Executive Director

$139,869 - $206,604 yearly
  • State of Oregon Office of Public Defense Services
  • Oregon, USA
  • Aug 02, 2021
Full time Executive Government Legal Management

Job Description

General Information:

The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) is seeking an Executive Director for the State of Oregon’s Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS).  

As guardian of the legal rights and interests of public defense clients and the public’s interest in equal justice and due process of law, PDSC is looking for a leader to champion the effective delivery of public defense services in our state. OPDS is responsible for providing funding and oversight for the defense of criminal and juvenile cases at all stages, for providing counsel for parents and children in dependency cases, and for patients in civil commitment cases.

We seek a leader who demonstrates both a deep understanding of the critical role of public defense in upholding the highest ideals of justice as well as the ability to turn those ideals into systems that serve the public with integrity and efficiency.  The ideal candidate will approach their work by balancing their passion for reforming the state’s criminal justice system with the ability to operationalize these reforms in ways that are practical and efficient for staff and service providers. Building relationships with stakeholders in many different roles, from service providers to legislators, is critical to this work, and the successful candidate will be able to collaborate with others to devise and promote solutions to improve the ways OPDS provides its services.

OPDS is an independent agency in the Judicial Branch, governed by the PDSC independently of other agencies, commissions and boards within all branches of state government.  OPDS is based in Salem, Oregon, and employs 108 staff, organized into four divisions: the Executive Division, the Compliance, Audit, and Performance Division, the Appellate Division, and the Administrative Services Division. The agency negotiates contracts with trial-level public defense providers and administers and distributes funds for representation and related services for criminal, juvenile, and civil commitment cases. The agency provides compliance and oversight to providers through quality assurance practices, training, and education.  Financial Services processes all expenses related to representation in public defense cases. The Appellate Division provides direct legal representation in the state appellate courts in criminal cases, juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases, and parole cases. Other internal operational services include: data collection and analysis, general counsel, human resources, information technology services, internal audit, and policy development.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Executive Director serves as the chief executive and financial officer of the statewide public defense program and is directly responsible and accountable to the Public Defense Services Commission.  The Executive Director ensures the provision of quality legal representation at all levels of state court proceedings in criminal, juvenile, dependency, and civil commitment cases where mandated by the federal and state constitutions and state law for persons who are financially eligible for such representation, in compliance with all state laws and OPDS policies and consistent with national standards for such representation.

This position is a full-time, exempt, Management Service position.  A full description of the duties of this position are defined in ORS 151.219.

Salary and Benefits:

The annual salary range for this position is $139,869.00 to $206,604.00.

The state offers a generous benefit package including contributions toward individual and family health and dental insurance, term life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance.  Other benefits include employee contributions to the Public Employee Retirement System, paid holidays, vacation, sick leave and personal business leave.

Minimum Qualifications:

Candidates must have a demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the provision of quality legal representation to indigent defendants in criminal juvenile, dependency, and civil commitment proceedings.

Candidates must have ten years of management experience in a public or private organization including: a) development of program rules and policies, b) development of long- and short-range goals and plans, c) program evaluation, d) budget preparation, and e) prior experience in the provision or administration of public defense service or other government-mandated service, government finance, public or business administration, or legislative or judicial service.

Desired Attributes:

  • Strong communication and leadership skills. This includes the ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders including but not limited to: PDSC members, defense service providers, OPDS staff, judges, members of the Legislative Assembly, prosecutors, persons and entities who undertake studies of the Oregon public defense program, the press, and persons who receive state-paid legal representation.
  • Strong support for and engagement in workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ability and willingness to initiate and influence positive change, gaining support of external and internal stakeholders in decisions and in building effective partnerships.
  • Commitment to mentoring and developing employees through training, education, and performance management.
  • Ability to identify, analyze, and effect changes in a complex system in order to establish new programs and procedures that will improve the system overall.
  • Experience creating and managing a complex budget, and effectively communicating fiscal status and necessary budget changes to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Experience with state agency operations, including budget and legislative practices and the associated timelines.

To Apply:

Interested applicants must submit the following materials with their applications:

  • Resume.
  • A cover letter no more than three pages long that describes how you meet the minimum qualifications and desired attributes, including examples of your experience and background that demonstrates these attributes.
  • Three professional references.

Failure to submit the materials required will automatically disqualify an applicant from the process.

This recruitment is intended to remain open until the position has been filled. The recruitment may be closed at the discretion of the PDSC at any time.

The PDSC will review new applications on a weekly basis.  Confidentiality will be maintained regarding applicants and materials throughout the recruitment process.

Qualified applicants whose background most closely matches the needs of the positions will be invited to interview with the PDSC.