Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Reno, Nevada
Salary Range: $150,000-$210,000 per annum, DOE
FLSA Status: Exempt
To review the Press Release announcing Mari Kay Bickett's retirement,
please visit:
The Opportunity
After five years of consistently strong stewardship under its current Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is embarking on a transition to new leadership. To guide the organization through this transition and beyond, the NCJFCJ is seeking a dynamic, inspired leader to make an extraordinary impact. This experienced executive will lead the organization during a time of exciting growth and development. The right candidate is hands-on, ambitious, can demonstrate a track record of strategic leadership, can advocate passionately for healthy courts and their connection to healthy communities, and is inventive and creative in increasing and diversifying revenue streams to ensure long-term sustainability. The CEO will lead a dedicated staff in accelerating and enhancing the dynamic, innovative programming the NCJFCJ is known and respected for nationwide.
The Organization
The vital and important work of the NCJFCJ began in 1937 when a group of judges came together looking to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s juvenile courts. And over the past 79 years, NCJFCJ has sought to address the myriad of issues in juvenile and family justice courts, including:
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Adoption and foster care
  • Juvenile justice
  • Family violence
  • Victims of juvenile offenders
  • Military issues
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Custody and visitation
  • Minority issues.
Since 1969, the NCJFCJ has been affiliated with and headquartered on the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) campus. The organization has outgrown its current Reno offices and in March, 2016 will be moving into new space in downtown Reno. The NCJFCJ will remain affiliated with UNR.
One of the largest and oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation, the NCJFCJ serves an estimated 30,000 professionals in the juvenile and family justice system including judges, referees, commissioners, court masters and administrators, social and mental health workers, police, and probation officers. For those involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases, the NCJFCJ provides the resources, knowledge, and training to improve the lives of families and children seeking justice. The NCJFCJ resources include:
  • Cutting-edge educational programs
  • Wide-ranging technical assistance
  • Nationally-respected research to assist juvenile and family courts
  • Unique advanced degree programs for judges and other court professionals offered in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Judicial College
Current Major NCJFCJ Initiatives
  • NJCFCJ is considered a leader in the provision of cutting-edge educational programming to professionals in the juvenile and family court system. Specifically, the NCJFCJ’s Annual Conference, held in July, offers participants who are interested in juvenile and family law the opportunity to attend educational sessions highlighting recent research, trends, and innovative policies; current Supreme Court decisions; self-care and skill building techniques; and replication strategies for emerging programs and services from communities around the country. Additional audience-specific conferences are held every two years including the National Conference on Juvenile Justice and the Institute for New Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The most compelling hallmark of an NCJFCJ conference is the opportunity for participants to connect with colleagues and share experiences to better serve families involved in the juvenile and family court system.
  • Model Courts, Project ONE, and Implementation Site Projects – a national network of over 100 juvenile and family courts that serve as “labs for change” that develop and test promising practice, and subsequently serve as models and mentors to jurisdictions nationwide. Central to these projects are cutting edge and widely used NCJFCJ guidebooks, such as the Enhanced Resource Guidelines and the Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines.
  • Juvenile Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Project – working in collaboration with Office of Justice Programs to help juvenile drug courts implement or enhance their juvenile drug courts.
  • National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues – a partnership between NCJFCJ, the American Bar Association, and the National Center for State Courts that delivers critical training and technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country, including NCJFCJ’s foundational judicial leadership curriculum and training evaluation guide and tool boxes.
  • Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody (RCDV: CPC) – provides technical assistance, training, specialized resources, and policy development to a multi-disciplinary audience on child protection and child custody issues in the context of domestic violence; funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • National Center for Juvenile Justice – NCJFCJ’s research division, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the country’s only non-profit research organization dedicated to the juvenile justice system.
  • National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence (NJIDV) – a partnership between the NCJFCJ, Futures Without Violence, and the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), provides highly interactive, skills-based domestic violence workshops for judges and judicial officers nationwide. The NJIDV has developed a continuum of judicial education that currently includes the Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Workshop, Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases Program, Faculty Development, and Technical Assistance for state and regional adaptation and replication of NJIDV programs.
  • Enhancing Judicial Skills in Elder Abuse Cases – provides education to judges on abuse in later life.
  • Family Court Enhancement Project (FCEP) – working to improve custody decision-making in the context of domestic violence. Funded by OVW, NCJFCJ works with national domestic violence and court experts to provide training and technical assistance (including policy- and tool-development, strategic planning, and peer-to-peer learning) in four diverse sites toward the FCEP goals.
  • National School-Justice Partnership and Resource Center – a national initiative funded by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to help “keep kids in school and out of court”.
  • Numerous judicial institutes aimed at judges working in juvenile (dependency and delinquency) courts – such as the Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Institute, the Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI), the Tribal Judicial Leadership CANI, Multi-disciplinary CANI, and the New Judges Institute.
During the past eight decades, the NCJFCJ has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of our society. However, the organization’s mission has remained unchanged: to continuously improve the family court system and court practices and to raise awareness of the core issues that touch the lives of our nation’s children and families.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges for NCJFCJ
The NCJFCJ’s new CEO will face a number of opportunities and challenges, which include:
  • Continuing to leverage NCJFCJ’s strong reputation as a leading national voice for improving the lives of families and children seeking justice, to sustain current programming, and to develop future opportunities for expansion and growth.
  • Enhancing NCJFCJ’s role as an innovative leader in the field of juvenile justice, child welfare, domestic violence, and family courts.
  • Continuing to nurture mutually supportive relationships with federal, state, local, and private foundation leaders to ensure the NCJFCJ remains as the “go to” organization providing resources, knowledge, and education for professionals in the juvenile and family justice system, while also transitioning key relationships held by the previous CEO to the new leader and senior staff.
  • Creating a new three-year strategic plan for the organization with targeted, measurable goals that position the organization for long-term sustainability.
  • Addressing the increased competition for talented staff.
  • Building on the work completed to date:
    • Continuing to empower and build leadership skills in a senior management team so individual strengths and contributions are recognized and further leveraged to contribute to organization-wide efforts and success.
    • Continuing to foster an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.
    • Continuing to support and create stronger intra-agency connections and communications so properties and programs are fully connected.
    • Continuing to support financial transparency so senior leaders and board members fully understand the complex nature of accounting, financing, and reporting for the NCJFCJ in order to make the most informed decisions regarding existing or potential projects and programs.
    • Refining the appropriate balance between governance and management and building a mutually supportive relationship that is well-understood and supported organization-wide.
    • Strengthening the organizational change process begun earlier in the year by the combining of the organization’s Reno offices into one new location.
The ideal candidate will have the following experiences and abilities:
Leadership and Management
  • Senior level nonprofit management experience, including leading, inspiring, and managing a large and diverse staff; managing a multi-million dollar operating budget; collaborating with nonprofit boards; and working with the judiciary and other legal professionals.
  • Professional background that demonstrates a strong understanding of juvenile and family law, court systems, and related activities.
  • A robust track record of strategic thinking and experience moving an organization in an upward direction including aligning programs, the business model, internal systems and structures, skills of the staff and board, and finances to support that strategy.
  • Genuine comfort in the role as CEO of a judicial organization and as lead advocate for the organization’s mission.
  • Accomplished public speaker who can act as the primary spokesperson for the organization.
  • Demonstrated experience managing relationships with diverse stakeholders and sensitivity to the importance of cultural competencies.
  • Proven experience in both working with and fostering diversity.
  • Ability to proactively identify the needs of the organization’s constituency, taking into account insights and support from staff and stakeholders. This includes anticipating changes and performing periodic review, evaluation, and modification of programs.
Financial Management and Planning
  • Strong experience understanding and managing the financial complexities of multiple projects and budgets of numerous grants and programs, both currently in existence and in development.
  • Ability to manage communication with the board to provide regular comprehensive reports on revenue, expenditures, and other key financial and non-financial metrics.
  • Work closely with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to understand and be conversant on the financial status of organization at any point in time.
Government and Community Relations
  • Familiarity with public policy issues related to juvenile and family law, and the ability to evaluate and respond to this rapidly changing environment.
  • Ability to represent the organization before local, state, and national governmental bodies, and participate in local, regional, and national organizations and activities related to the goals and functions of the organization, in coordination with members of the senior leadership team.
Fund Development
  • Strong track record with strategic fundraising, donor cultivation, and long-range resource development.
  • Experience in facilitating public and private partnerships and collaborations.
  • Ability to provide oversight and direction to the plans and efforts that enhance the funding resources for the organization, in collaboration with the Vice President of Development, the management team, and the board.
Strategic Communications
  • Establish relationships with community groups, funders, politicians, and other organizations to further achieve goals of organization.
  • Ability to provide leadership and oversight of communications and to establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with the organization’s external public relations firm to enhance visibility and awareness of the organization and its impact.
  • Experience working with the media and continuing to oversee the development of an organizational communications plan that is strategic, proactive, and inclusive of emerging communications platforms (e.g., social media). Excellent ability to communicate all phases of the organization’s programs to the community.
The ideal candidate for the next CEO will embody the following attributes:
  • Have the ability to think strategically in order both to solve problems and build coalitions, while also being able to prioritize and multi-task.
  • Be a well-organized, purpose-driven, and inspiring leader who can motivate staff to continue achieving excellence.
  • Possess cultural sensitivity, good interpersonal skills, and an open mind to various approaches for building relationships, credibility, and trust with all stakeholders (staff, board, donors, funders, and community).
  • Respect, understand, value, and seek out individual differences to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.
  • Have integrity and ethical standards that help guide decisions and overall atmosphere of the organization.
  • Be action-oriented in an inclusive and collaborative manner.
  • Be flexible, creative, and entrepreneurial.
  • Possess an ongoing interest in courts, communities, families, children, and victims of domestic violence. 
Progressive senior leadership experience and an advanced degree in a relevant field such as law, social work, or public policy required. Juris Doctor strongly preferred. Experience with judicial education organizations is highly valued.
The NCJFCJ offers a benefit package that includes medical/dental/vision/prescription coverage for full-time employees and their dependents, life insurance, and retirement savings plan with employer match after one year. If you are a dynamic and professional individual who appreciates demanding yet gratifying work, we invite you to submit your completed application materials as outlined below.

FOR FULL CONSIDERATION, applicants must submit the following:

• Tailored Letter of Interest
• Résumé or CV
National Council Application form

Please direct all of the required application materials to:

Email (as MS Word or PDF attachments) to:

Hard Copy:
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Attention: CEO Search
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507


~ NCJFCJ is proud to be an EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability Employer ~