Executive Director

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company

Los Angeles, CA


The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company’s (US) mission is to mentor, educate, and enrich youth in under-resourced communities through the creation of collaborative original theatre. Our mission powers our vision of a world where all youth are given the opportunities and support they need to succeed; and to be heard, valued and respected. We strive to be a bridge that helps youth make positive life choices.

Founded in the wake of the 1992 LA Uprising, US has grown from a small, volunteer-led youth intervention program into a recognized leader in arts education, youth development, mentorship, and community building. With the launch of a new Alumni Residency, we now serve 1,600+ participants annually with 7 program models that use theatre-arts education and mentorship to mitigate the underlying environmental risk factors that threaten healthy youth development. US programs collectively provide holistic prevention and intervention benefits and open educational/career pathways for LA’s most underserved youth. For more information, visit: https://theunusualsuspects.org/


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead the organization’s day-to-day operations with the support of 8 full-staff and a team of teaching artists. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator, collaborator, and fundraiser with a growth mindset, high emotional intelligence and cultural competence. As a proven team leader and experienced nonprofit executive, the Executive Director will partner with the board of directors to determine the strategic direction of the organization while working with the leadership team to build capacity and expand partnerships in order to serve more youth.


Leadership & Strategy

-Responsible for overall leadership of the organization including strategic planning.
-Ensures the organization understands and is following best practices in nonprofit management and governance.
-Support operations and overall administration by serving as a liaison between the Board and staff and supporting the Board of Directors to fulfill their governance function.
-Work in conjunction with the senior leadership team to deliver effective and efficient programs, while ensuring compliance with applicable contracts, laws, and regulations.
-Foster an organizational culture that attracts and supports a dynamic staff, while maintaining a solid level of quality services.
-Facilitate effective board participation in transformation planning, financial oversight, community outreach, and fundraising.

Staff Management & Operations

-Responsible for the development, support, and retention of staff and volunteers, including specific responsibility for working collaboratively with the Directors Team to foster a culture of high employee engagement and morale.
-Ensures organization’s transformational action steps are monitored and implemented. (See goals in our Health Equity Platform)
-Works with staff to ensure that programmatic work gradually grows to levels equivalent to pre-pandemic years.
-Work with the Board and staff to assure compliance with all appropriate operations, management, financials, and contractual obligations.

Financial Management & Resource Development

-Oversee all financial matters of Unusual Suspects, including planning, controls, forecasting, and analytical activities, thus ensuring fiscal health and alignment to short and long-term goals.
-Ensure US sustains external relations, especially relationships with funders, and that longer-term fundraising efforts are sustained.
-Oversee and partner with leadership team in creating and implementing a robust and diverse fundraising strategy, inclusive of major donors, corporations, foundations, events, and other diverse and creative revenue streams.
-Serve as the main spokesperson of Unusual Suspects, seeking out opportunities for public speaking engagements and a web presence that advances strategic goals and reputation with nonprofit partners, government relations, and community members.


-Minimum of 5 years of senior management experience in a non-profit organization using creative problem solving.
-Bachelor or above degree in arts education administration, or related field
-Experience with other nonprofit, youth development and community agencies.
-Have skill and experience in diversified fundraising and major donor development.
-Demonstrated leadership and management skills and abilities with team building and creating trusting relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
-Strong public speaker with excellent writing skills to effectively communicate the organization’s mission, vision and accomplishments to donors, clients, partners, volunteers, board members, and the general community. Must also be an effective listener.
-Previous DEI training and willingness to participate in additional or further training.
-Demonstrated knowledge and skill in financial management of a multifaceted non-profit organization and history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
-Experience working cooperatively and collaboratively with a wide variety of external partners.
-Vision for long-range planning while focusing on the day-to-day needs of the organization.
-Familiarity with technology to lead the organization toward implementation of improved services, administration, communication, fundraising capacity and measurement of strategic planning and program impacts.
-Experience developing, measuring, and evaluating program through effective metrics.
-Bilingual with Spanish, preferred but not required.
-Candidates currently living in Los Angeles preferred.


Annual salary starts at $100K, commensurate with experience. The office has a friendly, relaxed but professional environment. Staff work two days remotely and three days in person. Benefits include health benefits reimbursement up to $400.00 monthly, CalSavers, cellphone/Internet reimbursement, accrued PTO and paid sick leave.


APPLY HERE BY 8/15/22.


The Usual Suspects is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against any person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, political affiliation or citizenship. The Unusual Suspects is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strongly encourages people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with protected class backgrounds to apply. We value the individuals that we hire and look forward to creating a positive, diverse work environment for all identities.

Applicants needing accommodation for any part of the application process may contact Envision Consulting at 626.889.7905 to request and arrange for assistance.

Envision Consulting was retained by The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company to conduct the search for their incoming Executive Director.

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