The Executive Director serves as the executive leader of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Des Moines, consistent with its governance and social justice mission in service to vulnerable community populations. The position is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s operations, including governance, program development, financial management, fundraising, community engagement, and staff leadership. The role reports to the Bishop and Board of Directors in support of the mission, vision and values, and demonstrates deep commitment to the moral and Catholic Social Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

Board and Governance Relations

Fosters the involvement and development of the Board of Directors to advance the organization’s mission and strategic objectives. Promotes seamless communication and cooperation among the board, committees, and staff. Formulates and presents budgetary plans and fundraising targets.

Strategic Leadership

Leads the creation and execution of the organization’s Strategic Plan, ensuring alignment with its mission and objectives. Stays abreast of organizational and community trends to pinpoint service requirements and program growth prospects. Conducts routine progress evaluations with leadership teams to assess performance and adjust strategies as needed.

Social Justice

Collaborates with the Diocese and stakeholders to advance social justice initiatives, including advancement of Catholic Identity and Hiring for Mission initiatives. Oversees advocacy, awareness, and educational efforts on social justice issues. Promotes understanding and application of Catholic Social Teaching within the organization and broader community.

Administration and Organization Leadership

Oversees general operations, ensuring adherence to policies and standards. Mentors leadership teams for optimal performance and professional development. Makes strategic decisions to foster organizational growth and sustainability.

Financials, Facilities, and Funding Oversight

Responsible for managing financial performance and budgeting processes, presenting reports to the Board to evaluate fiscal and performance of the organization. Negotiates Services Agreement with the diocese. For in-kind services.

Development, Fundraising, Marketing

Collaborates on donor relations and fundraising strategies and plans. Advance gifts and giving through the participation of Catholic Charities board members and community constituents. Participates in the organization’s annual appeal campaign.

Programs Leadership and Oversight

Ensures compliance with regulations, accreditation standards, and grant and risk management requirements. Monitors program performance and outcomes. Oversees negotiation and approval of contracts and grants with governmental agencies, private funders, and vendors.

External and Community Relationships

Represents the organization with community partners, funders and stakeholders. Serves on relevant boards, committees, and task forces. Cultivates relationships with parish communities and stakeholders.

Internal Relationships

Fosters a positive work environment, collaborates with leadership teams to plan and evaluate programs, and ensures alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic plan as rooted in the Catholic Social Teachings.

Personal Characteristics, Mission and Values

The Executive Director should embody the values, mission, ministry, and legacy of Catholic Charities, demonstrating a strong commitment to serving vulnerable populations and promoting social justice.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities 
Supervises Cabinet Directors (Director of Human Resources and Operations, Director of Programs, Director of Development and Marketing Director, Social Justice Director) and Executive Assistant. Oversees staffing and position levels.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church.
  • The successful candidate will have a Bachelors degree, with a Master’s degree being preferred, in social work, human services, public administration, business, or a related field is required; or equivalent education and experience may also be considered.
  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible organizational leadership experience is required; preferably in a nonprofit, social services, or related field.
  • Must have working knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Church with demonstrated faith and commitment to Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Desire to welcome and serve the poor and vulnerable in our community.
  • Proven track record of strategic planning, program development, and organizational management.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience in fundraising, grant and financial management.
  • Ability to inspire and motivate staff and community partners.
  • Knowledge of social justice issues and a passion for serving those in need.
  • Ability to successfully pass a child abuse registry check and criminal background check.

The work of Catholic Charities serves as an expression of the ministry of evangelization of the Roman Catholic Church by serving the poor and most vulnerable in our society. Although staff are not to proselytize, they are, however, expected to be guided in every way by the teachings of the Catholic faith in their daily work. These include church teachings on abortion, sterilization, abstinence, and the sanctity of the family as well as fidelity to the Catholic ethical religious directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition, all staff are invited to attend periodic Catholic Masses. As employees of Catholic Charities, it is further expected that staff will adhere to the Diocesan code of conduct. Employees are expected to not only perform duties consistent with the Doctrines of the Catholic faith, but outside of the workplace they are expected to refrain from publishing any communication in any form, electronic or otherwise, that affiliates them with Catholic Charities in a manner that is inconsistent with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic faith.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision and depth perception.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Job Title
Executive Director
Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines
Des Moines, IA
Posted On
April 4, 2024