SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, is seeking an Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The current Executive Director/CEO will retire in 2025 and the Board of Directors has initiated recruitment activities to select SEARCH’s next Executive Director/CEO.
SEARCH, a nonprofit organization of the states which operates nationally, has its corporate office in Sacramento, California. SEARCH has played a critical and enduring leadership role in building and supporting criminal history record information (CHRI) systems and information sharing capabilities throughout the nation. SEARCH has tackled this mission through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State agencies, and allied organizations.
Since 1969, SEARCH’s primary objectives have been to a) improve the administration of justice through the effective application and responsible deployment of information and identification technologies; b) develop and promote constitutionally balanced and effective law and policy governing the use and management of justice information, systems, and technologies; c) enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and the quality of decisionmaking and information management through policy analysis, training, technical assistance, and systems development; and d) inform and improve policy and practice in the administration of justice through evidence-based research and data.
SEARCH has a staff of 20 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 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.
As a membership organization, SEARCH is involved in the sharing of criminal justice information in an ever-changing political and operational landscape. The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring staff are equipped with the skills and resources needed to meet these changing demands. Accordingly, the Board is looking for an Executive Director who can effectively manage and lead this dynamic organization.
Please email your cover letter and résumé to David J. Roberts, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2023. An initial screening of applications will take place by the Executive Director Selection Committee and SEARCH Board of Directors on January 22, 2024. Résumés will not be accepted in person or by mail. No telephone calls, please.
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, research and analytics, 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 approximately $5 million in annual revenue.
- Solicit grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other funding sources from various federal, state, local, and tribal governments and justice agencies, and private foundations to provide the products and services the Membership Group requests.
- Provide national leadership 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 governments and 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.
- 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 approximately $5 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 and contract opportunities that align with organizational capabilities and strategic direction.
- Experience in the management of grants and cooperative agreements from the U.S. 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.
$175,000 – $205,000 annually, plus benefits.
SEARCH corporate offices are located in Sacramento, California, but the Executive Director may work in another location, subject to Board approval.
The organization’s Executive Director Selection Committee will conduct an initial résumé review. The strongest candidates, as determined in the Committee’s sole discretion, will be invited to provide additional details regarding their qualifications and vision for SEARCH. The strongest candidates, as determined in the Committee’s sole discretion, will be invited to one or more interviews at a time and location to be determined. SEARCH will pay all travel expenses associated with the interview process.
The Executive Director shall be selected by the Board of Directors and shall serve at the will of the Board, with the approval of the SEARCH Membership Group by two-thirds vote.
The anticipated start date is between May 1, 2024, and June 15, 2024.
For more information on SEARCH, see www.search.org.
SEARCH is an Equal Opportunity Employer.