Executive Director

SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, is seeking an Executive Director.

The Organization

SEARCH, a nonprofit organization of the states which operates nationally, has its corporate office in Sacramento, California. SEARCH is dedicated to improving the criminal justice system that supports the administration of justice through better information management, the effective application of information and identification technology, and responsible law and policy. Since 1969, SEARCH’s primary objective has been to identify and help solve the information management problems that state and local justice agencies have confronted, along with the need to exchange information with other local agencies, state agencies, and/or the federal government.

SEARCH has a staff of 33 professionals who provide expertise to local, state, and federal justice agencies through a broad array of activities, resources, and products in these areas: criminal history records systems; integrated justice information systems; technology standards development; justice information technology planning, acquisition, and management; information law and policy; and cybercrime investigation. These activities, resources, and products include technical assistance and training, resource development (research, analytical and survey reports, national conferences, symposia and workshops, and online resources), national-scope research, policy advocacy, and model development (model legislation, audits, standards and procedures, and best practices). Justice agencies served include law enforcement, prosecution/public defense, courts, corrections/jail, probation/parole, juvenile justice, criminal history repositories, and other related agencies.

SEARCH is governed by a 61-member Membership Group comprised of one gubernatorial appointee from each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as eight At-Large appointees selected by the Membership Group Chair. Members are primarily state-level justice officials responsible for operational decisions and policymaking regarding the management of criminal justice information, particularly criminal history information.

The Executive Director Position

The Executive Director provides expertise and innovative leadership to implement the corporation’s goals and objectives as established by Board policy. The Executive Director works with and answers to the Membership Group through the 15-member Board of Directors, to determine corporate policy, fiscal planning, and corporate directions. The Board governs through a model of policy governance. Applicants should be familiar with the policy governance style of organizational operations.

The Executive Director effectively uses all corporate fiscal and personnel resources to maximize products and services to the criminal justice community and develops new corporate resources through grants, contracts, and private-sector initiatives for SEARCH, the States, Members, and the justice community at large. As the Chief Executive Officer of SEARCH, the Executive Director represents the corporation and Membership Group before various branches and levels of government, including the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice, criminal justice associations, and the private sector.

SEARCH as a membership organization has reached a crossroads and is in the process of making critical decisions with respect to future directions. The Executive Director will be responsible for leading the staff in an ever-changing environment. Accordingly, the Board is looking for an Executive Director who can effectively manage and lead this dynamic organization.


The primary areas of responsibility for this position are listed below.

Management and Leadership

  • Sustain and enhance the organization’s competence, information technology, and research.
  • Market federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies to provide technology products and services.
  • Attract and direct a strong staff of professionals in the organization’s technology areas, law and policy, and marketing.
  • Facilitate the organization’s administration, finance, and corporate communications.
  • Execute all contracts and other agreements/documents on behalf of the corporation.
  • Ensure the financial health of the organization.
  • Manage programs with $4.7 million in annual revenue.
  • Solicit grants and other funding sources from various justice agencies to provide the products and services the Membership Group requests.
  • Provide a national leadership role on all issues relevant to the corporation.

Serve the Membership Group

  • Represent SEARCH on national commissions, task forces, and advisory committees.
  • Serve as a member of various government committees.
  • Testify before the U.S. Congress and other federal, state, and local agencies.
  • Maintain liaison with directors of government agencies and other high-level public and private industry officials.
  • Maintain a program of information exchange with the SEARCH Membership Group and the criminal justice community at large.
  • Administer all relevant governance policies, including the ends policies and executive limitations policies.

Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills

The Executive Director must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and expertise.

General Experience

  • Exceptional leadership ability
  • Broad knowledge and skill in applying management principles and practices
  • Thorough understanding of business principles, practices, and policy governance
  • Extensive knowledge of criminal justice system operations and problems
  • Knowledge of criminal justice information management and the application of technology for improved information management
  • Knowledge of and skill in legislative and administrative processes
  • Experience with nonprofit organizations and intergovernmental relations, including the justice system, and federal and state government
  • Experience in leading a multi-faceted organization through directional changes
  • Ability to plan, organize, coordinate, and manage the activities of staff engaged in criminal justice research
  • Ability to control and manage programs with $4.7 million in annual revenue
  • Ability to interpret and apply pertinent bylaws, policies, and rules
  • Ability to work effectively with corporate officials and government officials
  • Ability to accurately analyze problems, promptly make sound decisions, and adopt effective courses of action
  • Willingness to delegate authority and responsibility
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills enabling teamwork and communication
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills
  • Willingness to travel extensively within the United States

Resource Development Experience

  • Experience in developing a diversified financial strategy to provide long-term stability for the organization
  • Experience in identifying grant opportunities that align with organizational capabilities and strategic direction
  • Experience in the management of grants from the Department of Justice and foundations whose funding priorities are focused on the administration of justice
  • Experience in developing partnerships that leverage organizational capabilities
  • Experience in developing opportunities with state and local governments

Education and Experience

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, political science, and/or planning and public administration, and experience in the criminal justice field is mandatory.  A master’s degree in a related field is preferred, but 10 years in an executive-level management position in a nonprofit organization or state-level position in the criminal justice field may be considered an appropriate alternative.


Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience.


The Board prefers the Executive Director reside and work in the Washington, D.C. area. Consideration will be given to allow the Executive Director to reside and work from another location, subject to Board approval. Corporate offices are located in Sacramento, California.

To Apply

Please email your cover letter and résumé, with salary history, to Scott Came, scott@search.org.  An initial screening of applications will take place on May 1, 2017. Résumés will not be accepted in person or by mail. No telephone calls, please.

Hiring Process

The organization’s Executive Director Search Committee will conduct an initial résumé review. The strongest candidates as determined in the Committee’s sole discretion will be invited to one or more interviews at a location to be determined. SEARCH will pay all travel expenses associated with the interview process.

The anticipated start date is between July 1, 2017, and August 31, 2017.

For more information on SEARCH, see www.search.org.

SEARCH is an Equal Opportunity Employer.