Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), a highly respected state leader in essential child advocacy and education reform, is seeking a mission driven, strategic and collaborative leader. The next Executive Director of MAC will have the opportunity to join a dynamic organization with a creative, family-friendly culture and make a significant impact on the lives of some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children and families.
MAC’s mission is to remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth. MAC’s core values shape the work it does, from its internal policies and practices to its advocacy with children and families: Equity, Inclusion, Racial Justice, Systemic Impact, Self-Advocacy, Independence and Accountability, Whole Child Approach, Collaboration.
In 1969, MAC founder Hubie Jones, started noticing some inequities in Boston schools. An increasing number of parents were being told that their children should not return to school. Hubie created the Task Force on Children Out of School and released a report revealing 10,000 or more children were systematically excluded from Boston’s public education system, warehoused in classrooms or placed in schools that provided inferior or custodial care. The report led to the nation’s first bilingual and first special education laws and to the creation of MAC.
MAC’s current strategic directions include the following:
Through our Children’s Law Support Project, MAC operates a statewide Helpline and leads the Education Law Task Force. MAC’s major programs include:
MAC was launched in response to the widespread and systemic exclusion of disabled children and children of color from school and MAC remains committed to racial equity today. Since 2016, MAC has been engaged in an organization-wide Racial Equity Initiative designed to make it better equipped to identify, name and respond to the effects of structural and other forms of racism in the Commonwealth’s educational systems. This has required an ongoing and deep transformation in the organization’s external programs and internal policies and practices, as well as in the composition of its board and staff leadership. Some concrete ways MAC uses a racial equity lens to guide its work include:
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures required major changes in how MAC does its work, but the organization’s mission has remained unchanged. The organization has adopted a hybrid structure with staff able to work from its Boston-based office or virtually from home.
MAC has a diverse, 10-member board of directors and an impassioned, committed staff of 14 with a flexible culture that values and promotes creativity. MAC is a financially solvent organization with an annual operating budget of approximately $1.6M.
Executive Director Kevin Murray transitioned out of his role in April, 2022, and The Honorable Jay Blitzman is currently serving as Interim Executive Director. MAC has budgeted for the addition of a Deputy Director to enable the next Executive Director to focus on strategic and programmatic opportunities. The new Executive Director of MAC will have the opportunity to lead an experienced and committed staff and join a well-established organization that is nationally recognized and respected as an advocate for system change.
Immediate key priorities for the Executive Director include:
Strategic Plan Implementation
The Executive Director will implement the organization’s recently completed strategic plan that includes driving the implementation of MAC’s Racial Equity Initiative and ensuring that MAC is accountable to children, youth, and families in its advocacy work.
Expand Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
The next Executive Director will bring a strong equity lens and will lead diversity, equity and inclusion work with staff, programs and communities. Internally, they will strategically build and develop staff and board centered on DEI principles. Externally, they will address the widening inequities experienced by BIPOC children in a post-Covid environment.
Support and Strengthen Organizational Culture
The next Executive Director will lead and inspire a positive organizational culture in which staff enjoy an equitable, trusting and respectful climate. They will promote healthy work-life boundaries for a hard-working staff. They will continue to evaluate and navigate shifting needs of a hybrid workforce in a post-Covid world.
Bolster Organizational Structure
Many of MAC’s key positions are held by talented and long-tenured staff; however, some turnover of key operational positions during Covid has required the examination of organizational structure. MAC ‘s Interim Director has helped strengthen MAC’s infrastructure and the next Executive Director has the opportunity to further evaluate the current organizational structure to support a sustainable future.
Additional longer-term priorities for the next Executive Director include:
This position requires a bold visionary leader with a strong connection to the work that MAC does as well as a passion for working with the communities that MAC serves. The successful candidate will be a forward-looking, strategic and innovative thinker. They will show a demonstrated commitment to advocating for the rights of children and young adults with disabilities, addressing issues of racial inequity, and working for social justice.
A Bachelor’s degree is required and experience working with legal professionals is highly desired.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s ideal candidate will demonstrate the following skills and attributes:
Guidelines for Applicants
This executive search is being conducted by TSNE in partnership with Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Interested candidates should submit materials via the application link provided in this posting.
Electronic submissions sent through this link are preferred. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential within the search committee.
Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter that includes salary requirements and describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. All submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled.
The Executive Director role is a full-time, exempt position. Location for the role is a hybrid model with some required on-site work. Salary is commensurate with relevant experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget, and in the approximate range of $120,000 - 140,000. MAC offers a flexible, family-friendly culture and generous benefits including health insurance and paid time off.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children strives to achieve excellence through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment that embraces all of our individual and collective differences. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Middle Eastern and North African, Bilingual and/or Bicultural candidates, and LGBTQ2SIA+ candidates and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. MAC prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, creed, color, religion, native language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, race-based hairstyles, or any other protected characteristic stated by federal and state law. Regardless of any class’ protection under the law or lack thereof, MAC celebrates diversity and values the strengths that come with having a diverse team of employees.