Executive Director – Chicago, IL

Executive Director

United Working Families

Chicago, IL



United Working Families 

Executive Director – Job Description

United Working Families is an independent political organization by and for the many.  Funded by working-class people and their organizations—labor unions, community groups, and individuals—UWF represents over 100,000 working people across Illinois. UWF combines the experience, resources, and mass base of organized labor with the energy and innovation of the grassroots to recruit, train, and run candidates, and to build a durable, year-round, volunteer political organization. UWF member organizations include: Action Center on Race and the Economy, Action Now, Chicago Teachers Union, Cook County College Teachers Union, Grassroots Illinois Action, Illinois Nurses Association, National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 11, Northside Action for Justice, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, SEIU Local 73, SOUL in Action, United Electrical Workers Western Region, United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, Warehouse Worker Action, Workers United Chicago Midwest Regional Joint Board, 22nd Ward Independent Political Organization, and 33rd Ward Working Families.

Executive Director

United Working Families seeks an Executive Director to lead our dynamic organization and its collective work of winning, building, and wielding political power for the many, not the few. The ideal candidate will be an experienced, collaborative, strategic, and creative leader who is deeply committed to UWF’s mission and vision and to the continued expansion of our impact. They will demonstrate UWF’s core competencies including a commitment to dismantling anti-blackness and white supremacy, continuous growth and reflection,  building the base and relationship building, accountability and resilience, and polarity management.  This is the top-level position in a multifaceted, fast-paced, and innovative environment; the work will require travel, weeknight, and weekend hours. This position is based in Chicago and it is hybrid with significant responsibilities in the field.

Accountability:The position is supervised by the Chair and Vice-Chair of UWF.


Strategy and Vision

Collectively craft and drive a set political and organizing strategy aimed at taking the power needed to use the levers of the state to self-evidently improve people’s lives such that other dimensions of struggle can accelerate.Drive goal-setting across multiple stakeholder axes (leadership, staff, membership, ecosystem) and put the necessary systems in place (coordination structure, staff support, fundraising, etc) to meet them.
Seek out learning opportunities, practices, tools, and resources to sharpen our collective thinking, praxis, and arguments.
Cultivate relationships with key organizations, partners, funders, and allies to encourage greater solidarity, clarity, and alignment in the movement ecosystem.

Organizational Development

Create and execute fundraising workplans that prioritize keeping UWF’s revenue stream majority dues-based in order to allow for programmatic dynamism and keep us accountable to our working-class membership.

Drive an organizational culture of learning, experimentation, and principled struggle that is continuously bringing working-class, BIPOC people into a political home in which they are members, organizers, and leaders.

Supervise the Associate Director’s work to provide staff supervision, coaching, support, and accountability.

Work with the Associate Director and Operations Department to ensure that UWF has the structural stability (finance, legal, HR, operations) needed to nourish an environment of innovation, collaboration, and possibility.

Supervise the Associate Director’s work with the Communications team to tell the story of UWF’s learnings, contributions, and victories to our leaders, members, funders, and partners.

Party and Executive Committee Management

Build a team of officers who are owning and taking responsibility for the work of the party, including preparation for all Executive and Party Committee meetings.

Build deep relationships with Party Committee delegates from both affiliated organizations and individual membership in order to foster a bold, clear, and strategic decision-making environment based on solidarity.

Create on-ramps for individual members and incoming organizations to take on leadership of our party, with a focus on nurturing the inclusion of BIPOC organizations and members.

Provide reports and recommendations to the Officers, Executive Committee, and Party Committee as needed.

Other:  In addition to the specific job responsibilities, the staff member will perform other tasks as requested.

Evaluation: The work will be evaluated based upon the UWF Core Competencies, the SMARTIE goals set at the beginning of every evaluation period based upon this job description, and the person’s contributions in meeting the overall goals and objectives of the organization. The evaluation shall be conducted by the UWF officers.

Skills and Qualifications

Required qualifications:

Have recent experience in a senior- or executive-level position in a labor, community, and/or political organization. Experience across multiple types of organizations (e.g. labor AND community) is especially desired.

Have recent experience managing mid- or senior-level employees, with a focus on staff development and skill-building.

Have a proven track record of fundraising from a wide variety of sources (including grassroots, institutional, major donors) and managing budgets accordingly.

Have a track record of working in coalitions and leading coalitions and understands coalition dynamics.

Can clearly communicate and champion UWF’s political goals, strategy, and mission and has a track record of work aligned with UWF mission

Are highly emotionally intelligent and able to build deep relationships with a wide range of leaders and stakeholders.

Desired qualifications:

Are experienced and comfortable with organizational change processes. This is a major transition for a dynamic organization that has grown and changed significantly over the past five years; a successful applicant will be excited about change management work.

Have a track record of building resilient, reflective, high-functioning, and collaborative organizational cultures.

Has existing relationships and a strong network within UWF, or in UWF-adjacent or UWF-aligned organizations.

Are experienced organizers who are willing and able to model the hard and soft skills they seek to develop in others

Priority consideration will be given to candidates who share lived experiences with our majority poor, working-class, and global majority membership.

Salary and Benefits: The pay range for this position is $95,000-$105,000, commensurate with experience. United Working Families is dedicated to workers rights and offers health benefits and paid time off to its employees.

How to Apply:Please submit a RESUME and COVER LETTER in pdf format introducing yourself and describing your interest, commitment, and any relevant personal background.

Applications should be sent to [email protected]. Put “Executive Director” in the subject line. No calls please. For best consideration, please submit your materials by March 17, 2023.

United Working Families believes that personnel diversity is an organizational strength and recognizes and values the intersectional identities that staff members bring to our organization. We are enriched by the diverse experiences, beliefs, and ways of thinking that employees of different backgrounds bring.

People of color, working-class people, and LGBTQ+ people are strongly encouraged to apply. Fair consideration is given to all qualified applicants regardless of criminal record. UWF is committed to providing equal employment consideration without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, ancestry, military status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected status.

Full Time

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