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Date Posted: 2/7/2023

Location:  Remote

The Association for Programs for Rural Independent Living

Executive Director Search

Remote Position

The Association for Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is entering an exciting development phase and is looking for a dynamic and innovative leader who would excel in moving APRIL to the next level.

APRIL is a premiere national disability-led organization that advances the equity of people with disabilities in rural communities through advocacy, collaboration, shared experience, leadership development, education, and training. 

APRIL continues to focus on being national grassroots, nonprofit membership organization consisting of members from centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils, other organizations, and individuals committed to advancing equity throughout rural communities and beyond.

Reporting to the Board and leading a small team and various contractors, the Executive Director will lead a vision for APRIL that continues its legacy of creative programming that includes training and technical assistance, advocacy, collaboration, and ensuring the independent living movement is respected and well supported. The ED will empower and guide the team in elevating relationships with members, partners, and policymakers to ensure that organizations serving the disability in rural communities are well supported. The ED will also partner closely and build relationships with national change agents and funders to ensure the organization is financially healthy and sustainable and positively impacts the movement.  The ED will also support and contribute to an equitable work culture that is collaborative, productive, cohesive, and one that represents the disability community.

APRIL was founded in 1986 and currently has a nearly one-million-dollar budget. To learn more about the organization’s history, please visit the APRIL website.

The Association for Programs for Rural Independent Living

Executive Director Job Description

Position Title: Executive Director

Position Type: Full-time, Exempt

Location: Remote with occasional travel

Salary Range: $110,000 to $125,000 annually

Benefits: APRIL offers competitive benefits with health, dental, vision, life, contribution to a retirement plan, generous leave, and other incentives.

Reports To: APRIL Governing Board President 


The APRIL Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of APRIL and promotes the mission, vision, independent living philosophy, and strategic goals widely within the employees, board of directors, APRIL membership, funders, independent living network, and the public at large.

The Executive Director is a strategic change agent that works in partnership with the board of directors to carry out and fulfill governance functions, empower the employees to achieve their purpose and advance the organization, build relationships to promote the independent living movement, and oversee and direct all operations, including implementation and administration of agency contracts, strategic planning, programs, events, and policies. Additionally, the Executive Director will encompass financial and personnel management, development, community relations, fund and membership relations, and ensures that the organization remains relevant and reflects the changing needs of the independent living movement and the needs of the disability community.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (with or without accommodations):

Impact and Engagement

  • Lead efforts to increase the impact and capacity of independent living programs serving rural America and beyond.
  • Responsible for the overall impact of APRIL on its membership, partners, and the disability community at large via the independent living movement.
  • Increase APRIL’s capacity to expand and develop innovative programming.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with other organizations and advocacy groups.
  • Serve as an agency spokesperson.
  • Partner with the Board of Directors to craft and adapt the strategy to achieve growth and increased capacity and identify new opportunities.
  • Develop innovative programming and ideas for membership development.
  • Establish relationships with members and prospective members, board members, funders, legislators, and the independent living network.
  • Serve as a leader and advocate to increase opportunities for independent living throughout rural America.
  • Demonstrate leadership and expertise regarding advances or changes in the disability community, disability rights legislation, and the independent living movement.  
  • Serve as an ex officio member of the board of directors and committees.

Resource Development and Financial Management

  • Increase and maintain funding for all programs and services.
  • Cultivate funder and donor engagement.
  • Prepare and negotiate contracts for the organization.
  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective funders, donors, and critical leaders of prospective new corporate partners.
  • Leads in the development of funding proposals.
  • Develop and oversee a comprehensive budget and be able to present and answer questions regarding financial statements.
  • Oversee the financial accounts of the organizations.
  • Serves as an authorized agent for all contracts, bank accounts, and expenditures.
  • Ensure all financial practices are effective, efficient, and in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

Strategic Planning

  • Partner with the Board of Directors to develop a strategic plan and ensure the mission and vision is relevant and can lead to growth.
  • Assist with setting the strategic vision, establishing, and communicating goals and objectives across the organization, setting priorities, and creating a culture of care and purpose.
  • Analyze and compare information/data to identify and explain significant trends, issues, problems, causes, and solutions to generate actions to achieve long-range goals.  

Personnel Management

  • Recruit, lead, and manage the organization’s employees to ensure that high-quality administration and programs are relevant and aligned with the organization's strategic plan and vision.
  • Enforce APRIL’s personnel policies that are approved by the board of directors.
  • Consult with the organization’s employment attorney to ensure the personnel policies, recruitment, hiring, disciplinary, and termination procedures are current and meet employment laws.
  • Evaluate employees and provide appropriate coaching, mentoring, and development.
  • Develop and maintain job descriptions.
  • Cultivate an equitable workforce that empowers creativity and growth that motivates and develops leaders.
  • Ensure timely and accurate financial and program reporting to required agencies, including but not limited to the IRS, Title VII, funding/grant agencies, and EEOC.

Board Management

  • Work closely with the Board President, Board of Directors, and committees to assess and address any issues with the organization and or committees.
  • Be fully transparent to the Board President and Board of Directors.
  • Report to the Board of Directors and assist in the organization of and participation in quarterly board meetings and other committees as required.
  • Report the status of the strategic plan goals.
  • Assist the board with recruitment and board education.


  • At least seven (7) years of experience working with Centers for Independent Living or Statewide Independent Living Councils.
  • Ability to represent the organization nationally.
  • Education/experience in nonprofit administration, management, or related field.
  • Advanced knowledge of the rights of people with disabilities, disability rights legislation, and specific experience with the Independent Living Program as authorized by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.
  • Experience in policy, advocacy, and lobbying.
  • A commitment to accessibility, diversity, equity, and disability justice. This includes having a personal commitment, dedication, and experience in anti-oppression work and advocacy.
  • Lived experience as a person with a disability is critical to the success of APRIL, an organization run by and for people with disabilities to elevate the independent living movement.
  • Experience with leading and growing nonprofit organizations.
  • Proven record of leading people, managing teams, and developing employees virtually.
  • Effective communication skills. The Executive Director should be able to adapt communication style to fit many different audiences.
  • Experience and ability to lead public relations efforts.
  • Excellent problem-solving, decision-making, and assertiveness skills.
  • Skills and knowledge in financial management and resource development, including grant writing and fundraising.
  • Advanced skills in grant management, evaluation, and demonstrating the organization’s dedication to being good stewards of funding.
  • Knowledge of human resource management laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and processes relating to various human resource management functions.
  • Knowledge and skills in working on a national level and developing partnerships to accomplish common goals.
  • Capacity to recruit, retain, and work with diverse and multicultural populations.
  • Experience negotiating agreements, strategic partnerships, and contracts.
  • Exceptional writing, presentation, and communication skills.
  • Due to virtual work, advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, virtual platforms, and accessibility requirements for all internal and public-facing materials.
  • Must be self-directed and self-motivated.
  • Travel as the job necessitates.


  • Visionary: Provide and communicate a clear direction for the organization’s future.
  • Ability to motivate others: Relay a commitment to the organization with enthusiasm for its mission and services.
  • Multidimensional Thinker: Ability to analyze situations on all levels to develop a comprehensive direction for planning and solutions.
  • Prudent: Practical reasoning and self-management that helps one achieve long-term goals effectively by considering the consequences of actions taken and not taken along the way.
  • Strategic Thinker: Develop and implement effective strategies consistent with the organization's vision and mission.
  • Creativity/Innovation: Develop strategies that challenge existing practices to help increase both productivity and quality.
  • Business Acumen: Evaluate the methodologies, processes, and systems allowing the organization to make money.
  • Risk Management: Plan and implement measures to avoid, overcome or compensate for risk elements.
  • Bold: The drive to take on complex challenges and risks to benefit people with disabilities and the organization.
  • Dedication: Exhibits long-term dedication to the mission of the organization.
  • Financial Oversight: Instill public trust by overseeing the allocation of financial resources, preparing, and justifying budgets or expenditure requests, and overseeing procurement and contracting procedures.
  • Results Driven: Focus on results and desired outcomes and how best to achieve them to get the job done.
  • Political Awareness: Identify internal and external politics that impact the organization’s work.
  • Relationship Builder: Build and maintain ethical relationships, networks & contacts with people who are, or maybe, potentially helpful in achieving work-related goals and establishing advantages.
  • Conflict Management: Develop working relationships that prevent and resolve conflicts internally and externally.
  • Comfort with Ambiguity: Lead the organization through times of instability, possessing comfort with ambiguity and the ability to make strategic and rational decisions during unpredictable times.
  • Administration Management: Lead the organization's day-to-day operations, working with employees to develop, maintain, and use systems and resources that facilitate the practical process of the organization toward the strategic plan goals.
  • Compliance: Ensure the organization complies with federal, state, and local laws, Rehabilitation Act Regulations- chapters B & C, and funders’ requirements.

NOTICE: APRIL is not connected in any way to residential facilities known as Independent Living or Assisted Living. 


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  Serious candidates should submit applications, on or before, March 1, 2023.  Applications should contain a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position.  Email to Christine Griffin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with APRIL Executive Director Search in the subject line.  Please include how you heard about the search. Only a select number of highly qualified individuals will be invited to participate in a formal interview process. This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout all phases of the recruitment and selection process. 

APRIL has retained the executive search firm and certified disability-owned business enterprise, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. to conduct this search,

APRIL is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified individuals with disabilities who are multi-marginalized are strongly encouraged to apply. APRIL provides reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position. Please notify us if you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process.