Executive Director of NCYL

The Search

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL – pronounced “nickel”) is seeking a youth-centered, strategic, and empathetic leader to serve as its next Executive Director (ED).

NCYL is one of the nation’s pre-eminent social justice organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth impacted by the interlocking systems of education, health, immigration, foster care, and juvenile justice. Driven by the voices and experiences of the youth it serves, and with a strong focus on racial and social justice, NCYL works tirelessly to transform government agencies and public systems to center youth with equity, dignity, and care. Through legal advocacy and impact litigation, local and public policy, programmatic work, and community collaborations and partnerships, it seeks to amplify youth power and fundamentally change how our nation approaches issues affecting youth wellbeing. To build a multifaceted and intersectional approach to these issues, NCYL currently works in the areas of Education, Foster Care, Health, Reproductive Health Equity, Immigration, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, and Youth Justice. Its efforts have led to critical changes in policy and standards of practice in communities, states, and nationwide.

Working in collaboration with the Board and Staff, the ED will provide the strategic vision and organizational leadership to ensure that NCYL has a deep and lasting impact on the lives of young people. In addition to the executive oversight of operations, finances, and programmatic priorities supported by a team of skilled staff leaders, the ED will bring a clear and focused vision, strong management expertise of people and culture, a keen focus on expanding the public awareness of NCYL and the impact of its work, and a desire and track record to bring diverse financial resources to the organization.

As NCYL continues its growth and evolution, it is imperative that the next ED work to cultivate an organization-wide sense of collective action and impact united by a clear, overarching mission and strategy.

Alongside these leadership skills, the ED will bring an unwavering commitment to improving the lives and outcomes of children and youth that is explicitly rooted in racial and social justice and an anti-racist framework. They will be a lifelong learner, who prioritizes personal learning and growth alongside organizational evolution to drive continued success and excellence. This next leader will inherit an organization engaged in powerful, multi-stream change work, with a staff that is effective and deeply dedicated to the cause. This is an incredible opportunity to lead an organization that seeks to amplify youth power, dismantle racism and other structural inequities, and build a world where all youth are supported through supportive policies, practices, communities, and cultures.

The annual salary for this position is $305,000.00.

Read the full description and position profile here.


NCYL has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence to the search team at the link below. Please include CV/resume and a two-to-three-page letter of interest responding to the opportunities and challenges outlined above.


Applicants with lived experience within any of our practice areas, and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.

It is the policy of NCYL to provide equal employment opportunities to all Applicants (including Employees) regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, national origin, age, abilities/disabilities, neurotypicality, socioeconomic status, veteran status, marital status, prior convictions, or any other protected classifications under federal, state, or local law.