Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, Executive Director, Position Opening


The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (CIL), a nonprofit organization promoting the success of children, youth, and adults with disabilities, is accepting applications for its Executive Director position.

About the Ann Arbor CIL

A leader in the field. Started in 1976, the Ann Arbor CIL is a leading disability organization providing services, resources, and a place of community for individuals with all disabilities in Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe Counties. The Ann Arbor CIL was the fourth Center for Independent Living in the nation and the first in Michigan. There are now more than 600 CILs around the country and throughout the world.

Transforming lives. The Ann Arbor CIL offers a variety of programs, resources, and support services that advance the lives of people with disabilities and enable people with disabilities to live fuller, more independent, and more meaningful lives. We understand first-hand what it means to have a disability because we, too, face the challenges of disability every day; over 50 percent of our staff, board members, and volunteers are people with disabilities.

A Dynamic and Exciting Place to Work. We take pride in fostering a community of talented contributors, staff members, and volunteers, who care about improving the lives of people with disabilities through the most impactful programs and services possible. We welcome people of all backgrounds and perspectives and believe in fostering the most inclusive, creative, capable, and motivated team possible to best effectuate our mission.

About the Executive Director Position

The Executive Director (ED) of the Ann Arbor CIL is responsible for leading the strategic growth and direction of the organization as well as the successful day-to-day operations of the Center’s programming and services. The ED directly supervises the management team, oversees all other staff positions, and reports to the Board of Directors (Board).  Major functions are:

○        Providing vision and leadership of, and taking responsibility for, the overall success of the CIL, including its continued impact in the community and its long-term and daily financial health.

○        Developing, establishing, and sustaining cooperative and innovative programs and services to enhance opportunities for independence for people with disabilities.

○        Developing, leading, and maintaining all relationships with key strategic partners.

○        Communicating effectively on behalf of the organization and its mission, and representing the CIL and disability issues to community organizations, state government entities, legislative committees, and advocacy groups.

Key Responsibilities

The ED is responsible for carrying out the objectives and purposes of the Ann Arbor CIL as established by the Board and defined by the mission. The ED will:

Programming and Services:

○        Set strategy and oversee the implementation and operations of all programming and services, ensuring that programs and services are of the highest quality to meet the needs of people with disabilities in Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe Counties, and exemplify some of the best practices in the state and country.

○        Develop new and innovative programming to keep the CIL’s service offerings at the forefront of best practices for improving the lives of people with disabilities, placing focus on models such as fee-for-service programming and social enterprises, to diversify and grow the CIL’s capacity, impact, and financial sustainability.

○        Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of program performance to ensure community and consumer needs, priorities, and goals are met, and making changes to underperforming programs to maximize the impact of programs and services.

Community Relations and Advocacy:

○        Develop and establish significant strategic partnerships with other organizations and networks to promote CIL services and maximize the collaborative utilization of resources.

○        Promote positive relations and collaborations with other Centers for Independent Living, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, school districts, and other providers to facilitate services and advance key advocacy issues.

○        Serve as the public face of the organization, representing and promoting the CIL and its mission to government agencies, strategic partners, the general public, the media, and other stakeholders.

○        With the management team, respond to and advocate for current events and issues in the community pertaining to the organization’s mission.

○        Mobilize community resources including volunteers, consumers, consultants, and professionals to help the CIL achieve its goals.

Fund Sourcing and Fundraising

○        Oversee all fund-generating activities, including the development of grant proposals and project proposals, and monitor their implementation, ongoing success, and reporting.

○        Develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate philanthropic fundraising plans and events in collaboration with the staff and Board.

○        Foster positive relations with existing and potential fund sources and donors.

○        Solicit funds from private sources in collaboration with the Board.

Personnel Management:

○        Oversee and manage the CIL staff through leadership and the supervision of the management team.

○        Cultivate and foster an employee culture and climate of inclusiveness and positive performance that maximizes the contributions of all employees and creates a positive place of work and community for all employees, participants, and visitors to the Center.

○        Oversee all HR processes, including hiring, orientation, ongoing staff management, talent development and training, staff performance evaluations, and any disciplinary or grievance issues.

○        Recruit and engage high quality talent for staff positions, ensuring that all staff are among the best in their field.

○        Ensure all HR policies and employee benefits are in compliance with all appropriate legislation and regulations and consistent with those of other, similar organizations.

○        Ensure all policies and procedures maximize the efficiency and efficacy of the CIL’s mission and values.

Strategic Planning

  • Lead the development, implementation, and success of short-term and long-range strategic plans in coordination with the Board.

Financial Management

○        Lead and oversee the financial strength and wellbeing of the Center.

○        Lead the development and oversight of all financial records and supervise the preparation of all financial statements and management reports to fulfill external reporting requirements.

○        Oversee all expenditures, accounts, and reconciliations with the business office and/or Board treasurer.

○        Oversee the projection of financial needs and cash flows in appropriate budget formats, and with the business office resolve all accounting and financial issues.

○        Oversee the strength of all investments and financial resources.

○        Participate in annual audits and/or financial reviews.

○        Ensure compliance with federal and state policies regarding financial management of grant- and government-funded revenue and expenses.

Marketing & Communications

○        Ensure the ongoing alignment of the Center’s programs and services with needs in the community.

○        Ensure the organization is positioned in the Ann Arbor and tri-county communities as a leading and impactful organization addressing the most critical needs of people with disabilities.

○        Ensure the development and distribution of strategic communications about the CIL through digital, print, and other promotional channels. Ensure the CIL has active outreach to stakeholders through its website, social media, email, earned media, and other third-party media.

○        Ensure all communications are of a high quality and consistent with and advancing of the organization’s mission, establishing a recognizable brand in the community.

Board Relations and Strategic Planning

  • Support the Board in its governance role and assist with Board member cultivation and development.
  • Keep the Board informed on internal conditions, important external developments, and the overall activities of the CIL through regular reports to and communication with the Board and its authorized committees.
  • Facilitate the work of the Board and its committees.
  • Attend meetings of the Board and serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Board.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

  • Ensure the CIL complies with all relevant laws and regulations and internal policies and procedures.
  • In partnership with the Board, ensure the CIL operates within its bylaws, monitors for changes to the bylaws, and makes recommendations for changes as necessary.
  • Serve as a liaison with federal, state, and local agencies and legislative bodies where appropriate.
  • Sign contracts, grants, and all other legally binding agreements within limitations and authority as set forth by the Board.


  • Perform such other duties as may be required or as the Board shall from time-to-time direct.

Minimum Qualifications & Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education in a related field; Master’s or advanced professional degree preferred.
  • Five to eight years of senior-level leadership and management experience, including personnel management, operations management, and financial management. Experience in business or non-profit management preferred although all industry backgrounds are welcome.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the independent living philosophy and empowering people with disabilities. Personal experience with disability preferred.
  • Demonstrated an ability to work with and incorporate the perspectives and input of a diverse range of people, backgrounds, and skills.
  • Demonstrated effective interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate productively with a broad variety of audiences, partners, and constituents.
  • Experience in working with governing boards or similar structures.

Application Instructions

Please submit a resume and cover letter by August 31 via email to

Please indicate Executive Director Position in the subject line.  You may also submit your resume and cover letter via post mail to:

Executive Director Search Committee

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living

3941 Research Park Drive

Ann Arbor, MI  48108

If you need any accommodations in the application process, please reach out and request them.

This position is open until filled.  Applications may be considered after August 31, however, interviews are scheduled to begin in early September.

Ann Arbor CIL Executive Director Posting

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