Executive Director

Providence Student Union

Posted: 2/7/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Advocacy/Social Action

City: Providence

Postal code: 02903

State: Rhode Island

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$0 - $1M



Mission statement:

Building student power so that young people can improve their education and well-being.

Position Details:

Job Description:

Providence Student Union

Position Description: Executive Director

Expected start date: May 1, 2020

Hours and compensation

Full-time exempt salaried position at $50,050 per year.

Organization overview

Providence Student Union (PSU) is a youth-led organization that is building student power so that young people can improve their education and well-being. Since 2010, PSU has been a local, state, and national leader in defending and advancing student rights and liberatory education policy reforms. Past PSU youth-led campaigns have changed state graduation requirements, moved millions of dollars into student transportation and school construction, launched the city’s first Ethnic Studies courses, won the strongest protections in the nation for student journalists, and much more. PSU’s work has been recognized and featured in/on The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Daily Show, MSNBC, and other major media outlets. Additional information can be found at www.pvdstudentunion.org.

Position overview

Providence Student Union seeks an Executive Director who is skilled, flexible, and devoted to our mission of building student power and creating a full-fledged union for high school students. This position is primarily responsible for (a) managing and inspiring PSU’s youth and adult staff; (b) protecting and advancing PSU’s mission of establishing a union for students; and (c) raising and overseeing PSU’s annual budget of $250,000+. The Executive Director will work with a team of students, alumni, youth and adult staff, and board members to build the student union and drive student-centered education reforms. Most importantly, the person in this role should be conscious of the challenges and paradoxes associated with directing a youth-led organization, and should always seek to balance PSU’s priorities of organizational sustainability, campaign success, youth development, and democratic youth leadership. 

Essential functions

Staff supervision and development

Approximately 30% of time/effort

  • Provide day-to-day management, supervision, and leadership to PSU staff. Foster collaboration and mutual accountability.
  • Recruit and onboard new staff as necessary. Ensure PSU staff receive the training and support needed to continually advance their organizing practice.
  • Run payroll, benefits administration, and other systems.

Leadership and organizational development
Approximately 30% of time/effort

  • Develop and execute organizational strategic plans. Work with staff and students to design goals for programs, campaigns, and overall union development.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with community members, organizing partners, school leaders, policymakers, journalists, etc.

  • Maintain PSU’s position as a locally and nationally recognized voice for youth-led organizing.
  • Report to and support PSU’s Board of Directors; act as liaison between Board and staff.

Development and fundraising

Approximately 30% of time/effort

  • Cultivate and manage PSU’s fundraising strategy, including foundation grants, local grants and individual donations, in coordination with PSU’s Development Director.

  • Maintain communication with individual and philanthropic donor contacts, cultivate donor prospects, and work with the Development Director to oversee individual donor campaigns.

  • Engage and collaborate with PSU’s Board on fundraising efforts.

Fiscal management and organizational sustainability

Approximately 10% of time/effort

  • Prepare and manage PSU’s annual operating budgets, in collaboration with Board Treasurer, PSU staff, and student leaders.
  • Oversee financial management; work with Board to provide fiscal oversight and financial reporting.

  • Maintain PSU’s good standing regarding annual financial filings, nonprofit status, etc.

Other duties as needed or required.

Supervisory responsibilities

This position is responsible for supervising the Development Director, Programming and Partnerships Director, Youth Engagement Director, and various other youth and adult full-time, part-time, and intern positions. This position also serves as PSU’s primary staff liaison to the Board of Directors.


Providence Student Union is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. People of color, women, multilingual people, LGBTQQI people, differently-abled people, and longtime Providence, RI residents are encouraged to apply.




  • Demonstrated commitment to PSU’s values, including the ongoing struggle for social and economic justice, and an understanding of issues facing low-income communities of color.

  • Commitment to honoring youth leadership in programmatic, organizing, and other decisions.

  • A demonstrated ability to cultivate leadership, especially youth leadership. Proven ability to supervise and inspire staff.

  • Strong interpersonal and team-building skills.

  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a wide range of organizations and people.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including on social media.

  • Multiple years of experience in nonprofit management, including:

    • Financial management, including experience drafting and managing budgets of $250,000+.

    • Experience with nonprofit grants (research, applications, reports).

    • Demonstrated fundraising skills, including maintaining relationships with foundations and individual donors.

  • Demonstrated experience in community organizing and movement-building work.

  • Fluency in multiple languages, especially English and Spanish.

  • Strong youth organizing-related, education-related, and movement-related networks and relationships in Rhode Island and nationally.

  • Strong knowledge of civics, including but not limited to: city, state, and federal policy levers; electoral politics; and the public education sector.



Healthcare benefits. Up to 15 days paid time off per year.


Less than $60k

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Submit (a) a resume, and (b) a letter sharing your Story of Self and reasons for your interest in PSU, to [email protected] Please include “Executive Director” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through March 21, 2020, although applicants should apply as soon as they are comfortable doing so.


To receive targeted job listings like this one by e-mail please create a job alert