Executive Director

Joyful Heart Foundation


Executive Director


Joyful Heart Foundation



New York, NY


Since 2004, Joyful Heart Foundation (Joyful Heart) has been a leading national organization with a mission to transform society’s views and response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.

Since 2010, Joyful Heart’s top priority has been to eliminate the rape kit backlog. Through its groundbreaking initiative, End the Back Log, the foundation is expanding the national dialogue on rape kit testing by increasing public awareness, engaging communities and government agencies, and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation and policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Joyful Heart was founded by actress and advocate, Mariska Hargitay in response to the eye-opening content of Law & Order Special Victim’s Unit and outpouring of letters and emails she has received from survivors courageously disclosing their stories of abuse.


Joyful Heart is seeking an Executive Director (ED) who brings the subject-matter expertise and passion to run and expand the foundation’s operations, team, and impact. The ED will manage and grow an annual budget of approximately $2M, a dedicated small team, and oversee daily office operations.

Utilizing knowledge of the rape kit backlog and criminal justice system reform, the ED will ensure continued success of End the Backlog, while pursuing opportunities to develop and/or reimagine programs in other core mission areas. The ED will partner with an Executive Committee of the Board to lead a strategic planning process to assess the foundation’s strengths and needs.

As a thought-leader in the field, the ED will advance the foundation’s advocacy efforts through partnerships with nonprofits, government officials, law enforcement, advocates, lawmakers, media, and survivors. The ED will steward and partner with key stakeholders, including Joyful Heart’s deeply committed Founder & President. The ED will cultivate prospective donors and meaningfully engage current supporters and Board members through individual meetings and special events. Additionally, the ED will ensure that all marketing and outreach campaigns align with organization’s values and goals.

Key responsibilities include:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

  • Lead and champion the foundation’s critical work of supporting and advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop and implement a strategic plan to establish short and long-term organizational priorities and goals.

  • Build an organizational culture that promotes a high level of morale and collaboration among staff, Board members, and volunteers.

Advocacy, External Relations, and Fundraising

  • Lead advocacy and policy reform efforts by strengthening strategic partnerships and representing the foundation at convenings of experts, survivors, and supporters.

  • Partner with and leverage Joyful Heart’s Founder and Board members to raise awareness and resources for the foundation.

  • Cultivate relationships with existing and new funders, including grant makers, Board members, and individual donors through effective stewardship and reliable reporting.

Operational and Fiscal Management

  • Run the day-to-day operations of the foundation’s office, staff, and consultants.

  • Oversee the foundation’s budget and expenses, providing regular reports on revenue to the Board and ensuring long-term financial stability.

Team Management

  • Manage and mentor a team of professionals, ensuring an inclusive and desirable place to work with ample opportunities for professional development.

  • Recruit and onboard new staff, overseeing hiring policies, compensation, and benefits.


The new ED will be an experienced senior leader and inspiring advocate who has a deep understanding of Joyful Heart’s mission, including, but not limited to, the rape kit backlog. The successful candidate will bring management experience, fundraising skills, and strong financial acumen. Additionally, the ED will possess the emotional intelligence to connect with and empower individuals and families of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds as they navigate uniquely challenging and vulnerable circumstances.

As a person, you are:

  • A mission-driven thought leader – you are passionate and knowledgeable about transforming society’s response to sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse.
  • A skilled communicator and ambassador – you have the compassion and communication skills to engage a diverse community of survivors and supporters.
  • A business-minded executive – you are operationally savvy and capable of running an organization while driving growth.
  • An experienced and empathic manager – you are skilled at building, supervising, developing, and collaborating with a team and key stakeholders.

Compensation: Salary range $170,000-$220,000 commensurate with experience.

TO APPLY: Submit your resume and cover letter in confidence using this link: loxo.com/joyfulheart-ED

Joyful Heart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Individuals of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply for this job.