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Program Director – Family Group Legal Orientation Program (FGLOP), Center on Immigration and Justice (NYC, LA, DC, remote )

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms. 

Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are

The Program Director’s role involves the overall management and oversight of a federally funded legal orientation program for immigrant families on the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s “dedicated dockets” – the Family Group Legal Orientation Program (FGLOP). The purpose of the position is to meet contract deliverables (including the coordination of related Research products) in a fluid legal services landscape; lead strategic advocacy interventions relating to the dedicated dockets; collaborate with the Immigration Court Helpdesk (ICH) program on best practices, technical assistance, and stakeholder communications; and provide guidance & coordination to the program/research team as they carry out their related duties. The Program Director will also work closely with CIJ’s Director of Transition to successfully transition this program to a successor entity over the next 12 months and be open to the possibility of transitioning employment to the successor entity at the appropriate time.

In this role, you will:

  1. Program Management, Contracting and Compliance
  • Planning and overseeing annual contracting and budgeting processes between Vera and 11 legal service provider subcontractors, including negotiating contractual terms with EOIR (in concert with Center Director) and preparing contractual materials for the Department of Justice on an annual basis
  • Manage relationships and troubleshoot challenges with legal directors and executive directors across a network of 11 subcontractor organizations responsible for performing tasks under the federal contract
  • Collaborating with research colleagues on submission of contractually required reporting and general reporting framework for FGLOP (with coordination as necessary on ICH).  Working closely alongside Senior Research Associate to coordinate responses to data requests, implement contractual requirements in reporting, and finalize quarterly reports for EOIR 
  • Develop technical assistance designed to strengthen protections and advocacy for families subjected to accelerated dockets, including trainings on effective FOC practices that can establish for the record family members efforts to secure counsel
  • Coordinating with CIJ’s Director of Transition to ensure successful transition of this program (and the responsibilities listed herein) to a successor entity over the next year.
  1. Oversight of program team
  • Directly supervising 3-4 staff members who will be dual reporting to the ICH and/or LOPC Program Directors/Managers as well 
  • Providing overarching guidance around staffing assignments, training, technical assistance plan and execution, and overall holistic functioning of team
  1. Liaising and coordinating program management with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
  • Weekly, and oftentimes more frequent, contact with EOIR regarding approach to site-specific programmatic issues, billing, reporting, policy changes, legal developments impacting the program, and other related matters
  1. Engaging with the CIJ management team on general management of CIJ, including issues relating to strategic planning and priorities
  2. Contribute to strategic advocacy interventions related to the accelerated “dedicated dockets,” in coordination with our Directors of Policy and Communications for Immigration, our research/data team, and other relevant staff (e.g., court observations; public messaging; dissemination of program data for advocacy purposes; etc.)
  • Work with subcontractors and the broader advocacy community to develop coherent messaging around the rocket dockets and the challenges faced by families appearing on these dockets.

What qualifications do you need?

Required:

  • Juris Doctor (law) degree, or the equivalent work experience (fully certified Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative for at least 10 years); 
  • Removal defense experience or experience in immigration advocacy; and 
  • At least seven years of relevant immigration representation, government, or policy work experience, with 3 years managing federal contracts 
    • Comparable work and educational experience will also be considered, particularly where the candidate has direct experience with the immigration legal system and has been personally impacted by it.  
  • Experience at immigration legal services provider organization
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Working knowledge of Spanish
  • Ability to pass federal clearance requirements in order to view program data

List of Required Software applications:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite  

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / Program Director – Family Group Legal Orientation Program (FGLOP), Center on Immigration and Justice
Vera Institute of Justice
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 www.vera.org

 

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