Center for Court Innovation

Managing Director of National Initiatives & Research, Need not be based in NYC, NY



The Center for Court Innovation is a nonprofit organization that works to create a fair, effective, and humane justice system by performing original research and helping launch reforms by guiding justice innovators nationally and internationally. The Center creates operating projects that have been documented to reduce the use of jail and prison, assist victims of crime, and strengthen communities.


Are you inspired to create a people-centered justice system? To promote problem-solving, data-informed approaches, and community-driven transformational solutions that break down seemingly intractable systemic barriers?

Are you an inspirational leader who builds effective teams and inclusive cultures based in equity and shared values? Are you equipped and energized to promote organizational management to ensure optimal coordination and performance in a highly complex organization with many moving parts?

Are you an active and effective listener who can build bridges among diverse stakeholders to create and scale effective models through research and practice?

If so, we invite you to keep reading and think about this newly created and exciting role full of untapped opportunities to bring systemic change to the justice system.


The Center for Court Innovation is committed to reducing crime and incarceration, addressing violence, supporting survivors, and building communities while strengthening public trust in justice. The Center seeks justice for marginalized groups, bringing an equity lens particularly a racial and gender equity lens to its work. For 25 years, the Center has had great impact fostering justice and equity to create safe, healthy, and thriving communities and, ultimately, to transform the justice system.

The Center creates operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performs original research to determine what works (and what doesn't), and provides expert assistance to justice reformers around the world.

Operating Programs

The Center conceives, plans, and operates programs that test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Its projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Its efforts have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.


Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. The Center has performed multiple randomized controlled trials and also advances people-centered methodologies. Its researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. And the Center has published much-cited studies that have looked at such topics as youth in the sex trade, reentry, gun violence, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The Center believes in the "action research" model; accordingly, its researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center's own operating programs. The Center disseminates information about justice reform through books, videos, podcasts, social media, and other vehicles.

Expert Assistance

The Center for Court Innovation provides hands-on implementation assistance to reformers around the world including judges, attorneys, justice officials, community organizations, and others. Having launched dozens of innovative justice initiatives, the Center knows firsthand the nuts and bolts of how to get a new project off the ground. Experts from the Center are available to help plan, implement, and evaluate new policies, practices, and technologies. Its assistance takes many forms including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.

The Center firmly believes that inclusivity and the empowerment of communities are necessary to achieve justice and meaningful change. It collaboratively identifies problems and co-creates solutions by engaging communities, program participants, staff, justice system actors, and other change agents. Dedicated staff listen openly and build relationships based on compassion, humility, and respect. The organization relies on holistic approaches to design and on evaluation to ensure that the work is grounded in and informed by affected communities. As a committed learning organization, the Center builds upon and learns from past work to identify promising paths for moving forward.

  • Center for Court Innovation: 750 staffers and $100-million annual budget.
  • National Initiatives and Research Teams: 100 staffers and $16 million budget.

For more information, visit https://www.courtinnovation.org/.



  • Take on the inaugural role for setting a cohesive strategic vision and deepening collaboration for all expert assistance, policy, and research functions to ensure greater impact. More broadly, partner with the Executive Director in guiding the overall direction of the Center for Court Innovation to fix systems by promoting effective comprehensive justice reform nationally and internationally.
  • Lead across disciplines to enhance culture, collective spirit, intellectual life, and overall growth.
  • Specifically oversee the Research and Expert Assistance teams and work with Senior Management to forge and implement department strategy. Lead dynamic and talented departments of professionals offering professional development for impact and success.
  • Serve as a leading voice of the Center and thought leader in the field of criminal and civil justice reform at the cutting edge of innovative practice and research, identifying emerging issues and staying abreast of new developments and ahead of the curve.
  • Oversee and expand training and consulting services to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees, and reducing crime and violence. Develop and implement the Center's research agenda and help ensure that research findings translate to practice and policy change.
  • Represent the Center in strengthening relationships and collaborating with national policymakers, government agencies, criminal and civil justice innovators, technical assistance providers, research and policy organizations, and other stakeholders on justice reform efforts. Speak at national conference and events to amplify the Center's work and ensure it contributes to the national and international dialogue about justice reform.
  • Actively cultivate relationships that will support existing bodies of work and build new ones, including the management of relations with government and private funders.


  • Lead and support a dedicated staff by setting a shared vision, sense of purpose, and commitment to equity creating opportunities for learning, growth, innovation, and creativity. Ensure management of day-to-day operations. Oversee expert assistance and research activities, as well as funding proposals, research reports, and publications.
  • Ensure that the Center's work is of the highest quality, meets current client and emerging needs, is effective in advancing the Center's goals, and that the accompanying organizational structures are well designed to achieve effective results. Foster a strong service orientation.
  • Skilled at building a strong management team. Supervise staff, facilitating an effective and collaborative environment and ensuring alignment with organizational values and strategy.
  • Delegate with accountability.
  • Cultivate transparency, accountability, and continuous self-improvement with clear metrics for evaluation, growth, and development.
  • Grounded in equity, drive a culture of collaboration, integration, quality, innovation, data-driven decision making, and intelligent use of resources. Foster an inclusive culture where all staff and clients can thrive.
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization. In partnership with the CFO, ensure that financial systems, budgets, and planning strategies reflect best practices consistent with robust internal controls.

Resource Development/Public and Private Fundraising/Revenue Generation

  • Broaden and maintain active partnerships with a robust funding base to ensure long-term sustainability in partnership with the Center's Development department.
  • Grow a diversified fund development strategy of identifying, cultivating, and soliciting new and existing private funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Help close and secure critical funding.
  • Manage, build, and secure strong government relationships and funding streams. Oversee government contacts, ensuring compliance, execution, and evaluation.
  • Increase private donor funding with foundations, corporations, and individuals.
  • Work collaboratively to create a strategy/funding for nationally exporting innovations and new models that the Center develops in the New York City area operating programs.
  • Oversee and ensure that fundraising plans are implemented, goals achieved, timely reports generated, and information shared, and that donor stewardship is a priority.
  • Oversee the development of issue-oriented campaigns and events to advance the Center's national program, policy, and/or research agenda.
  • Build a strong culture of philanthropy within the organization in which Board and staff serve as ambassadors and engage in relationship building.
  • Help develop and oversee new revenue-generating lines of business/service.
  • Capitalize on social media and other communications strategies to promote the Center's profile and influence, and with External Affairs/Communications to ensure that the media, policymakers, and the broader public are informed of the Center's important work.


The ideal candidate will be an experienced professional with the following skills, qualities, and experience.

  • A deep commitment to the Center's mission, values, and collaborative approach to justice reform.
  • A passion for eradicating all forms of oppression with particular urgency to dismantle the role racism plays in the legal system.
  • A clear priority to center the voice, assets, and power of marginalized individuals in the work to ensure safety in their communities.
  • Proven leadership, managerial, problem-solving, and strategic planning capabilities as a senior executive in the nonprofit and/or public sectors with working knowledge of and credibility in criminal and/or civil justice and broader social justice matters.
  • Ability to balance long-term strategic vision with daily operational issues.
  • A collaborative management style, with the ability to attract and nurture local and national relationships. Ability to build consensus with an inclusive style.
  • Skilled at creating trust-based relationships with staff and a wide range of partners, including government agencies and institutions, nonprofits, national associations and advocacy organizations, universities, and think tanks.
  • Strong communicator with the skill to listen, learn, and share information. Able to reach diverse audiences in jurisdictions big and small, red and blue.
  • A relationship builder.
  • An entrepreneurial opportunity builder.
  • Serve as a bridge between communities/advocates and government.
  • Client-centered, with an understanding of a clear value proposition.
  • Skilled at using best practices and data feedback to support innovative program models.
  • A relentless focus on results and accountability.
  • Gravitas, humility, and integrity are all a must. A life learner prone to reflection.
  • Sense of humor and an ability to maintain balance and perspective.
  • Transparency, accountability, and continuous self-reflection.
  • High emotional intelligence.
  • BA required; advanced degree preferred.

The Fund for the City of New York/Center for Court Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. The Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. The Center strongly encourages and seeks applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.

As of September 9, 2021, all new hires are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for medical, disability, or religious reasons by the Center's Human Resources Department.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please.

The Center seeks to attract diverse and committed individuals to advance its mission as well as to provide meaningful careers in the public sector.

Nominations and applications including cover letters and resumes should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at CourtInnovation@PhillipsOppenheim.com.