Chief Executive Officer


Locations: San Diego, CA.
Reports To: Board of Directors.
Direct Reports: Director of Operations and Program Development, Director of Philanthropy, Major Gifts Officer, Financial Assistant.
Compensation: $150,000 – $175,000 DOE/Neg.


International Relief Teams (IRT) alleviates human suffering caused by poverty and disaster around the globe by sending volunteer teams, financial support, relief supplies, and other assistance to where it is needed most. In the last year alone we have provided support in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, in addition to our local programs here in San Diego. Since our founding over 30 years ago, IRT has delivered more than $420 million in aid to 70 countries worldwide. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are supported by donors throughout the United States, and have maintained a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator for 16 consecutive years. We are also extremely efficient: with a staff of 8 and an operating budget of just $3.4 million, we were able to distribute $44 million in medicines, supplies, and financial support last year. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, IRT was able to quickly adapt and continue thriving, with some of our fundraising initiatives even setting new records in 2020.

While our overall impact is quite large, the secret to our success is that we have remained small and nimble. Our number one priority is to identify the most efficient way to deliver aid where it is needed most. To this end, IRT has developed an incredible ability to work in-country with highly effective organizations and leaders on the front lines of humanitarian challenges. As partners, we work together to accomplish mutual goals in alleviating human suffering. Our programs fall into two general impact areas:

  1. International and Domestic Disaster Relief – we provide relief supplies (food, water, hygiene supplies, construction materials, etc.) and medical and/or construction personnel as needed in response to natural and man-made disasters.
  2. Building Heathy Communities – this includes providing for the nutrition and education needs of abandoned children, providing medicines and vitamins to hospitals and clinics serving the poor, deploying volunteer teams to provide surgeries, eyeglasses, and house construction in vulnerable communities, and providing weekend food to homeless and needy local schoolchildren and their families.

Position Summary:

Reporting to our Board of Directors, the CEO will be involved in every aspect of the organization, setting our strategic vision and guiding our future growth. The key to success in this position is a continual focus on achieving balance and harmony amongst multiple challenges and opportunities:

  • Internal and external focus: attention to detail and ensuring business operations are running smoothly; being out in the community promoting, fundraising, and developing partnerships.
  • Visionary and doer: setting the direction and leading from the front; empowering others to take responsibility in their positions and enabling them to lead and grow.
  • International and local: optimizing IRT’s programmatic mix to ensure program services are directed to those most in need.

The new CEO will need to begin by developing a deep understanding of the organization and its programs, with a focus on building trust and relationships with team members, partners, and funders at all levels. In the near-term, the CEO will work closely with the Board, staff and program partners as we reopen the organization and adapt our service model to the post-pandemic environment. We seek a leader who will honor IRT’s history of disaster relief support, while expanding the organization’s capabilities in areas of ongoing need outside of disasters.


Strategy & Board Relations

  • Bring the vision to take the organization to the next level.
  • Focus the organization, matching IRT’s capabilities to the areas of greatest need; consolidate and streamline programs to enhance impact.
  • Create and implement a strategic plan to guide organization’s growth over the next decade.
  • Ensure IRT’s response to disasters and other areas of need is measured, appropriate, and not duplicative of other agencies.
  • Rethink and relaunch IRT’s critical volunteer programs, as appropriate to the post-pandemic operating environment.
  • Develop and expand the board to its full capacity of 15 members, with a focus on diversity.
  • Ensure the board and staff feel connected and understand each other’s roles.

Management & Leadership

  • Ensure IRT has the staffing structure in place to support and achieve new CEO’s vision.
  • Delegate appropriately and effectively, empowering staff to take ownership of their roles and performance outcomes.
  • Support and enhance IRT’s history and team culture.
  • Identify and implement professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Ensure IRT is staying up-to-speed with and adopting best practices in nonprofit management, fundraising, board development, and governance.
  • Build an organizational culture focused on strategy, planning, and growth.


  • Partner with IRT’s Director of Philanthropy to create and implement a robust development plan.
  • Enhance the current philanthropic base; diversify funding sources and revenue streams.
  • Raise IRT’s stature and profile with donors inside and outside the region.
  • Cultivate existing donors with an emphasis on Legacy Circle and Monthly Giving programs.
  • Proactively research, approach and acquire new donors.
  • Refresh our annual October gala and donor events in a way that is sensitive to the post-pandemic environment.

Partnerships & External Relations

  • Maintain and expand IRT’s partnerships with other international and domestic relief organizations such as MAP International, Convoy of Hope, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and Concern Worldwide.
  • Continue developing new organizational partnerships to further our reach and impact.
  • Network with other nonprofit leaders locally and nationally.
  • Create a branding and marketing plan to enhance awareness of IRT and its programs.
  • Be visible in the community and keep abreast of trends and best practices.

Business Operations

  • Review current business processes and workflows, identify ways to digitize, virtualize and streamline the way we do business.
  • Enhance core support areas such as Development, Accounting, and Marketing.
  • Ensure IRT has an effective and compliant vaccination policy and plan in place.
  • Develop and manage budgets, ensuring IRT remains in compliance for both financial and operational audits.
  • Maintain IRT’s exceptionally high Charity Navigator rating.
  • Serve as trustee and administrator for IRT’s 401(k) plan.


Tactical: Year 1

  • Invest the time to develop strong relationships with the staff and board, become intimately familiar with IRT’s history and what has made the organization so successful to-date.
  • Analyze the impact of COVID-19 on IRT’s operations, fundraising and governance models, recommend updates and changes as/if required.
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of the organizational structure to identify any potential training gaps, level set salaries and create a staffing plan to support anticipated organizational growth.
  • Develop a clear vision for each position, including goals and metrics.
  • Initiate a strategic planning process to define IRT’s long-term vision and goals.
  • Begin a cultural shift from reactionary to proactive and strategic.
  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify potential unmet humanitarian needs IRT could fill, within its focus areas and capabilities.
  • Review the prior development and stewardship plan; relaunch or refine as necessary to achieve interim fundraising goals.

Strategic: Years 2 – 5:

  • Develop a long-term strategic plan: where should the organization be in 5 years?
  • Implement metrics for tracking progress towards the goals contained within the new plan.
  • Refine and focus IRT’s programmatic offerings; determine the appropriate mix of episodic disaster relief services and long -term wellness efforts.
  • Create and launch a new development plan to support the organization’s long-term growth.
  • Ensure the physical space and location are adequate to meet future operational needs.
  • Develop additional partnerships with other national and international relief organizations.
  • Study best practices of larger, global relief agencies such as Team Rubicon, PCI, Save the Children and Médecins Sans Frontières; make recommendations as to what IRT should adopt.


  • Passionate:deeply believes in IRT’s mission to alleviate human suffering.
  • Genuine:inspires trust and confidence; someone who is eminently likeable.
  • Visionary: anideas person who is always learning; someone who can envision the future and devise a path to get there.
  • Strategic:someone who enjoys formulating aggressive goals and designing innovative, yet practical methods for achieving them.
  • Tactical:able to effectively implement a vision by following through on operational execution and ultimately achieving goals and objectives.
  • Global mindset:interested in international affairs; brings a general knowledge of world events, geography, and cultures.
  • Entrepreneurial: focused on continuous improvement and constantly looking for opportunities.
  • Business-minded:applies strong operations and financial acumen, as well as a focus on metrics and outcomes, to everything they do.
  • Transparent: a collaborative leader who empowers others through sharing information; communicates the “why” behind decisions.
  • Confident:projects executive presence, is highly visible in the community, and enjoys attending events and public speaking
  • Charismatic:approachable, accessible, warm and welcoming; a true “people-person” who promotes an open-door policy and culture.
  • Storyteller: ability to use compelling stories to showcase IRT’s work and impact.
  • Accountability: follows through on commitments and responsibilities, ensures others also deliver on theirs; keeps donors informed as to how their funds are being used.
  • Analytical:uses well-researched numbers and other datapoints to support strategies and business plans; ability to carefully study issues, identify trends and formulate new ideas.
  • Collaborative:fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment; skilled at working with multigenerational teams; ability to engage staff and develop each team member to their fullest potential.
  • Reflective:a skilled listener who is effective at giving and receiving feedback and critique; not afraid to have difficult conversations.
  • Patient: someone who looks, listens, and seeks to understand before acting.
  • Tactful:patient and diplomatic; highly skilled at identifying and activating connections and relationships to benefit IRT.
  • Communicative:strong written and oral communication skills; an effective spokesperson.
  • Flexible: ability to work evenings and weekends as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
  • 10+ years’ experience in a leadership capacity in a nonprofit organization.
  • Experience working with a board of community leaders, including reporting, advising and board member recruitment.
  • Experience developing and managing multimillion-dollar budgets.
  • A successful track record in growing and diversifying funding sources such as individual giving, events, grants, contracts, and other partnerships.
  • Proven ability to create lasting and impactful partnerships with a wide array of organizations including other nonprofit organizations, business, government, academia, and funders.
  • History of successfully coaching, mentoring, and inspiring staff to reach their full potential.
  • Prior experience creating work environments that are inclusive, productive, and healthy.
  • Demonstrated ability to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders; must enjoy public events.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

1855 First Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101

Sarah Thompson, Director

Tia Anzellotti, Director