Deputy CEO

Location: San Diego, CA
Reports To: Chief Executive Officer
Compensation: $140,000 – $150,000 DOE/Neg.
Direct Reports: 2 (Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer, Director of Development)


Founded in 1972, The San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) is one of the largest and most dynamic LGBTQ organizations in the country. Over the past three years, The Center has experienced an exciting period of growth for our programs and services. We are led by a 11-member board of directors, overseeing an annual operating budget of $10.2M. Our team of nearly 90 staff, supported by over 1,200 community volunteers, provides targeted programs and services to the full diversity of the San Diego LGBTQ community, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, nonbinary, immigrant, and HIV communities. Last year, The Center provided more than 87,000 direct service visits to San Diego community members, and through our events, activities, and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.

Through advocacy, civic engagement, and coalition building, The Center works to promote LGBTQ health and wellness, fight homophobia, transphobia, and racism, and advance human rights by amplifying the voices of our LGBTQ community and families, especially those who remain most marginalized— youth, seniors, those experiencing homelessness and poverty, communities of color, those living with HIV, and immigrants. A core value of The Center is that the health and wellness of our community cannot thrive without strong advocacy and community power.

In 2020, The Center announced our Three-Year Strategic Plan, charting a bold vision of The Center’s future. This plan, created from feedback from over 2,000 community members, volunteers, staff, and stakeholders, will further scale the impact we deliver for our growing and diverse community. We created a new Mission and Vision Statement and, with great intention, named our Values, Strategies, and Objectives. Like so many organizations, during the pandemic, The Center has been on a journey of introspection as to how we can emerge from this pandemic as an even stronger champion for our communities. We are nearing completion of a $300,000 renovation of our main facility, to make our space even more welcoming and increase our capacity to better serve the community.


As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, The Center is still working at full capacity to serve our LGBTQ community through this pandemic. In the first year, we provided 80,424 service visits to our community representing help, connection, safety, and security to a community member in need. Our impact areas include:

  • Food Services: we increased those we serve at our twice-monthly food banks and created innovative food programs like Nourishing the Community and Non-Perishables Home Delivery and have proudly conducted more than 14,000 service visits to community members.
  • Housing: The Center provided critical housing assistance and more than $141,000 dollars in rental relief funds to help community members stay in their homes. Our team made over 2,400 service visits to transitional age youth to The Center’s Housing Programs and Services for those experiencing homelessness.
  • Behavioral Health: we have continued to care for and support our community’s mental health, providing over 4,900 virtual individual counseling and group sessions. Our Emergency Referral and Resource Phone Line has fielded more than 3,200 calls to help and direct our community to resources.
  • HIV Services:we continue to support our community’s Sexual Health and Wellness by providing HIV testing through the pandemic, redesigned with drive-thru and walk-up options. Through our 3-part strategy of education, engagement, and services, The Center is a leader in the fight to reduce stigma and barriers and improve access to screening and supportive services.
  • Essential Support: our critical support and discussion groups are still held virtually, and we’ve created new offerings to keep community connected, providing more than 1,200 support groups this past year. The Center also serves as a vital, trusted source of information our communities can turn to for assistance and to stay informed.
  • Black Services: we have increased resources and services for our Black community, creating our Black Services Program, the first for The Center, which includes social events, support and discussion groups, and referrals to additional resources, including HIV testing and PrEP navigation, and more. We have also re-dedicated ourselves to our anti-Black racism work and trainings internally with our staff, board of directors, and our volunteers.
  • Latin@ Services: has helped with support, advocacy, housing and rental assistance, translation services for documents, referrals to legal help, food resources, health education and referrals, and crisis intervention to our Latino/a/x and immigrant communities.
  • Advocacy & Engagement: The Center conducted critical Civic Engagement work, engaging with our community for participation in both the U.S. Census and the 2020 General Election and connected with over 10,500 community members, and produced a 96% voter turnout rate amongst those we engaged with. The Center also served as a 4-day Super Polling site, helping more than 1,200 community members to cast their ballot.
  • Events: we held exciting virtual events like AIDS Walk &Run San Diego, The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, and a four-day reimagined Dining Out for Life® San Diego that saw The Center give back to local bars and restaurants that have been so impacted by the pandemic.


Over the past three years, The Center has experienced tremendous organizational growth, expanding from an annual budget of $6M to $10.2M by successfully growing our programs and services to address evolving community needs. We are now investing in our leadership infrastructure through the creation of the new Deputy CEO role. Reporting directly to the CEO, the Deputy will serve as a thought partner and strategic advisor to the CEO and will play a major role in shaping the organization’s future. Primarily focused on external affairs and development, the Deputy will serve as a force multiplier for both the CEO and Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer. They will be highly visible across the organization and within the community. As the CEO’s go-to person, the Deputy will assume responsibility for important day-to-day projects and decision making, enabling the CEO to dedicate more bandwidth to strategy, vision and major donors. They will use a forward-thinking approach to keep the CEO and leadership team informed and ahead of key developments that impact our work.

Given that this a new role for our organization, the selected candidate will have an opportunity to make it their own. Their work will take them across every area of our organization, enabling them to have direct impact on both our team members and the diverse communities we serve. The Deputy will have oversight responsibility in 4 critical areas:

  1. Strategic and operational support for the CEO
  2. Public Affairs, Advocacy & Civic Engagement
  3. Development
  4. Communications

While staff will maintain responsibility for execution, the new Deputy will oversee strategy development in each of the above areas and ensure that our Public Affairs, Advocacy & Civic Engagement, Development and Communications efforts are tightly coordinated and mutually supportive.


  • Develop a deep understanding of The Center: visit each of our 5 program sites on a regular basis to maintain visibility and build relationships at all levels.
  • Spend time with each direct report, developing relationships, building trust, and getting to know their individual roles, areas/programs they oversee, and skill sets.
  • Get immersed in our community and spend time with our donors and external partners.
  • Review our current strategy and practices within Public Affairs, Advocacy & Civic Engagement, Development and Communications and design a plan to integrate these 4 areas more effectively.
  • Conduct an organization-wide scan: how and where are we spending our time and resources – are those the right priorities?
  • Play a lead role in strategic planning including gap analysis and risk assessment/management, working to ensure we have the people and infrastructure in place to support continued growth of the organization and our programs.
  • Take an active role in Communications, working closely with our Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer & Senior Director of Communications & Marketing to enhance our capabilities in this area; ensure consistency across all our communications, internal and external.
  • Using thought leadership, devise strategies that increase our ability to innovate as an organization.


  • Streamline workflow and decision-making processes across the organization for greater efficiency and community impact; ensure departments and teams do not become siloed.
  • Triage decisions, projects and requests that come into the CEO; in consultation with the CEO assume responsibility or delegate as appropriate.
  • Oversee The Center’s external affairs, including:
    • Our portfolio of external partnerships to build up The Center’s community impact.
    • The Center’s community-facing work, in partnership with the Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer. Guide and direct The Center’s overall strategies in civic and community engagement and communications.
    • Serving as an external spokesperson for the organization.
  • Oversee The Center’s Development Department, including overall fund development, to ensure  The Center meets its financial benchmarks; provide strategic oversight, coordination, and leadership, which includes:
    • Annual giving, major gifts, corporate, planned, and in-kind giving.
    • Partner with our COO, who oversees our grants and contracts, to provide strategic input and support for grants planning, to include both program and business/organizational capacity planning and development.
  • Ensure Communications and Development team coordination and integration with Center programs and services.
  • Support the implementation of organization-wide efforts involving diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural humility.


  • Passionate:dedicated to The Center’s work and our mission to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, nonbinary, immigrant, and HIV communities.
  • Empathetic:possesses relevant lived experience with an understanding of race, power, and privilege; ability to relate authentically to people of all backgrounds and communities.
  • Hands-on:a leader who enjoys both rolling up their sleeves and wearing many hats.
  • Professional:poised and confident, with the ability to represent the organization and engage in occasional public speaking.
  • Organized:skilled at triaging priorities/requests and balancing multiple, sometimes shifting, deadlines and requirements; excellent project management skills.
  • Authentic:honest and genuine; sets clear expectations; appreciates and employs direct communication; highly trustworthy.
  • Strategic:an ideas person who is inquisitive by nature and always learning; someone who can envision the future and devise a path to get there.
  • Entrepreneurial:a creative and innovative leader who is open to taking calculated risks to advance organizational goals and achieve performance breakthroughs.
  • Communicative:a master communicator skilled at developing relationships at all levels, both inside and outside the organization; excellent communication skills across all mediums.
  • Approachable:a team player who works hard to ensure they are present and available to their staff; charismatic, warm, and welcoming; a true “people-person.”
  • Reflective:a skilled listener who brings a highly developed sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence; someone who seeks first to understand, then reflect and act; effective at giving and receiving feedback and critique.
  • Tactful:patient and diplomatic; highly skilled at identifying and activating connections and relationships to help the organization reach its goals.
  • Transparent:a collaborative leader who empowers others through the sharing of information and uses an open and inclusive decision-making style.
  • Analytical:uses well-researched ideas and other data points to support their strategies and business plans; ability to carefully study issues, identify trends and formulate new ideas.
  • Proactive:a self-starter who demonstrates strong personal initiative and the ability to drive projects through to completion; demonstrates exceptional follow-up in everything they do.
  • Flexible:ability to work evenings and weekends as required.


  • Minimum 5 years of leadership level experience working within the nonprofit sector, preferably within a direct service, social justice, LGBTQ, and/or HIV organization.
  • Proven ability to build and support high performing teams; demonstrated skill and experience in problem solving in organizational settings.
  • Prior experience leading advocacy work, including relationship development with a wide range of constituents, including elected officials, government and community leaders.
  • Demonstrated leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion; commitment to developing leaders of color, transgender, and nonbinary leaders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including strong organizational, detail, and interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with management, employees, clients, and the public.
  • Exceptionally high level of emotional intelligence, self-awareness and personal integrity.
  • Those with lived experience as a member of a historically under-served community (i.e., low income, communities of color, LGBTQ communities, immigrant communities, those who have experienced homelessness, those living with HIV, etc.) are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director
Blair Search Partners