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Chicago Executive Director Mikva Challenge – Greater Chicago Area

The Opportunity—Serve at the Helm of our Flagship Office


Mikva Challenge’s board of directors has embarked upon a search for a dynamic, inspiring, and talented leader to serve as the Chicago Executive Director.  This is an exciting opportunity to grow Mikva’s Chicago area footprint and amplify its status as a regional and national model, while Mikva expands into other markets.  S/he must feel at ease engaging both C-Suite and city school stakeholders to take part in Mikva’s mission.  This position was created as part of Mikva’s restructuring to accommodate its strategic expansion blueprint.


S/he will report to the National Director and work on institutional strategies that promote Mikva’s unique brand and model of programs that include: the Center for Action Civics, Project Soapbox and Democracy in Action, Youth Councils, Election Judges, and Campaign Internships.  As part of Mikva Challenge’s leadership team, the Executive Director must be a relationship builder, strategic thinker, active in organizing and executing plans, and possess political savvy.


The Chicago Executive Director must have in-depth knowledge of and experience working with youth-focused civic or education based organizations.  The Executive Director must have a strong ethical leadership style and s/he will act as Mikva’s “public face” by maintaining and developing relationships with not for profit organizations, public officials, corporations, schools, media, staff and donors including networking, meetings, site visits, and public speaking.


S/he is responsible for the stewardship of the Chicago Office that includes implementing strategic fundraising, programmatic, and operational goals.


In addition, the Executive Director’s scope of responsibilities and roles include:


  • Collaborate with board and staff to grow and improve Mikva’s cutting edge action civics programming
  • Fundraise from multiple donor sources to support Mikva’s programming in the Chicagoland area, particularly with Chicago area foundations and corporations
  • Responsible for program evaluation and program results
  • Exhibit a strong business acumen to manage expenses and operations for the Chicago office
  • Cultivate current and prospective relationships with stakeholders, including funders, public officials, government agencies, media, and other NFP leaders
  • Assist in leading efforts to develop annual program goals, budgets, and communication plans
  • Supervise and collaborate with Mikva Challenge Chicago’s dynamic team of staff members

Desired Skills and Experience

Candidate Profile Requirements

  • Belief in the talent and skills of Chicago’s young people and a passion for developing young leaders and great citizens
  • Must have Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s degree preferred or equivalent experience
  • At least 10 years of experience working with a civics or educational organization
  • At least 7 years of previous management and supervisory experience
  • Understands the importance of non-partisanship civic education and able to build relationships with leaders across the political spectrum
  • Thoughtful and dynamic communicator with exemplary writing skills
  • Proven success and history of fundraising for budgets over $1 million
  • Collaborates effectively with others to reach common goals and objectives
  • Impeccable integrity, judgement, and discretion along with a professional demeanor and interpersonal style that elicits trust from leadership, peers, staff, and board members
  • Viewed as a leader by his/her peers/colleagues
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications

To express your interest in this opportunity, please submit your resume to   Potential candidates of interest will be contacted by Mikva Challenge.  All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.  Mikva Challenge is an equal opportunity employer and we highly value diversity in our workplace. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. Candidates chosen to be interviewed should be prepared to offer three professional references.  Candidates will be required to complete a background check in order to work in Chicago Public Schools. This is a full-time position.  No phone calls will be accepted! Deadline for application is May 15th, 2015.

Please send a resume and cover letter to:

Reference:  Chicago Executive Director

Opportunity for High School Students

DePaul University Labor Center offers an intensive one-week union summer school program for high school students. This program, founded in 1948 serves as a resource center to students, labor activists, academics and community leaders seeking a deeper understanding of labor issues and economic justice. This forward thinking program is facilitated by Bob Breving, who in the 70’s and 80’s was a member of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and worked tirelessly along with others to organize many of your councils.

Bob has reached out to Local 504 along with the Northeastern Illinois Federation of Labor (our Illinois AFL-CIO Central Labor Council) to hold a

one day program for high school students on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 9:30-2:30 here at the Union Hall.

Students will learn labor history and participate in a mock collective bargaining role play. The program is entirely free and students who complete the one day program will receive a $25 stipend a few weeks later.

In this day of “Union bashing” the timing couldn’t be more perfect to engage our future leaders in conversations about workers and working class communities. In order for this event to be successful, we need at least 25 students. Please help us recruit those 25 students and get back to me with their names by Monday, April 27.

Thank you for your assistance in teaching students about labor.

Susan Eberle  |  Bookkeeper
Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504
248 Ambrogio Drive, Gurnee, IL  60031
T:  847-623-7725, x-10  |  E:

Executive Director of Waukegan Main Street

Waukegan Main Street is seeking a full-time professional to head our organization as Executive Director. Applicant needs to be results oriented, high energy, collaborative and creative, and experienced in economic development. Waukegan, Illinois is a city of 90,000+ and our ED will serve as liaison between our organization and a 15-member working board as well as City staff, community, state and national organizations, and volunteers. Job duties include directing and implementing annual work plans in accordance with the Main Street approach, maintaining and growing an annual budget of approximately $150K, and coordinating 150 volunteers. Bachelor’s degree, excellent communication and organizational skills are required; marketing, volunteer management and fundraising experience preferred. Salary package negotiable. Forward resume to Ms. Jamie O’Meara via email to, or by mail to Waukegan Main Street, 214 W. Washington Street, Waukegan, IL 60085. Deadline April 6, 2015. For a complete job description, click here.

Common Cause Lead Organizer Position

For over 40 years, Common Cause has been at the forefront of the democracy movement by building a base of Americans that are educated and civically engaged in strategic campaigns to achieve tangible political reforms. Using our network of 35 state organizations and Washington DC headquarters, Common Cause Illinois (CCIL) was re-launched in early 2012 to help bring about a paradigm shift in Illinois that will result in a government that is responsive, accountable, transparent, and effective.

Over the past three years, CCIL has been successful in moving the needle of democracy reform through our unique model of education, civic engagement, coalition building, policy analysis, advocacy, lobbying, and community organizing. Since our re-launch we have successfully helped pass political including the passage of online voter registration and same day voter registration. We have led organizing campaigns to pass a Chicago ballot question, a Chicago city council resolution, and a joint resolution of the Illinois legislature, all calling on Congress to overturn the misguided Supreme Court case Citizens United v FEC. We also led a campaign that included a Chicago city council resolution opposing the selling of the Tribune company newspapers to the Koch Brothers, and most recently leading the campaign to pass a ballot question calling on Chicago to adopt small-donor public financing system for the City of Chicago.

Common Cause Illinois is seeking an accomplished, strategic, and collaborative organizer to lead our efforts to build a stronger, more diverse base throughout the state of Illinois that will build on our victories and ensure that we are furthering the cause of justice by holding power accountable.

Job Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, the Lead Organizer responsibilities include but are not limited to the following.

  • Develop and staff Common Cause Illinois’ action teams and program committees
  • Build coalition support, organize members and educate the public and elected officials on issues.
  • Develop and write public outreach materials including factsheets, action alerts, presentations and online updates.
  • Although the job is based in Chicago, candidate must have own transportation and be willing to recruit and coordinate volunteers and plan regular member events throughout Illinois.
  • Recruit and develop leadership of grassroots members, especially youth and people living in low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Assist with fundraising for our organizing campaigns in coordination with the Development Associate and Executive Director
  • Coordinate research and policy reports, as necessary


    • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree or J.D. preferred. We will, however, consider non-degreed candidates with exceptional organizing experience.
    • Experience as a community organizer working in low-income and communities of color.
    • Background in more than one organizing approach or model helpful (e.g. IAF, labor, popular education, etc.)
    • Commitment to political reform and social and economic justice
    • Bilingual preferred (especially Spanish)
    • Strong empathy, ability, comfortableness, and desire to work in diverse settings.
    • Ability to multi-task and to work effectively in a fast-paced environment
    • Willingness to work flexible hours—including occasional weeknights and weekends
    • Commitment to working as part of a team
    • Able to take initiative and a self-starter
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and current social media platforms required. WordPress (or similar website management program) mastery is a plus.


Salary for this position is competitive and will be commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

How to apply

Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Position will stay open until filled.

Common Cause Illinois is an equal opportunity employer.