REPORTS TO: Board of Directors

JOB DESCRIPTION: The Executive Director of Animal Place has overall strategic and operational responsibility for Animal Place’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of the organization’s mission. An ideal candidate will be a seasoned, effective and compassionate leader, who is passionate about the mission of Animal Place, is an effective, respectful, and fair manager of our staff, understands how to inspire through clear communication, and possesses high emotional intelligence. Successful candidates will have demonstrated leadership experience in the animal rights, protection, sanctuary, or shelter sectors.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES: The Executive Director’s primary duties include organizational leadership, fundraising, marketing, fiscal management, and compliance with local, state, and federal laws. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Governance and Operations
  • Develop and implement strategies to fulfill Animal Place’s mission and ensure compliance with all internal policies.
  • Lead Animal Place in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors.
  • Ensure that Animal Place meets the highest standards in stewarding its financial and other resources.
  • Provide inspirational and motivational leadership for this organization,which is made up of passionate and committed staff
  • Advance and embed Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) into Animal Place’s culture and all organizational structures and activities
  • Support engagement and fundraising efforts across the organization. Financial Performance and Fundraising
  • Protect the fiscal integrity of Animal Place, including assuring that Animal Place operates within the annual budget approved by the Board, maintain a positive financial position for the organization, take proactive and quick response measures against financial challenges as they arise, and ensure Animal Place’s long-term financial health to support its mission.
  • Develop and execute long-term fundraising goals and plans, including vision for donor relations, to ensure long term financial health.
  • Work with staff and the Board to ensure compliance with all California and federal nonprofit-related laws, including tax, business, and employment laws. Mission and Strategy
  • Fully comprehend and always respect Animal Place’s mission.
  • Lead the Animal Place team to fulfill our organizational mission through first-rate animal care, educational programs, community outreach, and strategic planning.
  • Provide full oversight and direction of animal care, programs, campaigns, and communications.
  • Be active and visible in the community and work closely with other sanctuaries, civic, and private organizations to enhance the image of Animal Place and its mission.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson with staff, volunteers, supporters, the media, and the public.
  • Externally, serve as a thought leader in the field, engaging with leading thinkers and contributing to the dialogue on best practices for farmed animal sanctuaries and veganism.
  • Board Relations
  • Collaborate and partner closely with the Board to deliver on organizational goals and priorities.
  • In coordination with the Board President, lead the reporting and activities of the Board of Directors.
  • Provide relevant and timely updates and information to the Board.
  • Establish relationships with and steward members of the Board to contribute their skills, expertise and knowledge to benefit Animal Place’s work.
  • People Management
  • Oversee the team, including development, animal care, office, operations, and program staff.
  • Oversee the hiring and retention of staff as approved in the annual budget.
  • Provide leadership and professional development opportunities to staff.


Personal Characteristics:

  • Is an inclusive, and purpose-driven leader who authentically and effectively models and advances Animal Place’s mission and values.
  • Is humble, passionate, and a person of integrity, who inspires trust.
  • Is an open-minded listener who seeks and values a range of viewpoints but is also comfortable making a final decision.
  • Possesses a high level of emotional intelligence and flexible, intuitive relationship management skills.
  • Possesses solid knowledge of, and has demonstrated their heart for the animal rights/welfare, shelter, and sanctuary sector.
  • Has the ability to easily convey Animal Place’s successes and opportunities with passion and intensity in both formal and informal situations.
  • Offers strong management of conflict and conflicting views and has the ability to be clear minded in a state of ambiguity.
  • Is an authentic, honest, and ethical person as evidenced by how they live day to day, treat others, and operate in the animal rights, protection, sanctuary, or shelter realm.
  • Is patient, persistent, and resilient: can hold onto a vision or desired outcome regardless of obstacles, coupled with the ability to change tactics and approaches, when necessary.



  • Knowledge of and experience in the animal rights or protection field, preferably within a sanctuary or shelter setting.
  • A minimum of five years leadership and management experience.
  • Can set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Has superior management skills in human resources, staff and volunteer management and development, and is an effective team builder, with a strong commitment to collaborative and team-oriented management.
  •  Has strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Experience and proven success raising significant funds, in particular, a track record of cultivating and stewarding major donors and foundations.
  • Experience developing and/or implementing strategic plans.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative data collections to assess and evaluate the success of programs and campaigns.
  • Experience in program development and management and ability to adapt programs to reflect social and political needs.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications.
  • A deep understanding of and passion for Animal Place’s mission and values, and experience working in a non-profit setting with a mission-driven staff.
  • Experience working in partnership with, and being accountable to, an engaged Board of Directors.
  • A highly consultative and collaborative approach to leadership, including exceptional listening skills and a focus on creative solutions.



  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred.
  • Previous experience at a farmed animal sanctuary or animal shelter preferred.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Fully vaccinated against Covid 19 with subsequent boosters.
  • Ability to work with a diverse workforce.
  • Vegan/plant based lifestyle.



Salary: Depending upon experience, the range is $125,000-$175,000

Paid Time Off: Vacation, holidays, and sick time

Medical: Health insurance with no deductible, available after 90 days.

403B: After one year of employment, Animal Place matches up to 3% of salary

HOW TO APPLY: Email your cover letter, resume, and three professional and two personal references to Diane Allevato, Board President and Kim Sturla, Executive Director, c/o Animal Place at [email shown with APPLY button on this listing]; write “Executive Director Application” in subject line.

Animal Place is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected group. Animal Place fosters an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity.

Tagged as: animal sanctuary

About Animal Place

Animal Place is one of the largest and oldest farmed animal sanctuaries in the US. We house and rehabilitate cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, donkeys, and rabbits. Our mission is to extend compassion to all life with a special emphasis on farmed animals. Our permanent 600-acre sanctuary is in Grass Valley and our Rescue & Adoption Center is in Petaluma, California. Animal Place also has a comprehensive humane education program.

MISSION: To provide sanctuary for unwanted farmed animals, to further their welfare through education of the public and to foster ethics of compassion and responsibility towards non-human animals by advocating a vegan lifestyle.

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