American Jewish World Service (AJWS) | Executive Vice President

  • Koya Partners
  • Mar 01, 2021
Full time Executive

Job Description


Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to build a more equitable world by supporting community-driven change in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean and by advocating in the United States for foreign policies that prioritize human rights and democratic norms.

Through philanthropy and advocacy, we provide financial support and build strong partnerships with activists, organizations, and social movements facing complex global challenges —from authoritarianism, to attacks on women’s and LGBTQI+ rights, to climate change and humanitarian crises. Working at the intersection of Jewish values and global issues, AJWS’s grassrooted human rights approach is making demonstrable change in the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Our Changemaking Strategies

To promote lasting change, AJWS funds and strengthens grassroots and global human rights organizations—with the understanding that the people who are most affected by problems are best suited to address them. We also advocate for U.S. and international laws and policies that help overcome injustice; we conduct research to learn about and strengthen our work and advance the field of human rights; and we use strategic communications to amplify our grantees’ voices and those of our supporters to influence policymakers in the U.S. and around the globe.

Our Issues

AJWS’s international grantmaking, advocacy, and research focus on four central issues that we believe are key to securing human rights and ending poverty in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean:

  • Sexual Health and Rights
  • Civil and Political Rights
  • Land, Water, and Climate Justice
  • Disaster and Humanitarian Response

Our Core Values

AJWS’s values are rooted in the Jewish imperative to pursue justice for all people and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


We embrace and defend the inherent worth of every human being.


Recognizing our privilege and power, we listen free of judgment and acknowledge we alone cannot change the world.


We work in partnership to elevate the voices and perspectives of those who are marginalized, underrepresented, or excluded.


We act with integrity and transparency to honor our commitments.


We stand in solidarity with one another as we strive for innovative change and remain hopeful in the face of challenges.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

AJWS’s leadership is deeply committed to enhancing our organizational culture, policies, and practices to ensure that they are Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive (DEI).

We strive to build a culture in which each member of our team—particularly those who are Black, indigenous, and people of color—is welcomed in their full humanity, treated equitably and with respect, and able to lead and thrive at AJWS. We see our continued exploration of what DEI means to our staff and our Board as intimately tied to the values that drive our work and will help define our success as an organization moving forward.


AJWS seeks a seasoned and strategic Executive Vice President (EVP) with experience maintaining healthy organizational growth, leading an executive management team, and continuing to build on a high-performing, collaborative, and inclusive team and culture.

Reporting to and working in close partnership with the President & CEO, the EVP will serve as the internal leader of the organization, providing day-to-day management of AJWS to ensure that ongoing strategy management, execution, and administration of all aspects of the organization are in alignment.

The EVP manages the members of the Executive Leadership Team, which is comprised of Vice Presidents and Divisional and Departmental Leads who oversee the organization’s key functional areas: Programs; Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation; Human Resources; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Development; Finance and Administration; and Marketing and Communications. The EVP’s main charge is to work in close collaboration with, and to ensure alignment between, staff leadership and the President & CEO by continually strengthening AJWS’s internal working procedures and processes in order to maximize the organization’s global impact.

The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of team development and management, organizational development, and operational excellence. They will be highly collaborative and have the ability to build cohesion and coordination among a diverse team working on a wide range of projects and across multiple functions and locations. In addition, the ideal candidate will be an adept convener of people and have the skills, emotional intelligence, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to the organization.

The primary work of the EVP is to be a trusted partner to the President & CEO and the Executive Leadership Team and to ensure that internal operations, systems, and processes are optimally effective and communicated to the organization’s domestic and global staff and, as necessary, AJWS’s Board of Trustees. While it is essential that the EVP evaluate existing systems and processes for efficiency and effectiveness to increase the productivity of the organization, it is also critical that the EVP be interested in engaging in dialogue and seeking knowledge about current practices in the pursuit of taking AJWS from very good to great.


  • Supervise the Executive Leadership Team and provide day-to-day management of the organization by overseeing the coordination and implementation of effective policies, controls, and systems that foster collaboration among the organization’s key functional areas.
  • Develop enhanced systems and build the capacity of staff leadership to ensure that key information is communicated to the President & CEO, the AJWS Board of Trustees, the staff of the organization, and other stakeholders, as necessary.
  • In partnership with the President & CEO and the Executive Leadership Team, drive implementation of the organization’s strategy management process and ensure ongoing accountability to the organization’s theory of change and strategic plan and its benchmarks and outcomes.
  • Work with the President & CEO and Executive Leadership Team to further advance the staff’s alignment around outcome-focused organizational goals and objectives.
  • Partner with the President & CEO and Executive Leadership Team to provide vision, leadership, and strategic direction for the organization. 
  • Partner with the President & CEO and Executive Leadership Team to further develop and maintain a high-performing and collaborative organizational culture by communicating information to staff in a timely manner, maintaining positive and effective relations with staff, and responding to staff concerns and needs with effective solutions.


The Executive Vice President of AJWS will possess the following attributes and competencies: 

  • BA/BS required; MBA/MPA or other advanced degree in a relevant field preferred; an Organizational Development or Organizational Psychology background would be a plus.
  • Minimum 20 years of professional experience, with at least 10 years of senior leadership experience specifically in operational/administrative management. 
  • Ability to align people, operations, and systems in pursuit of overall institutional goals and to manage a complex, diverse, progressive, global social justice organization in an entrepreneurial and consistent manner.
  • Superior management and leadership skills, with the ability to support and continually build a cohesive and high-functioning team.
  • A sense of humility and high emotional intelligence.
  • A caring, flexible, creative, holistic work style with the ability to multi-task and adjust priorities as needed. 
  • An authentic commitment to AJWS’s core values and mission, including the ability to apply a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion to all aspects of the work.
  • Ability to help others conceptualize, innovate, and deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the vision a reality.
  • Demonstrated success developing and monitoring systems to manage both operational and programmatic work that involve high levels of collaboration.
  • Proven track record in conducting organization-wide strategic planning; experience with successfully identifying methods to effectively utilize resources and ensure ongoing program and operational excellence. 
  • An orientation toward coaching, facilitating, and leading through influence rather than
  • Proven experience developing and empowering top-notch leaders and learning the strengths and challenges of the team so as to place staff in a position to succeed. 
  • Comfortable dealing with ambiguity and leading others through it.
  • Experience in successfully partnering with a CEO and Board of Trustees. 
  • Broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including marketing and communications, development, programs, strategic learning, research and evaluation, budgeting, finance, human resources, information systems, and risk management. 
  • Ability to work and thrive within a fast-moving environment while also being strategic, proactive, clear, patient, and solutions-oriented.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investments in people and
  • Diplomacy and sensitivity, with the ability to manage tensions and handle sensitive situations with care, maturity, and professionalism. 
  • Experience in the nonprofit and/or social justice and/or global sectors is a plus. 
  • Desire to help build a strong engine for social change is a must.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Molly Brennan and Turner Delano of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Molly Brennan directly at

All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


AJWS’s mission is rooted in Jewish values and our Core Values listed above. As part of these values we are actively working to build diverse teams across all levels and departments. Black, indigenous, and people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans, and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are strongly encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual, intellectual, and cultural backgrounds.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit