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UCP Program Director, Center on Immigration and Justice (NY, DC, LA, or Remote)

Company: Vera Institute of Justice
Location: Raleigh
Posted on: November 22, 2021

Job Description:

Who We Are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country's legal systems. We are an "inside" lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements-including advocacy, grassroots, and grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity-both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people's educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

Direct all aspects of the work of the Unaccompanied Children's Program, including the federally-funded program to promote legal information and legal representation for children in and released from ORR custody and the Unaccompanied Minor's Technical Assistance project to ensure high quality representation for children whose representation is being supported by the State of California. Support policies that move forward and protect the legal rights of immigrant children facing the prospect of deportation. Direct a large cross-disciplinary team of Vera staff that manages a budget of well over $100 M annually, dedicated to providing high quality legal advocacy and defense for children facing deportation. Work with Center leadership and Policy to the institutionalize the independent provision of zealous, child-centered and universal legal defense for all immigrant children facing deportation.

In this role, you will:
Lead an interdisciplinary team of legal, technical, operations, contract administration, finance and data analysis experts to national legal services network
Supervise the work and coordination of a team of 30+ Center employees dedicated to managing the network of legal services partners providing services to unaccompanied children in and released from ORR custody.
Ensure performance of federal contract designed to provide legal advocacy, information and defense for unaccompanied children facing immigration proceedings and in federal immigration custody
Manage relations with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, coordinating and providing the routine reporting and responding to requests for data, contract modifications, budgeting and invoicing.
Negotiate contract terms and interpretation with government funders and support the most favorable interpretation of contract terms to support the legal rights of children.
Monitor contract compliance and subcontract compliance in a manner informed by the ethical duties of attorneys to their prospective and current child clients.
Manage Vera's partnership with legal services providers and technical assistance organizations working on the unaccompanied children's program in jurisdictions across the United States
Manage relationships and troubleshoot challenges with legal directors and executive directors across a network 45+ subcontractor organizations responsible for performing tasks under the federal contract for legal services and representation of unaccompanied children.
Oversee, evaluate and approve site budgets and funding needs to maintain and expand high quality direct representation and pro bono mentorship programming for children at risk of deportation
Assess and oversee determination of funding needs and work with the Associate Program Directors to seek adequate government funding of the program managing complex budgets with the government and across 45+ subcontractors.
Be the primary decision making point on day-to-day contract management issues with ability to use judgment and experience to delegate and elevate contractual issues
Streamline decision making protocols to ensure timely response to contract and legal issues facing the program or Vera partners in the field.
Identify and elevate contractual issues that require attention of immigration unit leadership and Vera leadership and recommend a response.
Memorialize program learnings that advance the immigration legal defense infrastructure for children and can lead to improvement of practices/policies to benefit children's rights
Emergent CIJ---/ Vera---work related to or informed by the UCP, including case cost estimates and management infrastructure for a federally funded immigration counsel program; ORR system accountability and reforms; and other, similar projects that may emerge from the CIJ and Vera strategic planning process, including the transition of UCP to a successor organization.

What qualifications do you need?

A JD or Masters in relevant field (eg Masters in public policy, migration, human rights)
At least 4 years experience in managing federal legal services contracts
2 additional years of immigration system related experience or child welfare expertise
Prior management experience
Experience making and supervising budgets and negotiating contracts
A desire to effect change in partnership with the government
The ability to work with a range of stakeholders, including lawyers and government officials
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Capacity to lead by example and to support career development for supervised staff
Prior experience managing at least 10 staff directly and indirectly
Highly organized project management abilities
A commitment to racial equity
An inclusive management style

Spanish speaking/writing ability

List of Required Software applications:
Microsoft Office Suite (particularly Excel and Word)

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / UCP Program Director, Center on Immigration and Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit

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Keywords: Vera Institute of Justice, Raleigh , UCP Program Director, Center on Immigration and Justice (NY, DC, LA, or Remote), Accounting, Auditing , Raleigh, North Carolina

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