PPAL values those who have direct lived experience raising a child with significant mental and behavioral health challenges and gives hiring preference to individuals who have this direct lived experience.

Parent/Professional Advocacy League is a small but impactful nonprofit organization working to make things better for children with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs and their families. Based in Waltham and Worcester, PPAL works with families across the state who need help navigating services in behavioral health, juvenile justice and education. We work in close partnership with other community and state agencies with the goals of supporting families, nurturing parent leaders and improving systems.

Parent/Professional Advocacy League Seeks Executive Director

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The board of directors of Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) is conducting a search for a passionate and proven leader to serve as the organization’s new executive director.  PPAL is a small but impactful nonprofit organization working to improve conditions for children with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs and their families.  Since its beginning in 1991, PPAL has provided help for families so they can learn to navigate the children’s system in Massachusetts, connect with other families, acquire information and training as well as receive one-to-one support.  Our work recognizes that families are the most effective agents of transformation.

PPAL works closely with professionals in child- and family-serving systems and is the key voice for families at policy tables across the state.  PPAL is funded through government contracts, foundations and private contributions.  We are a deliberately inclusive organization and our work is conducted through an equity lens. We are the state chapter of the Federation of Families and a founding member of FREDLA.  We also support Youth MOVE Massachusetts, a youth initiative offering youth-peer support for youth and young adults.  Learn more at https://ppal.net


Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization. The Executive Director is responsible for facilitating the overall mission and policies of PPAL through program development, youth and parent polling, oversight of office personnel, financial management, and partnerships with related agencies. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director creates and implements policies, goals, and objectives to achieve effective program operations to fulfill PPAL mission and contracts.  The Executive Director is the PPAL’s official voice and presence in our community.  Cultivating and maintaining positive and productive relationships with other professionals and groups within the community through strong public speaking skills, personal investment, and diplomacy are essential components of this position.

This person reports to the PPAL board of directors. This person must have the experience of raising a child with emotional or mental health issues.


  • Oversees program design, evaluation, planning and effective program implementation
  • Oversight of day to day administration of operations and ensures all contractual obligations are met or exceeded
  • Embraces and actively promotes an inclusive and equitable work environment
  • Research, develop and implement strategies to foster diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Conduct frequent polling activities with youth and family to help clarify the impact that the service delivery system actually has on the consumers of the services
  • Manages multiple funding streams, including federal, state, corporate, foundation, and individual donor funding sources
  • Researches funding opportunities and determines organizational fit
  • Identify, prepare, and submit grant applications and funding proposals
  • Creates a motivating and collaborative team environment and assesses staffing needs
  • Oversees all communications sent out by the organization including social media accounts
  • Oversight of content creation and messaging
  • Conducts presentations, public speaking events, workshops and panels
  • Networks with local and national partners and stakeholders
  • Maintains relationships with other local and national organizations which support families of children with mental health needs
  • Is available to participate with state and private agencies in the development of policies impacting youth and families
  • Maintains working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field, as well as maintaining relationships with key leaders and stakeholders who may inform strategic thinking
  • Provides fiscal oversight ensuring adherence to the organizations financial policies, sounds financial management including the preparation of the annual budget for board approval
  • Supports the board in performing its fiduciary responsibilities through timely and transparent reporting inside and outside the organization
  • Participates in board member recruitment and orientation and facilitates action on and implementation of board decisions
  • Gathers and reports data as needed to the board, funders, programs and to strengthen PPAL’s message


  • Minimum of 4 years of results-driven leadership and management experience, particularly in the non-profit sector
  • Must have lived experience in raising a child with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs
  • Demonstrated life experience, showing strong empathy for the families of children with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs and a desire to improve their quality of life through advocacy
  • Passionate about working in an organization that values and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
  • Demonstrated skill in understanding of cultural differences.
  • Considerable knowledge of community resources available to children and families
  • Successful grant writing and funding proposal experience
  • Management skills necessary to conduct the financial, personnel, and administrative duties of a social service agency
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Highly motivated, entrepreneurial self-starter
  • Flexibility to accommodate some evening and weekend work
  • Ability to establish and maintain favorable working relationships with a Board of Directors, community partners, associates, office staff, and the general public.
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to powerfully tell PPAL’s story both in writing and through public speaking
  • Knowledge of state government would be advantageous
  • Bachelor’s degree or above preferred but consideration will be given to individuals with associated life and work experiences

The Executive Director must have the experience of raising a child with emotional or mental health issues.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter which includes your connection to children’s mental health to SearchComm@ppal.net  no later than  May 20, 2022.  This position is anticipated to begin on July 1, 2022.

This is a full-time salaried position with a salary range of $90,000 -$105,000.

PPAL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.