Call for Applications: Women for Afghan Women, Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



New York
United States


About Women for Afghan Women


Women for Afghan Women (WAW) provides life-saving and life-changing services and advocacy in New York and Afghanistan. Originally founded to serve the Afghan immigrant community in Queens, New York in April 2001, WAW has grown to become the largest human rights non-governmental organization in Afghanistan with over 750 staff, operating 32 facilities, with a presence in 14 provinces. WAW’s clients receive protection, emergency and long-term housing, legal aid, healthcare, education, vocational training, childcare, and other key services that are department needed to empower women and children. In the United States, WAW conducts policy and advocacy engagement efforts, in addition to providing direct services to Afghan and other refugee populations.  Since its inception, WAW has served over 31,000 clients and provided women’s rights training to over 330,000 individuals, creating cultural change.


WAW is dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and children around the world, particularly their rights to develop their individual potential, to self-determination, and to be represented in all areas of life: political, social, cultural, and economic. To this end, WAW engages with both government and civil society, including religious and gender justice stakeholders


We advocate for women's rights and challenge the norms that underpin gender-based violence in order to influence attitudes and bring about change. WAW’s services are an important stopgap in the fight to eradicate violence against women, and WAW’s advocacy is about sustained progress toward gender justice and the creation of a stable, secure environment in which women can live empowered lives and be their authentic selves.


Position Summary


The Executive Director will serve as the senior leader for a dynamic, visionary, and critically needed organization. WAW’s next Executive Director will be responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan and helping the organization navigate intensely challenging times. S/he will be oversee WAW’s $9 million budget, programs, and operations, working most closely with a talented and dedicated leadership team and 19 full- and part-time staff members in New York, two full-time staff members in Washington DC and over 750 staff members in Afghanistan. The Executive Director will play a leading role in all fundraising, management, advocacy, and outreach efforts. This position reports directly to a longstanding and engaged Board of Directors.


Primary Responsibilities:


Strategic Vision

  • Develop, implement, and regularly update a strategic plan to ensure WAW’s programmatic impact, as well as operational and fiscal health
  • Ensure that that the organization holds itself accountable for meeting strategic goals and consistently utilizes data to drive decisions and set priorities
  • Support and amplify an organizational culture and behavioral standards that reflect the values that animate WAW’s mission

Program and Operations

  • Serve as the primary interlocutor for United States government, civil society, religious organizations, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Supervise the execution of WAW’s programs and grants, communications, development, and advocacy to realize the organization’s mission
  • Hire and retain competent, qualified staff and ensure positive employee engagement
  • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers
  • Ensure ongoing effectiveness of security and operational plans
  • Create and maintain a culture of transparency and accountability at all levels of the organization


  • Oversee official records and documents; oversee regular financial and programmatic audits and tax returns; and ensure compliance with all federal, state, local, and other regulations, as well as donor requirements
  • Provide responsibility for WAW’s fiscal integrity and reporting, including, but not limited to, the submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget, annual reports, and monthly financial statements, as well as supervising the financial reporting to donors and other stakeholders
  • Undertake fiscal management that anticipates budget constraints, while ensuring maximum and efficient resources utilization
  • Ensure compliance with all donor-imposed restrictions and reporting requirements


  • Maintain and expand relationships with donors, coalitions, partners, and other stakeholders in order to raise WAW’s profile and enhance opportunities for WAW to affect change
  • Supervise fundraising and development efforts necessary to support WAW’s mission with a focus on long term sustainability and diversifying funding sources
  • Develop strong relationships with institutional and individual donors to ensure ongoing awareness of WAW’s activities and support for WAW’s programs

Board Engagement

  • Work closely with WAW’s Board of Directors to support and guide WAW’s mission as an ex officio member of the Board
  • Communicate effectively with the Board in order to ensure it has all of the information necessary to make informed decisions
  • Provide leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans and reports with and to the Board of Directors
  • Execute policies authorized by the Board and engage Board in generative work to develop strategies and action plans


  • Build WAW’s advocacy and policy efforts and raise the visibility of WAW as a voice for gender justice in US and Afghan policy discussions
  • Supervise the ongoing refinement of WAW’s public messaging and communications strategy
  • Act as spokesperson for WAW and actively create opportunities for WAW beneficiaries and supporters to share their stories
  • Develop relationships with journalists, academics, authors and other influencers working in the field of human rights in Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora
  • Be comfortable and effective in community convenings, public policy briefings, and other forums that require public speaking
  • Regularly write op-eds and other persuasive advocacy pieces
  • Identify and optimize opportunities in print, broadcast, and digital and social media, to highlight the contributions of WAW stakeholders


Ideal Candidates will have:


  • A demonstrated commitment to human rights and gender equity
  • An impressive track record of organizational development and leadership
  • Significant fundraising experience and success
  • At least 8 – 10 years of management experience and success
  • A deep-rooted understanding of and familiarity with Afghan culture
  • Written and verbal fluency in Dari and/or Pashtu and English
  • Eligibility and a willingness to live and work substantial periods of time in both Afghanistan and New York/U.S.
  • Substantial experience conducting advocacy work in domestic and international arenas
  • A commitment to community building and organizing
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and support high-functioning teams
  • Experience and comfort working with religious leaders and communities
  • A background in public policy, public relations, law, women’s rights, and/or international development
  • Extensive financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting
  • Experience working with diverse funders, include the United States government, multilateral and bilateral institutions, philanthropic entities, and private donors
  • Excellent public presentation skills
  • Meticulous attention to detail, accompanied by an ability to stay focused on big picture goals
  • Strong organizational, supervisory, inspirational and relationship-building skills
  • Integrity in all aspects of personal and professional conduct
  • Courage, humor, commitment, integrity and an unwavering sense of purpose


Interested applicants should submit a:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter


Application materials should be sent to


Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


All inquiries will be treated confidentially.


Women for Afghan Women is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace. We consider all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, socio-economic status, marital or veteran status, pregnancy status or sexual orientation.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply