Executive Director

Project Citizenship

Posted: 2/12/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Advocacy/Social Action

City: Boston

Postal code: 02109

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$0 - $1M



Mission statement:

Project Citizenship seeks to increase the naturalization rate in Massachusetts and beyond.  We are a nonprofit agency that provides free, high quality legal services to permanent residents to help them become U.S citizens.  Project Citizenship offers free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, Project Citizenship works collaboratively with community-based partners in Massachusetts to provide a range of support services, civics instruction, application assistance, and ESOL classes.  

Position Details:

Job Description:


Project Citizenship has pioneered an efficient and high impact legal services model to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in Boston and throughout New England. Our vision is that all immigrants understand the benefits and have access to citizenship. Only 10% of eligible green card holders apply for citizenship because of many obstacles. Project Citizenship specializes in helping legal permanent residents in Massachusetts and beyond achieve U.S. citizenship. The  immigrant population in Massachusetts is the seventh largest in the nation and as diverse as anywhere in the United States. The foreign-born population drives local economies, holds over half the Ph.D.’s, and comprises 17% of our workforce. Project Citizenship believes that, in Massachusetts and other immigrant-driven economies, citizenship rates are the best indicator of social integration and the bellwether of an innovative and robust economy. 

Project Citizenship  was officially launched in 2014, but its roots date back to 2011 when a collaboration of six community partners offering citizenship services for immigrants came together, as an initiative of the Fish Family Foundation, to focus on increasing the naturalization rates in greater Boston. Although Project Citizenship continues to offer legal and practical expertise and technical assistance to community partners, it focuses most of its attention and resources on the urgent need of helping eligible legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens through direct services to thousands of immigrants each year in group workshops throughout the community and in its headquarters in downtown Boston.

With an operating budget of $850,000, Project Citizenship has a dedicated team of 7 full-time and 2 part-time employees, as well as 4 AmeriCorps service members. The senior team includes the Executive Director, the  Director of Programs and Operations and the Director of Development.


Project Citizenship’s work specifically focuses in three areas: 1) outreach to immigrant communities to explain the rights and benefits of citizenship, 2) legal assistance for citizenship applications, including acquisition and derivation, and appeals, and 3) direct advocacy for clients with disabilities or other particular challenges during the citizenship process.  Project Citizenship has also engaged in federal litigation to advance access to citizenship for disabled clients unable to learn English.


Pro bono lawyers from top Boston law firms, Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited staff and AmeriCorps volunteers at Project Citizenship have represented thousands of clients from around the world. Many clients believed citizenship was unattainable. After visiting Project Citizenship’s offices in Boston’s Quincy Market, regular workshops organized in the greater Boston area, or at popular events like Citizenship Day -- which has been co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement -- clients quickly learn that citizenship and its benefits are within reach.  Project Citizenship is the attorney of record for all clients and advocates for clients from the initial point of screening through the oath of citizenship, a now 8 to 10 month process.


Since its inception, Project Citizenship has doubled revenue from private and public foundations. Its dedicated staff, pro bono legal partners and expansive volunteer force of more than 1,000 trained volunteers have made it possible to help over 6,500 immigrants apply for U.S. citizenship with a 95% success rate. Project Citizenship was selected as a 2017 Social Innovation Forum Innovator and is a Department of Justice recognized nonprofit organization.


The Executive Director is the organization’s key strategic and management leader. Building on a strong legal services platform, she/he/they will imagine and spearhead the next phase of impact that over time leads to a best-in-class and sustainable $3+ million organization, one that meets increasing program demand and is positioned as a thought leader in Boston and beyond.


This is a unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial, high-energy leader with the passion, drive and skill to mentor the team, grow organizational capacity, expand the funding base and raise the organization’s profile.

The Role: Executive Director

Reports to: Board of Directors

Based: Boston, MA

Strategic Leadership: 

  • Engage the Board of Directors in its important governance role by openly communicating about the organization’s opportunities, strategic choices, progress toward programmatic goals and fulfillment of its mission
  • Shape the vision for the organization’s future; develop a multi-year strategic plan, and accompanying sustainable funding strategies, that ensure scale and growth are appropriately resourced and program excellence is maintained
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, plans and policies, subject to board approval; partner with the team to implement and measure programmatic impact  

External Affairs and Fundraising: 

  • As a visible public advocate, and Project Citizenship’s chief spokesperson, champion the organization’s mission externally to a variety of partners and stakeholders (immigrant, legal and corporate communities; professional, civic and private organizations; media, and the general public)     
  • Build a high profile presence for Project Citizenship via public relations/campaigns; personally build a thought leadership role in citizenship in the greater Boston community and beyond 
  • In partnership with the Director of Development, build and implement a tailored and ambitious strategy to:  1) Significantly grow the organization’s funding base 2) Identify and secure foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, major/annual gifts 
  • Personally attract and cultivate current, as well as future, leadership donors

Management and Culture:  

  • Ensure systems are in place to effectively recruit, retain, motivate and support talented staff
  • Supervise and mentor the organization’s professional staff
  • Guide investments in people and processes to support anticipated organizational growth
  • Promote a highly engaged culture of excellence and continuous improvement 


  • Deepen pro bono relationships with law schools and law firms
  • Oversee outreach to print, radio and television media
  • Oversee the delivery of effective high-quality legal services to thousands of clients each year
  • Engage local, state and federal elected officials
  • Motivate all volunteers around Project Citizenships goals; reinforce shared goals 
  • Identify, address, and resolve barriers to effective program implementation and growth
  • Provide technical assistance to community partners

Finance and Operations: 

  • Oversee effective administration of Project Citizenship’s financial and operational functions
  • Ensure fiscal integrity and the strategic allocation of funds; work with the Board on annual budgeting and monthly financial statements; oversee accounting, the annual audit and day-to-day fiscal management 
  • Develop right-sized infrastructure, policies and risk management to support anticipated growth


The Executive Director must: be driven by a passion for Project Citizenship’s work; bring a long-term commitment to the communities we serve; and have grown the impact of an entrepreneurial, mission-driven organization (business, law, nonprofit management, or equivalent). The ideal Executive Director candidate will also bring a tangible track record of some/all of the following:

  • driving results in a fast-paced environment
  • developing strategy 
  • creating, and delivering, sustainable business/funding models
  • securing significant philanthropic support
  • deepening and expanding partnerships 

As a leader, the Executive Director must be:

  • an excellent communicator with outstanding written and oral communication skills (preferably has advocated on behalf of an organization and/or its client community) 
  • culturally competent
  • diplomatic and partnership oriented 
  • able to lead by example, with a strong, independent work ethic 
  • a strong project and team manager who models continuous improvement 

A J.D. and fluency in a second language and/or immigration background are strongly preferred but not required. 


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Please share nominations or submit a resume and cover letter, in MS Word format, to Kathleen Yazbak, President, and Nora Nichols, Associate, at [email protected]  

Viewcrest Advisors is committed to social justice and access to opportunity; we actively cultivate relationships with leaders who have varied life experiences as well as the skills needed to lead strong, innovative organizations. Viewcrest Advisors, Ltd. is committed to your privacy and to protecting your personal data. To view our privacy policy, please visit our website www.viewcrestadvisors.com.

Posted By: Viewcrest Advisors


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