Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Deputy Director

Based in Washington, D.C. preferred
(work from anywhere in the continental United States)


Position Overview
APALA is seeking a skilled, strategic, and detail-oriented Deputy Director (DD) to support APALA (501(c)(5)) and IAPALA (501(c)(3))’s mission as the only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) union members and allies advancing worker, immigrant, and civil rights.

The ideal candidate will have previous campaign and labor union-related experience. We are especially interested in experience with organizations similar in scale to our own with annual budgets between $1 - $2 million annually and a model of an active National Executive Board (NEB) which sets the agenda of the organization.

The DD of APALA and IAPALA reports directly to the Executive Director of APALA and works in close collaboration with the officers and the National Executive Board (NEB). The DD’s primary responsibility will be the programmatic work of APALA including working with our chapter leaders and members on the political, organizing and international solidarity priorities of the organization. The Deputy Director is a salaried (non-bargaining unit) position and must maintain a full-time schedule of at least 40 hours a week inclusive of the expectation to participate in calls and virtual meetings that occur during the evening and weekend hours to accommodate our officers and board members who are based in different time zones.

APALA/IAPALA’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Staff with primary work assignments in Washington, D.C., are expected to be based in Washington, D.C and work from the office unless accommodations are made to work part-time from home. The DD is expected to attend union and partner meetings in Washington, D.C., and other locations which may take place approximately once a month.

APALA’s Priorities
APALA’s National Executive Board adopted this strategy statement on October 29, 2023:

APALA will focus on our distinct role as a nexus point between organized labor and the AAPI community, and focus on priorities where we have unique expertise and strength. We will do so by: Building and strengthening APALA chapters; rebuilding and strengthening relationships with organized labor; fundraising to build an APALA based on building AAPI worker power; developing leadership for AAPI workers through their unions, organizing institutes, or pathways that lead to becoming organizers in unions; assessing and strengthening our internal structures to more effectively serve our mission; and prioritizing campaigns and programs that will help to build APALA rooted in this vision.

Primary Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of the DD include:

  • Work collaboratively with committee chairs which may include Organizing, Political and International Solidarity and members to build robust membership programs that meet the strategic vision and direction of APALA and these committees which will include these key areas:
    • Chapter and member development
    • Civic engagement
    • Organizing membership to play a vital role within the campaigns of the labor movement and work with unions to expand the role of AAPI union members within their unions through organizing, leadership pipeline, and integration of AAPI issues within labor union partners
  • Support event planning such as NEB meetings, Constitutional Conventions, Organizing Trainings, etc.;
  • Support the Task Force on Chapters and Convention which is tasked to create a report to the 2025 APALA Convention;
  • Lead campaigns supported by the committees including creating and applying metrics for measuring the effectiveness of the campaigns;
  • Create and implement a messaging strategy to inform APALA members and our community about our work and their role in it;
  • Manage technical tools such as LAN and SMS programs to support the work of chapters; train designated members on use of those tools;
  • Mentor chapter leaders and members to become effective activists and communicate about the programs and goals of APALA;
  • Communicate effectively with the Executive Director, Officers and National Executive Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the board to function properly and to make informed decisions
  • Build relationships with unions and AFL-CIO federated bodies and support chapters in deepening those relationships;
  • Build relationships with outside organizations, such as NCAPA and Solidarity Center, and with community groups that include NEB members with connections to those groups
  • Ensure that staff and consultants operate in accordance with the staff union collective bargaining agreement and with the outreach mission of the organization

Desired Skills and Experience

  • A successful record of working with labor unions, especially regarding organizing and political civic engagement
  • Knowledge of AAPI communities and the labor movement and activism on behalf of workers and AAPI communities
  • A record of engaging in the pursuit of racial, social, and economic justice
  • Ability to effectively develop and supervise staff
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a diverse range of people
  • Excellent research, oral, writing, and listening skills

Founded in 1992 with the strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has 22 chapters and pre-chapters in 16 states and a national office in Washington, D.C. In 2011 to ensure broader education, civic engagement, and capacity building for our communities, APALA established the Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement (IAPALA) as a 501(c)(3).

To achieve our mission, we build power by:

  • Organizing members into unions, developing labor leaders, and building political power for our communities
  • Educating AAPI workers and allies about the labor movement, principles of trade unionism, and collective bargaining, as well as providing a vehicle for AAPI issues and concerns
  • Activating our chapters across the country to advance social, racial, and economic justice through state-based campaigns
  • Representing the voice of AAPI workers on coalitions within the labor community and more broadly in the civil rights, AAPI, and racial justice communities

Other Information:

  • APALA/IAPALA currently has no other full or part-time employees other than the Executive Director. Bargaining unit employees are covered by the staff union’s collective bargaining agreement (OPEIU Local 2)
  • The National Executive Board is composed of up to 44 individuals. There are five constitutional officers of APALA. Our Constitution can be found here.

Compensation and Benefits
The full-time salary range for this position is $89,000- $110,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits for a full-time exempt employee include the following.

  • Flexible home base, but must be willing to travel to Washington, D.C.
  • Fully paid health, vision, and dental insurance for employees and dependents.
  • Fully paid life, short-term, and long-term disability insurance
  • 15 days of paid leave in addition to all federal holidays and office closure last two weeks of the year.
  • Retirement: 6% employer contribution
  • Monthly cell phone/internet/transit stipend and annual professional development stipend

Application Process
Please submit your application (résumé and cover letter) with the information below by email with the subject “Deputy Director” to careers@apala.org. Proposals submitted after June 10, 2024 will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The application should include:

  1. Details of experience, skills, and relevant qualifications in serving in the Deputy Director role.
  2. Specific experience working with dual 501(c)(3)/ 501(c)(5) or 501(c)(3)/ 501(c)(4) entities.
  3. For firms or consultants, provide a list of similarly sized non-profit or labor union clients and names and contact information for three client references.
  4. Any other pertinent information about you, your experience, and your interest in this role.

Location: Washington, D.C. preferred; work from anywhere in the continental United States
Job Type: Full-time
Start Date: Immediately
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.