Hiring Organization Information
A Way Home Washington (AWHWA) is a mission-driven, movement-building organization dedicated to preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness across Washington state. A group of funders, service providers, youth, advocates, and government partners came together to form A Way Home Washington – a coalition committed to advancing the vision of a state where homelessness among youth and young adults is rare and, if it occurs, brief in duration and never repeated. As a public/private partnership that seeks systemic change through policy, advocacy, and collective impact, AWHWA partners with local communities, state government, and philanthropy to create lasting, community driven change that builds capacity for services and advocacy to support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness across Washington. Originally developed as a campaign, AWHWA remains deeply committed to its ambitious goals and building the community capacity to carry this work forward now and into the future.
AWHWA now seeks a new Executive Director who will play an important role in leading the organization into a bold and impactful future. Working in partnership with communities, staff, and board, the Executive Director (ED) will chart the next phase of work by leveraging learnings from the initial four Anchor Community Initiative (ACI) communities and statewide policy and advocacy initiatives. The ED will work collaboratively to define a comprehensive strategic plan that sets forth bold goals and aligns resources, policies, and organizational structures to most effectively fulfill AWHWA’s mission. They will bring vision and leadership to AWHWA’s efforts to center equity and intersectionality, expand policy and advocacy influence, and to advance a movement to functionally end youth and young adult homelessness.
The new Executive Director will be a natural collaborator who is dedicated to a collective impact strategy and integrating the voices of communities and those with lived experience in shaping the strategy and organizational goals. They will be seasoned in anti-racism and equity work, with a track record of leading equity initiatives both within organizations and externally through programs. The Executive Director will be a proven manager who is committed to nurturing and developing a team, a design thinker who connects strategy to organizational structure, and a trusted partner to the board in stewarding the organization. This is an exciting opportunity for a passionate and experienced leader with sophisticated analytical and interpersonal skills who is deeply committed to using political engagement, data driven evidence, and a collective impact approach to end youth and young adult homelessness.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Building on a strong regional and national reputation of innovation and outcomes, AWHWA’s next Executive Director will join a dynamic and growing team committed to preventing and ending youth and young adult homelessness in Washington state. The new Executive Director will face the following opportunities and challenges:
Vision and Leadership
The new Executive Director will work collaboratively with staff, board, and community partners to chart the next evolution of the organization and its vision. Through an inclusive and comprehensive planning process, they will develop a unified strategy for AWHWA that fuses evidence and learnings from ACI with the policy, advocacy, and programmatic strengths of the organization.
External Partnerships & Fundraising
The Executive Director will work in partnership with staff and board to sustain and deepen strong relationships built on trust and collaboration between AWHWA and its community partners across the state. They will expand AWHWA’s diverse network of partner organizations, philanthropic supporters, and policy champions to advance the organization’s ambitious goals and will embrace AWHWA’s role as convener, advocate, and leader in advancing collective impact around youth and young adult homelessness.
Working in partnership with a strong and dedicated staff, and informed by programmatic experience, the ED will build cross-team collaboration and an internal culture centered in equity. They will strengthen internal communications and collaboration to further align staff with clearly articulated future priorities and direction of AWHWA. They will leverage the opportunity to co-design Jim Theofelis’s potential future role to tap his deep connections and expertise in community and service provider relationships, state policy development, and fundraising. Finally, the ED in partnership with the Deputy Director will assess the financial and organizational structures, processes, and relationship to its fiscal sponsor to ensure AWAHA’s current and future initiatives, key programs, policy and advocacy agendas are supported by the most effective organizational infrastructure.
The new Executive Director will work closely with the current board to design the next phase of governance, including assessing the potential shift from a funder board to a community-led board. They will support the engagement, recruitment, and onboarding of new board members as thought partners and key advisors, effectively leveraging their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to inform the strategic direction and growth of AWHWA. As a trusted partner to the board, the ED will support effective governance practices and opportunities to elevate the board’s collective capacity to influence systematic change to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness.
While the ideal candidate will embody many of the following abilities, attributes, skills, and experiences, AWHWA anticipates that no one candidate will possess all the qualifications listed below.
Connection to Mission
- Passion for ending youth and young adult homelessness through a community impact model like AWHWA; commitment to outcomes based, community driven initiatives that apply a systems-change approach and cross sector collaboration.
- A deep commitment to equity with the proven ability to apply a racial equity lens to all levels of an organization’s work.
- Lived experience with homelessness highly valued.
Management & Leadership
- Successful experience leading strategic planning processes that yield clarity and direction while authentically including a diverse array of perspectives and voices.
- Proven track record managing comparable budgets and staff, particularly during early-stage organizational growth and through the steps needed to grow and sustain organizational health and mission focus.
- Excellent management skills and experience leading and inspiring change in a diverse, mission-driven environment; proven capacity to support systems and decision-making that fosters participation, mutual accountability, and growth.
- A track record of success inspiring, managing, and mentoring highly talented and diverse teams; inclusive and collaborative leadership style that leverages the knowledge, diversity, and expertise of staff, communities, and organizational partners; the ability to move others without exerting hierarchical power.
- Familiarity with nonprofit governance structures and growing a strong and representative board.
- Comfort with data and evidence informed decision-making; ability to translate complex ideas and processes in a way that is accessible to multiple audiences and stakeholders.
External Relations & Policy
- Strong relationship-building skills and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; the ability to act with intentionality, establish trust, engage stakeholders, and cultivate belonging.
- Experience supporting an organization’s policy, advocacy, and external communications efforts, and establishing meaningful collaborations with relevant partners, agencies, and communities.
- Excellent spoken and written communications skills; ability to call attention to important issues when the moment requires and the humility and maturity to empower others to tell their story.
- Combination of lived and professional experience that is aligned with AWHWA’s mission and values.
- Ability and willingness to travel across Washington state and the adaptability to work effectively in a wide variety of geographic, political, and cultural settings.