Libra Foundation Announces Search for New President

The Libra Foundation and Tao Rising LLC seek a passionate, relationship-oriented, and values-aligned leader to serve as President. Reporting to the Libra Foundation’s Board of Directors, the President will lead the foundation’s dynamic team as it continues supporting frontline organizations led by marginalized communities of color to transform the criminal justice system and advance environmental, climate, and gender justice. The President will bring personal commitment to equity and justice along with thoughtfulness, heart, humility, curiosity, and integrity that can help build upon the last two decades of organizational growth. The President will have a tremendous opportunity to collaboratively steer the foundation into its next chapter of operational strength, nimble responsiveness, and heightened relationships and impact. The President will also support the continued evolution of the Tao Rising team to best partner with the family and foundation. Read the full job description.

THE ORGANIZATION

The President will lead the entire dynamic 11-person team inclusive of the Libra Foundation – the family foundation that prioritizes multi-year, unrestricted grants to frontline, BIPOC-led organizations that are working in deep community to bring change – and Tao Rising – the family philanthropy office where individual family members hone their philanthropic vision, values, and learning goals. The Libra Foundation (Libra) – established in 2002 – began as a vehicle for social change. Libra was founded with a mission dedicated to human rights, with a focus on drug policy reform, women’s rights, and the right to a healthy environment. Libra is governed by a six-member family board and has assets of approximately $450 million. As Crystal Hayling assumed leadership in 2017, Libra focused its mission on US-based human rights work bringing a strong racial justice lens. This shift spurred the foundation into “Libra 2.0" which funds and partners with organizations led by those most impacted by systemic oppression – largely communities of color that have experienced chronic underinvestment.

Libra is now known for its funding of BIPOC-led movements by working at the grassroots to build power in communities, support democratic rights, and to center those most impacted by racial, gender, and environmental injustices. Libra believes that all people deserve to live free of systemic oppression, economic insecurity, and environmental harm. It is Libra’s desire to promote equity and level the playing field. To that end, trust is the cornerstone of Libra’s philanthropy efforts with annual grantmaking of approximately $28 million across three core Program Areas: Community Safety & Justice, Environmental & Climate Justice, and Gender Justice. Libra has grown in its impact as evidenced by the launch of the nearly $75 million Democracy Frontlines Fund (DFF) – a national aligned giving strategy to leverage millions of new dollars to fund Black organizing and disrupt traditional philanthropy. By trusting its grantees, who are closest to their communities and most equipped to build and implement solutions, Libra is able to be the most effective it can be in bringing real and systemic changes.

Tao Rising’s philanthropy advisors support family members on their giving outside of the Libra Foundation endowment. This 2-person team works with family members to develop program priorities and strategies to launch new initiatives and execute giving plans across areas such as migrant justice, climate, regenerative agricultural practices, and cultural power. Annual grantmaking of over $15 million includes multi-year, general operating support across multiple donor advised funds.

Libra and Tao Rising are unified in commitment to spurring the continual evolution of philanthropy to move resources – at scale – in a way that centers the needs and expertise of grantee partners. This shared trust-based approach to philanthropy is the cornerstone of all organizational giving, funder organizing in the field, and internal culture building. With Crystal’s retirement, there is excitement for what a new leader can bring to build off past successes in close partnership with the committed Board; skilled staff; and valued external partners.

THE OPPORTUNITY

 In 2024 and beyond, Libra will uphold its support of organizations led by those most impacted by systemic oppression, equipping grantees with the tools needed to build and implement effective solutions. The next chapter of Libra’s development will sustain and deepen this strategy; continue to evolve the organization and its culture to support its important work; and partner with the Board of Directors in the evolution of its governance. Key strategic questions that Libra’s new leader will focus on include:

  •  How can Libra continue to strengthen its reputation and impact in the field?
  • What new strategic relationships should Libra build and/or utilize in service of its mission?
  • What specific organizational design, roles, capabilities, and skills are needed in 2024 and beyond to better live into Libra’s mission and ensure continued connection with Tao Rising?
  • How can all staff be better supported in continuing to strengthen and nurture an internal culture grounded in trust, honesty, empathy, and respect across Libra and Tao Rising?
  • How can the Board continue to build upon its shared values and cohesion while integrating new generations and/or expertise that ensure the long-term continuity of its collective work?

KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

The President will be responsible for the following key areas of work among others: 

Executive & Operational Management 

  • In partnership with the Board of Directors, further evolving Libra’s vision and approach.
  • Providing leadership, information, support, and cohesion that enhance Libra’s governance within a unique foundation and family office structure.
  • Ensuring effective governance of the Board, developing and maintaining strong working relationships with family members on core aspects of collective and individual philanthropy.
  • Directing, counseling, mentoring, and developing the team, ensuring staff continue to operate at a high level, including direct supervision of Libra’s Director of Operations, Director of Programs, DFF Initiative Officer, and an Executive Assistant as well as of Tao Rising’s Philanthropy Advisor, serving as a close advisor and thought partner on the family’s other philanthropic work.
  • Hiring key leaders needed within Libra to advance the mission and vision likely to include the open positions of Director of Programs; Senior Program Officer, Environmental & Climate Justice; and an Executive Assistant noting that the new President may adjust or modify organizational design in accordance with needs.
  • Building upon a cohesive team culture centering trust, honesty, empathy, and respect where everyone feels community, belonging, and safety even in a hybrid environment.
  • Managing an estimated $9 million operating budget while ensuring the annual audit is accurately prepared on an appropriate schedule with no significant management findings.
  • With family office support, ensuring that Libra sustains the highest level of effectiveness and efficiency through its people and through strong internal controls, systems, policies, budgeting, finance, and risk management practices with the ability to respond quickly to trends and crises.
  • Coordinating closely with Tao Capital Partners, the family office, which manages payroll, payments, and the endowment.

Voice & Advocacy 

  • Serving as the primary spokesperson and ambassador developing and deepening positive relationships among key stakeholders (across philanthropic, nonprofit, business, government, and other opinion leaders); promoting Libra’s mission; and advocating on behalf of its communities to effectively leverage and widen Libra’s reach and impact.
  • Driving thought leadership and dissemination strategies that clearly and compellingly present the work of Libra and its grantees to other funders and partners and to the community at large.
  • Continuing to elevate Libra’s work within the philanthropic community across the country.
  • Cultivating and strengthening Libra’s relationships with grantees and partners.
  • Serving as a national thought leader and funder organizer building a culture of transformation in the philanthropic sector that moves money into the hands of BIPOC communities, crafting and implementing grantee-focused grantmaking processes and solutions.

 Mission-Aligned Investment

  • Support the mission alignment goals of Libra’s investment program by serving on the Libra Investment Committee.
  • Provide perspective to the committee that allows for decisions to be made with a deeper understanding of how investment strategies intersect with Libra grantees’ needs and experiences.

 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to be at the forefront of all activities, both internal and external.
  • Intentionally ensuring that staff is diverse – representing a range of backgrounds, life experiences, skills, and viewpoints – and that the work environment values integrity, transparency, vulnerability, and courage to have tough conversations that lead to deeper understanding and appreciation and more effective stakeholder engagement.

Tao Rising Leadership

  • Supervising and providing thought partnership to Tao Rising’s Philanthropy Advisor in coordination with the family.
  • Facilitating the continued integration of the Tao Rising team with the Libra team in partnership with the Philanthropy Advisor.

THE IDEAL PRESIDENT

The next leader will build upon years of strategic, impactful work, alongside a powerhouse team and with innovative community partners. The ideal President will possess many of the following attributes, experiences, and expertise along with other transferable values and skills:

  • Personal values and lived experience that are aligned with Libra’s Approach and Process including demonstrated passion for funding social movements deeply, steadily, and with a learner’s mind.
  • An inclusive, consensus-building leadership style, both in and out of the public spotlight, that centers humility, listening, and consciousness – especially around power and privilege – and inspires others’ ability to confidently build, lead, and motivate individuals and teams.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both personally and professionally, including experience leading or being part of work to enhance teams, culture, and programs through a DEI lens centering those most impacted by systemic oppression – largely low-income communities of color.
  • Knowledge of and belief in Libra’s unique trust-based grant making approach centering deep grantee relationships across multi-year, unrestricted general operating support, with no proposal or report required, to support the financial sustainability of movements.
  • Successful experience in development of effective trust-based grantmaking programs with hands-on experience managing, designing, and allocating resources in close partnership with community-based organizations.
  • Experience supporting board governance – serving on a board(s) and/or reporting to a board – preferably inclusive of living donors or family philanthropy and/or private foundations.
  • Experience managing a sophisticated, complex organization including a track record of effectively managing, developing, and inspiring teams to do their best work through a communicative and collaborative approach.
  • Comfort and experience serving as the internal and external face of an organization, mission, and/or initiative with exceptional writing and speaking skills and a proven track-record of successful internal and external messaging.
  • Experience with and/or aptitude for funder organizing bringing funder allies and social justice leaders together to learn and grow in partnership, so more resources can flow to BIPOC-led movements working at the grassroots. 
  • Experience in managing a multi-million-dollar budget with knowledge of and experience with mission-related investing.
  • Demonstrated history of thinking both boldly and strategically with the willingness to take risks in service of learning and advancing the mission and the courage to do the right thing even when it is not the popular thing.
  • Operational know-how to get things done; experience and a successful track record in leadership and management ideally inclusive of knowledge of foundation operations, legal policies, and procedures.
  • Solid experience in the processes of self-evaluation and an understanding of trust-based approaches to evaluation of initiatives and programs.
  • Flexibility and adaptability – ability and willingness to pivot when necessary.

POSITION DETAILS, COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

This is a full-time position based at the vibrant, light, open and welcoming office home located on Ramaytush Ohlone land (The Presidio) in San Francisco, California. The space is filled with art that represents the culture and creativity of the diverse communities served. It is a space that brings people together centering shared mission and values in hosted and curated gatherings. The team works in a flexible employee-driven hybrid model. The ideal President will currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area with local knowledge and roots. Candidates from other markets may apply but must be willing to relocate.

The anticipated competitive annual compensation range is $525,000 to $550,000, commensurate with experience. All candidates with the experience and skills to fulfill the role – regardless of compensation history or background – are encouraged to apply.

The comprehensive benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision coverage (with 100% of the premium covered by the employer), a 401k retirement plan, paid time off, a transit subsidy, and an annual professional development budget.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

Libra is partnering with Walker and Associates Consulting – a Black- and woman-owned equity-centered strategic management consulting and search firm – to facilitate this search. To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and list of three references (references will not be contacted without your advanced notice) to [email protected] by Friday, March 8, 2024 at 5:00 pm PT. Use the subject line: President Application. Please submit PDF or Microsoft Word files only, preferably with all materials in one combined file. Resume review begins immediately. Questions or Nominations? Contact Jeannine N. Walker at [email protected].

Libra and Tao Rising are committed to creating a dynamic, diverse working environment welcoming applicants from all backgrounds and strongly encouraging women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, and LGBTQ people to apply. 

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The Libra Foundation/Tao Rising LLC is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer committed to human rights and supporting a peaceful, just, and equitable society for all. Individuals of all races, religions, national origins, ethnicities, ages, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identities, marital status, veteran status, medical conditions, formerly incarcerated people, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance, are welcome to apply.

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