Position Specification

Dismas Charities Inc.

President & Chief Executive Officer



President and CEO


Dismas Charities


Louisville, Kentucky

Reporting Relationship

Board of Directors





Dismas Charities, Inc. is a national leader in providing reentry services for women and men (clients) released from federal and state incarceration and returning to their communities. The mission of Dismas Charities is to end the cycle of victimization and heal the human spirit.


Founded in 1964 in Louisville, Kentucky by Father William Diersen, a Catholic Priest, Dismas Charities, Inc. has grown from its first Residential Reentry Center in Louisville to 39 centers across 15 states. Dismas offers a wide array of services to its clients with a major focus on obtaining sustainable employment, locating a stable place to live, and reuniting them with their families and support systems.

The President/ CEO is the face of Dismas Charities, responsible for the overall leadership and strategic planning of the organization. The position will replace President and Chief Executive Officer Raymond J. Weis who has been directly involved in the criminal-justice arena since 1968. Mr. Weis’ visionary leadership has transformed Dismas into one of the largest, not-for-profit providers of residential, effective, evidence-based re-entry services in the United States. Mr. Weis’ leadership has helped heal the human spirit for thousands of individuals during the process of reintegration. Selected by the Board of Directors, the President/ CEO has the responsibility to carry out the mission and is responsible for the overall management and operation of all aspects of the organization.


Ability to Develop and Articulate a Vision for the Future: The CEO must have the ability to see how the Corrections space is evolving, and to articulate a path for Dismas to evolve with it and maintain its leadership position in Community Corrections.

Executive Leadership: The ideal CEO will have executive presence and the proven ability to connect with and impact the many constituencies.

Servant and Compassionate Leadership: Dismas was built on these concepts. The CEO must possess the ability to influence behavior and drive results in a humble collaborative manner consistent with that which has allowed Dismas to prosper and grow for 59 years.

Strategic Development: The CEO must have the ability to develop a strategy designed to support the vision, incorporating input from the entire management team as appropriate.

Non-Profit Business and Financial Acumen: The CEO must be able to balance the delivery of the mission while ensuring the long-range financial stability of the organization.

Leadership Acquisition and Development: The CEO must be able to attract, develop, and retain leadership at all levels of management.

Embrace and Incorporate Change: The CEO must have the ability to recognize how an evolving cultural, technological and competitive landscape will impact the ability of Dismas to maintain its leadership position and ensure that the organization evolves at no less than the same pace.

Driving Execution: The CEO must have the ability to clearly set goals and ensure accountability with a fair system of rewards and consequences.

Collaborative Decision Making: The CEO must have the ability to be decisive while including feedback from their management team in the process.

Relationship Building: The CEO must have the ability to build constructive and cooperative relationships with the Bureau of Prisons and other relevant areas of federal and local government, the communities in which Dismas has a presence, and trade associations. The CEO has Dismas Charities, Inc. Board responsibilities as described above. The CEO also has significant oversight and engagement with the Dismas Properties, Inc. Board and the Dismas Foundation, Inc. Board.

Additionally, the Candidate should possess the following:

  • Genuine passion for the mission of Dismas and belief in the ability to heal the human spirit.
  • Minimum of 10 years in executive leadership leading a complex nonprofit or for-profit organization with significant public sector funding.
  • Ability to travel often and represent Dismas externally at Dismas centers and industry/public events.
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise in public and private human service, federal and state corrections, and related policy issues inclusive of budget development and financial oversight.
  • An ability to listen, inspire and communicate clearly, effectively, and persuasively at all levels of the organization, both orally and in writing. Ability to engage with staff and key stakeholders in a transparent and inclusive style.
  • Experience with grant development and contract negotiations and strong business acumen to diversify funding sources.
  • Experience adapting to evolving cultural, technological, and competitive landscape.
  • Decisiveness with keen analytic, critical-thinking, and problem-solving abilities that support and enable sound decision-making
  • High integrity, and accountability in all actions leading an organization.


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