Legacies of War Job Announcement: Executive Director

Posted: Mar 4, 2019

Fifteen years after its founding, Legacies of War (LOW) will be making a planned transition to new leadership and is seeking a new Executive Director.  The position would start in the summer of 2019 and be based in Washington, DC.  

Legacies of War’s mission is  to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs; to provide space for healing the wounds of war; to create greater hope for a future of peace.

Legacies of War enjoys a strong, engaged Board of Advisors with a large and committed network of supporters from across the U.S., including many from the Laotian American diaspora.  The Board is ready to work with the new Executive Director to ensure his/her success and the fulfillment of Legacies’ mission.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Legacies of War’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. The successful candidate will master and keep up-to-date with deep knowledge of core programs, operations, and work plans.

Core Competencies

Exemplary Executive Leadership

The Executive Director (ED) will be an engaging leader who is accessible and listens to all viewpoints, demonstrating confidence and a positive approach. The ED must be a highly accomplished relationship builder and strong advocate for sustained U.S. government engagement in the UXO sector in Laos.  The ED will connect well with all levels of constituencies from the most seasoned leaders to new young leadership, professional staff, community members and those not yet engaged. A forward thinking, individual, the ED will promote a culture of innovation and be a change agent to create on-going excitement for the work of LOW at the local and international level.

Visionary and Strategic Leadership

The ED will promote an all-encompassing and compelling vision that captures the energy behind the work of LOW. The ED will actively engage with the UXO sector and the Laotian diaspora community, working to support existing collaborative programs and to envision new ways to work together. The ED must see the big picture – managing current issues while thinking long term.

Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.

  • Actively engage and energize Legacies of War’s volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders in pursuit of Legacies’ mission.
  • Assist in developing a strong and diverse Board of Directors; seek and build Board involvement with strategic direction for Legacies of War’s operations.
  • The ED will create a culture of positivity and productivity in the work environment, inspiring, engaging and empowering the professional staff and interns. Through selecting, developing and motivating staff, the ED will foster innovation, teamwork and collaboration to ensure that best practices and cutting edge developments are the norm.

Fundraising, Resource Development and Communication

The ED must engage and steward donors. Entrepreneurial and attuned to donor interests and concerns, the ED will direct cutting edge practices in donor development to enhance and improve Legacies development potential. Highly visible in the local community and international stage, the ED will reach out and cultivate new potential donors at all levels.

Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and build capacity for expansion.

  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger organizational reputation and credibility.
  • Use external presence and relationships, especially with media, to garner visibility of the UXO issue in Laos and Legacies of War’s role in the progress of the sector.
  • Build partnerships in new areas, establishing relationships with the funders, and political and community leaders, with a particular focus on the Laotian diaspora communities in the United States.

Program & Advocacy

  • Develop and support a policy strategy to secure and maintain U.S. government funding for the UXO sector in Laos at a level for addressing the scale of the problem with a sense of urgency.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with policymakers, including Congress, State Department, other governments and NGOs to coordinate strategies.  
  • Maintain strong relationships with the appropriate Lao government ministries and other partners on the ground in Laos to keep information up-to-date and ensure effective advocacy.
  • Engage in education/advocacy with the public, including academia, religious communities, ethnic associations and other civil society groups to advance understanding and support for the UXO sector in Laos and the Legacies’ mission.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, or equivalent
  • Five (5) years of experience in a leadership role with related responsibilities
  • Knowledge of Laos and the UXO sector
  • Enthusiasm about LOW’s mission and the ability to inspire others to create a community dedicated to that mission.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the Laotian diaspora community
  • A successful track record of working with a board of directors and understanding the volunteer-professional partnership.
  • Understanding of, and successful experience in, all areas of fiscal management, fundraising and financial resource development. A readiness to be personally involved with these efforts is required.
  • Ability to travel overnight, on occasion, for extended periods of time
  • Must demonstrate excellent communication skills, including writing and public speaking skills
  • A positive attitude, strong work ethic and a team player

Additional skills considered a plus:

  • Laotian language fluency
  • Experience working with various levels of the US federal government
  • Experience with staff report preparation and reporting to a Board of Directors

The person selected for this position will be employed by NEO, the Legacies of War Fiscal Sponsor. NEO is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, family status, or veteran status.


A competitive compensation package including relocation and professional development benefits are available for the successful candidate. Salary range is $65K to $85K.

Deadline Extended: Send CV and cover letter to info@legaciesofwar.org by April 30, 2019.

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