Title: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Organization: Equality Texas
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Austin, TX
The new CEO of Equality Texas will join this organization at a time of significant promise and potential for progressive politics in a traditionally very Red State. Due in large part to the efforts of Equality Texas, and its local and national partners, Texas is at a tipping point where public support for full LGBTQ+ equality is becoming a majority view across nearly all demographics. And the current session of the Texas Legislature includes a five-member LGBT caucus, the first in its history. After many years of being in a largely defensive position, Equality Texas has a chance to go on offense and drive state-level political change for good. This person will also come on board as the organization is preparing a series of events to celebrate its 30th anniversary in November; an extraordinary opportunity for marketing, fundraising, and engagement with Equality Texas’ supporters and constituents across the state.
The new CEO will be empowered to build and lead a vital LGBTQ+ advocacy organization at a time when its work has perhaps never been more important.
Equality Texas envisions a Texas where all LGBTQ+ people and their families have full equality in the hearts and minds of their fellow Texans and in all areas of the law. Headquartered in Austin, Equality Texas is dedicated to securing full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. With tens of thousands of members across the state, Equality Texas is the state’s leading state-wide organizing and advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ Texans.
Today’s Equality Texas has a rich history. In the 1978, a group of lesbians and gay men recognized the critical need for representation in the 66th session of the Texas Legislature. Under the moniker “Human Rights Advocates,” these activists were able to defeat an appropriations rider which would have mandated that state-funded colleges and universities discourage the formation of lesbian/gay student groups. In 1989, the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas was formally established and hired its first full-time Executive Director. This group has now been fighting on behalf of LGBTQ+ Texans for three decades.
In 2006, the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas changed its name to Equality Texas, to better reflect the strength and diversity of a coalition that was galvanized during the campaign against Proposition #2, Texas’ so-called “defense of marriage” amendment to the state constitution. Since then, Equality Texas has built political power and influence through coalitions with business and faith leaders, defeated hundreds of discriminatory bills, reached into the community to find and train advocates, and shared countless stories to deny and defeat the demonization of the LGBTQ+ community.
Today’s Equality Texas is comprised of two connected nonprofit corporations:
Each organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors; these Boards have 33 members in total who represent a cross-section of LGBTQ community, business, and philanthropic leaders and allies. Equality Texas had combined (c)3 and (c)4 revenue of roughly $1.2 million in 2018. It has a current staff of nine full-time and part-time employees working around the state.
Recently, Equality Texas led the charge to defeat a bathroom bill listed as the number one legislative priority of the anti-LGBT political powers. In its next phase, Equality Texas seeks to build an organization that is fully representative of the diversity of the whole of Texas’ LGBTQ+ community and to expand on past success with a bold vision to achieve full legal and lived equality in Texas.
To learn more about Equality Texas’s history and accomplishments, please visit www.equalitytexas.org
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will assume day-to-day leadership and oversight responsibility for Equality Texas, including Organizational Leadership, Fundraising and Donor Relations, Financial Management, Board Relations, Community and Public Relations, Legislative and Political Advocacy, and Team/Staff Management. In partnership with the Board of Directors, the CEO will lead Equality Texas to achieve is primary goal of full lived and legal equality for all Texans, with particular focus on the following strategic priorities:
This CEO will function as a public representative of Equality Texas and will work to expand relationships with constituents, volunteers, allies, legislators, and other movement partners and allied social justice organizations. In addition, they will bring personal leadership to building an Equality Texas that represents all LGBTQ+ people and communities, all over the state.
[NOTE: It is understood that no candidate is likely to have equal expertise in all of these categories. Successful candidates will possess a compelling combination of strengths in many of them, and the self-awareness and wisdom to hire or leverage existing resources in the area(s) where they lack personal mastery.]
The CEO will be an experienced organizational leader who combines professional experience and stature with a heart for the mission of Equality Texas. Candidates for this position should demonstrate a capacity for change management as well as a collaborative, transparent, and inclusive leadership style, combined with strong emotional intelligence and the ability to act decisively when necessary.
Successful candidates should have an understanding of Texas’ cultural, social, political, and policy landscape and a history that includes policy/advocacy, lobbying, electoral politics, capacity building, and/or community organizing. They should be a skilled and accomplished manager who enjoys developing and mentoring staff and who can foster an environment of teamwork and collaboration.
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has been retained to lead this recruitment effort on behalf of the Equality Texas. Kevin Chase Executive Group works only with equal opportunity employers. Equality Texas values the leadership of people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals, and strongly encourages people of all traditionally underrepresented identities to apply.
No applicant will be discriminated against because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.
We are pleased to answer any questions or supply further information. Inquiries, nominations, or applications (including a cover letter and resume) should be directed electronically and in confidence, to:
Kevin Chase, Managing Partner, Kevin@kevinchasesearch.com
Catie DiFelice, Senior Associate, Catie@kevinchasesearch.com
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group
1800 Hi Point Street, Los Angeles, CA 90035
(323) 930-8948 | www.kevinchasesearch.com
All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.
Please note that all education, dates of employment, compensation and other information provided will be verified prior to an offer of employment.