Executive Director, Peace Development Fund

Eos Transition Partners
July 3, 2024
Remote, United States of America
Job Type




Peace Development Fund Seeks Executive Director


About The Peace Development Fund

The Peace Development Fund (PDF) is more than just a grantmaker. We strive to be an impactful foundation for issues related to peace, human rights, social justice, and environmental justice. By redistributing resources and sharing decision-making power with grassroots groups and communities, we aim to counterbalance dominant power structures. Our philanthropy model encompasses direct funding, capacity-building, and partnerships grounded in mutual respect, resource sharing, and transparent planning and decision-making.


Founded in 1981 by a small group of donor activists, PDF was organized with the vision of funding social justice and peace through a public foundation – believing that lasting change occurs only when a large number of people are well-informed and empowered to make change. PDF believes that true democratic change must take place from the bottom up and that change can only endure with citizens who are both informed and clear about what they believe. Throughout our history, PDF has recognized that peace is not merely the absence of war or militarism, but the presence of equitable relationships among people, nations, and the environment. This comprehensive understanding of peace has allowed us to incorporate social, environmental, and economic justice into our work as times have called for us to do so.


PDF builds the capacity of community-based organizations through grantmaking, capacity building and fiscal sponsorships. Our partners in this work are:

  • Grassroots groups organizing in their communities;
  • Organizations led by oppressed and marginalized people;
  • Those not served or funded by mainstream philanthropy, both nationally and internationally;
  • Those most adversely impacted by systematic forms of injustice and oppression – therefore primarily, but not exclusively, communities of color;
  • Small, movement organizations;
  • Organizations led by the people most adversely affected by conditions, issues or systems;
  • Our inclusive PDF community – donors, grantees, partners.


PDF punches above its weight, with seven passionate, dedicated, mission-aligned staff that sustain a harmonious office culture that is collaborative, energetic, relaxed, and friendly. PDF’s annual operating budget is slightly more than $1 million and the overall budget (which includes 37 fiscally sponsored projects) is $5.5M. PDF is overseen by a diverse seven-member Board of Directors, proudly rooted in community organizing. PDF’s office is in Amherst, MA with two remote staff.


Opportunity Going Forward

PDF is looking to transform itself in a post-COVID world. The leadership transition is an opportunity to reimagine PDF's identity in the context of a progressive philanthropic community, reflect on our history, consider our strengths as a capacity builder and fiscal sponsor, and identify an overall value proposition in the current landscape and evolving social justice movements.


Priorities for the new Executive Director are:

  • With the Board and staff, solidify PDF’s vision, strategy, and issue priorities for the future.
  • Establish a growth strategy that aligns and increases funding and programs to support PDF’s current and future needs.
  • Raise the funds needed to sustain an adequate organizational infrastructure and PDF’s growing scope of work.
  • Actively cultivate and enhance connections with the community, partners, board, and funders, ensuring a seamless continuation of established relationships and growing new ones.
  • Inspire, support, and lead a talented, self-motivated staff to continue to achieve excellence in grantmaking, fiscal sponsorship, and capacity building.
  • Champion PDF’s racial justice work and ensure that work is evident internally in the workplace and externally in grantmaking, movement building, advocacy strategies and capacity building.
  • Leverage the Board’s community organizing experience to build PDF’s capacity and growth.


Profile of the Ideal Candidate

While we recognize that candidates will not possess all of the following qualities, ideal applicants will exemplify a number of these attributes, skills, and experiences and will have the capability to lead an organization of PDF’s size and scope. The expectation is that the Executive Director will either work from PDF’s office in Amherst, MA or remotely, with the capacity to be in-person when needed.


A Visionary, Mission-Focused, and Strategic Leader

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and execute a strategic organizational vision and plan
  • Proven success in bringing new ideas, bold thinking, and growth strategies to an organization
  • Skilled at championing a vision to leverage funding, partnerships, and public awareness
  • Demonstrated success in integrating social justice and equity principles into overall organizational strategy

Systems Analysis and Commitment to Collective Liberation

  • An understanding of the needs and complexities of grassroots organizations, community organizing, and social change work
  • Familiarity and experience working with social justice concepts and frameworks such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, gender analysis, economic justice, environmental justice, intersectionality, and collective liberation
  • Understanding of systems of oppression, including knowledge of and a commitment to addressing toxic power dynamics inherent in philanthropic and non-profit sectors

An Authentic and Engaging Leader

  • Brings an empathetic approach that engages community members, grantees, peer organizations, staff and board
  • Displays warmth, humbleness, and authenticity
  • Proven ability to motivate, coach, and respect staff and commitment to maintaining a welcoming, collaborative, diverse, and inclusive work culture and climate
  • Demonstrated capacity for continuous learning and openness to discovery that supports the building of an adaptive, values-centered culture that inspires trust and transparency
  • Effective demonstration of holding a culture that values equity, humor, interdependence, work-life balance, and open communication
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively as a manager, including giving and receiving positive and constructive feedback, and proactively soliciting and integrating input from colleagues


A Skilled Nonprofit Manager

  • Successful experience with nonprofit and/or foundation operations, management, and staff development
  • Business acumen in operations and management, with the financial acumen necessary to create and manage a budget, financial reporting, and planning
  • A track record of successful fundraising across all areas of development
  • Agile and entrepreneurial, and thrives in an environment of change
  • Skilled in making thoughtful and brave decisions in a respectful manner
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with boards of directors and with board development

An Authentic Communicator and Relationship Builder

  • Charisma and gravitas to lead a longstanding progressive foundation, engendering the respect, rapport, and credibility of peers, funders, and organizers
  • A public spokesperson with strong oral, written, and storytelling skills, and the ability to leverage the media
  • Politically savvy and able to navigate in complex political, legal, and social environments
  • A bridge-builder who fosters collaborative relationships with staff, grantees, community, donors and partners; comfort moving between philanthropic spaces, conferences, grassroots events, and local organizations and communities


Credentials and Requirements

  • A minimum of seven years of senior leadership experience in a nonprofit organization or foundation.


Compensation and Benefits:

PDF is an at-will employer. This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. The salary is competitive with relevant experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget, and in the approximate range of $120,000 - 130,000. PDF offers a comprehensive benefits package:

100% employer paid health/dental insurance, 12 days sick leave annually; 3 weeks vacation in first year; and 12 paid holidays.


Application Process and Additional Information

PDF values a diverse workforce and encourages applications from people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, women, justice-involved and/or formerly incarcerated, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and non-binary gender identity persons.


Candidates must upload a resume and a cover letter, both in PDF format, which describe how qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of the Peace Development Fund. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Upload documents to: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/.


This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultants Hez Norton and Nancy Jackson. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions can be submitted to Nancy at: [email protected].