Chief Development Officer - Center for Reproductive Rights

  • Axis Talent Partners
  • New York, NY, USA or Washington, D.C.
  • Sep 10, 2021
Full time Other Other-Not Specified

Job Description

About the Organization:

The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the global leader in using the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights. Headquartered in New York City, the non-profit, non-partisan organization has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Nairobi, and Washington, DC, and a staff of approximately 200 diverse professionals. The Center’s compelling human rights mission and reputation for excellence and cutting-edge legal work has powered its exceptional growth trajectory to an operating budget of over $40 million and won the respect of the world’s leading law firms, as reflected in the additional $25 million annually in donated legal services, representing the work last year of 820 lawyers in 46 countries. 

The overarching goal of the Center’s new Strategic Plan sets a high mark for impact: By 2030, half of the world’s population will be living under stronger protections for reproductive rights than they do today. The Center has a track record of success to back up this ambitious goal. Since its founding in 1992, the Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide on issues including maternal health, contraception, abortion, and assisted reproduction. It has won groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 60 countries and counting.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

About the Opportunity:

The incoming Chief Development Officer (CDO) will have the high-impact opportunity to join a world-class team that is a driving force for change on the global stage. The Center for Reproductive Rights is at a pivotal point of opportunity and challenge as it looks to kick off its 30th anniversary in June 2022: following years of consistent growth and demand, the Center is now launching its ambitious new Strategic Plan to build, enforce, and defend legal guarantees to reproductive autonomy and to access reproductive healthcare. This unparalleled opportunity to build a rights-protective legal environment is in context of profound external challenges from reactionary forces seeking to turn back the clock on gender equality and human rights. The Center is prepared for both offense and defense in ensuring an enabling legal environment and its donors are loyal, responsive, and motivated to support the work on both fronts.

Working closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and reporting to the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer (CSOO), the incoming CDO will bring an energetic passion for the mission of the Center alongside a proven track record of fundraising success. The CDO will guide the vision and strategy for this new era of global fundraising growth, manage a robust development team of 30, and foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization that supports this critical work. As a member of the Center’s Executive Team, the CDO will provide strategic input on key organizational decisions, and partner with leaders from across the organization to ensure a continued path for evolution, growth, and impact.

The CDO will be based in either NYC or DC and requires the ability to travel up to 30% of the time, sometimes internationally (pending global health guidelines).

Areas of Leadership: 

Fundraising: With vision and creativity, capitalize on the critical moment and compelling mission to raise revenue from individual and institutional donors. Leverage the steady and outstanding growth trajectory of the last decade to lead sustainable, continued growth. Significantly expand the size of the major donor pool and its diversity, including by demographics, geography, and areas of interest. Analyze data to drive strategy and resource allocation. Cultivate and solicit seven-figure gifts. Create opportunities to build a “home” for supporters, ensuring long-term engagement and giving. Apply a campaign mindset to create compelling fundraising programs across Center’s global programs, and increase its exposure to, and gifts from, the international funding community.

Executive Leadership: As a vital member of the executive leadership team, serve as a key thought partner and collaborator to senior leadership and the Board to vision and drive strategy and initiatives, expanding our universe of donors and widening the aperture for organizational impact. Lead change with and through other executive leaders, development team members, and other key constituencies.

Development Team Leadership: Support a culture of collaboration and trust within the 30-person development team and among departments. Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the development team and across the organization. Lead staff and supporters to institutionalize a culture of philanthropy and fund development within the organization. Ensure the necessary systems, structures, and processes are in place to support the development objectives in the Strategic Plan, and the Center’s sustained growth.


Key Qualifications:

Mission & Values Alignment: Commitment to advancing reproductive rights as human rights. Demonstrated fit with Center’s core values: globally inclusive, integrity, excellence, and impact. Possesses a global mindset and understands the contextual differences within the countries and core constituencies with which we work. 

Fundraising Expertise: At least 20 years of experience and relationships with individual and institutional donor constituencies, and a strong track record as a proven fundraiser, including: personally cultivating and successfully soliciting principal gifts; using data to drive strategy and decisions; and developing the case for support across a broad universe of donors. History leading a successful, comprehensive development function that includes a range of fundraising disciplines, while also personally maintaining a portfolio of donors. Ability to articulate a compelling vision for global work; experience fundraising for organizations that have operations in the global south is a strong plus.

Executive Leadership Experience: Experience driving development strategy and execution in a C-Suite role, in a high integrity, inclusive way. Proven ability to understand the operating environment, and engage with stakeholders, internal and external, to define and achieve impact. History of strong partnership with a CEO, board, and other executive leaders to strategically advance the fundraising successes - and impact - of an organization. 

Development Team Leadership Experience: Phenomenal organizational leader and people manager with a track record of leading teams around a vision and through organizational change. Proven ability to structure, staff, and lead a cohesive, goal-oriented, and successful development team that includes a full and comprehensive complement of fundraising teams, including individual giving, institutional giving, direct response, events, development operations, and planned giving.

Relationship Building & Collaboration: Ability to listen deeply, cultivate connections, break down silos, foster collaboration, and build a culture of trust within the development department, across the organization, and with external stakeholders. History of building lasting relationships at all levels of an organization. Ability to establish credibility and trust with diverse constituencies.


The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.