Job Opening: Executive Director

Strategic Consulting & Coaching is conducting a search for an Executive Director for our client, the Dispute Resolution Center.


About the Dispute Resolution Center

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) promotes the constructive resolution of conflict through open communication and shared decision-making. DRC is the oldest community-mediation organization in Minnesota, serving East Metro Area residents with limited means at no or low- cost with volunteer-based mediation, conflict-resolution, and restorative practices in courts, schools, and community settings. DRC’s mediation and restorative practices are delivered by a diverse group of staff and volunteers who are members of the community. The current staff includes two 30-40 hour/week positions, two part-time positions, and one temporary part-time position, in addition to the Executive Director. There are currently seven people serving on the Board of Directors. Volunteers have up-to-date training and experience in mediation and restorative processes. DRC offers learning opportunities and workshops on conflict-resolution, mediation, and restorative practices for youth and adults, tenant resident councils, landlords, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies.

Leading with Racial Equity

DRC has seen a significant growth in the demand for our work in communities and between people. As we respond to requests for mediation and restorative processes in people’s lives, we are increasingly aware of the disparities impeding our broader culture, systems and funding that are the result of intentional policies and actions over centuries. DRC is undergoing a planning process to be thoughtful about our future direction and where to invest our resources for the greatest impact. Our goal is for our work and impact to be informed by, led by, and framed around racial equity at our core. DRC will not succeed in our mission of resolving conflicts and repairing relationships without also understanding and addressing historic and current structural racism and its long-term impact on racial equity. This includes understanding our own biases, implicit and explicit, so we can lead with integrity, respect, and humility in all our relationships.


Executive Director, DRC

DRC is seeking an experienced Executive Director who is well respected as a community leader in the field of mediation and restorative justice practices. The successful candidate should excel at building strong relationships, both internally and externally, and be able to provide leadership in strategic vision, servant leadership, fundraising, and general management for a dynamic, growing not-for-profit organization.

The Executive Director (ED) reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors and is responsible for consistent achievement of DRCs mission and financial objectives. The ED provides leadership to the Board in the areas of public policy, planning, and program development. The ED is the organization’s chief fundraiser and spokesperson and is responsible for cultivating partnerships with government, corporate and foundation leaders, and individual donors. The ED leads and directs staff and contractors and provides support and assistance to volunteers, including the Board of Directors and committees. The ED will oversee the annual operating budget of $400,000.

The ED must have business acumen and be able to utilize the synergies of a strong team to support growth initiatives such as the Reimagining Restorative Justice in Ramsey County.

The ideal candidate will build on DRC’s past successes and expand its reach and influence. The position requires an entrepreneurial, business, and results-oriented approach. This person must be able to keep a big picture perspective while ensuring the attention to detail required is fully addressed. In addition, this candidate will bring energy, passion, intellectual curiosity, creativity, flexibility, and humility to their work.


The successful candidate will:

·       Embody the mission and core values of DRC and will exhibit passion about the work of DRC both inside and outside the organization.

·       Have training and have experience as a community mediator (under MN Stat. 494) and/or as a Court mediator (Rule 114). Have training and have experience in one or more restorative processes (e.g., circles, conferencing, VOM).

·       Have experience in leading or collaborating with others to provide mediation and circle training for volunteers and members of the community.

·       Collaborate with staff and local partners to respond to new opportunities for addressing conflict resolution in ways that prevent future harm and build community relationships.

·       Have the ability to build strong relationships and engage government officials and local and statewide community partners who support the mission of DRC. Such as representing DRC statewide and nationally by being the liaison with Community Mediation Minnesota and the Community Dispute Resolution Program.

·       Be a proven leader in the nonprofit arena and have the ability to accurately assess the needs of DRC’s strategic direction and programming.

·       Be a strong strategic thinker who can enhance and refine DRC’s strategic vision, priorities, goals, and measures to meet program outcomes; engage staff, contractors, volunteers, and partners; and deliver sustainable results.

·       Assure a sustainable business model and develop new resources and partnerships at scale, including public and private funding, contracts for services, and program partnerships.

·       Have considerable experience creating, building, and managing partnerships with an array of groups and individuals.

·       Possess knowledge of management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership techniques, and the effective use of time and resources.

·       Be experienced in fiscal planning and budget management for an organization of comparable size and scope.

·       Have the ability to work and make judgments independently and take initiative.

·       Have a high level of comfort with public relations and public speaking as well as communicating information to a wide range of audiences – from community members, policy makers, donors, and volunteers to the press and the general public.

·       Have experience with reporting to, and supporting, a governing Board.

·       And, possess the ability to build a highly effective team.


The successful candidate will:

·       Be comfortable and assertive in many different social and professional circles including community members, youth, donors, public officials, funders, and government.

·       Demonstrate cultural competence with a focus on diversity and inclusion related to persons of other racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds.

·       Possess a deep commitment and passion for DRC’s mission and work.

·       Have superb communications skills, both oral and written.

·       Be creative, with the ability to think outside the box.

·       Be approachable and a good listener.

·       Be an authentic leader who serves as a role model for moral and fair behavior, with a transparent approach to earning the esteem and confidence of employees.

·       And, be a leader who coaches effectively and is seen as a mentor who supports employee growth and nurtures employees toward achieving their highest levels of performance.


The successful candidate will:

·       Have will have bachelor’s degree with equivalent work experience in an appropriate discipline (e.g., education, social sciences, public administration, business administration).

·        Have 3-5 years executive/senior management experience in social services, public education, or a related organization.

·       Have trained or willing to be trained in civil and family mediation.

·       Have trained or willing to be trained in restorative practices methods such as circle process and family group conferencing.


Cheryl Jensen, M.S., PCC, RLC
Strategic Consulting & Coaching, Managing Partner
Phone: 612-203-4662