Position Profile: AAATF Executive Director

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tene Wells Consulting, a leading nonprofit Minneapolis-based consulting agency, has been retained to help find a new Executive Director for the African American AIDS Task Force (AAATF). This senior leadership position reports to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director (ED) will manage all aspects of day-to-day operations and is responsible for implementing strategic operational business plans to raise funding, acting as external spokesperson. The position also is responsible for strategic leadership, fund development and budgetary, and personal management that advances AAATF’s primary mission: to provide culturally specific HIV prevention, education, and services to people of African descent who are living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS.

The ideal candidate will have the proven leadership, fund development, community and cultural knowledge and experience in the public health arena. We seek a future focused innovative leader with visionary qualities, exemplary execution and communication skills, a collaborative approach, and a commitment to achieving big dreams for the organization.


The African American AIDS Task Force was founded in 1994 by African American community members who were concerned with the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on African American people living in Minnesota. Their goals were:

  • To increase the availability of culturally specific service providers to address the needs of African American people who were living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS; and,
  • To empower communities to help themselves.

Since their inception on World AIDS Day, AAATF has served thousands of Minnesotans living with and affected by HIV. Their primary goal remains to address health disparities among African Americans and others regardless of race or ethnicity. AAATF acknowledges that everyone’s need is unique, therefore we work to build bridges and partnerships with each of our clients to address those needs. The agency’s board, leadership, staff, and volunteers are largely representative of the populations served and are highly qualified to deliver all services the agency provides. In addition, the agency partners with community volunteers and people living with HIV to deliver services. This approach has served as an effective means to: establish credibility among the intended population(s), gain access to communities, and empower those in need.

After over twenty-one years of service, Executive Director Gwendolyn Velez is retiring at the end of the year. During her tenure, Ms. Velez’s brilliance, hard work, and dedication has established the AAATF as a beacon of hope for the community. As a leader she established a consistent stream of funding, developed an earned income program, and secured long term relationships with donors for contracts and grants. She has been instrumental in expanding AAATF programs and services to best meet the needs with diversely cultural base programs and resources. Throughout her tenure she has formed unique and innovative community networks and partnerships to increase access to available resources for AAATF clients and operations.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for AAATF staff, programs, expansion, and execution and advancement of the mission. She or he will develop deep knowledge of field, core programs, operations, and business plans.

Leadership and Management

  1. Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  2. Lead, coach, develop, and retain AAATF high-performance management team.
  3. Provide strategic leadership for the AAATF and its resources to ensure the functions and services remain relevant and support the community needs
  4. Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components, to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  5. Actively engage and energize AAATF Nonprofit volunteers, board members, alumni, partnering and policy organizations, and funders.
  6. Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with development and execution of the AAATF’s strategic direction.

Fundraising & Communications:

  1. Expand through revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing programs, respond to emerging needs and maintain a reserve for growth and long-term financial stability.
  2. Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program, respond to emerging needs and maintain a reserve for growth and long-term security.
  3. Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
  4. Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.

Planning & New Business:

  1. Lead the development of a strategic business plan for the program expansion.
  2. Build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, and political and community leaders.
  3. Grow external presence, communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes as a model.


The ED will be thoroughly committed to AAATF’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, fund development, community and cultural knowledge, relationship management experience in public health arena.

Specific requirements include:

  • Four-year degree and at least 10 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading outcomes-based organization with metrics and best practices and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set, and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Strong computer skills (i.e., Microsoft, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, client databases, etc.)
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively and efficiently in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

How to Apply

The application window for this position closed on November 5.

Share this position