State Director-TX

12 Sep, 2023


State Director-TX

Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
Houston, TX

Position:State Director-TX
Reports to: National Director, Movement Building
Supervision: CDF Texas Office Staff
Location: Houston, TX
Salary Range: $92,808 – $118,330
Number of Hours/Week: 35 Hours

Organization Overview

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities We serve and advocate for the largest, most diverse generation in America: the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25, with particular attention to those living in poverty and communities of color. CDF partners with policymakers, aligned organizations and funders in this service. The Children’s Defense Fund is the only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice by wielding the moral authority of programmatic proximity and community organizing to inform public policy. For more information visit

Position Summary

The primary responsibility of this leadership position is developing an effective public policy advocacy and program strategy to advance child well-being in the state of Texas. The leader is responsible for creating multi-year staff development, fund development and program plans to execute the strategy and managing staff and volunteer teams in pursuit thereof. The secondary responsibility of the role is facilitating alignment between the strategic, programmatic, and operational efforts of Texas State Office and other settings of the Children’s Defense Fund. The ideal candidate will have a successful track record of executive leadership and/or senior management in the social sector, commitment to child well-being and racial equity, and fundraising experience.


Leadership and Strategy 

  • Work with Vice President of Strategy and Program to inform and execute an integrated theory of change.
  • Work with National Director of Movement Building to execute and monitor program plan in X.
  • Lead the coordination of state and local efforts in CDF-Texas to align with Children’s Defense Fund vision.
  • Provide volunteer management for CDF-Texas Advisory Council.
  • Identify and build coalitions with key partners and constituencies within the State.
  • Remain current and serve as in-house expert on child well-being trends in Texas.
  • Serve on Children’s Defense Fund’s Leadership Team to maintain organizational communications and cohesion.
  • Act as State spokesperson leveraging proactive, earned media approach to advance CDF vision and strategy.

Program Management and Evaluation

  • Develop and lead the pursuit of the State Office’s multi-year policy advocacy and research agenda.
  • Direct grassroots organizing and collaboration with organizations and coalitions with the State.
  • Manage protocols and policies for leadership development and mobilization in targeted constituencies.
  • Oversee the development, tracking, and reporting of goals, outcomes, and performance metrics for State Office.
  • Collaborate with Public Affairs team to develop, implement, and improve policy advocacy strategy.
  • Collaborate with CDF Freedom Schools team to coordinate direct service partnerships in the State.
  • Participate and steward team participation in organizational development efforts.

Operations and Administration

  • Work with National Director of Movement Building to budget and monitor Office to ensure sound fiscal and system management.
  • Develop staff development plans to achieve program and operations objectives, then hire, deploy, and support staff.
  • Develop and retain a team of high-performing staff to execute the strategy and key functions.
  • Coordinate with Institutional Advancement to plan and implement an integrated fundraising program to meet the State Office and organization’s fundraising goals.

Education and/or Experience

A minimum of five (5) years of senior management or executive leadership. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree in Social Work, Public Policy, Public Administration or related field is preferred. Years of education may be considered for experience.

  • Track record of earned leadership and trust among diverse constituencies.
  • Expertise in one or more of the following areas: cultural organizing, community organizing (youth, faith community, or parents is a plus), policy advocacy, racial equity, or base-building.
  • Successful experience managing a high-performing team of staff and community members.
  • Working knowledge of program planning, organizational structure, budgeting, and administrative operations.
  • Nuanced understanding of the fundamentals and challenges of the non-profit sector.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Service as social sector executive director with governance, fiscal and personnel management accountabilities.
  • Significant leadership in child advocacy, policy and/or philanthropy in Texas.
  • Successful community organizing and public policy advocacy for child well-being and/or racial equity.


  • Racial equity analysis and application in the social sector.
  • Community awareness and prioritization of proximity to inform decision-making.
  • Results-driven management style.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Relationship and consensus building with diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to set and manage priorities and manage competing demands.
  • Ability to build and successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven, and entrepreneurial environment.
  • A well-organized individual with high ethical standards.
  • A self-directed individual who is an independent thinker and a team player.
  • Analytical ability is required to gather and summarize data for reports, find solutions to business challenges.

Personal Characteristics

  • Orientation to and background of servant leadership.
  • Passion for CDF’s mission and purpose and ability to communicate this passion to others.
  • Ability to serve as an advocate and exemplar for the vision, values, and mission of the Children’s Defense Fund.
  • Demonstrated strong relational skills.
  • High energy level, trustworthy, and diplomatic with impeccable integrity.

Type of work environment associated with the job

  • Indoor, office setting


Additional comments


Children’s Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, economic status, or status as an individual with a disability. Consideration will be given to qualified candidates on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.


Salary commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package.


A background check and/or pre-employment assessments will be performed in compliance with local, state, and federal law on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Note: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive list of all responsibilities required and does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


Questions regarding the role or position description may be submitted to Human Resources at

Job posted: 2023-09-12