GCIR President Position Announcement

Thursday, March 12, 2020


Given the current COVID-19 crisis, GCIR has paused its search for a new president until mid-May and will announce the relaunch date once that has been determined.


GCIR envisions a society in which everyone thrives no matter where they were born. To make that vision a reality, we galvanize philanthropy to advance immigrant justice and belonging. 

As the nation’s only immigrant-focused philanthropy-supporting organization (PSO), we work with our more than 130 member institutions, the 1,200 individual grantmakers in our network, our partners in the field, and other PSOs to mobilize funder resources on the most pressing issues facing immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. 

From briefings and publications to consultations and convenings, we inform funders about policy developments and help them make the connection between their priorities and immigration. We connect funders from around the country to one another, catalyzing coordinated and collaborative grantmaking for maximum impact. And we encourage philanthropic institutions to assert their voice in the public discourse, via joint public statements, their own communications, and submission of public comments on proposed rules and regulations. Our work has informed and mobilized hundreds of millions of dollars to support immigrant communities across the country. 

Our staff of 12 and our 17-member board of directors come from all walks of life, many of us with immigrant and refugee backgrounds, some of us with non-traditional career paths, and all of us committed to social justice. While the GCIR staff is based primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, our members are local, state, regional, and national foundations who transcend issue area, geographic region, and ideological categorization. 

In 2017, Inside Philanthropy named us Funders’ Affinity Group of the Year for leading funder pushback to anti-immigrant policies. That same year, we grew our membership by 50 percent. 

In 2020, we celebrate our 30th anniversary as we embark on a search for a new leader, one with the courage, vision, and experience to take us to new heights. As our country looks ahead to the 2020 presidential election and beyond, we seek a leader who can build on the incredible legacy of our outgoing president and help us advance philanthropy toward a more hopeful future. 

Our work in the philanthropic sector is grounded in the following values:

  • Justice: We are committed to racial, social, and economic justice.
  • Belonging: We believe that belonging is essential to building strong communities and a healthy democracy.
  • Humanity: We believe that everyone is connected by our shared humanity.
  • Courage: We believe that taking risks is imperative to achieve a just and equitable society.
  • Solidarity: We are united with other movements and communities in the pursuit of civil and human rights. 

Our Major Areas of Work

In addition to briefings, strategy meetings, consultations, and our biennial convenings, GCIR’s current major areas of work include:

  • California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII): Since its inception in 2007, this funder table has provided the infrastructure for California funders to be on the leading edge of philanthropic response. Between 2016 and 2019 alone, CIII helped California funders deploy $323 million to address critical issues facing immigrant communities across the state. 
  • Delivering on the Dream (DOTD): Launched in 2012, this national network now has funding collaboratives in 21 states and has deployed $78 million to 500+ grantees.
  • Learning Communities: We offer funders with shared or intersecting interests opportunities to learn, connect, and strategize with one another. Currently, we are bringing funders together around the role of immigrants in the future of work, secondary trauma for those working in field organizations, and the criminalization of immigrants and people of color. 
  • California Census 2020 Statewide Funders’ Initiative: Launched in 2018, this statewide table has helped funders coordinate more than $26 million to support a fair and accurate count in the 2020 census.


At a pivotal moment in history for the immigrant justice movement, GCIR offers a powerful platform for galvanizing philanthropy to advance a long-term affirmative vision for a just, equitable, and inclusive society—and a vibrant and pluralistic democracy. 

The new GCIR president will lead a highly influential organization with a stellar track record of accomplishments, an outstanding reputation as a thought leader, and well-established relationships with a wide range of stakeholders in philanthropy and the field. Building upon a solid foundation established by the founding president, the new president will have the opportunity to shape GCIR’s future direction and focus in alignment with the organization’s mission and values.

The president will work closely with a dedicated board of directors, leveraging their expertise, connections, and resources to advance organizational goals. The president will lead a team of 12 talented and high-performing staff, who have a wide range of lived and professional experiences. The senior management team—comprising the vice president of programs, vice president of operations, and director of communications and development—is ready to share leadership responsibility and be strong partners for the new president in defining, prioritizing, and executing the work. With a focus on professional development and internal diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work over the past year and a half, the entire team is well positioned to help GCIR accomplish its objectives and increase its impact in the coming years.

GCIR is in a strong financial position, with an annual operating budget of $2.5 million. The new president will focus significant time on fundraising and maintaining GCIR’s strong fiscal health, as well as strengthening its long-term sustainability. Continued resource development, including membership cultivation and retention, will be a key responsibility. 

The immediate focus of the role will be on navigating GCIR through a major leadership transition; forging relationships with staff and board; maintaining the impressive range of external relationships held by the organization; and leading the staff and Board through the process of building a new strategic plan to support GCIR’s mission of advancing more affirmative immigrant-related grantmaking.

The role provides an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to expand GCIR’s sphere of influence within philanthropy, utilizing strategic thinking, advocacy and influencing skills.


Leadership and Vision
  • Articulate a bold vision, and clearly defined goals and priorities, that align with GCIR’s mission and values and responds effectively to a dynamic policy environment and philanthropic ecosystem.
  • Advance immigration as a critical cross-cutting issue for philanthropy and maximize long-term philanthropic support. 
  • Position GCIR as the leading authority that informs and influences philanthropic action on immigrant-related issues from making grants to impact investing, to taking a public stand.
  • Develop a fundraising strategy to ensure GCIR’s long-term sustainability.
Relationships and Thought Leadership
  • Cultivate, build, and maintain relationships with a diverse range of funders, PSOs, field organizations, government institutions, academia, and other stakeholders and allies—and keep them apprised of GCIR’s work, accomplishments, and strategic direction.
  • Develop and maintain a high level of knowledge and expertise on immigration, staying informed of key immigration policy developments; the latest trends, research, and analyses; as well as developments and innovations in the field. 
Programs and Communications
  • Ensure that GCIR programs, resources, and services galvanize philanthropy to address urgent and persistent needs and invest in a long-term movement for immigrant justice.
  • Oversee organizational messaging, branding, and positioning.
  • Serve as GCIR’s principal spokesperson to media, members, and other constituencies.
  • Promote GCIR’s work, brand, and impact to various stakeholders and audiences.
  • Ensure that existing funder relationships are nurtured and maintained.
  • Explore opportunities for expansion and diversification of funding sources and earned-revenue opportunities. Expand GCIR’s operating reserve over time.
  • Coach senior managers to develop their fundraising skills.
Finance and Administration
  • Maintain a fiscally sound operation, overseeing the development and management of budgets, and ensuring regulatory, audit and reporting processes are well managed.
  • Ensure that proper systems, policies, protocols, and practices are in place for full ethical and legal compliance under all tax, employment, and other applicable laws. 
Partnership with the Board of Directors
  • Ensure that the board of directors remains engaged and provides effective governance, leadership, and fundraising support to advance GCIR’s mission and vision. 
  • Work with the board to set the strategic direction, goals, and priorities for the organization. 
  • Support the work of the board’s executive, governance, and finance committees, as well as any time-limited task forces.
Management and Organizational Culture
  • Strengthen the capacity and cohesion of the senior management team based on a model of distributed responsibility and shared leadership, and oversee the goals, activities, performance, and development of the vice president of programs, vice president of operations, and director of communications and development. 
  • Continue to maintain a dynamic, inclusive, and equitable organizational culture centered on integrity, accountability, respect, excellence, growth, joy, and well-being.  
  • Provide development opportunities for all staff, and ensure that compensation, personnel, and other management policies are up to date and reflect organizational values. 
  • Ensure that staffing and organizational structure support GCIR’s needs and goals.


Organizational Leadership: The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with passion, vision, a can-do spirit, and a deep commitment to GCIR’s values. They will have a bold vision for elevating GCIR’s leadership in its field: broadening the organization’s reach and influence and engaging a community of stakeholders working individually and collectively to advance GCIR’s mission. They will be able to demonstrate a record of innovation.

Knowledge of the Field: The candidate will bring a deep knowledge of immigration issues and trends, and a track record of advocating for positive change with diverse audiences. They will also bring a sophisticated understanding of the complex intersection and interplay of immigration with other issues and movements.

Relationships and Influence: The new president will be highly skilled in cultivating and maintaining relationships with philanthropic and movement leaders. They will understand the unique dynamics in philanthropy, and how GCIR’s intermediary role can create opportunities to advance a progressive agenda in the sector. They will have a genuine appreciation of different perspectives, and the skill to influence diverse stakeholders to find common ground and work on shared goals. With wisdom and maturity, they will know when to lead, when to partner, and when to step back to allow others to lead.

Finance and Operational Skills: The candidate will have the business acumen, fundraising track record, and operational expertise to ensure a fiscally and operationally healthy organization. They will have a track record of overseeing budgets and financial reporting, and the ability to read financial accounts. They will know how to set and manage priorities and deadlines effectively for the team, yet be able to pivot quickly in response to new challenges in the volatile policy environment and dynamic philanthropic ecosystem in which GCIR operates.

Leadership Qualities: GCIR seeks a leader who will bring emotional intelligence, and an approachable, humble, and compassionate leadership style, with a deep commitment to equity. They will be able to inspire, motivate, and empower staff, and support an inclusive organizational culture. Their self-confident, direct, and honest style will instill trust, promote collaboration, and support leadership development and professional growth. Given the gravity of the work, having an optimistic outlook, good sense of humor, and a high level of resilience will be essential to success. The new president likely has a personal connection to the immigrant or refugee experience.


  • At least 10 years senior leadership experience in the immigrant and/or social justice movement. 
  • Preferred experience of leading an organization or team of comparable size/complexity to GCIR, as well as with a grantmaking foundation or philanthropy-supporting organization. 
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and the ability to make persuasive arguments and presentations to a variety of audiences. 
  • Proven experience in fundraising at a senior level (over $1.5M per annum), including building relationships, developing the case statement, and making the “ask.”
  • Experience in human resources management, and demonstrated success in supervising and developing staff, particularly in an organization with multiple offices and/or a technology-based virtual setting.
  • Ability to oversee finance and operations functions and supervise staff managing them.
  • Demonstrated experience working directly and effectively with boards of directors and board committees, leveraging their knowledge, leadership, and connections. 
  • Ability and willingness to travel an average of twice a month to meet with stakeholders, represent the organization, or speak at conferences. Additional travel will be required should the candidate selected be based outside of the San Francisco Bay Area or California where GCIR staff are based and where we have highly engaged members and stakeholders.


GCIR currently has two physical offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, where most of the staff work. We also have two staff members who work remotely. Ideally, this position would continue to be based at one of the Bay Area offices or in another part of California. Moderate preference will be given to candidates living in, or willing to relocate to, the Bay Area (modest relocation assistance is available). Candidates based in other locations are also invited to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


GCIR offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package, including health insurance, retirement contribution, vacation and sick leave, support for professional development, and an employee matching-gifts program.


As an Equal Opportunity Employer, GCIR is committed to building and retaining a talented, diverse, and inclusive team. Our team members represent diverse backgrounds; bring a wide range of educational, professional, and lived experience; and contribute expertise from varied disciplines within the philanthropic, nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors. We welcome candidates of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities and expressions. We strongly encourage women, people of color, those from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, and others who fit our candidate profile and requirements to apply for this president role.

GCIR has retained Sarah Burton to lead this search. Once the search reopens, those wishing to be considered should submit a cover letter and résumé or curriculum vitae to [email protected] In your cover letter please explain why you are interested in this role and how your experience and skills are relevant to the requirements of GCIR outlined above. All inquiries and submissions will be kept strictly confidential. Candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted. 

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