Executive Director, Hands of Peace


Hands of Peace is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) interfaith organization developing peacebuilding and leadership skills in Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens through the power of dialogue and ongoing leadership development. Our mission is to empower these youth to raise their voices as leaders of change. Hands of Peace was founded in 2002 in the Chicago suburbs by Christians, Jews and Muslims who shared the conviction that peace could be nurtured person by person. Hands of Peace now offers programming in San Diego and Chicago, as well as in Israel and Palestine and has grown to over 650 alumni.

The world is facing challenging and turbulent times, and severe travel limitations have forced the cancellation of the traditional summer and ongoing programming for 2020. Hands of Peace will use this time to Reimagine Hands of Peace, seeking extensive feedback from our alumni, staff, Board and community members, and revisiting our mission, vision and values. Hands of Peace is seeking an experienced and dynamic Executive Director to support the Reimagining process, and lead Hands of Peace in implementing the changes which result.


Position Summary:  Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees and directs all strategic and operational areas of Hands of Peace.


  • As a visionary and strategic thinker, looks for new ways to bring the mission and vision of Hands of Peace to life, overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of programs and services.
  • Builds positive relationships with partner organizations and other stakeholders in the region and within the United States. Represents Hands of Peace by participating in key associations and organizations, serving on committees and advisory groups, and speaking with the media and in public settings.
  • In collaboration with the Board, the Director of Development, and other volunteer and staff leadership, identifies, cultivates and solicits donors to advance the fundraising goals of the organization.
  • Works to create a team environment among staff where diversity, collaboration, open communication, empowerment and recognition are the norm.
  • Works closely with the Treasurer and the Board to develop realistic annual budgets. Maintains controls for allocating funds, monitoring expenses and income, and provides regular, timely internal financial statements.
  • Works to ensure information sharing and collaboration among the various stakeholders in the organization.
  • Oversees the legal, insurance and compliance aspects of the organization, working with our outside non-profit legal resources. Keeps the board apprised of significant internal and external risks.
  • Works with Site Directors, Regional Managers and the Director of Facilitation to oversee Summer Programs and alumni programs and coordinate consistency across sites.


Skills & Experience:

  • Eight or more years of management experience preferred, showing increasing responsibility as a visionary leader with administrative and operational competencies in strategic planning, finance, administration, development and operations.
  • Demonstrates cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity to multiple narratives of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Able to adapt to an everchanging geopolitical landscape.  Extensive travel and/or work experience within both Palestine and Israel is preferred.
  • Must be a “people person” who can build relationships and engender trust with all members of the Hands of Peace community — in the U.S., Israel and Palestine.
  • Demonstrated experience cultivating and stewarding major individual and institutional donors, and the ability to lead and support Hands of Peace fundraising efforts.
  • Sound financial management acumen and demonstrated knowledge of nonprofit accounting protocols, including the ability to monitor income and expenditures and ensure the organization maintains a strong financial foundation.
  • Superb internal and external communication skills, both verbal and written, and the interpersonal and relationship building skills to create a work culture that is creative, equitable and collaborative.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate work in business, non-profit management, international affairs, conflict resolution, Middle East Studies or related field preferred.
  • Experience working with an organization dedicated to advancing social justice and interfaith cooperation preferred.
  • Flexible scheduling and availability to accommodate team members in San Diego, Chicago and the Middle East.

Hours:              Full time, with flexibility as needed

Location:          Primarily the north suburban Chicago area, based in Glenview, Illinois

Travel:              10% (occasional travel to Israel/Palestine and to San Diego, California)

Salary:              $65,000 – $75,000, depending on qualifications

Hands of Peace is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants. 

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and three references to recruiting@handsofpeace.org.