The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence (The Alliance) is a 501 (c)(3) statewide coalition of nine individual sexual assault crisis programs – or “member centers” – that encompass all corners of the state with headquarters in East Hartford, Connecticut. Since its founding in 1982, The Alliance has grown to be a pivotal organization in the movement to end sexual violence and expand high-quality trauma-informed services to sexual violence survivors throughout the state of Connecticut.
The Alliance is proud of the many strengths it has built over the nearly 40 years of its work: a strong reputation as the go-to expert on issues related to sexual violence, a solid funding base of government support that increased even during the recent years of government cutbacks, a victim-centered focus throughout its work, a consistent track record of legislative wins, robust community partnerships and alliances, a new prevention-focused brand, outreach to and engagement of men and marginalized communities, high-quality and active training and education efforts, significant work in the Latinx community and on college campuses, significant investments in task forces and collaborations with the justice and health care systems and a nationally-recognized post-conviction victim advocate program.
The Board of Directors of The Alliance now seeks a new executive to build on its considerable strengths, successfully address its challenges, work toward securing an even more resilient future and lead the effort to realize its mission to end sexual violence. The new leader of this flagship organization will take the reins at an exciting time and has the opportunity to lead The Alliance to a new level of leadership in the movement to end sexual violence.
Overview of Programs and Operations
The mission of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is to create communities free of sexual violence and to provide culturally affirming, trauma-informed advocacy, prevention, and intervention services centered on the voices of survivors.
The Alliance works to fulfill its mission through the following core activities:
Support of nine member centers
The Alliance supports its nine member centers by providing them with pass-through funding, training, and coaching and advising. It also designs and promotes standards for member centers and key stakeholders. Each member center provides intervention and advocacy services to people of all ages through 24-hour crisis hotlines in English and Spanish, crisis counseling, safety planning and accompaniment, advocacy and emotional support through the criminal justice and health care systems. These services operate free of charge 365 days per year.
Public policy advocacy
A keen focus of The Alliance is on impacting state policy related to sexual violence. To that end, a full-time policy director, with strategic support from the executive director, is very active in advocating for system change through legislative action.
Post-Conviction Victim Services Program
The Alliance has developed a statewide Post-Conviction Victim Advocate Program that provides support to victims after their offenders return to the community. This program is nationally recognized for its highly collaborative model that brings together probation and parole officers, sex offender treatment providers and victim advocates.
Prevention through education, training and outreach programs
The Alliance is the state’s leading provider of sexual violence prevention education and training programs with specialized campaigns and programs for men and youth that have reached over 50,000 people throughout the state each year. The Alliance’s new Training and Advocacy Center focuses on professional skills and best practice for certified sexual assault crisis counselors and advocates, first responders and allies.
Legal Services Program
The Alliance recently acquired the Victim Rights Center of Connecticut, or VRCCT, which brought legal services of four attorneys in-house to survivors and capacity building to member centers to help assess the legal needs of the victims they serve.
The Alliance spearheads caucuses and councils where sexual assault victim advocates and allied professionals can discuss and learn from their unique perspectives, identify emerging trends and make recommendations on policy and community issues: Queer Caucus Against Sexual Assault, Women of Color Caucus Against Sexual Assault, Men’s Advisory Council, Member Advisory Committee and Victim Survivor Advisory Council. The Alliance also continues to coordinate the Connecticut College Consortium to End Sexual Violence, a partnership between private and public universities and The Alliance and its member centers.
Approximately two thirds of The Alliance’s 6.7 million-dollar budget is passed through to support front line member center services. The additional funds support statewide operations and programs. The majority of The Alliance’s revenue is from state and federal government grants including Department of Justice and Office for Victims of Crime funds.
The Alliance is governed by a 12-member board of directors. Board composition includes ethnic, gender, age and racial diversity, as well as expertise in communications, marketing, higher education, sexual assault and trauma-informed interventions, psychotherapy, government relations, workforce development and risk assessment. The Alliance employs 31 staff that include a team of 14 post-conviction victim services advocates.
The Alliance’s executive director of seven years is exiting the organization to pursue a new professional opportunity. An eight-member search committee comprised of both board and staff members have assumed the responsibility of managing the search.
In order to support this important transition in leadership, The Alliance’s board engaged the services of TSNE MissionWorks to facilitate an executive transition process that would be thoughtful and inclusive. Participants in the process include the entire Alliance staff and board, as well as directors and managers from the member centers, and a number of community partners/stakeholders. The Alliance’s strengths, challenges, priorities and more were identified through this process, and this information will inform the organization’s next leader, with the goal of ensuring a successful executive transition and success of The Alliance well into the future.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
The Alliance has a pivotal opportunity as it embarks on this transition. The organization saw tremendous growth under the previous executive’s leadership, including significant increases in staff and budget, an organizational rebranding, increased marketing, major legislative wins, increased services to marginalized communities, the development of a Training and Advocacy Center and the recent acquisition of a legal services center.
The next Executive Director of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence will inherit a significant opportunity to leverage The Alliance’s many strengths to continue to grow the organization into the next phase of its important social change work. The organization will be able to expand into new program areas as well, such as youth activism and transformative justice.
· A tight funding environment; budget cutbacks.
· Increased competition for funds.
· An uncertain and tumultuous political landscape.
· Capitalize on the many opportunities brought by the #MeToo movement: the public and intensive coverage and rich public dialogue, new allies and collaborations and new resources and energy that can support the work of ending sexual violence.
· Expand and diversify The Alliance’s funding base through creative avenues of earned income, cause-related fundraising and private foundation grants.
· Expand into new program areas, such as youth activism and transformative justice.
· Promote The Alliance as the state’s leading voice to end sexual violence.
High priorities for the new executive director are
· Maintain a strong, supportive and collaborative relationship with the nine member centers as a critical vehicle of The Alliance’s survivor-centered work;
· Ensure a high-functioning, team-centered, trauma-informed organization. This includes assessing the workplace environment and addressing climate issues through team building, staff development and a collaborative management approach;
· Maintain The Alliance’s focus on the needs and voices of survivors/victims;
· Deepen The Alliance’s anti-racism and anti-oppression work;
· Drive large-scale, strategic fund development;
· Maintain current and build new partnerships and relationships with key players in state government and the field of sexual violence;
· Further strengthen and diversify the board of directors; and
· Move The Alliance’s systems change and policy agenda forward.
Profile of the Ideal Candidate
The next Executive Director of The Alliance will be able to build on the many strengths of the organization while navigating through a turbulent and highly charged political and social environment to further grow the organization’s capacity to fulfill its critical mission of creating communities free of sexual violence. This position requires a leader with high emotional intelligence and excellent communication and public speaking skills; a relationship-builder who astutely navigates the political, criminal justice and other realms; skillful at building coalitions, an advocate who is passionate about ending sexual violence and understands the dynamics of building and sustaining trauma-informed services.
Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in a relevant field preferred. At least five years of experience in a senior leadership role in a similar size organization in the field of sexual violence or a related field.
Passionate advocate for the mission
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated passion for ending sexual violence and a commitment to anti-oppression, anti-racism and an intersectional lens through his/her/their personal or professional history, and be able to translate that passion into an articulate and compelling story. She/he/they will have a personality that ignites passion in others.
Keen emotional intelligence
The ideal candidate will have keen listening skills, empathy, self-awareness and the ability to connect with people of different styles, professional levels and backgrounds.
Demonstrated core values of integrity and honesty
The essential quality of humility and an intuitive understanding of when to give credit to others while exercising effective leadership is a must. The ideal candidate will be open-minded, approachable and fair.
Flexibility and balance
The ability to face difficult challenges and occasional crises with competence and grace will be a valuable asset.
Innovative and entrepreneurial approach
The ideal candidate will continually scan the environment for key trends and new opportunities, can leverage opportunities and support for initiatives and has an innovative approach to solving problems and overcoming challenges.
Experienced nonprofit or business manager
The ideal candidate will have significant professional experience in supervision and management of staff, in administering a complex, multi-source budget and in efficiently and strategically aligning and maximizing resources.
Respectful, inclusive and effective leader and developer of staff
The ideal candidate will be able to inspire, develop and empower staff and create a productive team-based culture that welcomes inclusion and diversity. She/he/they will be able to build and maintain a climate of trust and respect where each worker feels appreciated for her/his/their strengths and contributions. She/he/they will embrace a learning environment and be committed to supporting diversity, inclusion and equity.
Experience in trauma-informed services
The ideal candidate will have a background working in the field of sexual violence or in a closely related area. She/he/they will have a strong understanding of trauma-informed work and be committed to supporting a trauma-informed work environment. Experience as a victim advocate a plus.
Demonstrated success in diversifying and expanding revenue streams
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in fund development and will have the ability to lead the board and staff in executing an ambitious, multi-year comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Exceptional communication skills
The ideal candidate will be able to passionately articulate, both in writing and orally, the organization’s mission, and deliver compelling presentations to public and private audiences.
Experience in public policy advocacy, with keen political acumen and strong networking and collaboration skills
The ideal candidate must have strong political acumen and skills and be able to navigate the legislative process and influence policy decisions. She/he/they will have a track record of gaining high-level access and building and maintaining strong relationships of trust with people of influence in the nonprofit, corporate, education, legislative and government arenas, as well as the ability to build effective collaboration among these various groups.
Experience working with boards of directors
The ideal candidate will be skilled in working effectively in partnership with boards of directors to carry out the mission of the organization, set strategic direction and build a board culture of diversity and inclusiveness.
This national search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWork’s Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant Catherine Bradshaw. All submissions are confidential. Electronic submissions sent via this link are preferred.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter, the latter expressing passion for the mission and fit for the role at The Alliance. Along with salary expectations, please include how you learned of the opportunity and attach any other relevant information (e.g., published articles). All applications will be acknowledged. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Applicants are encouraged to submit their candidacy within 30 days of the position posting date.
The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. People from historically and currently under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.