King County Partners Group Founding Director

Seattle, Washington, United States | Full-time | COVID-19 remote





King County is at a precipice. Our region has some of the highest rates of homelessness, and people need both short term services and long term solutions with permanent housing. 

The King County Partners Group (KCPG) is a start-up strategic initiative to advance solutions to homelessness in King County.  We are seeking its Founding Director. 

As the Founding Director, you will launch this new venture from the ground up, hiring your own team of seven. Your team will work alongside community partners and bring together diverse external stakeholders to closely partner with government on advancing solutions to homelessness in King County that are racially equitable, community-driven and data-informed. The KCPG is steered and supported by people with lived experience, service providers, philanthropy, business, and government in an effort to leverage, align, and coordinate non-governmental activities.

You are an experienced leader who is equal parts collaborator, facilitator, and visionary. You ground your leadership in racial equity and social justice. You thrive on achieving short term wins in the aim of long term strategy. You are a communicator who can effectively speak to diverse audiences and facilitate transparent planning and implementation processes.

Your leadership of this initiative will help catalyze widespread innovative and iterative solutions to homelessness in our region

About the King County Partners Group

Who We Are

The King County Partners Group (KCPG) is a strategic initiative recently formed by a coalition of civic leaders representing housing and homelessness advocacy and faith-based organizations, people with lived experience of homelessness, and philanthropic and business organizations. It is supported with seed funding from Ballmer Group, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Campion Advocacy Fund, Microsoft, Raikes Foundation, and Symetra.

Our History 

Over the last couple of years, government and community partners have engaged in a planning effort to align uncoordinated efforts. This resulted in a Regional Action Framework. The framework called for consolidating and merging homelessness efforts with a new governmental body, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), and called for coordinating and aligning non-governmental efforts through an intermediary body, the KCPG and our external communications campaign, We Are In. Together, these three components make up the “legs of a stool” to address ongoing and emergent needs in regional homelessness.  


Our Focus

The focus of the KCPG will be to bring together diverse external stakeholders to closely partner with government on advancing solutions to homelessness in King County that are racially equitable, community-driven and data-informed.  We envision forming a service provider working group, a funder and business roundtable, and a close working relationship with the Lived Experience Coalition. KCPG will also work closely with government homelessness funders of the newly established KCHRA to more effectively work together as a community on efforts to prevent and end homelessness in King County.  Our goal is to reduce and ultimately end:

  • the number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle and King County
  • racial disproportionality in who is impacted by homelessness; and
  • fragmentation in our community’s response to homelessness

Organizational Staffing and Structure

At full staffing, the KCPG will have an annual budget of $2.5M and a staff of 8, including yourself as well as to-be-recruited staff roles in: 

  • development
  • advocacy
  • communications, including the We Are In campaign
  • data and evaluation (2 positions)
  • investments
  • administrative support 

Operational funding is secured through 2023, and initial fund development work will focus on additional private capital for investments. Building Changes,Washington’s statewide entity working to strengthen the homeless response system, will provide KCPG’s administrative back-end, including payroll, human resources, IT, and financial services, as well as sharing its working model of innovate-evaluate-advocate to drive new and enhanced practices in the field.

Founding Director Opportunities and Responsibilities

As the Founding Director you will be tasked with launching this new initiative, working alongside county and city government to support equity-based solutions to homelessness through innovative and iterative practices, research, data and evaluation, and communications and advocacy. 

The Founding Director is the lead executive management position of the KCPG, responsible for overseeing administration, programs, and strategic planning of the initiative. Alongside the Advisory Board, you will be responsible for setting the organizational culture and values. Other key oversight duties include evaluation, finance, fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.

You will have the support of Building Changes to learn the space, hone the initiative model, and develop relationships - giving you the autonomy to direct this initiative independently with the support to hit the ground running. 

Key Responsibilities 

You will lead the internal operations simultaneously with external-facing work. Balancing these two will be one of the main challenges and opportunities in your first year. You will need to act nimbly, while taking the necessary time to ensure we are community-driven - listening, engaging, and influenced by people with lived experience of homelessness. 

You will ground your work in racial equity and social justice. This means, almost by second-nature, using an anti-oppression/anti-racist lens to all facets of decision making, funding, administration, operations, and engagement. 

You must establish and maintain relationships with various organizations and community stakeholders and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance the work of the KCPG. Simultaneously, your and your team’s work will use real-time data and evaluation to make decisions about advocacy, communications, and strategic investments. 

With an Advisory Board composed of community partners, you will guide, support, and take advisement from this board, serving as an ex-officio member, and engaging the board in your strategic direction. In many respects the board helps ensure the KCPG is not operating in a silo, and is taking direction from community. 

Success for this role in its first year will be establishing strong relationships with community partners and the government, while also having a clear strategy to direct KCPG investments, communications, and advocacy. By mid-2022, we expect a demonstrable external facing win for the group. For example, as the KCRHA looks to build mid-range housing models, the KCPG could support innovative housing models, backend data infrastructure (like a by-name list), or some other demonstration project to reduce homelessness and enhance services and experiences for people experiencing homelessness.

The Ideal Candidate

First and foremost, we are looking for someone who leads with racial equity and social justice. We want someone who is equal parts strategizer and doer. All in one morning, you’ll be able to meet with a potential funder, learn about the latest research and program models, and connect with government; while bringing that information back to the staff and partners who will implement this work. Being able to synthesize new information and translate it into action is critical. Comfort with ambiguity in an evolving landscape will be crucial in this startup phase.    

You are also about working with institutional funders --  like foundations, major donors, and business -- while giving space and power to people and groups often underserved and underrepresented from decision making, namely people with lived experience and organizations led by and primarily serving BIPOC communities. Your ability to navigate multiple spaces and code switch is critical. 

We want someone who is about bringing a community-set vision to life with entrepreneurial spirit and energy. You are someone who is seen as a leader, regardless of your executive-level experience. An ideal candidate would have experience (or potential) in: 

  • Hiring a team and establishing a new organizational culture 
  • Recruiting and engaging a board
  • Financial literacy and budget management  
  • Understanding nonprofit governance
  • Starting new projects with clear results 
  • Advocating to public and elected officials 
  • Housing and homelessness research and program models  

Individuals identifying as Black, Indigenous, people of color, having lived experience with homelessness, and/or LGBTQ are strongly encouraged to apply. Further, in our effort to conduct an inclusive search for qualified candidates, this position does not require an advanced degree. Educational attainment will be considered along with other experience. 

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time salaried position requiring a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and occasional travel throughout the state of Washington as well as the country. The expected annual salary range is between $130,000-$150,000, depending on qualifications and experience. 

The KCPG will be physically housed in the Building Changes office space and will be eligible for the benefits of BC staff. This includes excellent health, time off, retirement and other benefits. Medical and dental insurance are offered through Kaiser Permanente. You will set the telecommuting and remote policies that work best for KCPG staff.

Building Changes and KCPG are located in the Pacific Tower Building, in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. Pacific Tower is a dynamic hub for some of our most vital and innovative community non-profits, providing unique opportunities for cross-organizational collaboration.

Commitment to Equity 

We seek to hold ourselves accountable for addressing racism and discrimination. Black, Indigenous, and people of color disproportionately experience homelessness due to historical and systemic racism. We cannot address homelessness without addressing racism at its roots and the trauma it continues to perpetuate. We set universal goals to end homelessness and pursue targeted solutions to achieve these goals. Our racial equity work does not stop there. We are committed to building an internal culture that challenges racism within our organization.

How to Apply

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions.  You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe as specifically as you can how your experience, interests, and values are a fit with the KCPG mission: Through partnership among philanthropy, business, people with lived experience, government, and community partners, we cultivate solutions to homelessness that are racially equitable, community-driven, and data-informed.

Applications received by 6/28/21 will be given full consideration; early applications are strongly encouraged!  All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Consideration will be given to applications as soon as they are received; phone and in-person interviewing will begin in mid-June.  

Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to:

Julie Edsforth