise, lead, and facilitate complex conversations about historic inequities.
  • Knowledge of Red Hook and similar communities, including the history, policies, and systems that have established and maintained deep racial and other inequities
  • The ability to provide long-term, inspirational vision while simultaneously creating pragmatic solutions to day-to-day problems.
  • A desire to partner with community members to build an engaged, empowered community that is working to create positive change
  • A strong orientation toward coaching and learning, a desire to help team members grow personally and professionally.
  • Passion for developing the skills and leadership of young people and engaging with youth in an authentic, empowering way.
  • An understanding of how trauma impacts traditionally marginalized individuals and communities and how this influences the design and delivery of programs serving them.
  • Resilience, flexibility, humility, self-awareness, band a sense of humor


  • Excellent leadership and management skills, including the ability to nurture a working environment that cultivates a sense of belonging and agency across staff team members.
  • Dynamic and effective interpersonal and communications skills; outstanding ability to develop rapport and build collaborative relationships with staff, stakeholders, and funders
  • Exceptional project management skills: the ability to drive simultaneous, complex stakeholder projects to measurable success
  • Experience leading a complex, multi-faceted and multi service organization or initiative.
  • Understanding of nonprofit finance and of all relevant public and private funding streams.
  • Experience fundraising and growing revenue with private sector donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporations; experience negotiating and managing government contracts.
  • Ability to apply a profound racial and social justice lens to the programs and operations of a nonprofit organization


  • The RHI work environment is characteristic of a typical community center/ youth development organization.
  • While performing the essential duties and responsibilities of the job the employee will be required to operate a computer and other office equipment.
  • This job is based on-site at RHI’s main program office in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The ideal candidate will either be a resident of Red Hook or one of its neighboring communities or will be within reasonable commuting distance to RHI’s main program office.

RHI requires that all staff be fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. RHI abides by New York State requirements and acknowledges those may change over time. If moved forward to the screening process, you will have a chance to ask the interviewer more about this requirement.


RHI actively engages individuals from all backgrounds and is committed to embracing diversity across all areas and aspects of the organization. We firmly believe that an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect towards individual differences and embracing an inclusive and equitable environment is indispensable to building a successful organization, contributing to a positive and meaningful employment experience for staff, and advancing the best possible outcomes for the clients served by RHI’s programs. We are also committed to community hiring and supporting the job prospects of Red Hook residents.

As an equal opportunity employer, RHI is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, age, marital status, military status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information, or any other characteristic or basis prohibited by applicable law.


RHI strives to offer a competitive compensation and benefits package that reflects our core values and commitment to our employees. The annual salary for this role will start at $175,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Additionally, RHI provides a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental and vision coverage, an employee assistance program (EAP), which includes 12 counseling sessions per year, 403b retirement plan, flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket health, dependent and commuter expenses, life insurance and a flexible hybrid work schedule as appropriate, including 24 PTO days and “Summer Fridays,” when possible.

How to Apply:


Please submit all applications to edsearch@rhicenter.org Applications will be reviewed as received and MUST include a cover letter describing why you think you are a good fit for this job.

Job posted: 2023-04-26