Working Washington-Fair Work Center Executive Director Job Announcement 

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Working Washington/Fair Work Center is looking for a new Executive Director to champion workers’ rights across the state. We are Washington’s largest worker center, and we build worker power through education, organizing, advocacy campaigns, and legal services.

We are looking for a dynamic, strategic, and bold Executive Director to lead the organization in its next stage of growth and impact. You will take on big fights that garner national attention, like passing groundbreaking laws to protect gig workers. You will continue developing our new political program and lead our race equity and strategic planning work into their next stage.

The Executive Director will lead a comprehensive, equity-focused strategy to build a powerful and sustainable worker organization that can win for workers and advance economic and racial justice in Washington State and beyond.

Organizational Overview

Income inequality and the decline of worker power is a threat to our democracy. We believe that our economy thrives when workers thrive, that organizing together is how we build power, and that every worker deserves respect and to know their rights at work and have the ability to exercise those rights. We believe workers are experts in their own lives, and should be leading the work to identify and solve the issues they face. We believe our political and economic systems must be transformed to center the needs of working-class and poor people. And we must fight for racial justice and economic justice. We cannot have one without the other.

We build worker power through education, organizing, advocacy campaigns, and legal services. We work to raise and uphold workplace standards, and fight for economic and racial justice. We are a multiracial community of working people, including immigrants, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ workers, united across different industries to improve our working conditions and our lives.

We have a history of making transformative demands for working people and winning big. We led the organizing that sparked the fight that won the first in the nation $15 minimum wage and have gone on to win many fights that make Washington a national leader in worker rights. These include winning, with our allies, a fair scheduling law in Seattle, a groundbreaking Seattle Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the most expansive overtime protections in the country, and health and safety protections for strippers in Washington State.

We are national leaders in gig worker organizing, changing industry standards around tipping, and winning paid sick and safe time and the first hazard pay law in any industry in the country for app-based delivery drivers in Seattle. We have developed a promotores program for agricultural workers in Yakima, and established an education program for workers at SeaTac Airport. We helped lead the coalition that won the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund and helped administer $60+ million dollars in emergency cash assistance to undocumented workers in Washington. Our legal clinic, which partners with Seattle University and University of Washington law schools, has served thousands of workers and has put more than a $1 million back in the pockets of workers through legal representation.

Organizational details. In 2018 Working Washington and Fair Work Center formally aligned as a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), with a combined budget of $3.5 million, a talented senior team, and an excellent and diverse staff of over 20. We have 60,000 supporters and members of our community and a broad local and national community of partners. There are 9 board members, some of whom serve on both the (c)(3) and (c)(4) boards. We have two offices, one in Seattle and one in Yakima. To learn more about us, visit our websites: &

Position Opportunities

The last few years have been a successful effort to merge two organizations that together fight for new rights for workers and make those rights real through education and legal services. The next Executive Director will advance this integration process and lead the organization into its next stage of growth. They will continue to develop a comprehensive, equity-focused strategy to build political and economic power for workers in Washington. This work includes continuing to raise funds to build a sustainable worker organization, more sharply identifying and engaging our base, and deepening our work beyond Seattle and King County.

They will take on big fights that garner national attention, like passing groundbreaking laws to protect gig workers. They will continue developing our new political program, as well as lead our race equity and strategic planning work, which have a strong foundation.

Ultimately, the next Executive Director has the opportunity to shape the model for a multi-racial, multi-industry 21st century worker organization.

Essential Duties of the Executive Director

  • Provide strategic direction and organizational leadership, and galvanize the team to achieve the organization’s mission and vision;
  • Work with a senior leadership team of 5 (your direct reports) to build the infrastructure of the organization; ensuring systems, processes, and work plans across the organization are aligned to a common vision and that day-to-day operations are set up for maximum impact;
  • Recruit, develop, lead and engage staff in achieving organizational goals; and provide supportive, inclusive, and empowering leadership to team members;
  • Continue the organization’s work to advance its commitment to racial equity;
  • Lead the organization’s fundraising strategy and initiatives, building fundraising capacity across the organization, identifying new funders and ensuring a diversity of funders, including major donors, institutional funders, unions, individuals, and government grantors;
  • Keep current on a complex and rapidly changing environment related to organizing, workers’ rights, legal services, and economic and racial justice, and develop strong working relationships with local and national stakeholders;
  • Oversee the organization’s government affairs and relationships;
  • Oversee and maintain sound financial systems and practices;
  • Lead on and model a worker-centered culture that values organizing, learning, collaboration, excellence, accountability, and respect;
  • Report to two Boards of Directors, and provide strong partnership, collaboration, and leadership to the Boards, ensuring open lines of communication and building high levels of engagement; help advance Board governance and recruit new Board members;
  • Grow and enhance the reputation and impact of the organization, and serve as the chief organizational ambassador and spokesperson.

The Ideal Candidate

We seek candidates committed to building a 21st-Century workers’ movement rooted in organizing for worker power, and who bring an intersectional approach to economic and racial justice, with a vision for the work and track record of leadership in that intersection. The ideal candidate will:

  • Have expertise in organizing, campaigns, and advocacy, including an ability to collaborate with and lead multi-racial alliances to build and wield power; or a deep appreciation and understanding of how to build worker power;
  • Be a bold, politically savvy, risk taker, who is not afraid to push boundaries and take on fights, who is knowledgeable of the political and legislative process, and has a vision for how to build independent political power for workers;
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and implement a fundraising and development strategy that will result in a strong, diversified base of financial support, including experience working with major donors, individuals, institutional funders, unions and government grantors;
  • Be a talented manager with an adaptive leadership style and collaborative and empowering approach to leading teams; who trusts and delegates to staff, and fosters a culture of transparency;
  • Be a high-level strategic thinker with proven capability to problem-solve, think proactively, navigate complex situations and relationships, and take advantage of strategic opportunities; someone who can build effective cross-team initiatives, and operationalize a vision across an organization;
  • Have strong relational and communication skills, with the ability to influence and inspire confidence, and to establish positive relationships with staff, the Board, funders, allies, and other stakeholders;
  • Have a sense of humor, compassion, and grace, and be comfortable walking in many different worlds, from building relationships with the low-wage workers we organize with and represent, to government officials and the donor class.
  • Have general familiarity with labor and employment law; a legal background is helpful but not required.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time salaried position requiring a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and occasional travel throughout the state of Washington as well as the country. The expected salary range is between $125,000 – $145,000 depending on qualifications and experience.

Working Washington/Fair Work Center offers generous benefits including health insurance, vision, dental, retirement (5% 401k match), 16 days of vacation in the first year, paid holidays, including the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and commuter benefits.

Working Washington/Fair Work Center is located in Seattle, WA in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood.

Commitment to Equity

Our organization fights for racial and economic justice. We believe you cannot have one without the other. We are building a multiracial community of working people, including immigrants, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ workers, united across different industries to improve our working conditions and our lives.

We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by historical and ongoing inequity to apply, particularly: people of color, immigrants, women and feminine-identified people, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people, and people with disabilities. We seek candidates whose lived experiences reflect the lived experiences of the workers we support.

How to Apply

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions.  You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe as specifically as you can how your experience, interests, and values are a fit with Working Washington/Fair Work Center’s goals, mission, and vision for the future as described in this announcement.

Applications received by May 13, 2021 at 5pm Pacific time will be given full consideration; early applications are strongly encouraged!

All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Consideration will be given to applications as soon as they are received; phone and panel interviewing will begin in mid-May.

Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to Julie Edsforth; email:; cell: (206) 979-0514.