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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Sample Executive Director Position Description

January, 2011




The Executive Director leads and manages the overall operations and staff of the Organization in accordance with policies and goals established by the Board of Directors. He/she will be comfortable with the exercise of policy governance and will leverage the potential of the organization to spearhead the national advocacy and the ongoing advancement of (THE ORGANIZATION) mission, vision, and values. (THE ORGANIZATION) has effectively incorporated policy governance throughout the organization.

The Executive Director works in cooperation with Board members and other geographically dispersed volunteers to develop and implement the Organization’s strategic and operational goals in order to fulfill its mission and vision. The position reports to and works closely with the Board President to present a unified and cohesive voice to internal and external constituencies that reflects evolving stakeholder needs throughout the nation. As the spokesperson for the Organization, the Executive Director is expected to engage in an ongoing dialog with organizations, professionals, and educators in the arts to further the Organization’s goals. He/she guides Board, staff, and volunteers to advance the Organization’s active connection to other communities.

The Executive Director oversees and mentors a strong, results-oriented staff focused on achieving the Organization’s goals and objectives. He/she is responsible for guiding the development of the (THE ORGANIZATION) strategic planning process, annual business operations and associated budgets while ensuring their effective execution. The Executive Director will lead the organization to set standards and to impact local, state, and national public policy.


The Executive Director must be a model of integrity and fairness who is a facilitator and a consensus builder. The successful candidate will be an experienced team player for whom the ownership of ideas is less important than the result of the collaborative effort. He/she will be an open, confident, and communicative professional who enjoys exploring ideas and responds to the role volunteers play in the (THE ORGANIZATION) landscape. The Executive Director will be excellent at setting priorities and will have the ability to deal with multiple tasks and functions simultaneously. The selected individual will have a well-rounded set of competencies that places him or her ahead of other candidates in the field.

The Executive Director will be a results-oriented, motivational leader who is an effective communicator, problem solver, advocate and strategist, maintaining the institutional focus on the membership and the value of ther mission of the organization. He or she will demonstrate an open and interactive communication style; a willingness to exchange ideas and to entrust others with responsibility; and a pro-active and responsive commitment to the membership. Leading candidates will be energetic, hard working, enthusiastic and comfortable making decisions. Other competencies for this role include:

v Leadership: The ability to organize and motivate other people to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.

v Diplomacy and Interpersonal Skills: The capacity to resolve different points of view constructively and bring cohesion to staff and a potentially disparate national membership while interacting with others in a positive manner, treating them fairly, and listening carefully to what others have to say.

v Self-Management and Personal Accountability: The competence to prioritize and complete tasks necessary to meet or exceed the mutually agreed upon expectations of the role and to assume accountability for personal actions.

v Results Orientation: The capability to identify, execute, and delegate actions necessary to complete tasks and obtain results on time, on budget, and with high impact throughout the field.

v Decision Making: The dexterity to analyze all aspects of a situation in order to gain insight and make timely decisions while balancing the importance of other competencies outlined above.



Strategic Planning and Operational Implementation

v Develop, implement, and monitor the strategic vision of the Organization, with the Board, in service of members.

v Lead the day to day operations of the Organization and oversee all departments of (THE ORGANIZATION), including marketing, publications, finance, fundraising and development, member services, educational events, chapter relations, and educational policy.

v Oversee short-term operational and long-range strategic planning and implementation processes, including the effective mentoring and supervision of the organization's human resources, and decision-making related to appropriate use of fiscal resources.

v Manage the strategic planning process in conjunction with the Board and other key national stakeholders.

v Direct administrative personnel relations to ensure that the organization is effectively structured and staffed with competent employees. Interview, hire, train, and mentor senior staff, assign work, and provide performance appraisals to senior staff on a regular basis.

v Lead a results-oriented, responsive, and well-integrated senior management team focused on goals and objectives to meet the needs of the membership.

Educational Policy and Engagement

v Articulate the issues of concern to (THE ORGANIZATION) and serve as an effective advocate for the interests of (THE ORGANIZATION) education with other organizations, business groups, public policymakers and other such organizations as directed by the Board.

v Champion the organization and its purposes with all of its publics.

v Ensure the organization is responsive to the needs of its constituents.

v Develop effective communication links to ensure the most impactful member relations plan.

v Mobilize staff and volunteers to promote a large and effective member advocacy and implementation network.

v Build strategic partnerships with other organizations in order to strengthen the overall sector.

Governance and Fiscal Oversight

v Guide the review and ongoing implementation of (THE ORGANIZATION) policy governance structure and stay abreast of best governance practices.

v Maintain an organization with the highest ethical standards and ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the operation of (THE ORGANIZATION).

v Orient, educate and engage Board members to maximize their effectiveness.

v Provide advice and counsel to the appointed and elected officers and members to ensure the achievement of the Organization’s mission and goals.

v Ensure the creation and maintenance of an appropriate budget that fulfills the organization's vision and public mission and simultaneously maximizes earned and contributed income opportunities.

v Oversee management of cash flow and present appropriate balance sheets, income statements, and other financial oversight tools for Board review.



Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree strongly preferred plus a minimum of 8-10 years of progressively responsible senior management expertise in a related field. This includes, but is not limited to, leadership in advocacy, board governance, fiscal management, marketing, public relations, resource development, personnel management, and volunteer empowerment. Strong written and verbal skills with a demonstrated capacity to lead tempered by adeptness in building consensus among a diverse set of stakeholders. 



Competitive salary and benefits (may) include (but not limited to) medical, dental, long term disability and group term life insurance programs, as well as paid holidays, vacation and sick time. A _____ retirement plan administered by ____ is 100% vested from first day of employment and a 5% employer contribution begins after one year of service. Employer-paid membership dues in relevant organizations, such as _______, are also part of the overall benefits package.


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