Executive Director Search

Public Conversations Project is searching for a new Executive Director! The full job description is listed below and is available as a PDF for download.

Executive Director
Public Conversations Project
Watertown, Massachusetts

Download the Executive Director job description here.

Public Conversations Project: Who We Are

Public Conversations Project (PCP) is a widely respected pioneer and thought leader in the field of dialogue design, facilitation and training. Its practitioners collaborate with groups and organizations to design constructive conversations through which relationships are transformed; healing is promoted where there has been costly conflict, and collaboration is made possible where there has been distance or even disdain.

PCP’s staff and associates have worked on a wide range of controversies such as abortion, immigration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sexual orientation and scripture, prison labor, use of seclusion and restraint by mental health service providers, and forestry practices. They have also worked across religious and ethnic groups, domestically and in other countries, e.g., in Nigeria and Liberia. Their work helps organizations collaborate when collaboration is desired but stymied by historic tensions, stereotypes or misperceptions. They have worked with faith communities torn by internal controversies that have raised fears about who belongs and who is or must be on the margins.

PCP’s training programs, conducted in the US and abroad, are seen by many as the gold standard in the field. Its fee-based and grant-supported work is widely regarded as inspired, rigorous, effective and highly respectful. PCP enjoys the support of many individual donors who make it possible to offer its materials free of cost to community leaders worldwide. This generous sharing of resources and PCP’s highly collaborative ways of working reflect its vision of a world with increased capacity for positive action, even in the face of deep differences.

The organization has a salaried staff of 8, including 3 senior practitioners, as well as 8 practitioner associates and 4 consultants. Its annual budget is $1.1 million. PCP’s new Executive Director will be a seasoned leader who is passionate about PCP’s mission and able to be a credible ambassador of the organization, expanding its resources and visibility.  He/she will also be an effective administrator who can leverage a small but talented staff, together with associate practitioners, consultants and the Board of Directors, to lead, guide and steward the operations of the organization.

The Executive Director’s Responsibilities

PCP’s new Executive Director will enter the organization at an exciting time in its 25-year history. Its Board, staff and associates have just completed a strategic plan that defines what PCP would like to achieve over the next three years, and how it will work toward its goals. The staff is strong, mutually supportive, and committed to PCP’s mission. The internal operations and structures of the organization are smooth and effective. Key areas of focus for the Executive Director will be:

Management and Strategic Leadership.  Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will manage daily operations of the organization and oversee and support the multi-faceted efforts outlined in the strategic plan. He/she will drive the implementation of PCP’s strategic plan and ensure that PCP is continually positioning itself for sustainability and increased impact.

Board Development.  The current board is committed and skillful and has a tireless and passionate Chair. However, it is small (7 members). The Executive Director will work with the Chair to build a larger working Board, one that is committed to the mission of the organization and to securing the resources required to sustain it. In particular, the new Executive Director will work with the Chair to further develop PCP’s Builders Guild, its major donor society.

Fundraising. The Executive Director will strengthen and diversify PCP’s funding sources. He/she will actively engage with PCP’s current donors to nurture those relationships, and expand the donor base through outreach, networking, and special events. He/she will work closely with PCP’s practitioners and other staff to identify and secure new grant opportunities.

Marketing and Communications.  The Executive Director will work with staff to develop greater awareness among potential donors, clients and trainees about what PCP has to offer. He/she will also supplement the outreach efforts of the senior practitioners through writing, speaking, and local networking. In addition, the Executive Director will further develop PCP’s informal network of “ambassadors” who help PCP share its stories and bring its work to the attention of potential clients and donors.

Qualities of the Successful Candidate

Though no one person is likely to have all of these qualities, these are the qualities that PCP will be looking for in its new Executive Director.

  • A strategic and synthetic thinker who can bring both an entrepreneurial spirit and a service-providing orientation to his/her leadership.
  • Passion for the mission and the ability to generate excitement about it in writing and speaking.
  • An outstanding reputation for leading in a collaborative manner, listening to the ideas and experiences of others and welcoming feedback.
  • Demonstrated success in building a Board and working constructively with a Board.
  • A successful track record in and a passion for fundraising from individual donors.
  • Demonstrated success in developing relationships with funders and procuring grants.
  • Networking skills; ability to be comfortable, articulate and energetic in group situations.
  • A background in a helping profession like mediation or social work is desirable. Whatever his or her professional background, it is essential for the candidate to have a visceral feel for what PCP does in the world.
  • Experience and comfort with current communication technologies.
  • Experience negotiating and managing strategic partnerships is desirable.
  • Ten years in the non-profit sector in a leadership role, preferably as an executive director.

This is a full-time position with benefits.

Applications are due by November 25th but will be reviewed as they are received. Please send a resume, along with a detailed cover letter that describes why you want to work at PCP and why you believe you would be a strong candidate for the position. Please indicate your salary requirements. Materials should be sent to pced@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In the subject line please write only your name (last, first).

PCP is committed to diversity within its staff.

Public Conversations Project: Doing Dialogue

Sign up here to receive our blog posts by email.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply