Coalition for the Homeless

Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy

To Apply

Coalition for the Homeless has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer
Harris Rand Lusk
260 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY  10016

Email your cover letter and resume to: nminter@harrisrand.com

Please include “Coalition for the Homeless DEDA” in the subject line of your emailed application.

The Coalition for the Homeless (‘The Coalition’) is the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless individuals and families. The Coalition believes that affordable housing, sufficient food and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society. Since its inception in 1981, the Coalition has worked through litigation, public education and direct services to ensure that these goals are realized.

The Coalition has a unique role as the court-appointed independent monitor of the DHS shelter system for single adults, and as the City-appointed independent monitor of the DHS shelter system for homeless families. The Coalition has a long and invaluable institutional relationship with The Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project (HRP), with whom they work closely on a daily basis on a range of issues, including protecting the legal rights of homeless New Yorkers and ensuring the City’s compliance with past litigation brought by the two organizations.

The Coalition is also well known for its aggressive and innovative large-scale advocacy on behalf of homeless individuals and families through our policy analysis, lobbying, organizing, media relations, and public education. The Coalition’s credibility derives from more than four decades of experience as both an advocacy and direct service organization, and from ensuring that their advocacy is directly informed by the experiences and desires of the thousands of homeless and at-risk people served every day in their 11 programs.

The Coalition is currently in the process of increasing and restructuring its Advocacy Department and rebuilding its leadership. As such, the Coalition is seeking a passionate and committed individual to fill the position of Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy.

The Position
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy (DEDA) will have primary responsibility for the advocacy operations of the Coalition for the Homeless at both the state and local levels, including impact litigation, shelter monitoring, policy analysis, lobbying, organizing, public education, and media relations. The DEDA will direct the Coalition’s strategy for asserting and defending the legal rights of homeless New Yorkers, including the right to shelter, and will supervise the Coalition’s shelter monitoring staff and activities. In addition, the DEDA will supervise the Policy Director and other advocacy staff in the analysis of public policies, including the issues of housing, welfare, mental health policies, and the provision of services.

In coordination with Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy will work on the restructuring and rebuilding of the Advocacy Department, including the hiring of a Policy Director and certain other staff. The DEDA will develop strategy, policy background, and message for the Coalition’s advocacy/public policy agenda and various advocacy campaigns; and develop the Coalition’s public education and policy materials and media strategy.

The Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy will be a strong and passionate advocate for families and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and shall demonstrate exemplary leadership, provide a vision, and foster a tone consistent with the values, mission, and goals of the Coalition for the Homeless. In addition, they will be diplomatic, an active and engaged problem solver, and possess sound judgment and discretion. This individual will work in close partnership with the Coalition’s Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director in leading the organization throughout the critical next phase of its work to end mass homelessness and provide lifesaving services to those most in need.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervise Advocacy operations and staff in the analysis of, policies and practices concerning services, housing, welfare, mental health policies, and other areas relevant to homeless and at-risk New Yorkers
  • In coordination with Executive Director and outside counsel, develop, implement, and direct a comprehensive strategy for asserting and defending the legal rights of homeless New Yorkers
  • With Executive Director, develop and implement the Coalition’s advocacy/public policy agenda for New York City and New York State
  • Supervise the work of Policy Director and other Advocacy staff in the development of the Coalition’s policy materials and public education/organizing materials and in the planning and production of research reports
  • Supervise the Shelter Monitoring operations of the Coalition, including direct oversight of the Supervisor of Shelter Rights Monitors, who manages the shelter monitoring team and maintains a small caseload of clients
  • Supervise the Manager of Disability Advocacy, who maintains a caseload of clients; and, in coordination with outside counsel, monitor the City’s compliance with the stipulation of settlement in Butler v. City of New York
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Homeless Services (DHS), and Human Resources Administration (HRA)
  • Ensure that DHS activities – including shelter capacity changes, deliverables (such as data and policies/procedures), and rule and policy changes that impact clients – are properly tracked
  • Maintain knowledge of DHS and HRA procedures as they pertain to the Coalition’s clients
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Coalition’s outside legal counsel on advocacy issues and on other issues, such as cases brought against the Coalition, as directed by the Executive Director
  • Work with Coalition leadership and outside consultants in the development and implementation of the Coalition’s media strategy on issues related to the work of the Advocacy Department
  • Serve as primary press contact on certain issues at the direction of the Executive Director
  • Ensure that all data gathered in communications with City and State agencies and by the Shelter Monitoring division of the Advocacy Department are properly entered and maintained in the Coalition’s database by staff
  • At the direction of the Executive Director, serve as the principal contact for certain elected and appointed officials
  • In coordination with Programs leadership, help ensure regular sharing of information and ideas between the Advocacy Department and the Coalition’s direct service programs
  • Help foster and promote regular communication between the Advocacy Department and the other departments of the Coalition, including Development, Finance, Human Resources, and Operations & Technology
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, develop the annual Advocacy budget, and review and approve program expenditures, including expenditures for monitoring, policy materials, and advocacy campaigns
  • When requested, assist Development Department in the drafting of fundraising materials for the Coalition’s Advocacy efforts, including proposals and reports
  • Supervise Policy Director to ensure that reports on the Coalition’s lobbying activity are submitted accurately and on time and, when requested, assist in the preparation of tax and other relevant finance and government reports
  • Meet regularly with the Executive Director to review department operations, policy and other issues/concerns, among other matters
  • Plan and facilitate weekly Advocacy staff and other meetings
  • Foster Advocacy staff development through orientation, consultation, training, and other guidance
  • Conduct internal quality management audits and reviews, and design and implement improvements or enhancements using outcome-based evaluations, among other tools
  • At the direction of the Executive Director, perform such legal analysis, contract review, bill drafting, or other legal duties as may be assigned
  • Perform all other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Director


  • Master’s Degree: JD strongly preferred; litigation experience helpful, or policy degree (in which case the DED for Advocacy would hire and supervise a Director of Legal Affairs)
  • Minimum of ten years of progressively greater responsibility for advocacy, organizing, campaign, government, media relations, and/or direct service experience with homelessness, housing, poverty, public benefits, or related issues
  • At least six years of experience with public policy issues
  • Ability to manage a large, varied, and constant workload while maintaining the highest professional standards of work product, conduct, and communications (both internal and external)
  • Ability to manage critical communications and tasks on evenings and weekends, if necessary
  • Exceptional leadership ability
  • Excellent writing and editing ability as well as polished oral presentation, strategic advocacy, and analytical skills
  • Experience in media relations a plus
  • Deep and unwavering commitment to social justice required

Salary range for this position is $175,000 – $200,000.

For more information about Coalition for the Homeless, please visit their website at https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org

All positions at the Coalition for the Homeless are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  All are encouraged to apply.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168