Full job description for Society of Environmental Journalists Executive Director position
SEJ’s executive director is both manager and leader. S/he works to implement the strategic goals, objectives and policies of the organization as determined annually in concert with the SEJ Board of Directors. Working with the Board President, s/he enables the Board to fulfill its governance function. SEJ’s Executive Director may delegate authority but retains accountability for all operations, personnel and budget management. It is vital that s/he also:
- Understand programs, staffing and systems of SEJ to deliver events, publications and services, attract and retain members, advance strategic partnerships and thank/report to donors.
- Respect help, and support anyone doing anything for SEJ.
- Act as a corporate principal and steward with regard to banking, contracts, registries, hotel and bus contract analysis, payroll systems, audit and human resources.
- Think and act strategically on behalf of SEJ’s mission and membership.
- Speak “development” as a second language. Be quick to understand and communicate SEJ’s work in terms of goals, objectives, logic models and outcomes.
- Lead and direct through development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, in order to achieve SEJ’s mission and vision for environmental journalism.
1. Board Administration and Support — Supports operations and administration of the SEJ Board by advising and informing board members for best practices in nonprofit governance. Acts as interface between board and other staff. Supports board evaluation of chief executive. Understands and respects SEJ as a grassroots organization, including board structure and systems. Supports board development.
2. Financial, Tax, Risk and Facilities Management — Responsible for budget development, banking, investments and cash management. Works closely with staff accountant for accuracy in monthly reports, routinely informs Board and board treasurer of financial status, cash and budget projections. Recommends yearly budget for Board approval and prudently manages organization's resources within that budget, according to current SEJ financial policies and guidelines.
3. Program and Service Delivery — Oversees successful design, organization, promotion, delivery and quality of all SEJ programs and services. Exercises meeting/event planning skills for huge annual conference as well as quarterly board meetings. Handles all aspects of future conference development, formal agreements, university relations, site visit, hotel, transportation and other contracts, troubleshooting all programs and project budgets, providing backup personnel services as needed.
4. Human Resource Management — Oversees human-resource management of the organization according to authorized personnel and volunteer policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations. Responsible for hiring, firing, maintaining personnel files, job descriptions for staff, project work agreements with, compensation arrangements and performance reviews.
5. Development — Responsible for fundraising planning and implementation to underwrite costs of SEJ operations and programs within current SEJ financial guidelines. Duties include identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, establishing strategies to approach foundations and potential donors of all kinds, submitting requests, maintaining records and documentation. Frames fiercely independent journalist-driven projects in terms of objectives, outcomes and metrics, to ring the bell for donors with specific aims. Channels SEJ’s voice to activate interest and secure new revenues, while remaining mindful of ethical boundaries on corporate sponsorship, and the limitations of SEJ staffing, market rates and the current climate of philanthropy.
6. Community and Public Relations — Assures the organization and its mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders. Forges and maintains strategic partnerships for SEJ as appropriate. Acts professionally, keeps personal opinions in check when writing or speaking on behalf of SEJ.
Preferred Knowledge and Skills:
Good instincts on how/why to balance organizational goals: Is a quick study on past strategic plans for SEJ. Understands the tension between serving the public through environmental journalism and supporting the needs of journalist members.
Knows environmental issues: Is well-read and familiar with issues foundations are addressing and how public understanding through media would make a difference. Ideally knows how to engage SEJ members and coach them to also craft grant proposals.
Good instincts on membership issues: Already understands, or is a quick study to understand, SEJ’s history, membership categories, media ecosystems.
Marketing savvy: Knows social media. Has a good sense of marketing and design, functionality issues for Web site, publications and online presence of SEJ.
The Society of Environmental Journalists is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO is the law.