Executive Director Search

INTERNAL TITLE: Executive Director
EXTERNAL TITLE: Executive Director
JOB TYPE: Full Time, Salary/Exempt
REPORTS TO: President and Board of Directors
BASED IN: Broomfield, Colorado, USA


The Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the Foundation, which includes implementing all aspects of its strategic plan, overseeing the Foundation's project activities, overseeing day-to-day operations and staff, and representing the Foundation to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. The Executive Director reports to the Foundation's President and Board of Directors and is the primary point of contact for the members of the Foundation’s Advisory Committee.

S/he is responsible for Secure World Foundation’s strategic and operational objectives, and for attracting, inspiring, and mentoring staff. The ED is the organization’s key spokesperson and advocate. S/he will drive growth and impactful deliverables, participating in the full range of development activities, and stewardship.

Essential Duties and Job Functions

  • Direct overall Foundation operations, including program and contracts management, communications, fiscal, administrative and legal oversight, supervision and hiring of staff and consultants, and interactions with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain strong, positive working relationships with the President/Board and Advisory Committee by working in collaboration with the President on strategy, governance, quarterly review of the investment portfolio and other issues and keeping the President regularly informed about the environment in which the Foundation operates, Foundation programs, relevant fiscal and operational issues.
  • In partnership with the President, provide vision for, develop and implement the Foundation’s strategic plan and annual operational plans to ensure the successful achievement of Secure World Foundation’s goals and growth.
  • Serve as liaison between President/Board and staff ensuring appropriate mechanisms through which staff is informed of, and in turn implements policies and decisions.
  • Represent SWF at the top levels of philanthropic, educational, and business sectors and communicate a clear and consistent message and to effectively network, connect, and persuade stakeholders important to the execution of the organization’s mission.
  • Represent the Foundation effectively with community groups, the media and other external constituents by finding ways to recognize and bring attention to the work of the interests of the Foundation.
  • Develop timelines, budgets and overall Foundation goals in partnership with the Operations Director and Director of Program Planning and ensure that tasks are completed on time and within budget.
  • Manage budget and control expenses effectively.
  • Identify, prioritize, and maximize business opportunities, understand and correctly assess costs vs. benefits, and pursue strategic partnerships where appropriate.
  • Development and leveraging of existing endowment to grow capacity.
  • Leverage SWF funds with other outside funds and develop partnerships with government and quasi-government agencies and organizations.
  • Manage resources responsibly and effectively in a lean organization.
  • Sustain the analytic, results/action-oriented culture already existing in the organization.
  • Manage and mentor, with an active interest in developing others, striving to create a work environment that is effective and satisfying, with a healthy work-life balance through approachable, open, and transparent interactions with staff.
  • Hire and supervise staff to help create and lead a dynamic, empowered, high-functioning workplace. Ensure that clear direction and guidance is provided to staff such that the strategic goals of the Foundation are achieved.
  • Oversee programs, policies and procedures in an implementation impact manner that forwards the mission and goals of the Foundation.
  • Develop and maintain strong, positive and respectful working relationships with partners and consultants.
  • Serves as primary liaison to legal counsel in addressing legal issues, e.g. copyright, antitrust, governing instruments, partnerships, licensing, etc.
  • From time to time based on specific needs for expertise the Executive Director may serve on a project led by another member of the SWF staff
  • Ensures that all relationships developed on behalf of SWF have up to date contact information and parameters available to the Foundation team


  • Ten to fifteen years of executive level experience that demonstrates knowledge of impacting space sustainability and/or international space issues. Nonprofit or NGO experience strongly preferred. For-profit experience combined with non-profit experience a plus.
  • Commitment and passion for Secure World Foundation’s mission.
  • An advanced degree in a related field is required. Ph.D. or appropriate terminal degree is highly desirable.
  • Experience in business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human behavior and performance and leadership techniques.
  • An understanding of board relations and prior experience working closely with or for a board is strongly preferred.
  • A track record as a mature, seasoned leader with excellent judgment; open to feedback and the opinions and ideas of others.
  • Budget development and oversight experience.
  • Willing to work the time necessary to accomplish essential duties.
  • Able to travel up to 50% of the time.
  • Proven ability to create meaningful strategic partnerships.
  • Excellent written, verbal and public speaking communications skills.
  • Good computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office products and experience with electronic collaboration tools.
  • Professional experience living and working internationally and in more than one culture is a plus.
  • Ability to perform professionally in English is required and skill in at least one additional language is highly desirable.


  • Excellent leadership and strategic visioning skills, as well as management and supervisory skills including the ability to effectively manage a professional staff and provide vision for the goals and direction of Foundation programs.
  • Outstanding verbal communication and presentation skills, including the ability to engage effectively one-on-one and to serve as a compelling Foundation spokesperson to a wide range of audiences, including the news media.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Strong interest in, and commitment to, a global and long-term perspective, governance issues, space sustainability, and peaceful resolution of conflict.
  • Cultural sensitivity and competency and ability to work with a geographically diverse staff.


Supervision of staff: local, remote and frequently on travel.  Works under general supervision of the President.

About SWF

The Secure World Foundation envisions the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space contributing to global stability and benefits on Earth.

The mission of the Secure World Foundation is to work with governments, industry, international organizations, and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions to achieve the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space benefitting Earth and all its peoples.

Strategic Intentions 

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter detailing your suitability for the position and salary expectations, a CV or resume, to Kelly Webb at ExecutiveDirector.Search@swfound.org by October 31, 2017. Only complete applications will be considered.

Last updated on September 11, 2017