Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Executive Director

Location is Flexible
(must be willing to travel to Washington, DC)


Position Overview
APALA is seeking a skilled, strategic, and detail-oriented Executive Director (IED) to support APALA (501(c)(5)) and IAPALA (501(c)(3))’s mission as the only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) union members and allies advancing worker, immigrant, and civil rights.

The ideal candidate will have previous management, project management, and labor union-related experience and enjoy working with a small but nimble team. We are especially interested in experience with organizations similar in scale to our own with annual budgets between $1 - $2 million annually and a model of an active National Executive Board (NEB) which sets the agenda of the organization.

The IED of APALA and IAPALA reports directly to the officers of APALA and works in close collaboration with the officers and the National Executive Board (NEB). The ED is responsible for the management of staff to carry out the mission and day-to-day operations of the organization. The IED is responsible for upholding the collaborative and supportive culture of APALA which is rooted in transparency, joy, and power-building.

APALA/IAPALA’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Per the collective bargaining agreement, staff with primary work assignments in Washington, D.C., are expected to be based in Washington, D.C. Those based in Washington, D.C., are expected to work from the office unless accommodations are made to work part-time from home. However, the ED is expected to attend union and partner meetings in Washington, D.C., and other locations which may take place approximately once a month. The Executive Director must maintain a full-time schedule of at least 40 hours a week inclusive of the expectation to participate in calls and virtual meetings that accommodate our officers and board members who are based in different time zones and who often volunteer their time to APALA on the weekends.

Primary Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of the ED include:

Support Leadership Direction of Elected National Executive Board and Officers of APALA:

  • Work collaboratively with officers and NEB to build a robust program that meets the strategic vision and direction of APALA which includes the strategy statement passed by NEB on October 29, 2023 (stated below):
    • Focus on APALA’s distinct role as a nexus point between organized labor and the AAPI community, and focus on priorities where we have unique expertise and strength. We will do so by:
      • Building and strengthening APALA chapters.
      • Rebuild and strengthen relationships with organized labor.
      • Fundraise to build an APALA based on building AAPI worker power.
      • Leadership development for AAPI workers through their unions, organizing institutes, or pipelines that lead to becoming organizers in unions.
      • Assess and strengthen our internal structures to more effectively serve our mission.
      • Prioritize campaigns and programs that will help to build APALA rooted in this vision.
  • Communicate effectively with the NEB and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the board to function properly and to make informed decisions
  • Build relationships with international unions with representation on the NEB that includes NEB union representatives
  • Build relationships with community groups that include NEB members with connections to those groups

Manage Staff and Daily Operations of the Organization:

  • Assist Personnel Committee in hiring staff (including interns) to build out our team
  • Manage the team based on leadership standards and values that support and guide the organization’s mission
  • Work with the Personnel Committee to establish and review program metrics to measure the success of initiatives
  • Oversee all areas of operations with specific emphasis on three key areas:
    • Chapter and member development
    • Civic engagement
    • Organizing membership to play a vital role within the campaigns of the labor movement and work with unions to expand the role of AAPI union members within their unions through organizing, leadership pipeline, and integration of AAPI issues within labor union partners
    • Oversee event planning such as NEB meetings, Constitutional Conventions, Organizing Trainings, etc.
  • Oversee operational and financial compliance (staff union, legal, financial)
  • Ensure that staff and consultants operate in accordance with the staff union collective bargaining agreement and with the outreach mission of the organization

Fiscal Management and Fundraising:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy that includes engagement of union partners, grassroots fundraising, labor-friendly corporations, and foundations
  • Work with the Finance committee of the NEB to prepare an annual operating budget and regular oversight of finances
  • Ensure all local, state, and national compliance needs are met
  • Manage the cash flow of the organization and keep the board informed of finances
  • Oversee and manage the organization’s overall operations, including finances in consultation with the Treasurer

Desired Skills and Experience

  • A successful record of working with labor unions
  • Activism on behalf of workers and, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities
  • A record of engaging in the pursuit of racial, social, and economic justice
  • Prior work experience with board of directors, success in fundraising, supervising and directing staff, developing annual budgets and work plans
  • Ability to effectively develop and supervise staff
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a diverse range of people
  • Excellent research, oral, writing, and listening skills
  • Knowledge of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the labor movement

Founded in 1992 with the strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has 23 chapters and pre-chapters in 16 states and a national office in Washington, D.C. In 2011 to ensure broader education, civic engagement, and capacity building for our communities, APALA established the Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement (IAPALA) as a 501(c)(3).

To achieve our mission, we build power by:

  • Organizing members into unions, developing labor leaders, and building political power for our communities
  • Educating AAPI workers and allies about the labor movement, principles of trade unionism, and collective bargaining, as well as providing a vehicle for AAPI issues and concerns
  • Activating our chapters across the country to advance social, racial, and economic justice through state-based campaigns
  • Representing the voice of AAPI workers on coalitions within the labor community and more broadly in the civil rights, AAPI, and racial justice communities

Other Information:

  • APALA/IAPALA currently has no other full or part-time employees. Employees are covered by the staff union’s collective bargaining agreement (OPEIU Local 2)
  • The National Executive Board is composed of up to 44 individuals. There are five constitutional officers of APALA. Our Constitution can be found here.

Compensation and Benefits
The full-time salary range for this position is $110,000-$130,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits for a full-time exempt employee include the following.

  • Flexible home base, but must be willing to travel to Washington, D.C.
  • Fully paid health, vision, and dental insurance for employees and dependents.
  • Fully paid life, short-term, and long-term disability insurance
  • 15 days of paid leave in addition to all federal holidays and office closure last two weeks of the year.
  • Retirement: 6% employer contribution
  • Monthly cell phone/internet/transit stipend and annual professional development stipend

Application Process
Please submit your application (résumé and cover letter) with the information below by email with the subject “Executive Director” to: careers@apala.org. Proposals submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The application should include:

  1. Details of experience, skills, and relevant qualifications in serving in the Executive Director role.
  2. Specific experience working with dual 501(c)(3)/ 501(c)(5) or 501(c)(3)/ 501(c)(4) entities.
  3. For firms or consultants, provide a list of similarly sized non-profit or labor union clients and names and contact information for three client references.
  4. Any other pertinent information about you, your experience, and your interest in this role.

Location: Work from anywhere in the continental United States
Job Type: Full-time
Start Date: immediately
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled, first résumés reviewed 02/09/24

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.