The Fund for Modern Courts - Executive Director


The Fund for Modern Courts

Executive Director

New York, NY (remote in New York State)



The Fund Modern Courts (Modern Courts or FMC) is an independent, nonpartisan, and highly respected statewide court reform organization committed to improving the court system for all New Yorkers. Modern Courts supports equal access to the courts, and a judiciary that is independent, highly qualified, and diverse, and provides for the fair administration of justice. By research, public outreach, education and advocacy, Modern Courts seeks to advance these goals.


Over the past 50+ years Modern Courts has made an important impact on our judicial system. FMC fought against the influence of money in judicial races and secured an appointment system for New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, which cemented the foundation for a truly independent judiciary. FMC’s work on access to justice has influenced decision-makers in all three branches of government. Whether it is spearheading the effort to simplify New York’s antiquated court structure, reporting on the unconstitutional jailing of individuals for failing to pay fines and fees, rejecting a second class system of justice for the family court, or recommending changes in eviction proceedings in rural and suburban courts, Modern Courts has consistently provided independent, in-depth analysis on vital issues as well as the leadership needed for concerned citizens to make a difference.



FMC’s next leader will advance the mission and vision of The Fund for Modern Courts in collaboration with the Board of Directors and many leading organizations with which FMC partners. The successful candidate will be an inspiring advocate and accomplished leader fiercely committed to equal access to justice. The new Executive Director will be the key spokesperson for the organization, will possess strong advocacy, communications and administrative skills and possess a sense of pragmatism.


Key responsibilities include:

  • Vision, leadership, direction, and strategy of the organization
  • Board engagement and recruitment & fundraising
  • Advocacy and outreach 


Vision and Leadership, Direction and Strategy

  • Work closely with FMC’s highly engaged Board of Directors to establish shared goals, direction, and a vision for the organization.
  • Recognize what changes are needed to continue to develop the work of FMC and to prioritize the agenda of issues.
  • Provide fiscally sound management and fiduciary oversight including managing resources and budgets, and ensuring best practice systems, processes, and procedures.


Board Engagement, Recruitment and Fundraising

  • Partner with the Board of Directors to recruit new board members and continue to foster and drive Board engagement.

·        Inspire and support the Board in its fundraising and governance responsibilities.

  • Raise visibility and impact of FMC by collaborating with city and state officials, members of the judiciary and government agencies in order to enhance the mission and increase financial support.
  • Develop new sources of revenue, including grants from foundations.


Advocacy and Outreach 

  • Build, maintain, and strengthen FMC through advocacy and programs with its vital network of law firms, corporations, community-based organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, and foundations.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion both for FMC and the judicial branch, including judges and staff.
  • Organize forums/panel discussions to educate the public about developments and ongoing concerns in NY’s courts in order to build an informed constituency to promote court reform.
  • Spearhead and oversee publications on issues of public importance.
  • Organize FMC events including the John J. McCloy Award, Cyrus R. Vance Tribute, and Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture.


A strong candidate will possess the following attributes:


  • Knowledge of and appreciation for New York’s legal/court systems, advocacy, and public policy.
  • Experience with Board Development, with a focus on expanding the predominantly New York City board to include business executives and civic leaders who have a stake in the success of the court system. 
  • Significant mid-to-senior non-profit or legal-related leadership, management, and operational experience.

·        Experience and enthusiasm for fundraising with ability to identify and solicit donors.

  • Comfort and experience with the workings of all branches of the New York State government in Albany.
  • Possesses excellent written and oral advocacy and communication skills, with the goal of articulating the mission and vision to multiple stakeholders and the media.
  • A creative, thoughtful person with good judgment and a strong presence and interpersonal skills; a “go-getter” who is self-motivated, organized, energetic, outgoing, hands-on and results-oriented with a strong, independent work ethic.

·        The highest standards of ethics, integrity, respect, and humility.


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree required: J.D. or law related degree, a plus


COMPENSATION: $130,000 to $150,000, commensurate with experience.


HOW TO APPLY: Submit a resume and cover letter in confidence here


The Fund for Modern Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position. FMC is not in a position to sponsor candidates who are not legally permitted to work in the U.S.