Executive Director Position
Job Title: Executive Director
FTE: Part-time (average of 20 hours/week); Full-exempt salaried position
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: Seattle, Washington
The Executive Director provides the overall vision, leadership, and motivation to the board, staff, volunteers, and supporters of Clarion West in furthering the organization's mission. Working with the board and staff, the Executive Director develops and implements the organization's strategic plan and helps to refine and develop program strategies. The Executive Director is Clarion West’s senior spokesperson to all constituencies, and is the primary fundraiser. The executive director has overall management responsibility, ensuring that board, staff, and systems work to maximize Clarion West’s mission.
About Clarion West
Clarion West’s mission is to provide a high quality educational opportunity for writers of speculative fiction at the start of their careers. Our flagship program is the summer six-week intensive professional live-in workshop experience in which 18 writers come together to learn from established writers and editors who offer critical feedback on writing, insight into publishing, and career advice. In conjunction with the annual workshop, we hold a reading series to showcase the work of our instructors, and other events to bring together writers and readers of speculative fiction. During the fall and spring, we hold one-day workshops open to writers in the community.
Our intensive workshop has been held in Seattle, Washington for 30 years and has produced some of science fiction and fantasy’s top writers and editors. Our graduates have received every major form of recognition in the field, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.
Clarion West is governed by a nine-member board of directors that includes alumni and community members, and it is staffed by a range of independent contractors. Our 2013 budget is $203,900.
Until recently, Clarion West operated primarily due to the good graces of a strong cadre of volunteers. In 2010 we hired our first part-time Executive Director to help take the organization to the next level. This leadership helped us lay a very strong financial foundation. That Executive Director moved on at the end of 2012 and we are now looking for our next leader.
We Are Looking For….
We are looking for a leader with demonstrated Executive Director experience and visionary leadership skills who will embrace the Clarion West culture of collaboration and teamwork, and support our staff, volunteers, and board of directors in nurturing our programs and sustaining the organization. We are not looking to significantly grow and expand the organization at this time. We are interested in maintaining our stability and continuing to institute best practices both in terms of program and organizational development.
We are seeking an Executive Director with demonstrated fundraising and interpersonal skills, and an ability to cultivate external and internal relationships that includes our extended community of alumni, donors, supporters, and industry professionals.
Summary of Key Priorities
- Lead fundraising development strategies and activities
- Manage Clarion West staff (Workshop Director, Workshop Administrator, Communications Director and Office Manager as direct reports)
- Work collaboratively with the board of directors to fulfill the board development goals
- Ensure that all workshop, fundraising, communication and administrative activities run smoothly and meet the goals set by the board of directors
- Cultivate external relationships and serve as the official public representative of Clarion West
Leadership and Management
- Set overall organizational direction and develop strategies and tactics to ensure the organization fulfills its mission
- Oversee development of annual strategic plan and operating work plan
- Recruit, hire, supervise, and evaluate all staff, and terminate if necessary. Ensure there are updated job descriptions for each position
- Demonstrate sound human resources practices, commitment to diversity, and timely response to staff requests
- Finance and Administration
- Work with the board finance committee and treasurer to set the annual budget
- Ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines
- Oversee the maintenance of official records and documents and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations
- Sign leases and contracts on behalf of Clarion West
- Ensure the upkeep of administrative and operational records (policies, etc.)
- Communicate in a thorough and timely fashion with staff, board, and volunteers through the Basecamp project management system.
- Plan and oversee the execution of fundraising, development, and alumni relations strategies and activities
- Write grant proposals and reports as needed
- Cultivate, solicit, steward, and recognize major donors
- Develop program, organizational, and financial plans in conjunction with and as requested by the board, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board
- Work with nominating committee to identify and recruit board members and volunteers on an on-going basis and provide leadership for board orientation
- Work with board to develop, enhance and maintain strong governance practices and set board development goals
- Attend and provide support for all board meetings, executive committee meetings, board retreats and other committee meetings as appropriate
- Act as the interface between the board and the rest of the organization, seeing that the board is fully informed on the condition of the organization
- Work with the board to set the vision and long range strategy
- In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Director, maintain and support positive workshop relationships and cooperative arrangements with speculative fiction community groups and other relevant organizations
- In concert with the Workshop Director and Communications Director, maintain overview of developments in the speculative fiction field and the area of writers’ workshops
- Respond to public speaking requests and other public requests as needed
- Ensure that all Clarion West staff and board members work together to accurately represent Clarion West programs and philosophy to agencies, organizations, media, and the general public
- Ensure that there is an overall communications and outreach plan and that it is being implemented
- Passion for and commitment to Clarion West’s mission, and some familiarity and understanding of speculative fiction or a similar type of genre and arts community
- Experience in leading a small nonprofit organization (a minimum of four years of management and supervisory experience)
- A proven ability to create and lead a fundraising strategy and raise funds from a range of sources
- A proven ability to lead, support, and mentor staff with integrity, enthusiasm, and an emphasis on collaboration, and a commitment to results
- Excellent communication, listening, and relationship-building skills
- Proven commitment to diversity and inclusion
- Knowledge of and experience in board structures, management, and principles of governance
- Understanding of basic financial systems
- Experience with donor database and online project management software
- Ability to multitask and sense of humor!
Compensation and Benefits
Competitive salary commensurate on experience. No other benefits provided.
Please submit a cover letter and resume electronically in Microsoft Word or .rtf format to:
Interim Executive Director
Please put “Executive Director” in the subject line.
We will begin reviewing applications on June 21, 2013. The position will remain open until filled, although we hope to have someone start in September.