Co-Deputy Director, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

$129,355 yearly
  • NPAG
  • Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona
  • Nov 16, 2023
Full time Immigration Legal Management Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (The Florence Project) is searching for two Deputy Directors to collectively oversee Legal and Social Services Programs, People and Culture, Operations, and Finance at the organization. This is an excellent opportunity for two proven leaders in the legal and social services and non-profit administration field to provide leadership, vision, and strategy for a prominent, trailblazing, historic organization that has experienced significant growth in recent years. The Deputy Director positions are an important part of leadership within the organization and directly report to the Executive Director. The Deputy Directors will collaboratively oversee organization-wide strategy and development as well as contribute to the design of policies, procedures, and practices. The Deputy Director positions will work closely with the Executive Director and the Leadership Team to ensure the organization’s day-to-day services, mission, and vision are reflected in the critical client-centered legal and social services that the Florence Project offers every day to detained immigrant children and adults, to immigrant youth released in Arizona, and to immigrant adults, children, and families at the U.S. Mexico border through partnership with the Kino Border Initiative. Each Deputy Director will also oversee two to three program areas, to be determined during the hiring process and in close collaboration with the Executive Director. Program areas will be assigned through generative discussion, allowing for cross pollination among both Deputy Directors to encourage professional growth and learning, and potential reassignments throughout their terms as Deputy Directors. This is a rewarding opportunity for collaborative and adaptive leaders, to be an integral part of a collegial Leadership Team and mission-driven organization.


The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (The Florence Project) was established in the 1980’s as immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in Central America crossed the Arizona-Mexico border. The Florence Project first answered the call to assist detained immigrants through the Florence Asylum Project, pioneering the pro se empowerment model to help individuals represent themselves due to the lack of a public defender system, and by 2000 had expanded to provide legal services to unaccompanied immigrant minors. The Florence Project has since established the Integrated Social Services Program to address the diverse social needs of their clients. The Florence Project delivers robust legal and social services to empower and directly represent immigrants through the organization’s programmatic areas including: Children’s Legal Program, Adult Legal Program, Integrated Social Services Program, and Border Action Team. Additionally, through its Advocacy Team, the Florence Project engages in advocacy to amplify immigrant rights through appellate representation, partnerships with national organizations, strategic litigation, and media outreach. Through its broad-range programmatic scope, the Florence Project provides holistic legal and social services to immigrants facing removal proceedings in Arizona and seeks to make greater systemic change through advocacy, appellate, and communications work that ensures meaningful access to counsel and upholds the human dignity of all immigrants.

The Florence Project is a leader in the innovation of legal and integrated social services. The Florence Project pioneered the Pro Se Model, an innovative education and empowerment-based model of delivering free legal services to detained people, to empower individuals to fight their own legal case. This model has served as a blueprint for the DOJ/EOIR’s Legal Orientation Program (LOP) and has been implemented nationwide. The Florence Project also pioneered an integrated legal and social services model that has generated best-practices in the representation of immigrants.

The Florence Project is additionally known for being a leadership pipeline for the immigrant legal movement. Their staff have gone on to be movement leaders, with alumni holding critically important roles across the field shaped by The Florence Project’s on-the-ground work. In 2022, the Florence Project served over 20,000 people from 74 countries, with clients speaking a combined 42 languages. The organization has plans to expand their reach through a sustained budget, strategic planning, and staff growth in the coming years. On any given day, thousands of adults and children are detained in Arizona solely because of their immigration status, anti-immigration law continues to be one of the most complex and technically demanding areas of practice with life-altering consequences. This position offers a collaborative leader the opportunity to innovate and drive impact in a leading organization addressing one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time.


The Co-Deputy Director model emerged from a desire to diversify perspectives and share the intense responsibilities facing leadership of the fast-growing organization. Committed to approach leadership as a collaborative process rather than a top-down process exercised by a singular leader, The Florence Project is now seeking an opportunity for Co-Deputy Directors to express their agency and share their talents at every stage of leadership, transformation, and growth. The Florence Project seeks leaders who embrace shared leadership to join a Senior Leadership Team in a well-established model of collaborative and participatory leadership to move the work of The Florence Project forward.


The Co-Deputy Directors will engage immediately in the following opportunities for impact:


  • Provide oversight of programs and departments as assigned, including ensuring that there is effective professional development, coaching, and mentoring.
  • In collaboration with the Legal Director and with Legal and Social Work Program Managers, analyze legal issues, develop legal strategy, and support the implementation of legal strategies, as appropriate.
  • Lead and promote an organizational culture that reflects FIRRP’s mission and values and commitment to equity and belonging.
  • Partner with the Leadership Team in providing direction and leadership of the organization regarding development, funding, implementation, reporting, and evaluation.
  • Work with the Development Team to respond to requests for grant proposals and applications. Understand funding received and requested, and what reporting is needed from programs. Collaborate with programs to determine staffing plans to sustain and develop programmatic capacity, and to achieve program goals and objectives.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for FIRRP at meetings with stakeholders and funders.
  • Liaise with the Board of Directors, including delivering regular presentations on program or department activities and updates.
  • Collaborate with leadership including the Legal Director to identify and advance policy initiatives consistent with FIRRP’s mission.
  • Actively develop and maintain relationships with community-based organizations, advocates, funders, government agencies, elected officials, courts, and other stakeholders.
  • Cultivate an organizational culture of excellence through creativity and innovation.
  • Assist in strengthening internal dialogue to promote transparency and engagement between management and staff.
  • Participate in organizational JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) work in a leadership capacity, including participating in the JEDI committee and institutionalizing systems that ensure an inclusive work environment for all staff.
  • Participate in labor relations within FIRRP in a leadership capacity, including in collective bargaining negotiations, Labor Management Committee, administering labor relations policies as needed, and addressing personnel matters as needed.
  • Respond to client and staff concerns and maintain open and inclusive attitude/growth-centered attitude/learner’s mindset.
  • Support managers throughout the organization to provide trainings and coaching as needed.
  • Liaise between senior attorneys and ethics counsel on major ethical questions that come up in cases.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Systems Management

  • Oversee the collaborative development of program policies and practices for the Legal Services and Social Services Programs, including case handling protocols, electronic case management policies, and intake systems.
  • Regularly communicate with the Operations Teams to review new technology enhancements, modules, and features to determine utility for FIRRP.
  • Keep abreast of and analyze innovative models of service delivery, in collaboration with Program Managers and Legal Director. Make recommendations and operationalize best practices delivery of services, new technologies that assist in client-centered work, and other forms of programmatic development, support, and outreach.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of office-wide systems to track outcomes, improve productivity, and establish standards for programs. Promote a data-driven culture in decision-making and action.
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director and Finance Team leadership, including assistance in budget development and stewardship of resources.
  • Encourage interaction between program areas, including but not limited to increasing internal collaboration between programs.

Strategic Management

  • Partner with the Development Team to develop, coordinate, and lead the strategic direction and implementation of new and existing programs in alignment with community need and FIRRP’s priorities.
  • Set vision for and model strong inclusive, collaborative practices. Develop opportunities for cross-collaboration and representation between units and projects.
  • Strengthen, mentor, and standardize capacity building programs for a dynamic team of supervisors with the goal of creating open communication and an environment where all staff thrive.
  • Foster a culture of continued learning and support office-wide professional development and training programs.
  • Manage FIRRP’s current strategic plan and develop other change management initiatives, as needed, in collaboration with the Leadership Team.
  • Provide perspective and assist in operationalizing goals for staff development, increased retention, and developing a pipeline of talented and diverse staff.
  • Provide coverage for the Executive Director during sabbaticals and vacation time.

Key Deliverables and Markers for Success in the Role Include

Provide excellent supervision and oversight of programs and/or departments.

  • Supervise approximately 4-6 programs or department managers or directors as determined through generative conversation with the ED.
  • Provide excellent feedback and support to direct reports.
  • Provide professional development and guidance.
  • When necessary, work with managers, program managers, and OPC to resolve and manage critical feedback and evaluations, and issues of discipline.

Oversee and manage policies as needed.

  • Ensure that policies and procedures are up to date to ensure compliance, and that best practices are implemented.
  • Oversee comprehensive rollout and transparent communication to staff.
  • Assess when new policies are needed or when policies need updating and proceed in a timely manner.
  • Coordinate policies that overlap with other teams.

Lead and manage budgets relating to contracts and grants.

  • As applicable, lead the oversight of government subcontracts related to the legal and social services work.
  • Review contracts regularly with the Program Managers and Finance Team leadership to ensure the organization is meeting its requirements under all contracts and grants.
  • Remain on budget, track usage accordingly.
  • With Finance Team leadership and Program Managers, manage budgets to reflect the needs of staff and clients. Address gaps in services, and in some cases, funding, and strategize regarding positions and/or resources needed to improve programs.

Strong professional and collaborative working relations with the ED and Leadership Team as a whole.

  • Be an active, engaged member of the Leadership Team.
  • Participate and engage in collaborative work that builds on the Florence Project’s work and mission.
  • Encourage participation of staff in the mission across the organization.

Well-versed in relevant laws and policies.

  • Stay abreast of laws and policies that affect the Florence Project’s legal and social work, specifically regarding the departments overseen.
  • Where appropriate, help identify and coordinate response to significant gaps in staff training or new developments requiring training.

Provide clear and effective communication to organizations on behalf of Programs and Departments you oversee.

  • Collaborate across the organization to implement systems and processes as needed.
  • Consistent and high-quality internal communication.
  • When creating or changing processes, communicate clearly at manager and team meetings to staff members whose work will be impacted, and gather input from affected staff members, always explaining the “why” behind decisions.
  • Be responsive and collaborative with staff and teams.
  • Effectively and diligently participate in labor relations work of the organization.

Active in organization's fund development and public facing efforts.

  • Make it a priority to attend events in Tucson, Phoenix, and on a national scale as a FIRRP ambassador.
  • Able and willing to meet with major donors, grantors, and partners when called upon.
  • Assist in fund development efforts such as regular donor touches, holiday cards, and 1-1 meetings with donors.
  • Assist with grant funding requests within teams.
  • Ensure that any grant agreement conditions are met, for departments you oversee.


Success in the Co-Deputy Director role will require a deep commitment to the mission, vision, and values of The Florence Project.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A law degree and admission to any state bar are required.
  • Minimum of five years legal practice experience, preferably in immigration law.
  • Strong management and leadership skills.
  • Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish.
  • Self-directed with strong initiative, efficient time management, excellent follow through, and ability to be flexible and navigate changing priorities and deadlines; must be comfortable in ambiguous situations.
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to working with under-resourced communities and communities of color to advance equity.
  • Strong communication and active listening skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to build, nurture, and retain a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive team.
  • Understanding of financial and budgeting practices.
  • Ability to manage FIRRP’s case management system(s) to ensure accurate data collection and statistical tracking.
  • Aptitude for critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  • Strength of character, integrity, ethics, commitment, and reliability. Must adhere to strict confidentiality requirements.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse populations. Must be a positive team player.
  • A solid understanding of change management and ability to steward team members through processes to move toward a common vision.
  • Proficient understanding of MSOffice applications and standard computer skills.
  • Travel is required for this position. Access to reliable transportation and the ability to travel regularly is required, especially between offices and secondary work locations including the Tucson, Phoenix, and Florence offices.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with large-scale organizational change efforts strongly preferred.
  • Experience with managing teams, and across teams, strongly preferred.
  • Experience managing across multiple locations preferred.
  • Experience working with government agencies preferred.
  • Experience working in a unionized environment preferred.
  • Minimum 5 years of supervision of attorneys preferred.

Working Conditions/Physical Demands

  • Operates in a professional office environment and requires the ability to sit for long periods of time with intermittent walking, standing, bending, squatting, pulling, and pushing.
  • Ability to use standard office equipment such as scanners, computers, keyboards, phones, shredders, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Requires the ability to lift up to ten pounds, accommodations may be available.
  • Travel regularly between offices and secondary work locations.

Effective September 1, 2021, FIRRP has implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. To comply with this policy, active employees must be fully vaccinated by employment. Employees seeking an exemption due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief should contact our Human Resources Department at


The compensation range for this position starts at $129,355 and is commensurate with candidate experience.


More information about the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project may be found at:

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

If you need assistance and/or accommodation during the application or recruiting process due to a disability, please note that in your submission.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.