Today, the Los Angeles LGBT Center announced the start of its search for a successor to CEO Lorri L. Jean, who will retire in July 2022. The search will be led by the Center’s Board of Directors and national search firm Koya Leadership Partners.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have a strong leader for so long, and now we must prepare for the next chapter. Our board has literally put years of thought into preparing for this transition to ensure that our next CEO will be a tremendous success, exactly as our beloved organization and community deserve,” said Board Co-Chairs Susan Feniger and David Bailey in a letter to donors about the transition.
At the time of her retirement, Jean will have led the Center for more than 25 years.
“I will have plenty of time to reflect on my retirement and time at the Center in a couple of years. Right now, my primary focus is helping our Center and community get through this pandemic and the relentless attacks by the Trump administration. In fact, these current challenges reinforce how important it is to help prepare this organization for a successful future,” said Jean. “And, as a future constituent of the Center, I can say wholeheartedly that it’s exciting to consider the prospect of a new Center leader who has a fresh perspective and the talents and skills necessary to take the organization into the future.”
In an unprecedented process, the new candidate will start in May 2021 as Executive Director and will work with Jean and senior staff to assure a smooth transition before assuming the role of CEO in July 2022.
The Center is, by an order of magnitude, the world’s largest and most complex LGBTQ organization and is bigger than 95 percent of all nonprofit organizations in the country. This level of complexity makes the transition period extremely important; the 14-month period is meant to ensure the smooth and successful progression from one leader to the next.
The transition will provide time for the new executive director to establish an in-depth knowledge of the Center’s diverse programs and services and its multiple service locations in Hollywood, South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Koreatown, and West Hollywood. It will also provide time for guidance from Jean and the executive team on the broad set of budgetary, fundraising, and management skills necessary to lead an organization of its size and complexity. This includes building an array of relationships with community members, elected officials, donors, media, and organizational colleagues.
Along with the Center’s Board of Directors, national search firm Koya Leadership Partners will help lead the search. Koya has been working with the Center for several years and has helped fill key roles at the Center, including Director of Facilities, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Development Officer. The Koya team has helped develop a talent profile for the ideal candidate, available at lalgbtcenter.org/CEOsearch
CEO candidates will have successfully led or held a leadership position within a significant and growing organization where they had the opportunity to:
• represent that organization effectively to the public;
• lead a diverse management team;
• develop significant experience in fundraising;
• do strategic thinking and planning;
• work with a board of directors; and
• lead or contribute to organizational change efforts.
In addition to this direct experience, the organization seeks candidates who have played leadership roles in the LGBTQ movement; have passion for the LGBTQ movement, community, and Center clients; and understand the vitally important equity and justice issues (specifically including racial justice and gender justice, among others) that are so important to the Center’s work.