Director, Race, Equity and Inclusion

Location: New York, NY

Department: Executive

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Executive

Who We Are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.


  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
  • We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.


We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace—specifically, we value diverse experiences with regard to educational background and justice system contact. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, and commitment. 


What you'll do

The Director, Race, Equity and Inclusion (REI) will oversee the planning, implementation, and performance measurement of specific short- and long-term projects that identify and address racial disparities and other inequities and that imbed equity, diversity and inclusion principles and values in Vera’s policies, programs and practices. This work includes, but is not limited to, work in partnership with all business units to develop plans and processes related to REI to ensure alignment for maximum results.


The Director also works to create opportunities for staff training and development by making tools and resources available that support the organization in institutionalizing REI principles and values. The Director will partner closely with leaders across the organization to ensure progress towards our vision of being a race forward, fully inclusive organization that reflects and elevates the voices of the communities we serve, and embraces mutual accountability, analytical thinking and commitment to shared outcomes. The Director reports to the Chief of Staff (a member of the Executive team) and supervises the Race, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator.


Primary responsibilities:

  • Works with the Chief of Staff to provide overall direction and management of REI in order to identify goals, outcomes and strategies that prioritize the use of racial equity frameworks to advance and support equity, diversity, and inclusion within Vera and with Vera partners.
  • Works directly with People Resources and the leadership and staff of Vera to develop and implement plans that facilitate the ongoing training and coaching of staff, embed REI values in the culture of the organization.
  • Enable and encourage staff to routinely conduct racial impact analyses in their work using a racial equity framework and common language and develop strategies that will address areas of disparities.
  • Supports staff in applying an equity lens in designing, implementing and evaluating programs to achieve fair and equitable outcomes.
  • Leads and/or resources various affinity and work groups to create formal and informal channels to identify challenges and develop appropriate solutions to address and reduce racial and social disparities.
  • Leads independent research and analysis of issues and topics pertinent to the project and makes recommendations for action when appropriate; track and summarize current industry practices, trends and issues impacting community development and affordable housing, as relevant.
  • Provide day-to-day management of the Race, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator and all consultants, and works with them to align the organization’s culture, policies and practices with REI values.
  • Establishes a communication schedule to update stakeholders including appropriate staff in the organization on the progress of the REI strategy. Prepares and presents key REI decisions, status updates and strategic advice to senior leaders’ other internal audiences.
  • Collects ongoing input from the organization in order to determine the most relevant tools and resources necessary to support Vera staff as they advance racial equity work in their business units.
  • Constructs an annual REI plan and produces regular reporting including quarterly reports for the executive team.
  • Manages REI budget allocation.
  • Other job-related duties as assigned.


What qualifications do you need?

  • At least 5-7 years of demonstrated, practical understanding and application of race, equity, diversity and inclusion principles in an organizational setting. In addition, at least 5-7 years of experience in areas of community development, nonprofit management, or a related field including the design and implementation of new programs, initiatives or strategies, data analysis, secondary research and communicating and presenting program and policy information.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Social Work or related field. Will consider relevant professional experience in lieu of a degree.  An advanced degree or certificate in HR, Diversity & Inclusion, I/O Psychology, Organizational Development, or a related field is a plus.
  • Knowledge of Racial justice, social equity, community development principles, Racial and cultural differences; an understanding of systemic and institutional racial bias; sensitivity to issues and concerns of communities of color and other diverse groups; Critical issues driving opportunity gaps, poverty and inequality in communities across the country and the corresponding approaches adopted at the local, regional and national level to address these issues. Criminal Justice system history and policy preferred.
  • Equal parts strategist and executor. Able to seamlessly flow between brainstorming, executing, and delegating whether it's related to facilities, programming, or REI work.
  • Proven experience researching, mapping, and rolling out a REI strategy, including measuring efficacy of programs and policies and iterating as needed.
  • Proven experience building consensus across levels and getting others onboard to try things.
  • Solid communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills. You excel at building relationships in any environment and enjoy connecting with people.
  • Experience in supervising, directly or indirectly, consultants, working groups and staff.
  • Deep passion for creating an inclusive and equitable work environment and world.
  • Seeks out new information to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about industry trends.
  • Proven ability to handle a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and accommodate a high level of responsibility and multiple priorities. 
  • Strategic planning, program design and project management, including experience designing solutions to serve a diverse membership base or network;
  • Experience engaging in difficult conversations with individuals and groups around race, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Ability to think and act strategically in working collaboratively within and across organizations, while focusing and executing tactically to ensure successful and timely outcomes; Incorporating diverse perspectives in program design and implementation.
  • Ability to solve complex problems, analyze quantitative and qualitative information, and make recommendations.
  • Manage multiple complex projects in a fast-paced team environment paired with the ability to meet critical deadlines, includes managing timelines and coordinating with a diverse group that will include but not be limited to staff, consultants, and advisors from within and outside the Vera network.
  • Excellent oral and written communicator in variety of settings amongst diverse audiences.
  • Thrives in fast-paced, generative, multiracial work environment.
  • Presentation, public speaking, in-person and virtual meeting facilitation and hosting skills.
  • Strong organizational development analysis.
  • Excellent program management skills.
  • Proactive, self-directed, and able to multitask effectively.
  • Commitment to Vera’s mission and demonstrated interest in and knowledge of current criminal justice issues.


When you join our team

  • You can expect to work with a team of amazing people who have tenacity, are creative, scrappy, and are committed to getting the work done. Why? Because our work is urgent, impactful, and more important than ever.
  • You can count on doing solutions-oriented and policy-driven research that is innovative and fulfilling. We ask difficult questions and entertain unconventional answers so we can reckon with the uncomfortable truths of our work.
  • You will have a gym membership you can’t turn down, great benefits, and work-life balance. Driving meaningful change is hard work. But we also know that you have a life, places to go, and people to see.


How to apply

Please submit a cover letter, and resume. The cover letter should outline the minimum and additional qualifications possessed by the candidate and address how the candidate will use those qualifications to excel at the position’s responsibilities. The writing sample should be no more than 10 pages.


However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / REI Director

34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Fax: (212) 941-9407


Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.


Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action 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, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit

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