The President and Chief Executive Officer leads, directs, and coordinates the activities of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in accordance with policies, goals, and objectives established by the Board of Trustees and articulated through the foundation’s strategic plan.
- Reports to: Board of Trustees
- Current direct reports: chief financial/administrative officer, five program directors, and special assistant to the president and CEO
- Other key relationships: Technology & grant operations director, office & technical assistance manager, grantees, partners, community leaders, philanthropic sector leaders, state and local appointed and elected officials
- Provide leadership for the Foundation’s activities and accountability for its work by guiding programs and strategies based on evaluation and continuous learning.
- Motivate and inspire a talented staff that is engaged in developing and implementing strategy and grantmaking activities and overseeing grant administration.
- Exercise sound fiscal, administrative, and human resource management.
- Work with the board and investment committee to report on financial and operational matters as it relates to the foundation’s investments and its short-term and long-term financial strategies.
- Actively engage with civic and community leaders and collaborate to create the conditions for systemic change to advance the Foundation’s grantees.
- Work with the Board of Trustees to facilitate the discussion and decisions on mission, policy, strategy, and effective governance.
- Keep Trustees and staff informed and engaged through honest, open, and transparent communications to maintain the confidence and support of the Board and staff.
- Manage a communications strategy that maximizes the effectiveness of the Foundation’s programs and influences policy while disseminating lessons learned.
- Serve as spokesperson for the foundation and as appropriate:
- Inform elected officials and a larger public on the role of the nonprofit sector in the life of communities.
- Share with others examples of successful work and promising approaches in meeting enduring community challenges.
CRITICAL COMPETENCIES FOR SUCCESS
STRATEGIC AND VISIONARY LEADERSHIP
The Foundation has a strong reputation in the state of New Jersey and in the field of philanthropy. A combination of innovative and thoughtful programming and the employment of financial strategies and investments has allowed the Foundation to continue to impact the state of New Jersey.
The next president will embody the following qualities:
- An innovative and intellectual thought leader and partner;
- A willingness to take risks, be proactive and nimble;
- Ability to use data and evidence to inform decision making;
- Experience with change-management and willingness both to expand the Foundation’s programmatic purview and to adapt or sunset other programs as appropriate to implement a new equity-focused strategic vision;
- Have the practical, emotional, and social skills to lead the Foundation through a time of transition, respecting its historical organizational competencies while also helping it thrive in an evolving landscape;
- Work with staff, board, current and future grantees, partners, and other stakeholders to communicate initiatives with transparency and clarity; and
- Advocate for intelligent change, modeling flexibility, adaptation, and openness to experimentation to advance the Foundation’s mission and vision.
COMMITMENT AND AUTHENTICITY
In an organization whose mission supports arts, education, environmental sustainability, informed communities, and poetry to connect communities and influence social change to achieve an equitable New Jersey, the Foundation is looking for a leader who will have:
- A passion for the vision, mission, and values of the Foundation and for New Jersey;
- An ability to foster a culture of inclusivity, transparency, encouragement, and willingness to learn from failures and successes;
- A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all New Jerseyans;
- Compassion and will be a compelling advocate with the desire to make a deep and lasting impact; and
- Impeccable integrity and honesty.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND COLLABORATION
- Partnering with and connecting people, organizations, and communities throughout the state is a key tenet of the Foundation’s vision to build an equitable New Jersey. This requires relationship building and collaboration which are qualities that the new leader will need to embody. Specifically, the next president will have the ability to:
- Reinforce existing partnerships and build new strategic collaborations;
- Work effectively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to leverage resources in order to serve New Jersey communities;
- Work with an engaged and committed board and staff to further foster trust and confidence in decision-making and direction of the foundation;
- Influence and inspire a high functioning team; and
- Effectively communicate with grantees, collaborators, and partners to inspire greater dialogue and leverage potential paths and solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA
- A minimum of 10 years in a senior leadership role in the non-profit, public, or private sector
- A broad range of interests in the areas of arts, education, environment, and media
- Track record of working effectively with a board
- Proven communications skill
- Understanding of public policy and political process
- Knowledge of or experience with philanthropy is a plus
OTHER PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
- Ethical and moral standards
- A sense of humor
- Curious and a lifelong learner
- A commitment to the state of New Jersey
THE SEARCH PROCESS
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this leadership position. The Foundation’s commitment to inclusivity encompasses but is not limited to diversity in nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has retained Sally M. Sterling Executive Search to support the search for its President and CEO.
We welcome comments, nominations, or expressions of interest, and welcome emails with any supporting materials to the confidential email address below.