Executive Director - Disability Rights North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018

Conway & Greenwood
has been retained by Disability Rights North Carolina to manage the search for its Executive Director. The position will be located in Raleigh, NC.

Disability Rights North Carolina has been the federally-mandated protection and advocacy (P&A) system for people with disabilities in North Carolina since July 1, 2007, continuing the work previously conducted by Carolina Legal Assistance and the Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities (GACPD). After the discovery of widespread abuse nearly 40 years ago, federal law mandated that every state and U.S. territory designate one agency charged with protecting the rights of all people with disabilities living in the state or territory.

Disability Rights NC is the only nonprofit organization in North Carolina that protects the rights of people with every type of disability (e.g. physical impairments, mental illness, developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, neurological impairments, traumatic brain injury, etc.).

As a legally-based advocacy organization, Disability Rights NC has a staff of attorneys and others knowledgeable in the laws protecting people with disabilities and can take legal action to effect change impacting large populations.

Disability Rights NC employs a blend of investigatory action, individual representation, educational outreach, and systems advocacy so that the 2 million children and adults with disabilities living in North Carolina may have a full opportunity to live with dignity in the community of their choice.

Some highlights of Disability Rights NC's important work are as follows:
    •  Investigate complaints about neglect and abuse and suspicious or unexpected deaths in institutions; 
    •  Represent individuals based on our target areas and case selection criteria;
    •  Educate people with disabilities about their many legal, civil and service rights;  
    •  Provide technical assistance, training, publications, and advocacy support for North Carolinians with 
       disabilities, as well as their families and representatives;
    •  Conduct outreach to traditionally underserved ethnic and disability communities;
    •  Work for changes in public policy to improve the lives of people with disabilities; and
    •  Bring impact litigation and act as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in disability-related cases.

As the result of the foregoing work, Disability Rights NC can point to many successes, including the following:
    •  Litigation resulting in a settlement requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to treat drivers with 
       disabilities uniformly and without discrimination in the renewal of drivers' licenses; 
    •  Litigation resulting in a settlement mandating due process before IDD or innovations waiver can be 
       reduced; and
    •  Litigation requiring the state to fully implement a state statutory requirement (Medicaid Buy-in) that 
       Medicaid and related benefits shall continue as people with disabilities gain employment.

The Executive Director is charged with leading a dynamic group of professionals to accomplish Disability Rights NC's critical mission of protecting the legal rights of people with disabilities. The ED must be a champion of persons with disabilities (PWD) with knowledge of the rights, laws, and issues regarding PWD. With significant passion, vision, and action plans, the ED will be comfortable as a leader in this civil rights movement!

Disability Rights NC seeks a strong leader with experience leading similar organizations and teams throughout the broad community of related institutions that also benefit people with disabilities. Breadth of knowledge across the many types of disability organizations and experience is desired. It is possible that some candidates may be particularly deep in only one discipline, but well connected and knowledgeable of how the community as a whole functions.

The ED will bring perspective and vision for the next chapter of Disability Rights NC and the needs of the broad disability community. The ED will translate that vision into achievable steps to increase its visibility and impact.

This leader will have excellent presentation and networking skills to promote the mission and leverage opportunities for Disability Rights NC. He or she will be a well-known advocate and spend significant time out in the community with stakeholders.

Fundraising with individuals, private and corporate entities, and foundations will play a more important role at Disability Rights NC than in the past. The relationships and skill sets needed to be an effective fundraiser are an important requirement for the next ED.

An excellent working knowledge of the applicable laws and the legal process is required. A candidate with experience as a lawyer may have an advantage in this area, but it is possible that other candidates will have the overall knowledge and skills needed.

Required skills and experience:  
    •  Management / Administrative Experience 
    •  Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills 
    •  Legal Knowledge Regarding: Disability Rights / Medicaid / ADA, IDEA, etc....
    •  Fundraising Relationships and Skills 
    •  Vision, Goals, and Action Plans for the future of Disability Rights NC
    •  Connection to the NC Disabilities Community / Stakeholders
    •  Knowledge of Federal Funding Sources and Government Grants

Desired skills and experience:
    •  Proven Fundraising Experience
    •  Is an Attorney 
    •  Is a Person with a Disability (preferably public/open/visible)
    •  Recruitment of PWDs for employment and/or board membership
    •  Nonprofit experience
    •  Worked for/with a Board of Directors (BOD)
    •  Active Relationships with other Disability Organizations and the National Disability Rights 

The next chapter for Disability Rights NC will see an organization that will draw upon the excellent foundation established in its first ten years. The organization will make strategic gains that will have an even greater impact for the citizens of NC broadly and for people with disabilities specifically.

The next Executive Director will be a catalyst for even more change and impact. He or she will galvanize the staff, board, and other stakeholders to pull together to fight for those that need representation in order to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities across NC. Therefore, we are seeking talented, passionate candidates with excellent credentials for this important work.

The Board of Directors takes its responsibility to find the best ED seriously and is focused on conducting a highly professional search process. The BOD encourages all candidates that meet the qualifications set forth herein to contact Conway & Greenwood. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply and accommodations will be provided, as requested, throughout the interview process. Please direct all inquiries to Paul Conway at pconway@conwaygreenwood.com or directly at (919) 833-4800. All inquiries will be handled in a confidential manner.

About Conway & Greenwood, Inc.
Conway & Greenwood is a national executive search firm that specializes in retained search assignments to recruit senior level executives. The consulting firm has successful long-term relationships with many of the nation's leading organizations. Conway & Greenwood's hallmark is its commitment to professionalism and integrity which translates to excellent value for its clients. Conway & Greenwood subscribes to a Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines that form the foundation of the practice.