Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living (Washington, DC / Remote)

  • Closing / removal date: October 7, 2022
  • Posted: September 13, 2022

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is currently seeking an Executive Director to succeed the Interim Executive Director, Darrell Lynn Jones, with a target start date of January 1, 2023. NCIL encourages all qualified applicants to apply for this exciting opportunity to lead one of the nation’s premiere organizations for disability rights and independent living.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, NCIL is the longest-running, national, cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities, and individuals with disabilities throughout the United States.

The Executive Director will lead a complex grassroots organization that is led by a Governing Board and informed by its membership. The ability to work with a mission-driven board, members, and grassroots stakeholders is key. The Executive Director will also direct a dedicated, passionate staff of seven and administer an annual budget of nearly $2M. NCIL’s revenue comes from a variety of sources, including membership dues, conference registrations, donations, and grants and contracts. Ensuring NCIL’s continued success with advocacy and policy, resource development, and operating high-quality, accessible programs and events will be critical.

NCIL approaches disability rights through the Independent Living (IL) philosophy perspective—that disability is a natural aspect of human life and that the barriers people with disabilities face are rooted in ableism and discrimination. NCIL is committed to disability justice which addresses the intersections between disability and diversity, equity, and inclusion. NCIL is also committed to proactively confronting and undoing the harm of racism and injustice entrenched in disability rights, IL, and society at large. The next Executive Director must be committed to these same values to continue NCIL’s path towards universal justice. We also believe that a diverse staff enables us to better understand and serve our members, audience, and community.

This position is an outstanding opportunity for the right leader as NCIL approaches a new strategic plan following a recent comprehensive organizational assessment. If you believe you are the right candidate, we hope you will consider applying or share this announcement with qualified candidates that you know.

The following job description details the responsibilities and required qualifications for the position, as well as instructions to apply. Applications must be received by the close of the business day, October 7, 2022.

Position Title: Executive Director

Responsible to: NCIL Governing Board President


The NCIL Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NCIL; and promotes the mission and goals of NCIL within the board, membership, Independent Living network, and the public. With the President, the Executive Director: enables the Governing Board to fulfill its governance function; facilitates the optimum interaction between committees, the Governing Board, and membership; and provides leadership to the Governing Board, membership, and the Independent Living network through the promotion of the independent living philosophy.


Governing Board

  1. Serve as a voting member of the Governing Board.
  2. With the President, develop agendas for Governing Board meetings and Executive Committee meetings.
  3. Ensure that the President and the Board are kept fully informed on the fiscal and operating condition of NCIL.
  4. Work with the President to ensure that the committees are structured to function effectively.
  5. Serve as a member of other Board committees, including Finance Committee, HR Committee, Diversity Committee, and participate with other committees and subcommittees as needed.


  1. Work to ensure the consistent achievement of NCIL’s mission and strategic objectives.
  2. Oversee NCIL’s budget, financial resources, and achievement of financial objectives.
  3. Ensure that the organization meets all legal and regulatory requirements.
  4. Ensure that NCIL member’s concerns are addressed in a timely fashion.
  5. Work with the President and Board to ensure that NCIL regularly develops and implements an organizational strategic plan.
  6. Serve as chief spokesperson for NCIL.
  7. Ensure that NCIL is represented at appropriate national policy meetings, including legislative meetings, coalition meetings, hearings, and other activities, and see that NCIL is properly presented to the public.
  8. Ensure that the independent living philosophy, consumer control, and values and mission of NCIL are carried out in its activities.
  9. Cultivate and maintain relationships with potential funders, donors, sponsors and project partners.
  10. Ensure that the flow of funds permits NCIL to make steady progress towards the achievement of its mission and that those funds are allocated properly to reflect NCIL’s present needs and future potential.
  11. Administer, and assist with the development and updating of, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Policies, and Bylaws, as needed.


  1. Manage the recruitment, employment, and release of personnel who report directly to the Executive Director.
  2. Oversee the recruitment, employment, and release of personnel who are supervised by the Operations Director.
  3. Ensure that job descriptions are developed and current, that regular performance evaluations are conducted, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
  4. Ensure that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place.
  5. Encourage staff and volunteer development and education and that the organization’s programs and projects are managed by effective, capable staff.
  6. Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates top quality people—both professional and volunteer.


  • A minimum of five years’ management experience in the nonprofit field.
  • Understanding of rights of people with disabilities, and specific experience with the Independent Living Program as authorized by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.
  • Direct experience in fiscal management and budget development and administration.
  • Experience with successful resource development through grants, contracts, and donors.
  • Experience with personnel and/or human resources management.
  • Demonstrated experience in community, public relations, and policy work.
  • Personal experience with disability preferred.
  • Personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion of all groups of people with disabilities within NCIL and across the Independent Living network.
  • Commitment to, and experience in, anti-racist work and advocacy.
  • Experience with grassroots organizing, specifically with consumer controlled and peer-led organizations.
  • Experience with membership-elected, non-profit governing boards.
  • Strong writing, communication, and presentation skills.
  • Experience with building funding relationships and partnerships, and knowledge of federal and other grants management.
  • Ability to travel occasionally.
  • Ability to represent NCIL at national and state disability events.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications (i.e., Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel).


  • This is a full-time position.
  • NCIL currently operates remotely, therefore the Executive Director position is currently a remote position. Ability to re-locate to Washington D.C. at a future date is a plus.
  • Targeted Start Date January 1, 2023.


  • Commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate, the salary range for the position is $130,000 – $145,000 annually.
  • NCIL employees receive a generous benefits package, including paid vacation and sick time, 9 paid holidays, an end-of-year holiday break, 2 floating holidays, parental leave, and more. The package also includes health, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance, and eligibility for a 403(b) tax-deferred retirement account.
  • If relocation to D.C. is feasible, a relocation stipend may be available, depending on the total compensation package.

TO APPLY: Qualified applicants should submit a detailed professional resume, at least three professional references, and a cover letter to directorsearch@ncil.org.

Application Deadline: Close of Business October 7, 2022.

The National Council on Independent Living is an equal opportunity employer and makes reasonable accommodations as appropriate for people with disabilities. Women, people of marginalized gender identities, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of low-income, disadvantaged, and LGBTQIA+ communities are strongly encouraged to apply.