Executive Director / Co-Executive Directors

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Published 17 days ago

The Opportunity   

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) is seeking one Executive Director (ED) or two Co-Executive Directors (Co-EDs) who are passionate about grassroots organizing and racial justice to lead the organization in building power in Kentucky. The executive leadership will bring a deep understanding of member-led organizing and movement building. They will lead with racial justice as a core value, advancing justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, poor and low income communities, and other communities impacted by systemic inequity. Ideal candidates have strong roots and relationships in Kentucky. The executive leadership reports to the Executive & Steering Committees.



KFTC’s Executive Director retired in August 2021 after providing exceptional leadership for 27 years. As described below, KFTC is also undergoing additional substantial organizational transformation as we build toward our newly adopted 10-year goal and transition to being a union shop. KFTC has appointed an internal Acting Executive Director to stabilize and strengthen the organization until new executive leadership is hired. The incoming executive leadership will inherit a fiscally healthy organization with a budget just over $3.5 million, 27 staff members, and a highly engaged core of thousands of member leaders. KFTC is led by a 15-person Steering Committee (our equivalent of a Board of Directors), which includes a deeply engaged Executive Committee. 


Executive Leadership Structure

KFTC is committed to a model of shared leadership that is effective, accountable, sustainable, equitable, and prioritizes our member-led approach. At this stage of KFTC’s evolution, we are open to an executive leadership structure with a single ED or two Co-EDs. The structure will depend on how the experience, skills, and attributes of the applicants complement one another and the rest of the organization. In other words, who is on the bus is more important than how many seats there are. We recognize that a Co-ED structure can offer many opportunities and some challenges as well. The Co-EDs would need to be the right fit for each other, and they would need to be excited about sharing leadership and investing in their team’s success. 


We will accept applications from individuals and two-person teams. If you apply as an individual, you may be considered as a potential Co-ED with a candidate who appears to have complementary attributes, skills, and experience and is open to exploring the shared leadership option.



A dynamic, member-led, statewide organizing group with a rich history and vision…

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a community of people building grassroots power for a fair economy, new safe energy, healthy environment, and honest democracy. We offer a pathway for people to work with others to impact issues at the local and state levels, develop leadership skills, and win changes that make Kentucky a more just place to call home. We currently have thousands of members from Paducah to Pikeville that are organized into county or multi-county chapters across the commonwealth. Some of the issues we work on include coal industry accountability, environmental protection, racial and economic justice, LGBTQ fairness, safe and affordable housing, job creation, voting rights, moral budgets, and more.

One of our biggest contributions to justice in Kentucky is that we are an organization that supports people to learn, grow, and work together across lines of difference in race, class, gender, sexuality, age, geography, and experience with social justice. We are most proud of our organizational commitment to shared leadership and democratic governance.

To learn more about KFTC’s mission and vision, history, and approach, please visit the About Us page of our website:

And we are committed to growing and evolving...

Over the last year, KFTC has been immersed in an Organizational Change Initiative (OCI) to examine and articulate who we want to be to manifest our vision. The OCI process was born out of several key organizational reference points: a Racial Justice Assessment process, the announcement of our long-time Executive Director’s retirement, and the creation of the staff union. In addition, it has been over twenty years since our last dedicated strategic planning process, and in that time our membership has changed, our program of work has exploded, and we’ve outgrown many of our old strategies, structures, policies, and practices.


Our OCI process has been inclusive, deep, and guided by outside experts. The four-part process, which happened over the spring and summer of 2021, engaged 140 members and staff and led to the adoption of a 2031 Vivid Description (of who we want to be) and 10-year goal (for how we’ll get there).


2031 Vivid Description: Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is a collective light, leading the way to a thriving, joyful, intergenerational, multi-cultural society where people are free from oppression and where equity, health care, and racial, economic and environmental justice exist for everyone. We are a beloved community where all people are connected and affirmed through healthy relationships, dedicated to achieving mutual liberation.


10-Year Goal: Guided by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and impacted communities, recruit, equip, and activate a network of 100,000 members and partners across all 120 counties to dismantle racism and all systems of oppression, to develop a robust democracy and transform the future of Kentucky. 


In addition to shaping this 10-year goal, in the summer of 2021, KFTC signed its first union contract, negotiated using a process called Interest Based Bargaining. This contract is in place through November 30, 2022. We have begun implementing the terms of the contract.


We have a deep organizational commitment to managing a healthy relationship with the KFTC Union and pursuing the organizational transformation it will take to reach our 10-year goal. We recognize that our goal is ambitious — perhaps audacious. It will require vision, new strategies, hard work, commitment, and a true centering of racial justice to evolve from a mostly white organization with 10 local chapters to one guided by BIPOC and impacted communities with members and partners across all 120 counties.


We see our new executive leadership playing a significant role in overseeing and championing the continuation of our OCI and our movement toward the 10-year goal.



KFTC’s executive leadership sits at the intersection of our member leaders and our staff team, which is different from traditional executive director positions. KFTC is deeply committed to being member-led; our grassroots leaders who make up the Steering and Executive Committees set the overall organizational direction, priorities, and budget. The executive leadership then has the responsibility of leading and directing the staff team to carry out the organizational program of work outlined by member leaders. 

Incoming executive leadership will work closely with KFTC’s Steering Committee and Executive Committee to generate organizational direction and priorities. The executive leadership is supported by the staff Leadership Team (currently a team of seven) to carry out the mission of the organization. 

The following list of roles and responsibilities reflect our expectations for KFTC’s executive leadership. Generally, we have put these roles and responsibilities in order of priority, but roles may shift given the opportunities and challenges facing KFTC in the moment. 

We encourage you to apply if have skills and experience in at least four of the following areas of responsibility:

Organizing & Strategy 

KFTC is looking for executive leadership with strong organizing skills and strategic vision.

  • Uphold, prioritize, and continue to strengthen one of KFTC’s strongest characteristics — a vision-based approach to change led by our grassroots membership. 
  • Lead through organizing, supporting KFTC’s grassroots leaders in developing shared analysis with vision and integrity, and do it with audacity. 
  • Lead with racial justice as a core value. Gather input broadly, listen to it deeply, and hold and support KFTC through an organizational transition that centers racial justice as a core value and advances justice for BIPOC communities, poor and low-income communities, and other communities impacted by systemic inequity. 
  • Support the Organizing Co-Directors in developing and implementing organizing and leadership development strategies, issue and campaign strategies, and overall program development.

Board & Governance 

KFTC’s executive leadership works very closely with the Steering and Executive Committees. Executive leadership helps foster understanding and commitment to the special and particular role these committees play as KFTC’s primary leadership bodies.

  • Cultivate ongoing development of strong Steering and Executive Committees that are equipped with good information and understanding, a shared analysis, and a strong sense of ownership. 
  • Support transparent, shared decision making and strategic planning among Steering and Executive Committee members.
  • Facilitate leadership development among Steering and Executive Committee members; equip members to lead and encourage member leaders to share their experiences, questions, and ideas.

Staff Management & Leadership

KFTC’s executive leadership directs the staff team in carrying out the day-to-day operations that move us toward our vision and goals.

  • Nurture an inclusive, high-performing, accountable, anti-racist staff team, oriented toward achieving KFTC’s 10-year goal. Executive leadership sets the tone for staff culture, determines staff roles, and makes decisions about hiring and firing. 
  • Oversee the staff Leadership Team and serve as supervisor for most directors. (The number of people you supervise will depend on whether we hire a single ED or two Co-EDs, and relatedly, make any adjustments to the current supervision structure.)
  • Ensure healthy engagement with the KFTC Union.

Fundraising & Finance 

KFTC’s executive leadership is responsible for ensuring that KFTC is fiscally sound and financially healthy.

  • In collaboration with staff and leaders, ensure a strong fundraising program that includes grassroots, major donor, and foundation fundraising strategies.
  • Play a significant role in developing, nurturing and maintaining key funding relationships, especially among foundations and major donors.
  • Work with key administrative staff to ensure financial health and stability in accordance with applicable laws and accounting principles. 
  • Work with the Deputy Director, Finance Committee, and Steering Committee to develop, adopt, and monitor the annual budget. 

Organizational Development

KFTC’s executive leadership plays a key role in helping member leaders and the staff team navigate organizational change. The executive leadership helps nurture an effective, values-based, anti-racist organizational culture.

  • Working with leaders, staff, and consultants, ensure the development, implementation, and monitoring of organizational development strategies and strategic plans.
  • Steward the organizational transformation needed to attain KFTC’s 10-year goal.
  • Build a leaderful culture as KFTC grows and evolves.
  • Ensure that organizational development processes and strategies are participatory and member-led.

Movement Building 

KFTC’s executive leadership plays a critical role in Kentucky’s organizing landscape, and regionally and nationally. These relationships are important to shaping the narrative about Kentucky, making our work visible to funders and allies, and cultivating shared learning and understanding.  

  • Play a key role in cultivating high level relationships, partnerships, and intersectional alliances in Kentucky and beyond.
  • Serve as a visible leader in movement-building spaces. Represent KFTC’s values, vision, role, and work.
  • Provide thought leadership on organizing, both in Kentucky and nationally.


KFTC’s executive leadership ensures that our organizational communications are aligned with our values, vision, and organizational goals set by KFTC’s grassroots leadership. 

  • Support the Communications & Development Director and team in developing and implementing an effective communications strategy within and outside of KFTC.
  • When appropriate and strategic, serve as a visible leader and voice for KFTC among alliances, coalitions, funders, and more.

Other Duties as Needed 

  • Respond to opportunities and challenges that arise.



Given the complexity of this role, we seek candidates who have substantial direct and successful experience (5+ years) in key areas such as fundraising, supervision and management, organizing, strategy, and movement building. However, we are also open to candidates who may be newer to some aspects of this job, who “get” our model of organizing, are excited about leading through change and transforming Kentucky, and are open to "leading differently.” You should have a desire to grow — with some support and training from KFTC — into the areas where you have less skills and experience. 

We seek an Executive Director or Co-Executive Directors who will be…

Rooted in Community Organizing & Kentucky’s Political Landscape

  • Direct community organizing experience (preferably 5+ years); knowledge of different community organizing approaches, including best & promising practices.
  • Commitment to KFTC’s member-led approach to community organizing.
  • Strong roots and relationships in Kentucky are preferred, including relationships with BIPOC organizers, organizations, and coalitions.
  • High degree of cultural awareness; understanding of and experience in navigating and challenging white supremacy, classism, and other systems of oppression.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and alignment with communities most impacted by systems of oppression, including BIPOC, poor & low-income, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant communities.

A People Manager and Team Builder

  • Effective experience in supervising staff and managing a cohesive staff team, including strong coaching skills and skills in moving through conflict.
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to set and prioritize goals at the individual, team, and organizational levels.
  • Experience working with a deeply engaged board of directors; experience with leadership development and helping facilitate transparent, shared decision making.
  • Collaborative spirit; sense of humor; ability to hold multiple perspectives; comfortable with uncertainty.
  • Ability to develop and nurture open, honest, direct relationships with staff, leaders, allies, and others; ability to nurture conditions that allow others to succeed.

A Champion in Moving KFTC Toward Our 10-Year Goal

  • Strong demonstrated commitment to centering racial justice, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation; ability to navigate difficult multiracial conversations with skill, care, and kindness; demonstrated experience prioritizing equity and inclusion throughout a complex organization.
  • Experience in strategic planning, organizational development, and organizational transformation.
  • Visionary and strategic; ability to inspire hope and audaciousness; ability to lead complex social transformation; embraces transformational change.
  • Ability to see the big picture while paying attention to the details of operationalizing it.
  • Resilience; ability to see and create possibilities in the midst of challenges; excited to try new approaches and move toward a bold goal.
  • Ability to cultivate the future we want for KFTC; ability to navigate from where we are to where we want to be.

An Excellent Communicator and Advocate for KFTC

  • Invested in KFTC with a demonstrated commitment to our mission, vision, and values.
  • Strong facilitator; excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience working with diverse, multi-racial alliances and coalitions; a strong voice for KFTC and an effective advocate for the organization among allies, funders, and more.

Strong candidates preferably have these skills and experiences as well…

  • Experience in a member-led organizing group such as KFTC; experience managing an organization of similar size is a bonus.
  • Experience organizing in BIPOC communities, rural communities, and/or other communities impacted by systemic inequity.
  • Demonstrated success in foundation and grassroots fundraising for a non-profit of similar size and scope.
  • Knowledge of and relationships with key foundations and major donors a plus.
  • Union experience or experience working in a union shop also a plus.


The location of this position is flexible within Kentucky, preferably based out of one of our existing offices (London, Prestonsburg, Berea, Lexington, Louisville, Covington, or Bowling Green). You must also be willing to occasionally visit our main office in London, Kentucky. The position is full-time at 40 hours per week and will require some travel and flexibility (evening and weekend calls and meetings). KFTC is expecting to reopen its offices soon. Generally, we offer our staff the flexibility to work from home, balancing that with the cohesion that comes from working in the office.


KFTC maintains a strong commitment to equal employment opportunity. We seek to achieve equal opportunity for all employees in accordance with our organization's values as articulated by federal, state, and local laws. KFTC will not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, color, marital status, veteran status, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical size or weight, status as parent or caregiver, pregnancy status, ancestry, or physical or mental disability that can be reasonably accommodated without undue hardship. Our equal employment opportunity philosophy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, training, promotion, transfer, job benefits, pay, and dismissal.

The Opportunity   

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) is seeking one Executive Director (ED) or two Co-Executive Directors (Co-EDs) who are passionate about grassroots organizing and racial justice to lead the organization in building…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    March 1, 2022
  • Application Deadline
    November 1, 2021


USD 90,000 - USD 115,000


The annualized salary range for this position is $90,000 – $115,000.

KFTC offers a generous benefits package. We provide full family health/dental/vision coverage. We have a compensation time policy, 15 paid vacation days, 9 paid sick days, 3 paid personal days, and 11 paid holidays. We also offer 40 days of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child, as well as 20 days of paid family care leave. All staff members are eligible for sabbatical after 5 years, and KFTC contributes to a simplified employee pension plan after 3 years of employment.

The annualized salary range for this position is $90,000 – $115,000.

KFTC offers a generous benefits package. We provide full family health/dental/vision coverage. We have a…


Work must be performed in or near London, KY
Associated Location
London, KY, USA

How to Apply

Please send a letter of interest and your resume in one PDF document to by November 1, 2021. In the cover letter, please highlight your most relevant experience as well as areas you may need to grow into, any connections you have to KFTC as an organization and its people. Please also indicate whether you are interested in being considered as a potential Co-ED if there is another potentially complementary match, or if there is a specific person who may be applying as part of an intentional team with you.

The desired start date is March 2022.

For more information, please see

Please send a letter of interest and your resume in one PDF document to by November 1, 2021. In the cover letter, please highlight your most relevant experience as…

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