Executive Director | Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Executive Director
New York, NY

About Astraea

Established in 1977, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) is one of the first women’s funds in the world and the only solely dedicated to LBTQI rights globally. Our founders – a cross-class, multi-racial group of women activists – dreamed of a feminist movement that centered the leadership of lesbians and women of color. For over four decades, Astraea has uniquely supported women’s rights and LBTQI movements working at the crossroads of gender justice, racial justice, bodily autonomy, sexual rights, and self-determination.

As a LBTQI fund, Astraea uniquely fuels groups at the nexus of feminist and LBTQI movements. Astraea’s reach is unparalleled: since its inception, we have granted over $49 million via more than 5,000 grants to over 2,000 grantee partners in 120 countries and nearly all 50 states in the United States (U.S.). Astraea shifts power and resources to LBTQI and feminist activists so that they can build strong, intersectional movements that combat violence and discrimination, counter structural economic and social inequalities and drive transformational cultural change. 

Headquartered in New York City, Astraea’s mission is advanced by more than 30 staff in the U.S. and around the world. The team comes from diverse backgrounds and possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge. Tied together by a deep passion for human rights and social justice, the staff places a high value on self-awareness, commitment to racial justice, shared learning, and genuine kindness. 

Over the years, Astraea has continued to honor the legacy of its founding mothers: uncompromising in a vision of rights for all, upholding values such as belief in self-determination, community empowerment, movement building, and building across issues and generations. The organization that grew from this lesbian feminist vision is a multi-gender, multi-racial, multi-identity public foundation that in 2020 granted over $5.3 million to 203 grantee partners across the globe.

 Astraea operates with a budget of $14 million and is governed by a 13-person Board of Directors. To learn more, please visit: https://www.astraeafoundation.org/

The Opportunity

The mission of Astraea is needed now more than ever. Our world and our people are up against unending challenges, and with the confluence of global health, political, and economic disruptions unfolding amid tectonic shifts in philanthropy and LGBTQI movements, the need for bold queer feminist funding has never been greater. Astraea experienced exponential and transformative growth over the past several years, including receiving an unrestricted $4M gift from MacKenzie Scott last year. With a significantly increased base of  funding, Astraea has radically increased its reach and impact. Now, while continuing to build power and challenge the status quo, Astraea is utilizing this leadership transition period to invest in organizational development and staff well-being.

Since September 2019, under the leadership of Interim Executive Director Sandy Nathan, we have invested in our operational and financial infrastructure, hired critical roles, and restructured staff teams and reporting lines to align more with our functions. We have also prioritized staff wellness and sustainability, centered conversations on anti-oppression, anti-racism, and Astraea’s values, and built strategic alignment across the board and staff on Astraea’s priorities moving forward.

This is a time of transition and stabilization for this 40+ year old organization. This is an exceptional opportunity for a leader to lay the foundation and build the infrastructure for what Astraea will be in our next decades, shaping the organization to meet this moment and beyond. The new leader will inherit a financially stable, mission-driven organization with a strong culture that is living its feminist social justice values.

The Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the new Executive Director will build on Astraea’s proud radical history to create a nimble, thriving, and resilient organization that effectively and efficiently shifts power to LGBTQI people. In collaboration with board, staff, and key partners, the leader’s responsibilities will include:

Strategy, Vision & Leadership

  • With staff, board, grantees, advisors, and peers, develop and implement a strategic plan that defines Astraea’s role in the global ecosystem of feminist funds and movements;
  • In collaboration with regional and feminist funds, enhance Astraea’s role in building LGBTQI movements and the philanthropic infrastructure;
  • Lead the staff executive team which stewards the mission, programs, and operations of Astraea, including program design and the development of annual goals, ensuring that all programs are integrated and advance Astraea’s mission;
  • Conduct periodic evaluation of existing work and assess ideas for new work as measured against Astraea’s vision, mission, and strategic plan;
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Boards of Directors of internal and external issues that affect Astraea, and act as a professional advisor to the Boards on all aspects of Astraea’s activities;
  • Share leadership with and provide staff support to the Board, facilitating its work as a governing and fundraising body and its continuation as an engaged and cohesive group;
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with grantees, government institutions, funders, and other organizations working in the sector to help achieve Astraea’s goals;
  • Promote Astraea’s culture of integrity, cooperation, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability, in which critical thinking, respectful discussion, creativity, and sound judgement are valued.

Organizational Development

  • Ensure the organizational structure supports the recent expansion of grantmaking and programs, while centering staff and reinforcing an anti-oppression frame;
  • Advance racial, gender, disability, and economic justice throughout the organization, culture, structures, policies and operations;
  • Dedicate resources and expertise to build a robust human resources department;
  • Oversee the updating and integration of technology systems adequate to meet the needs of globally distributed organization;
  • Refine and implement policies and procedures that reflect Astraea’s values;
  • Center mentoring and coaching of the management and senior teams, providing support to build strong teams;
  • Support the development of a leadership pipeline for diverse staff;
  • Prioritize professional development and mentoring for the next generation of leaders;
  • Ensure effective decision-making practices and clear communication that build staff alignment, facilitate productive and joyful struggle, and engage those most directly impacted;
  • Make it a top priority to develop and maintain an effective, healthy, and values-aligned organization that practices and lives Astraea’s feminist values in everything it does.

Fundraising and Fiscal Stewardship

  • Enthusiastically lead and actively engage in Astraea’s diverse fundraising efforts;
  • In partnership with board and staff, develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders including individuals and institutions to expand Astraea’s base of supporters;
  • Leverage external presence to grow Astraea’s fundraising initiatives;
  • Diversify and increase unrestricted funding sources, especially from individual donors, and grow Astraea’s reserves and endowment;
  • Oversee the effective and efficient management of the organization’s financial resources ensuring its fiscal stability and long-term sustainability;
  • Working closely with the CFO, ensure that financial and administrative systems, and sound bookkeeping, accounting procedures, and internal controls are in place and followed by all staff;
  • Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditures of the organization.

Communications & Outreach

  • Serve as primary external spokesperson for Astraea;
  • With an authentic and progressive voice, represent Astraea in the media, in the activist and philanthropic communities, and to a broad range of stakeholders including grantee partners, donors, and advisors;
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to governments, private foundations, movements, and grassroots organizations;
  • Foster effective communication among all facets of the organization;
  • Set up oversight mechanisms to ensure continual assessment of progress towards goals and compliance with all applicable legal, accounting, and reporting regulations.

Professional Requirements 

The successful candidate must have the following:

  • A deep commitment to Astraea’s mission and values and to advancing gender, racial, disability, and economic justice;
  • Executive or senior leadership experience, including experience managing remote teams;
  • Experience with nonprofit organizational development, with proven success in building strong and effective teams and scaling operational infrastructure to support a growing organization;
  • Strategic fundraising experience that includes cultivating individual and institutional donor relationships, and soliciting major gifts;
  • Prior experience working with a nonprofit board and a demonstrable understanding of board development, governance and decision-making;
  • Financial acumen to develop, track, and manage a $14 million budget that includes restricted government contracts, foreign funds, complex investments, and fiscal sponsorships;
  • Demonstrated experience leading the creation and implementation of strategic plans;
  • Strong communications skills including the ability to effectively convey Astraea’s radical vision in accessible ways and to engage individuals and large groups;
  • Humility and emotional intelligence, including the capacity for self-insight and learning and the resiliency to hold the emotions and experiences of staff and other partners;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Enthusiasm for significant domestic and international travel. 

While Astraea recognizes that not every individual will exhibit all of these qualities, the successful candidate will demonstrate at least one – and ideally more than one – of the following:

  • A nuanced understanding of the philanthropic climate including current trends and tensions, and Astraea’s place among global LGBTQI and feminist funders;
  • Senior experience with building and growing a strong organizational culture centered around racial, gender, disability, and economic justice;
  • Experience managing an organizational budget of at least $10M;
  • History of being accountable to and in solidarity with grassroots movements, especially those in the Global South and/or East;
  • Commitment to lifelong learning and a drive to mentor, coach, and support staff;
  • International perspective and lived experience in the Global South and/or East;
  • An understanding of the fiscal and donor reporting requirements associated with global grassroots grantmaking;
  • Fluency in a language/languages other than English.


Commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate, the salary range for the position is $215,000 – $225,000 per annum. In addition to generous PTO, Astraea  provides an excellent benefits package including health, dental, vision, short- and long term disability, and ancillary insurance, as well as flex spending and health reimbursement accounts, and a 401(k) savings plan with employer match.

Reimbursement of basic relocation expenses will be considered for the exceptional individual we are seeking.


In response to public health guidelines concerning COVID-19, Astraea’s staff is currently working remotely. Ideally, when restrictions are lifted and congregant workplaces are deemed safe, the new Executive Director will work on-site in the Foundation’s New York office, however the Board is open to considering U.S.-based remote candidates. If selected, an Executive Director living outside of the New York metropolitan area will be expected to spend one week per month on-site in the Foundation’s New York office. The Foundation will cover the cost of travel and accommodations related to the candidate establishing a New York presence.

As for non-U.S. based candidates, present legal ability to work in the US. is not required. Astraea will work with the selected candidate to pursue the appropriate visa.


For individuals wishing to be considered for the Executive Director position, please submit a cover letter and résumé as attachments via e-mail to search@mccormackkristel.com. Applications will be received on a rolling basis until filled.

Michelle Kristel, Managing Partner
Soladé Rowe, Senior Consultant
1740 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.531.5003 | Fax: 212.203.9599       
Email: search@mccormackkristel.com | Website www.mccormackkristel.com

Astraea is an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to select, place, train and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience so as to provide equal opportunity for all of our employees in compliance with applicable local, state and federal law, and without regard to non-work related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all activities, including but not limited to, recruiting, hiring, training, transfers, promotions and benefits. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination and access to benefits and training.