Job Announcement

Executive Director

Texas Defender Service

September 6, 2019

Texas Defender Service (TDS) is seeking an Executive Director. TDS is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to eradicating dysfunctions in Texas’ criminal justice system that erode constitutional protections and cause wrongful convictions and disproportionate punishments. Since its inception in 1995, TDS has functioned as a vital safety net, watchdog, and agent for reform—roles that it is uniquely situated to perform due to its status as a non-governmental agency. TDS’ programs include:

(1) Direct representation in capital trial and post-conviction cases, including cases with the potential to challenge systemic inequities;

(2) Leveraging knowledge about systemic injustices to advocate for legislative reform through the use of reports, media outreach, and other public information opportunities;

(3) Consulting with and training attorneys at the trial and post-conviction levels to better enable them to advocate skillfully and vigorously for their clients, and serving as a resource for trial and post-conviction counsel; and

(4) Monitoring and researching implementation of the Texas Fair Defense Act and other statutes in active death penalty counties, and using the data as the basis for administrative reform, advocacy, public education, and litigation.

TDS has offices in Houston and Austin. The Executive Director could be located in either office.


The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring that TDS continues its mission and remains a dynamic force in the Texas and national criminal justice reform communities. The Executive Director is expected to manage the various TDS missions—direct representation, consulting, training, and research. To accomplish these goals, the Executive Director must supervise two law offices and work collaboratively with a team consisting of the Mitigation Director, Post-Conviction Director, Trial Project Director, and Policy Director.


Experience in criminal justice and a demonstrated commitment to serving individuals who cannot afford to pay for their representation. Experience in policy development and capital defense is preferred, but not required.


Salary for current highly experienced ED is in the low 100,000s; salary for new ED will be in that range, subject to adjustment commensurate with experience; benefits package provided.


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but should be submitted before October 25, 2019. Interested persons are invited to send a cover letter and resume to: Murray Fogler ( TDS welcomes applications from individuals whose background and experience contribute to the diversity of the organization.