Monday, September 12, 2011

Brady Campaign Brings In A Head Hunter

The Brady Campaign/Center has brought in executive search firm Korn/Ferry International to help them find their next president. Korn/Ferry International is the world's largest executive search firm and is a publicly-traded company. These guys don't work for free. My guess is that to bring in a firm like Korn/Ferry will cost at least $100,000 and probably more.

Kaveman at Days of Our Trailers blog does an excellent job in fisking the Brady's job announcment. Regarding a couple of the job responsibilities:
"S/he will be expected to create and execute a comprehensive strategy that utilizes a wide range of voices to deliver the organization’s messages."

Get that? They want a wide range of voices to say what we want them to say. Nice.

"The CEO shall be responsible for effective stewardship of the organization’s existing resources and for identifying and attracting new resources to the Brady Campaign."

Translation: Must be good enough at dancing in the blood to make people want to pay to watch it.
Sebastian at Snowflakes In Hell does an excellent job at analyzing the Brady Campaign/Center's stated priority of building the grassroots and notes:
I hate to break to the Bradys but grassroots are generally a bottom up thing, not a top down thing. NRA exists from the bottom up. It did not create its grassroots, it’s grassroots created it (or took it over, more accurately). I don’t predict Brady will have much success in this, because they are going about it wrong. The big disadvantage they have over us is that anti-gun is not a hobby. Shooting is, and one that is practiced by millions of Americans. That gives a natural base of support on which you can build a grassroots-based movement.
This is precisely why the Brady Campaign and Center is having to spend a six-figure sum to find a new CEO and President. They don't have a farm team at the grassroots with which to build potential future leaders. The local and regional gun control organizations that would normally constitute a farm team are just like the national organization - white, upper-middle class, top-down organizations funded by grant money and not by dues paying members. With regard to their grassroots problem, they remind me of Gertrude Stein's comment on Oakland, California - "There is no there there."

The posting by Korn/Ferry International is here and shown below. The other thing this posting does is give a sense of what to expect from the Brady Campaign in terms of activity. Note the programmatic goal of having all guns "child-proofed" by 2015.

COMPANY Posted: Aug 15, 2011
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

United States

The Brady Campaign, a non-partisan 501© (4) is the nation’s largest and best-known citizens’ organization working for stronger gun laws. It works at the state and federal levels to prevent gun violence by supporting and defending sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies, mobilizing grassroots activists, electing pro-gun-control public officials and increasing public awareness of the realities of gun violence.

The Brady Campaign is supported by the chapters of its Million Mom March, and thousands of other activists, community leaders, law enforcement officials and ordinary citizens to build coalitions and fight gun violence. The Brady Campaign also has an affiliated Political Action Committee allowing it to be active in federal elections.

The affiliated BradyCenter to Prevent Gun Violence is the legal action, research and education component of the organization. It operates as a 501© (3). Founded in 1983, the Center works to educate the general public about the issues surrounding gun violence in the United States. The Center's Legal Action Project has been at the forefront of the movement to compel the gun industry to reform its sales and marketing practices. Overall, the Center provides innovative educational and public health solutions to gun violence in our communities.

The Brady Campaign has embraced building this grassroots strength as one of its most important priorities for the years ahead. It has targeted key states and communities in which to concentrate. While it will take time to build, this effort must proceed with urgency. The new President will be expected to take the lead in making this happen.

The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a staff of 25. There are 5 regional staff members in other parts of the country and the two entities have a combined annual budget of $5.3 million.

The CEO will be a proven, results-oriented manager of people, teams, and organizations. S/He will provide the Brady Campaign with strategic leadership and bear ultimate responsibility for the organization’s programs, operations, and staff. The CEO will oversee effective program delivery and the executive team in its day-to-day management of the organization. S/he will be expected to create and execute a comprehensive strategy that utilizes a wide range of voices to deliver the organization’s messages.

The CEO will report to the Board of Directors on the activities of the organization. The CEO will ensure that the Brady Campaign is a financially sustainable organization by working in partnership with the Board of Directors, the executive team and appropriate staff. The CEO shall be responsible for effective stewardship of the organization’s existing resources and for identifying and attracting new resources to the Brady Campaign.

Additionally, specific objectives include:

Organizational Objectives

•Foster a culture throughout the organization where issues are discussed and resolved, decisions are made, people are assigned responsibility for the achievement of concrete, measurable outcomes and then held accountable for the results.
•Work closely with the senior staff to assess and refine the structures and operating procedures necessary to foster increased collaboration among departments as well as greater decision-making roles for the organization’s senior managers.
•Insure that a plan is executed and results are achieved to increase the diversity of the Board, the staff and the volunteer base of the organization.
•Insure that a wide range of effective voices including Board members, staff and volunteers are assigned to work nationally and in targeted communities throughout the country to make the case for reducing and preventing gun violence.
•With the assistance of the Board and the Development Department expand the involvement of staff and volunteers to raise substantial amounts of money from new and existing major donors, and foundations.
•In cooperation with Development Department staff complete a rigorous review of the direct marketing effort and all development efforts to include planned giving, foundation grants, events and major gifts to insure that the organization is maximizing opportunities for net revenue.
•Insure that the organization is making maximum use of the new technologies to support grassroots organizing, fund raising, sharing of best practices among community based activists and other parts of the movement and communicating the movement’s messages to a broad range of communities.
•Work closely with the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Nominating Committee to insure that a pool of potential Board members is developed and tested to insure that excellent people are recruited to succeed members whose terms are expiring.

Programmatic Objectives

•Spearhead and actively support the efforts to build a powerful grassroots movement in those states and communities that have initially been targeted for concentration. Insure that metrics and milestones are established and adhered to.
•Lead a process to develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy that will effectively make the case that gun violence is a pressing public issue, requiring urgent action.
•Develop an action plan to advocate aggressively for sensible gun laws
•Insure that messages resonate and have the desired effect with particular targeted communities and groups and that they are delivered by the most effective messengers over the most appropriate channels.
•Develop strategies to determine and promote evidence-based arguments for public policies, which are grounded in research and support common sense efforts at reducing gun violence.
•Take the lead in building a more unified and broad based movement, linking with other organizations and people with similar interests such as communities of color, groups combating domestic violence, public health, suicide prevention, law enforcement, faith-based organizations as well as other groups devoted to reducing gun violence.
•Build the movement to insure that all guns in our nation are childproofed by 2015.


The ideal candidate will be an effective and inspiring leader and public representative with a strong commitment to eliminating gun violence. S/he will be expected to make common sense measures to prevent gun violence broadly accepted in our society. S/he will provide organizational and strategic leadership to the board and staff, guiding and integrating Brady’s public education and political programs while driving an ambitious agenda of grassroots expansion and activist mobilization. While no one person will possess all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal characteristics:

•Experience managing a staff, providing it with clear direction, delegating where appropriate, holding people accountable while assuming the ultimate responsibility for the effective performance of the organization. A person receptive to and not threatened by input and feedback from senior staff and lay leadership.
•A successful track record and a genuine enthusiasm for raising substantial amounts of money from individuals, corporations and foundations.
•A demonstrated commitment to diversity with a record of recruiting and managing a talented and diverse staff. A person who places a high priority on the professional development of staff through delegation of responsibility and collaborative effort.
•Exceptional verbal and written communications skills including experience with both print and electronic media and the new technologies, as well as the ability to serve as the organization’s chief spokesperson, often in the face of public resistance to the organization’s positions.
•An understanding of the application of modern technology for membership development, fundraising, public education, lobbying and organizational management.
•A background in the design and management of legislative agendas, grassroots organizing and public education programs.
•Experience, working effectively in a bipartisan fashion with a variety of constituencies--other organizations, community leaders, elected officials, current and future funders and the media.
•Experience working with or serving as a member of a lively and highly engaged non-profit Board of Directors.
•A deep seated commitment to the prevention of gun violence.
•A leader who can articulate a vision, communicate organizational priorities as well as inspire and motivate people to work hard in the pursuit of a mission.
•A strategic and creative thinker with the organizational skills necessary to insure that strategies are implemented and objectives are achieved.
•A person with excellent political skills, who is comfortable with controversy and diversity and who will be able to balance, negotiate, network and build coalitions among diverging and competing points of views, both within the organization and outside it.
•A good listener who inspires trust and confidence and remains open to the ideas of others.
•The capacity and desire to develop a rapport with a wide variety of persons, volunteers, victims, all levels of staff and lay leadership.
•A high level of energy, an ability to work long hours and a willingness to travel throughout the country.
•Unimpeachable integrity.
•A sense of humor.
An undergraduate degree is required. A graduate degree is highly preferred.

The competitive compensation package will be offered to attract outstanding candidates.


  1. I see Korn / Ferry isn't sufficiently competent (or maybe diligent) to proofread their document and correct the auto-formatting that changed (C) to ©.

    I'm sure they're worth every penny the Brady Campaign is paying them. *snicker*

  2. Would it be wrong to convince people that Korn/Ferry should be boycotted for participating in the suppression of civil rights? Would they be willing to do a CEO search for the KKK?

  3. @Sean: I don't think it would be wrong at all.

    The problem is that the average person does not use the services of Korn/Ferry - it is corporations and governmental institutions for the most part.

    For the boycott to be effective, we would have to boycott anyone who used their services.

  4. "•Unimpeachable integrity."

    The Brady bunch is worried about "integrity"? They'll never find a candidate who has unimpeachable integrity and is willing to work for them. That is mutually exclusive.