Director, Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project

Director, Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project

Garrison Institute

Garrison, NY   |   November 23, 2021

The Opportunity

The Garrison Institute was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization that explores the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. Since its founding, the Institute has made the case for the relevance of contemplative-based approaches to social and environmental change, and demonstrated that they can be applied in practical, evidence-based ways while meeting scientific rigor and providing measurable, pragmatic results.

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Initiative Overview: Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project

The Contemplative Based Resilience Project (CBR) was created in response to the need to address the chronic and acute stress that frontline professionals experience. In the US, the CBR Project offers trainings to society’s “unsung heroes” –the social workers, community workers, legal professionals, hotline staff, and others providing support to the homeless; survivors of domestic and sexual violence; victims of child abuse; immigrants in need; the chronically poor; and the under-served communities facing crises.

The CBR International Project focuses on delivery to international aid workers, humanitarian rights advocates and journalists, among others.

The CBR curriculum is designed to offer practical tools to those who work in highly stressful environments and are at risk themselves of experiencing enormous strain and burnout. The CBR Project teaches the ABCs of resilience: Awareness, Balance, and Connection with trainings and coaching that provide practical skills and tools to maintain mental health and well-being. CBR provides an integrative, contemplative approach to managing stress which supports front line workers while reducing burnout and empathetic distress among workers. Grounded in cutting-edge, evidence-based research, the CBR Project was designed by experts in trauma care, humanitarian aid work, psychology, meditation, mindful body work, and educational pedagogy.

Candidate Profile

The Director of the CBR Project will be responsible for the oversight and management of CBR Project domestically within the United States. The ideal Director shares the Institute’s vision for integrating contemplative methodologies into work for social transformation, is self-directed but highly collegial with an entrepreneurial spirit, has proven experience as a project leader with the professional background and drive to advance the CBR Project’s vision and work. The Director will provide leadership focused on the development of trainings and coaching for front line professionals and leaders while establishing and strengthening partnerships and relationships with various agencies and organizations with the goal of enhanced resilience and mitigation of worker stress. The Director will oversee a full time CBR Project Manager.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership, Strategy & Partnership Development

  • Provide strong visionary leadership in determining a multi-year plan for the US-based CBR Project. Determine and measure short- and long-term benchmarks and outcomes.
  • Map out the sector landscape to identify, develop, cultivate, and manage strategic partnerships with key organizations, agencies, and networks for the purpose of program growth and effectiveness.
  • Align with the International CBR team to assure that CBR’s overarching mission for global impact is achieved.

Program Design & Implementation

  • Access and fully utilize the scientific body of knowledge on resilience, psychological trauma, contemplative practices, and direct service work to continually evolve the theoretical basis for trainings and advocacy.
  • Facilitate a dynamic environment of learning, sharing, and creative energy to inform, lead, and inspire new ways to apply the CBR Project’s work in challenging work environments.
  • Implement training programs for first responders, front line social sector workers in health care and government, as well as customized trainings for specific agencies. These trainings will include a portable “suitcase model” for off-site programming.
  • Working with the Head of CBR Faculty, build out a talented pool of trainers and faculty to deliver CBR trainings across agencies and in varied formats including in-person, virtual, and hybrid settings and develop a robust faculty training process, curriculum development, along with methods of evaluation.
  • In collaboration with the CBR Review Committee, refine and update the CBR materials to embed relevant adaptations and recent research.
  • Identify and collaborate with academic entities to continue data collection and evidence-based research to inform concept papers and theory of change.
  • Leverage the CBR Project’s existing research and documentation to further evolve the current monitoring and evaluation processes.
  • Continue development of existing evaluation tools to gather timely and actionable feedback from all stakeholders. Use evaluation findings to design action plans for program improvement and to build knowledge and excellence of developments and trends in the field.

Management & Operations

  • Oversee all CBR Project operations ensuring that internal systems and processes for tracking program, financial, fundraising, and operational data are coordinated and streamlined for maximum efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.
  • Provide management and oversight to support CBR staff with a focus on professional development.
  • Monitor and administer the CBR Project budget in collaboration with the Finance and Development teams.
  • Work and collaborate with the Chief Digital and Technology Officer to develop, test, refine, and evaluate virtual and on-demand digital CBR offerings.

Resource Development & Communications

  • Working with the Development team, create a comprehensive and adaptable fundraising strategy to maintain and expand CBR’s revenue streams, including drafting LOIs and proposals, and writing funding/program reports.
  • Through effective cultivation and stewardship, engage current and potential donors including, but not limited to individual donors, corporate contributions and sponsorships, grants, government funding, and earned income strategies.
  • Serve as the “face” of the CBR Project for the domestic work, promoting accomplishments, findings, and vision to engage a range of audiences and stakeholders, including donors, potential funders, policy makers, media entities, peer organizations, and partners.
  • Together with the Communications and Marketing team, develop and integrate a set of communications tools for promoting the CBR Project’s unique brand to include the creation and updating of content for the website, marketing the use of the Care for Caregivers app, and other digital/social communication venues.

Desired Skills and Characteristics

  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in Social Work or a related field such as social service, public health, or psychology with 12+ years of related management experience working in the social sector field.
  • Deep, personal commitment to the mission and vision of the CBR Project and the Garrison Institute and experience with high-quality and evidence-based contemplative practices.
  • Innovative and strategic thinker capable of developing and implementing retreats/trainings and building strong rapport and relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Proven leadership and management experience with excellent critical thinking, decision-making, and team building skills.
  • Commitment to working from a trauma-informed lens providing service delivery which reflects and responds to diversity, equity, and inclusion across position role and responsibilities.
  • Accomplished fundraiser at ease in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications abilities, including effective listening and presentation skills for diverse audiences both locally and nationally.
  • Highest levels of integrity and professionalism, with ability and willingness to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities as well as the ability to address and solve problems or issues as they arise.
  • Very strong interpersonal, collaborative, and working relationship skills with proven ability to build networks and partnerships.
  • Experience working with and respect for culturally diverse stakeholders.
  • Willingness to travel mostly within the U.S. and the ability to conduct and attend various trainings often held on evenings and weekends.
Compensation & Benefits

The Garrison Institute provides a competitive salary and benefits package. This role will be based in Garrison, NY with some travel domestically and offers some telecommuting options. They offer an energized and motivated team of colleagues in a collegial and contemplative setting nestled along the Hudson River.


Molly Brennan and Martens Roc of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials via Koya’s online portal here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The Garrison Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit