Chief Executive Officer

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International Relief Teams alleviates human suffering caused by poverty, disaster and neglect 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 the United States and local programs here in San Diego. Since our founding over 30 years ago, International Relief Teams has delivered more than $674 million in aid to 76 countries worldwide. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are supported by donors throughout the United States, and have maintained a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator for 20 consecutive years.  We are also extremely efficient: with a staff of 9, an operating budget of $4.4 million, we were able to distribute more than $50 million in medicines, supplies, and financial support last year.

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, International Relief Teams has developed partnerships 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:  Emergency Response and Building Healthy Communities.

In 2023 International Relief Teams completed a 3-year strategic plan.  Roadmap for Impact is a blueprint for action that will provide clarity and focus to our efforts, and transparency to our stakeholders in the years to come, honoring the organization’s remarkable 35-year journey and setting the framework for continued success and greater impact for the next 35 years. Our purpose is to intervene wherever and whenever people are unable to do so and add value by providing access to life’s basic needs – food, water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, and medicines – that can transform people’s lives, and restore hope in their own capacity to be self-sufficient.


Based in San Diego, our 9-member team is passionate about alleviating human suffering around the world. Although we are a well-established organization with strong financial reserves and 35 years of history, we embrace the culture and operating ethos of a startup. For us, this means thinking creatively, encouraging innovation, moving quickly, and accepting an element of risk, as and when required. International Relief Teams is governed by a dedicated and supportive Board of Directors. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will supervise four direct reports, the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Programs Officer, Development Director, and Major Gifts Officer.


  • Salary – $170,000 – $185,000
  • Monthly stipend for medical insurance
  • 401(k) with a 25% employer match. (Eligible to participate after 3 months of employment.)
  • PTO: 1 week of paid time off available after 6 months of employment (increases to 2 weeks of paid time off after 1 year), 40 hours paid sick leave, 9 paid holidays, including the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, except in the event of an emergency.
  • Every other Friday off


This is an onsite position, based in our corporate office located at 3545 Camino del Rio South, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92108. International Relief Teams’ staff have every other Friday off.


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 International Relief Team’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 implement our strategic plan. We seek a leader who will honor International Relief Team’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.
  • Operationalize the existing 3-year strategic plan to maintain the history of the organization but drive forward to have more impact
  • Ensure IRT’s response to disasters and other areas of need is measured, appropriate, and not duplicative of other agencies.
  • Develop and expand the board to its full capacity of 15 members, with a focus on ethnic and industry sector 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 the vision outlined in the strategic plan.
  • 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 Development Director 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.
  • Maintain and execute the bi-annual IRT Gala: Gifts of Hope.

Partnerships & External Relations

  • Maintain and expand IRT’s partnerships with other international and domestic relief organizations such as MAP International, Convoy of Hope, WAM, and Concern International.
  • 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.
  • Increase International Relief Teams’ visibility and name recognition in the community.

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.
  • Develop and manage budgets, ensuring IRT remains in compliance with both financial and operational audits.
  • Maintain IRT’s exceptionally high Charity Navigator rating.
  • Serve as trustee and administrator for IRT’s 401(k) plan.


  • Passion and appreciation for global humanitarian work.
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a business-related field required.
  • Strategic and hands-on approach to finance, accounting, and operations; adept at analysis, business planning, budget development, and forecasting.
  • Successful leadership and management experience in finance and business operations and proficiency with accounting software; experience with Blackbaud Financial Edge and Raiser’s Edge a plus.
  • A self-starter with strong leadership skills, a collaborative spirit, strong project management skills, and the ability to work independently while managing multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Effective communication skills, written and oral; comfortable communicating key data points and presenting to a variety of stakeholders.


Sarah Thompson, Senior Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101