Job Details

Executive Director

Open Date:


Close Date:



The Friendship House San Francisco


San Francisco, CA

Skills And Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in progressively responsible roles within senior management positions in a nonprofit setting.
  • Understanding of the connection between the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects of health specific to the American Indian community.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with individuals at all levels of the organization, with the ability to supervise, manage, and motivate a large and diverse staff.
  • Experience managing social service programs, specifically substance abuse programs, highly desired.
  • Excellent storytelling, verbal and written communications skills, and ability to engage varied audiences.
  • Proven ability to create and inspire effective and collaborative teams.
  • Demonstrated fundraising success with individual donors, foundations, corporate partnerships, and capital campaigns resulting in overall organizational growth.
  • Proactive participation and leadership in statewide and nationwide associations representing American Indians, preferred.
  • A business mindset with a proven track record managing a strategic planning process, resulting in improved efficiency, program effectiveness, accountability, and sustainability of organizational budget.
  • Demonstrated commitment to continued professional growth and the development of employees and Board of Directors.
  • Experience with applying, reporting, and the administration of state and federal grants.
  • Experience with SAMHSA contracts, preferred.
  • Knowledge of private insurance practices, including MediCal, preferred.

Required Education:

No educational requirement

Duties And Responsibilities:


Organizational Leadership

  • Manage all day-to-day operations of Friendship House, including administration, programming, development, human resources, finances and strategic planning.
  • Ensure financial stability and sustainability by maintaining a healthy cash flow and adequate reserves.
  • Supervise financial planning, forecasting, and analytical activities, ensuring alignment of financial plan with overall mission, vision, strategy and short- and long-term goals.
  • Oversee management and compliance with various government, state, and private contracts.
  • Create a work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and volunteers, cultivating a culture of professional growth and leadership capacity building, while maintaining a solid level of quality and delegation of duties.
  • Oversee the recruitment, hiring, training, and termination, when necessary, of all agency personnel; ensuring management and personnel policies are updated and reviewed by the Board of Directors on a regular basis.
  • Foster effective teamwork with the Board of Directors and between the Board and staff.
  • Leverage crisis management experience to address safety and risk considerations brought on by COVID-19.

Strategic Planning/Programming

  • Work with the Board of Directors to develop, drive and implement the strategic plan, mission, and vision of Friendship House.
  • Support The Village SF Community Development Project, collaborating and co-creating with team members and coalition partners.
  • Identify, assess and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization, including agency relevance to the community and effectiveness of programming outcomes.
  • Solidify service delivery within current agency vision and facilitate discussion and deliberation on new opportunities.
  • Develop, quantify and measure key programming metrics and provide detailed analysis of results for improved services.
  • Inform the Board on industry developments and working as a team, update management, governance, and fund development to adapt to long-range strategic planning.
  • Ensure that Friendship House continues to offer programs that align with the organization’s mission and vision, reflecting the holistic, cultural, and core values based on the foundational belief that culture is medicine.
  • Implement system for data collection regarding programming and community needs.

Fund Development

  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors and development team, develop and implement a comprehensive fund development strategy, leveraging existing revenue streams for growth, and creating new opportunities for funding.
  • Review and manage existing and future potential sources of funding from federal, state, private and tribal sources.
  • Update the existing fundraising plan to attract new donors, increase major gifts, and prospects for new business and foundation support.
  • Cultivate fiscally sustainable relationships with foundations, corporations, major donors, and prospects, taking a leadership role in developing donor engagement strategies.
  • Create and cultivate relationships with new donors and prospective Board members.
  • Lead efforts to raise money for capital campaign projects.

Community Engagement

  • Serve as chief spokesperson for Friendship House and act as an advocate for the American Indian community and cultural values, working with city, county, state, and federal officials to ensure inclusivity of American Indian health needs in policy-making decisions and resource allocations.
  • Sustain and further partnerships with local and tribal entities.
  • Facilitate the ongoing integration of Friendship House into the fabric of the American Indian community by employing effective collaboration, public relations, and communications activities.
  • Act as an advocate, within both public and private sectors, for services and constituencies relevant to Friendship House.
  • Meet with participants and their families, volunteers, and donors to improve services and generate community involvement.
  • Increase visibility of Friendship House and its programs nationally.
  • Engage and model respectful and compassionate dialogue in service of American Indians and their families in their recovery journey from trauma and substance abuse.

Salary And Benefits:

Salary commensurate with experience and a competitive benefits package.

Additional Info:


The Friendship House Association of American Indians is a holistic, nationally renowned social services organization with a substance abuse treatment center based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 1963, it is the oldest social service organization in the United States operated for and by American Indians. The program offers a unique approach to wellness consisting of a peer-to-peer support model integrated with American Indian healing and evidence-based treatment practices that help individuals heal from trauma and ultimately achieve and sustain recovery. With an operating budget of over $4 million and a 50-person staff, the organization operates an 80-bed residential facility for adults and a 9-bed facility for women and children, as well as a prevention program for youth. Through the integration of culture and community practices, Friendship House helps clients find healing and mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being as well as renewed purpose through their cultural identity.


Friendship House is seeking an Executive Director to continue and carry on the mission, vision and living legacy of its late founder Helen Devore Waukazoo, which continue to flourish through the Friendship House team and the greater community. Their next Executive Director will work in partnership with the Board of Directors and lead and inspire collective action across the community to fulfill the Friendship House mission and vision. Building on the cultural and healing aspects of Friendship House’s substance abuse treatment program, the new ED will have a pivotal role as Friendship House continues to lead all American Indian-led nonprofits coalition in forging The Village SF, a 6-story building and program expansion initiative developed to address the social, cultural and spiritual needs of over 9,000 American Indians living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

POSITION OVERVIEW                               

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the incoming Executive Director will honor the legacy of Friendship House’s founder building upon the organization's history and accomplishments to revitalize community commitment behind a shared vision of sanctity, healing, health, and well-being for the American Indian people. An experienced and collaborative leader, the ideal candidate will bring a personal passion for healing Indigenous historical trauma, as well as experience managing government, state, and privately funded substance abuse contracts and programs. Driven by the organization’s core values, the next ED will foster and cultivate mutual trust and respect with the greater community by modeling and practicing transparency and an inclusive strategic planning process, with open communication, increased fundraising and expanded programmatic goals.

The ED will play a principal role in both developing external community relationships and advancing internal operations management. They shall possess demonstrated experience leading both outward- and inward-facing aspects of a large, dynamic behavioral health organization. The ideal candidate will bring cultural connection and appreciation, commitment, passion and innovation to the leadership team, providing Friendship House with a sense of continuity while forever evolving to meet the values/needs of the American Indian community.

Envision Consulting was retained by Friendship House to conduct the search for their incoming CEO.

Contact Info:

Envision Consulting LLC.

Contact Email:

Organization Web Site:

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