Regular Full-time, Exempt (salaried)

Reports to:

Board Chair, on behalf of the Board of Directors


The Executive Director is the chief executive officer, responsible for leading MDI in implementing its mission and managing 

the organization. Key areas of responsibility are: vision and strategic development, resource development and contract management, team leadership and staff management, Board relations and support, financial management, operations and services, and advocacy.

Essential Functions:


Vision and Strategic Development:

  • Lead MDI in developing and implementing a shared vision and strategic plan to ensure that the organization is meeting the   current and emerging needs of its clients.

  • Remain abreast of trends that are shaping MDI's operating environment, such as developments in public defense and criminal justice, as well as factors shaping the environment for clients (e.g., wealth inequality, systemic racism, the housing crisis, disparate health outcomes, etc.).

  • Cultivate and maintain effective and productive relationships with stakeholders including Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC), legislators, trial and appellate judges and justices, Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, law enforcement, peer public defense organizations, and social service providers.

Resource Development and Contract Management:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with PDSC, OPDS and other potential funders.

  • Negotiate and manage the OPDS contract.

  • Ensure that MDI remains in compliance with contract requirements and applicable laws.

Team Leadership and Staff Management:

  • Hire, develop, support and make efforts to retain staff; encourage professional development; manage staff separation as necessary.

  • Support and empower managers as a cohesive management team with shared responsibility for supervising, developing, and supporting staff; directly supervise Investigations and Appeals.

  • Manage MDI's union relationships and contract; lead union contract negotiations.

  • Foster a collegial organizational culture that supports diversity and balances MDI's values of autonomy and collaboration in service of our clients.

  • Honor and effectively work with staff of all backgrounds and identities, particularly those who are underrepresented in the community and/or MDI.

  • Ensure up-to-date job descriptions, orientation, training and annual performance evaluations for all staff.

  • Ensure compliance with personnel policies and establish a positive, healthy, and safe work environment in accordance with appropriate laws and regulations.


Board Relations and Support:

  • In cooperation with Board leadership, plan and implement effective Board meetings and planning sessions.

  • In partnership with Board Officers, provide for effective Board member orientation, integration, and self-evaluation.

  • Provide the Board with relevant information on critical issues relating to MDI and public defense in Oregon.

Financial Management:

  • Oversee an appropriate accounting system and implementation of financial management practices based on Board-approved financial policies.

  • Develop an annual budget for Board review and approval; monitor and prudently manage resources based on the budget.

  • Provide all necessary and appropriate financial statements for regular review by the Board; ensure an annual audit of financial statements.

Operations and Services:

  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of MDI's services and operations.

  • Provide adequate facilities and technology resources for MDI's smooth operation within the parameters of our financial limitations.

  • Identify and evaluate the risks to MDI and implement measures to manage risk.


  • Effectively communicate with partners and serve as MDI's primary external spokesperson.

  • Lead advocacy at the local and state levels to advance MDI's mission and work for systemic change.

Work Setting:

In non-COVID-19 times, MDI offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a break for lunch from 12:00-1:00 p.m. The office is closed for all court holidays. The Executive Director is expected to have a presence in both of MDI's locations and at court. Occasional evening meetings and out-of-town travel is required, including visits to Salem when the legislature is in session and to attend PDSC and OPDS meetings.

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