Human Rights, Social Services, Government / Public Policy, Criminal Justice Reform
General Management / Strategic Planning
NY - New York metropolitan area
About the Organization

The Center for Court Innovation creates operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performs original research to determine what works (and what doesn't), and provides expert assistance to justice reformers around the world.

Operating Programs

The Center conceives, plans, and operates programs that test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Its projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Some of its projects are big, serving thousands of people each year. And some are small, working intensively with a few dozen people at a time. No matter the size or the topic, its approach is always the same: thoughtful planning, an emphasis on creativity, and the rigorous use of data to document results. Its efforts have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.

Key to the Center's work is the idea of collaboration. To get things done, the Center partners with a broad range of government, nonprofit, and community agencies. The Center has a strong relationship with government in New York—especially the state court system, for which it provides ongoing strategic advice and programming.


Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. The Center has performed multiple randomized controlled trials. Its researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. And the Center has published much-cited studies that have looked at such topics as youth in the sex trade, reentry, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The Center believes in the "action research" model; accordingly, its researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center's own operating programs. The Center disseminates information about justice reform through books, videos, podcasts, social media, and other vehicles.

Expert Assistance

The Center for Court Innovation provides hands-on, expert assistance to reformers around the world, including judges, attorneys, justice officials, community organizations, and others. Having launched dozens of innovative justice initiatives, the Center knows firsthand the nuts-and-bolts of how to get a new project off the ground. Experts from the Center are available to help plan, implement and evaluate new policies, practices, and technologies. Its assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, facilitating planning sessions, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.

About the Position

The Center for Court Innovation seeks a strategic, committed leader to serve as its Executive Director. After a successful twenty-five year tenure - and significant planning and reflection - the Center's Executive Director will be stepping down. The incoming Executive Director will step into an organization in strong financial and strategic health with an exceptional team. The incoming Executive Director will have the opportunity to work with a robust array of partners at every level of the justice system in New York as well as key national and international stakeholders.

The Center's Executive Director serves as the organization's most senior external advocate and fundraiser, overseeing the organization's projected growth. The Executive Director will also oversee organizational strategy, enabling the Center to continue to deliver consistent, high-quality operating programs, research, and expert assistance in pursuit of justice reform.

As the organization's primary leader, the Executive Director will support the Center's leadership team and staff to achieve exceptional results and impact at scale. In addition, the Executive Director will help chart the Center's course into the future, leading strategic planning about where the organization should go next.

The Center for Court Innovation has a special relationship with the New York State Court System and the Fund for the City of New York, two agencies that helped give birth to the organization. The Center functions as the New York court system's independent research and development partner, helping to identify chronic and emerging problems and propose solutions. The Center is administered as a project of the Fund for the City of New York, which provides fiscal and administrative support to the agency.

The Executive Director will directly manage a senior leadership team and an organization of over 520 staff. The search for the new Executive Director is being led by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

This is an ideal opportunity for a committed leader to help create a more effective and humane justice system and build stronger and healthier communities. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategic Leadership - Serve as the Center's senior-most executive, ensuring the organization continues to excel in its current work, while overseeing the organizational culture and infrastructure necessary for the Center to launch new high-impact initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally; launch a new strategic planning process to guide the organization into the future
  • Team Management and Financial Oversight - Lead, with the support of the senior leadership team and staff, all operations, with ultimate accountability for the success of the organization, building and mentoring a high-performing team committed to advancing the Center's efforts to reduce crime and incarceration, support victims, and build communities
  • Culture Building - Continue to build and enhance the Center's culture, defined by its commitment to collaboration, innovation, and excellence
  • Thought Leadership - Amplify the work of the Center's research teams, ensuring that the Center's work contributes to the national and international dialogue about justice system reform
  • Relationship Management and Cultivation - Serve as as the leading voice for the organization, enhancing the Center's partnerships with key stakeholders both inside and outside of government
  • Fundraising - Drive fundraising strategies and activities that lead to organizational sustainability and growth, ensuring the engagement of the Center's existing donor base while cultivating new supporters among government, corporate, foundation, and individual funders; engage other staff leaders and provide them with the support they need so that they can be part of driving successful fundraising
  • Program Leadership - Provide vision, oversight, and direction, ensuring continuous improvement of program delivery
  • Advisory Board - Work to develop and expand the Center's advisory board with the help of its chair
Candidate Requirements:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of fifteen years of professional work experience, including five years in a significant leadership role
  • Outstanding organizational leadership skills, with an ability to articulate a clear and inspiring vision for the Center while managing and mentoring an organization of over 500 staff working across a wide array of locations
  • Track record of creating and sustaining an organizational culture that fosters fairness and inclusiveness
  • Strong critical thinking skills, with a track record of developing solutions to organizational issues in the face of complexity and ambiguity
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with the ability to develop strong relationships across a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, and to influence leaders in the private, public, and non-profit sectors
  • Excellent public speaking and communication skills with the ability to serve as a strong external voice for the Center and its work
  • Strong appetite to lead fundraising for the Center; successful track record of working effectively with a range of funders
  • Experience overseeing budgets, with the capacity to allocate resources strategically and manage spending effectively
  • Integrity, with a commitment to ethically and empathically serving individuals and families involved with the justice system
  • Bachelor's degree required; relevant advanced degree strongly preferred
Compensation and benefits:

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

The Center for Court Innovation/Fund for the City of New York is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or current employment status.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with common purpose. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.