Executive Director

Executive Director Opportunity:

Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR), Washington

The Opportunity:

CAIR-WA, the Seattle-based chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, is at a pivotal moment in its history. Never before has our work been more critical or our services more in demand. With this new urgency comes tremendous opportunity for growth: our staff and board are expanding, public awareness of our organization has increased, and fundraising and partnership opportunities abound.

CAIR-WA is seeking a talented leader with a deep understanding of the Muslim community to be its next Executive Director in this crucial time. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker who can lead the organization through this exciting period of change and growth, as well as a passionate advocate for the rights and needs of the diverse members of Washington’s Muslim community. This position offers an individual the tremendously meaningful opportunity to help set the agenda and provide leadership on the forefront of the civil rights movement.

This position will be open until filled. Applications will be considered as soon as they are received and interviewing will begin in late November. To ensure consideration, please make every effort to apply by Monday, December 4.

About CAIR-Washington

CAIR-WA is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization. Our mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. We work toward this vision by:

  • Promoting civil rights and combating discrimination. The Civil Rights staff at our office receive reports of discrimination on a daily basis from all over Washington State and work to resolve them through mediation, negotiation, public pressure, or if necessary, through legal action. In the first half of 2017, CAIR-WA received 336 complaints from community members. The Civil Rights team promotes justice and understanding of Islam through community outreach, Know Your Rights presentations, and developing partnerships with local attorneys and social justice organizations.
  • Promoting a positive and authentic image of American Muslims in the media. Our Media & Outreach team trains American Muslims and their allies to combat stereotypes and negative images of American Muslims in the media. We also work with journalists to promote the contributions of American Muslims and ensure the representation of diverse American Muslim voices.
  • Empowering Washington’s Muslim community. Our Public Affairs team trains and mobilizes community members to ensure that government officials at all levels truly represent and speak publicly about the contributions of Muslims they know. It also encourages local American Muslim youth to enter careers in media and politics, where professionals shape public opinion and laws every day.

Once a small chapter wholly staffed by volunteers, CAIR-WA has recently grown to a staff of 8 FTE’s and an active Board of Directors, as well as continued volunteer and community support. The current annual budget is approximately $500,000. CAIR-WA serves the entire state of Washington, and is headquartered in the vibrant city of Seattle in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

The Executive Director’s Role and Responsibilities

The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic leadership as well as the overall operations and administration of the organization. The Executive Director will lead the staff, facilitate board development, oversee the financial health of the organization through fundraising and fiscal management, and ensure that the mission and programs of the organization are carried out with integrity and quality.  The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. Key responsibilities include:

Leadership and Strategic Vision

  • Together with the staff and board, develop and articulate a compelling strategic vision to achieve CAIR-WA’s mission and goals, and build alignment throughout the organization to work toward that shared vision
  • Lead organizational capacity building efforts and put systems in place so that the organization can meet the demands of change and growth
  • Champion CAIR-WA’s mission with key stakeholders including partner organizations, funders, community members, and allies, and actively engage them in the work of the organization

Communications and Political Strategy

  • Help set and guide CAIR-WA’s policy and legislative agenda
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for CAIR-WA and persuasively communicate the mission of the organization and its positions as the need arises

Community and Coalition Building

  • Build relationships, partnerships, and coalitions with new and existing partners in the diverse Muslim communities throughout Washington State
  • Act as a liaison to the national CAIR organization

Staff and Board Team Management

  • Provide support, leadership, and mentoring to a growing multicultural staff
  • Manage and direct a team of three director-level staff (Civil Rights, Media & Outreach, Public Affairs), as well as additional support staff and volunteers as needed
  • Help to recruit, develop, and support a strong Board of Directors


  • Lead CAIR-WA’s efforts to develop, maintain and grow a diverse fundraising portfolio, including individual gifts, special events, contracts, and foundation grants.
  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts from individual donors and other funders in service of CAIR-WA’s mission
  • Develop and implement strategies for growing new and sustainable long-term revenue sources

Operations and Financial Management

  • Create, track, and report on the organization’s annual budget, and provide financial oversight of its execution
  • Build operational systems to meet the demands of growth. This might include updating financial and HR policies or adopting new technology and business system

Required Skills and Experience

CAIR-Washington’s next Executive Director must have a passionate belief in the values, mission and vision of the organization. She or he should have a deep understanding of and connection to the American Muslim experience, and must be prepared to work with and across multiple ethnically diverse American Muslim communities. Excellent oral and written communication skills will be required. The next ED must understand how to build nonprofit capacity and manage an organization through a period of rapid growth and change.

In addition to these fundamentals, different aspects of this job will require the use of a wide range of skills in both our specific issue area and in leading and managing a growing nonprofit. Recognizing that it is difficult for any one person to be an expert in everything, we are seeking a leader who has self-awareness about which of the skill sets described below they will need to develop further to be successful, and a willingness to dive into that learning as needed:

Ideal Issue-area Content Knowledge:

Our new leader will have experience in civil rights, politics and/or media issues, with a particular interest in furthering the civil rights of American Muslims using these tools. He or she will be comfortable with public speaking and will be prepared to act as a spokesperson for the media.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the social, economic and racial causes of discrimination and injustice. She or he will possess sophisticated political judgment, an understanding of legislative issues, and sufficient policy experience to quickly gain in-depth knowledge of CAIR-WA’s substantive issues and to represent these issues locally and nationally. Doing this work well will require an ability to build and foster strategic partnerships and strong relationships across sectors and in diverse communities.

Ideal Skills in Nonprofit Capacity Building:

CAIR WA’s next ED will ideally have experience as the leader of an organization or significant program, including primary responsibility for overseeing and managing its operations, budget, staff, and communications. Successful candidates will be experienced supervisors who are eager to lead, support and mentor staff and volunteers with a collaborative and team-based approach so that everyone can flourish. Candidates would also ideally have experience supporting and developing a Board of Directors.

Finally, the next ED will have a genuine enthusiasm for fundraising for this cause, and experience with diverse fund development methods and approaches. She or he will have the ability to develop relationships with donors and funders, comfort with personally asking for support, and innovative ideas for seeking new sources of revenue.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position that requires a willingness to work some evenings and weekends, and some travel within Washington State and beyond. The expected salary range for this position is $70,000 to $90,000, depending on experience and qualifications. There is also a modest stipend available for relocation. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage. Paid vacation time and holidays are flexible and are based on the personal and professional needs of trusted staff.

To Apply

Apply online by clicking on this link:    https://cloversearchworks.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk0fxed

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions. You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe, as specifically as you can, how your experience and skills are a fit with the goals and requirements of this position as described in this announcement.

This position will be open until filled; early applications are encouraged.  Applications will be considered as soon as they are received and interviewing will begin in November. To ensure timely consideration, please make every effort to apply by Monday, December 4.

All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt and will be held confidentially within the search committee.

The search for this position is being facilitated by Clover Search Works, a search firm that provides a full range of search services to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Clover Search Works is honored to work with CAIR-WA to recruit an Executive Director that will provide leadership to realize its important mission at this most critical time.

Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to Emily Anthony of Clover Search Works.

Email: emily@cloversearchworks.com ½Phone: 206-355-9132

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What They Say About CAIR?

Khizr Khan
Khizr KhanGold Star father who received international attention following his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
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“Since November 8 I have been to many communities throughout this country. I have seen the direct result of CAIR’s work. I have talked to the communities. I have spoken to the communities where [CAIR] offices exist. The morale of the Muslim community in those communities is much higher than where [a CAIR] office does not exist yet.”
New York Times
New York Times11/17/2016
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Two-time Pulitzer prize winner Nicholas Kristof advised readers to “sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia.”
Robert Reich
Robert Reich12/18/2016
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Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich listed CAIR among other organizations he wants to benefit from a “freedom concert” he proposed to be held concurrent with the 2016 presidential inauguration ceremony.
Actor Lucy Lawless
Actor Lucy Lawless11/14/2016
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Ash vs. Evil Dead and Xena: Warrior Princess tweeted, “We’re helping by donating to @NAACP @HRC @PPact @CAIRNational and fearless news organizations.”