Executive Director (DSNI)


Established in 1984, The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) is a nonprofit, community-based planning and organizing entity rooted in the Roxbury/North Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston.  The Board of Directors of DSNI has launched a search and is actively seeking the next executive leader to build upon the organization’s esteemed history, community legacy and successes to date. This is a compelling opportunity for an innovative, collaborative and culturally astute executive level nonprofit leader with a deep understanding of community and urban place-based initiatives and a desire to lead and facilitate sustainable growth and success for all DSNI endeavors, its residents, and community partners.


DSNI’s mission is to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners. The organization was born out of the desire of residents to reclaim and take control of their neighborhood which at the time was suffering from illegal dumping, lack of city services, and overall disinvestment and neglect caused by local and national policies that encouraged redlining, speculation, and segregated housing patterns.

DSNI’s strategic plan focuses on Development without Displacement with robust objectives that include getting additional land and development under community control, supporting resident leadership to ensure community priorities and benefits are reflected in local development projects, and utilizing creative placemaking strategies to strengthen community voice and participation in development planning processes. The organization is also focused on advocacy efforts at a local and city-wide level to create affordable housing and economic opportunities for low-income families.

As part of the recent designation of the Upham’s Corner neighborhood as an Arts Innovation District, and the City of Boston’s decision to select the neighborhood to begin implementation of the Imagine Boston 2030 strategic plan, DSNI has been selected as the City’s lead partner.  This will ensure efforts to prevent displacement, to maintain housing affordability and to support small business owners. The vision is that the Dudley neighborhood sustains itself as a vibrant urban village where low- and moderate-income families can thrive and prosper and enjoy the benefits of combined efforts to revitalize the community.

For more information about DSNI and programs visit the website: www.dsni.org


The Executive Director (ED) oversees the overall strategy, business, programs and operations of DSNI.  The ED is responsible for leading staff, community volunteers and strategic partners toward achievement of DSNI’s mission and strategic goals, and:

  • Directs all fundraising efforts and financial functions
  • Supports all board functions and operations
  • Oversees program design, implementation, evaluation and quality
  • Recommends and manages annual budget and financial functions
  • Oversees real estate and asset management functions
  • Manages human capital and resources for DSNI
  • Represents the organization externally

The new leader will join DSNI at a critical time of complex challenges and dynamic opportunities.  Rents and housing prices in Roxbury and Dorchester are rising at a higher rate than other Boston neighborhoods. The destabilizing impact of the real estate market and the displacement of many long-term residents, threaten to negatively transform the community for generations to come.

The ED also oversees and supports the strategic direction of Dudley Neighbors Incorporated (DNI) Community Land Trust, the subsidiary organization of DSNI that moves forward the community’s vision of resident control of land and permanently affordable housing.   


Reporting to the DSNI Board of Directors and as a member of the senior management team, the ED is responsible for the day to day operations of DSNI and serves as an external champion, organization builder, and internal manager during a period of challenging growth and change.   

Strategic Leadership

  • Work with board and staff to provide leadership, strategic and tactical direction to fulfill DSNI’s mission and vision;
  • Identify and secure new funding opportunities -- including grants, unrestricted funds, earned income and a reserve-- to ensure adequate budget support and long-term sustainability for DSNI;
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships and relationships with all community stakeholders, and engage the community in new and exciting ways that foster continued neighborhood planning and revitalization;
  • Develop and implement a diversified funding plan with specific milestones necessary to ensure sustainability and financial health;
  • Collaborate with real estate developers to ensure deals that honor the history and needs of the community and are financially beneficial to DSNI, and to partners and investors;
  • Promote and develop the CLT model as an innovative, viable and necessary vehicle for resident control and permanent affordable housing;
  • As principal spokesperson, ensure the continued development and positioning of DSNI as a leader within the community, in the City of Boston and nationally;
  • Build upon the current strategic and operational multi-year plan that includes, but is not limited to, effectively supporting four strategic areas: development without displacement, youth voice, neighborhood development, and resident empowerment.

Community Engagement and Partnerships   

  • Ensure stakeholders have a clear sense of DSNI’s mission and vision. Increase DSNI’s visibility as a convener at the city and state level through outreach, dialogue, strategic partnerships, the media and connection to other Boston-based place-based initiatives;
  • Build and leverage committed and long-lasting relationships across all stakeholders;
  • Ensure compelling and consistent branding and marketing of DSNI to raise the neighborhood’s profile, reach new audiences and further engage participants.

Financial, Operational and Staff Management

  • Oversee all aspects of DSNI’s business and finances to achieve stated goals and objectives while ensuring compliance and adherence with financial policies & procedures, maintaining internal fiscal control, monitoring and managing the annual budget and cash-flow;
  • Manage an operating budget of about $2M ensuring DSNI infrastructure, policies, procedures and systems support its operation needs;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of a successful strategy for program growth and expansion while consistently thinking about alignment, impact and organizational sustainability;
  • In collaboration with staff, define and provide high quality, mission-centric programs through new and existing partners and resources
    Ensure effective systems to evaluate programs and track progress and achievements, and to oversee the development of a stellar database that documents the success of DSNI and DSNI models;
  • Provide consistent developmental support and guidance to staff – ensuring they have the tools, skills and information necessary to grow the organization mission, vision, goals and objectives. And to ensure commitment to a team approach to promote participative governance across the organization.


  • A minimum of ten years’ senior-level management experience in a similar sized organization with deep experience in at least one of the DSNI work areas – housing and/or commercial real estate development, community organizing, program management – with demonstrated leadership experience in a mission-focused organization. Nonprofit management experience a strong plus;
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing short and long-term strategic fundraising strategies, including corporate sponsorships, foundations, individual donors, and government agencies; ability to translate that understanding into overall funding strategy and staff education and development;
  • Comprehensive professional understanding and background working in national/local place-based change efforts is preferred;
  • Strong leadership and community organizing skills; understands the power of the residents;
  • Deep understanding of community and city landscape; knowledgeable about DSNI and community values; responsive to community needs; track record of time spent in the community partnering with leaders from all sectors (local businesses, nonprofit agencies, local and state government, residents); ability to deliver on the DSNI mission and generally strengthen the Dudley Street neighborhood;
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and monitoring budgets, financial planning, reporting and forecasting; comfortable being a steward of agency assets;
  • Superior people management and leadership skills; broadband cultural competency; evidence of leading through change with positive outcomes; comfortable delegating and empowering a talented and motivated senior management and staff;
  • Exceptional communicator, verbal and written, with the ability to represent DSNI locally and on a national stage;
  • Minimum of a BS/BA degree, ideally MBA or other relevant graduate school degree.

Personal Attributes

  • Strategic thinker and visionary leader who can work effectively and collaboratively with the board, staff, community and all key stakeholders invested in DSNI’s success and well-being;
  • Inspirational and collaborative leadership style; displays sound judgment and high ethical standards; highly accessible with an open door policy; present in the neighborhood; bilingual a plus;
  • A bridge builder and systems thinker; innovative and inclusive, with proven experience in developing, managing and sustaining growth initiatives; calculated risk-taker, long-term planner and politically savvy;
  • Ability to manage a dynamic and diverse staff; cares about employee morale and holds staff accountable; superior listening skills; personable, creative, enthusiastic and high energy;
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written; transparent, explicit and straightforward; communicate effectively with a diverse cross-section of people;
  • A sense of humor and the personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Personal commitment to DSNI’s mission and values, including the power of resident voice and control and development without displacement.

To Apply

This search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWorks. All submissions are confidential and electronic submissions are preferred via this link:


Candidates should include a resume and a cover letter outlining relevant experience and fit with the mission and the role. Please include how you learned of the opportunity and attach any other especially relevant information (e.g., published articles).

All submissions will be acknowledged and accepted until the position has been filled. Due to the pace of this search candidates are encouraged to respond immediately.  DSNI seeks to fill the position in early 2019.

DSNI is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. People from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


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