Position Available: MIDC Executive Director

As announced at the October 17, 2017 Commission meeting, Executive Director Jonathan Sacks has accepted a position as Director of the State Appellate Defender Office.  Mr. Sacks will leave the MIDC in January 2018.

The full posting for the MIDC Executive Director position is below.  Applications should be submitted through the State of Michigan’s website: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/michigan/jobs/1889600/director-midc

Position Available – Executive Director

Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

$92,000 – $133,000 or as set by the Commission

 The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) is looking for qualified applicants to serve as Executive Director. The position is appointed and supervised by the MIDC, and is responsible for developing and overseeing reforms to Michigan’s public defense system consistent with the Michigan indigent defense commission act (Public Act 93 of 2013).


  • Advocating for legislative appropriations required to fund implementation of standards adopted by the MIDC.
  • Reviewing local compliance plans implementing the minimum standards adopted by the MIDC.
  • Researching, developing and drafting new standards and requirements for the provision of indigent defense services in Michigan and presenting these to the MIDC for its approval.
  • Hiring, supervising and directing the personnel of the MIDC.
  • Providing leadership and direction toward the development and achievement of the MIDC’s philosophy, mission, and its immediate and long-term goals and objectives.
  • Leading the MIDC’s effort to preserve, protect, and where appropriate, advance the right to counsel for indigent persons. Enabling the MIDC to identify and establish best practices for delivering the effective assistance of counsel.
  • Developing and maintaining clear, frequent and effective communication with the MIDC, local court funding units, leadership of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, bar associations, associations of lawyers that provide representation to indigent defendants, the media, indigent client population, and the public.
  • Monitoring the use of funds and approving all expenditures. Preparing and presenting the annual budget for approval of the MIDC and submission to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Michigan Legislature. Working with legislative committees and leadership to ensure that appropriation requests are procured by the MIDC.
  • Development and implementation of procedures and policies necessary to effectuate Public Act 93 of 2013, including, but not limited to, each of the following:
  • Collecting accurate data from local units of government and other sources. Summarizing the collected data and preparing reports for the MIDC, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Implementing rules and procedures for indigent criminal defense systems to apply to the MIDC for grants to bring a system’s delivery of services into compliance with the minimum standards established by the MIDC.
  • Annually reporting to the Governor, the legislature and the Michigan Supreme Court. Publishing policies, budget, indigent defense data, and other information for the public on the MIDC website.
  • Evaluating local systems’ compliance with approved standards and recommending corrective actions if a system is not in compliance.
  • Establishing procedures for the receipt and resolution of complaints and the implementation of recommendations from the courts, other participants in the criminal justice system, clients and members of the public.


A juris doctor degree from an ABA approved school is preferred. Applicants with an advanced degree or experience in public administration, court administration or related administrative field, plus management experience will be considered.

The ideal candidate should have significant experience in the representation of indigent clients, significant commitment to this priority, significant public sector leadership experience and be highly skilled in personnel management, public policy advocacy and budget development.  A demonstrated ability to inspire and lead people is essential.

All applicants must have competent knowledge of Michigan’s criminal justice system and its statutes and rules; the statutes creating the MIDC; and be comfortable working with individuals from a variety of organizations.  Preference given to applicants with knowledge of the issues surrounding indigent defense, Michigan’s system for providing public defense and experience with the legislative process in Michigan. 


Lansing, Michigan with periodic travel throughout the state.


            Applications must be submitted through the State of Michigan’s online hiring system. For details and to apply, please see https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/michigan/jobs/1889600/director-midc

All applicants are required to submit a separate, detailed and concise narrative statement addressing each of the following items. These statements will be used to distinguish the best-qualified candidates for the position. Please discuss and explain the following:

  1. Management and/or supervisory experience;
  2. Criminal defense experience and knowledge of Michigan’s criminal system;
  3. Knowledge of the State of Michigan’s appropriations process; and,
  4. Commitment to quality, zealous legal representation to indigent people facing a loss of liberty.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:           November 30, 2017