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Executive Director, Thrive DC

Washington, D.C.

About Thrive DC

Thrive DC (Thrive) was founded in 1979 as a grassroots response to the first major wave of homelessness on downtown Washington DC streets. Over the years, Thrive expanded its reach to meet the needs of its community, providing wraparound services, including meals and a weekly food pantry, basic emergency services, employment training, reentry transitional housing, and other support services for vulnerable individuals (especially those experiencing homelessness, poverty, or recent release from incarceration) in a safe, stable environment. Thrive strives to be a one-stop shop that provides vulnerable individuals with a comprehensive array of services to help them stabilize their lives and take the first steps toward self-sufficiency.

Thrive has a $2.3M budget and it is headquartered in the center of Ward One, at the corner of 16th and Newton Streets NW.  

Learn more about Thrive DC here.


About the Opportunity 

Thrive seeks a compassionate, values-driven, and inspirational leader to become its next Executive Director (ED). Reporting to the Board of Directors (Board) and in collaboration with a deeply committed and dedicated staff of 18 and hundreds of dedicated volunteers annually, the ED will lead Thrive’s strategic direction, ensure its long-term financial sustainability, and cultivate new and existing partnerships. 

The ideal candidate thrives in an empathetic, human-centered environment with a deep sense of mission, where staff are working directly with individuals from the community experiencing homelessness. They are a visionary servant leader who understands the Washington DC community and the systemic barriers and challenges that lead to homelessness. They will bring deep executive and leadership experience, the ability to serve as an advocate on issues related to Thrive’s clients, and a demonstrated ability to raise funds and generate support for Thrive’s work. Additionally, they will have a record of cultivating strategic partnerships and authentic, trust-based relationships with Thrive’s diverse stakeholders, including individuals experiencing homelessness, community leaders, funders, local government officials, and other community partners. The ED will have an unwavering commitment to Thrive’s mission to prevent and end homelessness in Washington DC, by providing vulnerable individuals with a comprehensive range of services to help stabilize their lives.  

The new leader will succeed a long-tenured ED who significantly grew the organization and, in collaboration with the staff and Board, has built a strong foundation for the organization’s next chapter. The ED will have three direct reports, including the Director of Programs, Director of Development, and the newly-created Director of Finance and Operations position. 

This is a unique opportunity to work with and lead a talented, dedicated staff, grow the organization, and ensure continued impact in Ward One and across Washington DC. Thrive seeks a strong leader who understands the intersectional and complex social services field and is open to a broad range of issue area experience. Prior experience with homelessness and housing is not required.


Key Responsibilities

  • Vision and strategy: lead Thrive’s strategic direction; collaborate with the Director of Programs, staff, Board, community members, and other key stakeholders to set clear goals and achieve Thrive’s mission. The most recent strategic plan covers 2021 through 2024 and provides a general roadmap for the organization, but Thrive is open to the possibility that with the arrival of a new ED, the plan may be revisited and revised.

  • Organizational culture: advance Thrive’s work to build an authentically diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture where all staff belong and that is reflective of the clients served; promote and model a culture of self-care, collaboration, and transparency. Center Thrive’s culture and values as an empathetic, local, community-based organization, and lead staff in developing internal systems and structures to ensure efficiency is optimized;

  • Professional development: actively support staff’s professional development and  opportunities that promote individual and team growth; leverage and lean on staff expertise in service of Thrive’s mission. Across 2022, Thrive made investments in professional growth, which the staff and Board would like to continue with the new ED;

  • Relationship management: build trusted relationships with impacted communities; nurture relationships with key community leaders, partner organizations, local government officials, and other stakeholders; build a deep understanding of existing services provided in the city; connect the dots across gaps in services and lead staff in building bridges for individuals who need services Thrive doesn’t offer;

  • Resource development: in collaboration with the Director of Development, ensure the financial sustainability of Thrive by cultivating existing funder relationships and generating new sources of revenue;

  • Financial management: in collaboration with the incoming Director of Finance and Operations, set financial priorities, monitor the budget, and ensure sound financial controls are in place;

  • External communication: serve as the principal spokesperson and advocate for Thrive on local platforms and with media.


Desired Skills, Experiences, and Attributes

  • An unwavering commitment to Thrive’s mission and values; prior experience with and passion for working with DC’s unhoused population and/or returning citizens strongly preferred, though not required;

  • Proven success in a senior leadership role with a demonstrated ability to manage the strategic, financial, staff leadership, and operational needs of a dynamic, growing organization;

  • A committed and collaborative leader with a record of empowering, mentoring, and developing teams through growth and change;

  • Vision and the ability to dream of what’s possible in terms of Thrive’s impact on Ward One and Washington, DC;

  • Demonstrated aptitude for building and cultivating strong relationships with staff, Board, funders, and community partners;

  • Successful record of fundraising for a nonprofit, including identifying and engaging new funding opportunities;

  • Excellent communication skills, strong interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence, and warmth;

  • A record of transparent communication and collaborative decision-making, as well as accessibility and accountability;

  • Strong professional ethics, transparency, integrity, and accountability; and

  • A hands-on and flexible leadership approach.


Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is $135,000 - $150,000.



Thrive’s headquarters is in Ward One (Columbia Heights), in space leased from St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church. This hybrid position allows the new ED to sometimes work from home; however, they will need to work in the Thrive headquarters for two or more days per week, both on a regular and as-needed basis.


Additional Information

With appropriate exemptions as required by law, all Thrive DC staff must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, including receiving any boosters recommended by the CDC in a timely manner.   


The offer to be the ED will be contingent on a background check.

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