Executive Director

Executive Director

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America

New York, NY   |   December 12, 2019

About Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) empowers a community of 1400+ exceptional young leaders from under-resourced backgrounds by supporting their higher education and professional success in order to create a more inclusive and equitable country. LEDA believes that selective colleges are not only a gateway to opportunity, but a nexus for the development of leadership in every field. By helping talented students from under-resourced backgrounds access these institutions and providing them with the tools necessary to succeed, LEDA seeks to ensure that this country’s leadership is truly reflective of its citizenry. LEDA’s vision is to build an inclusive and equitable America where leadership reflects, celebrates, and supports diverse perspectives.

For more information on LEDA, please visit www.ledascholars.org.

The Executive Director Opportunity

LEDA is seeking an outstanding candidate to lead this dynamic and high-functioning organization at a time when educational opportunity, equity, and access, and diversity and inclusion have emerged as critical national issues. As LEDA’s head strategist, fundraiser, and external champion, the new Executive Director will have a mandate to continue growing LEDA’s impact and reputation as the preeminent leader and strategic partner in diversifying the leadership pipeline, fostering higher education opportunities, and supporting career success for high-achieving, under-resourced students.

This is a unique opportunity for a passionate, results-oriented, and experienced leader to build on LEDA’s success at an important inflection point. Now in its sixteenth year of operations, LEDA seeks to expand its proven high-touch program model, create new initiatives to further support its Scholars and Career Fellows, and build out its strategic partnerships with organizations seeking to diversify this country’s leadership pipeline.

The Executive Director will oversee a team of approximately 16 full-time staff and an additional 40 full-time temporary staff during the 8-week residential Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute held at Princeton University each summer. With a budget of over $4 million, the Executive Director reports to LEDA’s Board of Directors and directly manages a four-member senior leadership team that spans fundraising, operations, policy, and program delivery. This is a full-time position located in New York City, with additional in-person residential presence of two to three days a week expected at the Summer Institute in Princeton each summer.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Strategic Vision

  • Provide vision and direction for LEDA’s future growth, working with the Board and staff to implement and refine LEDA’s strategic priorities
  • Execute against strategic priorities via an actionable operational plan with measurable milestones and outcomes
  • “Think big” about LEDA and how its extraordinary program can have expanded and deepened impact for Scholars and Career Fellows and support the overarching vision of creating a more inclusive and equitable country

Organizational and People Management

  • Promote and model a positive culture based on a growth mindset and continuous improvement that embodies LEDA’s core values of Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, and Community
  • Deepen and strengthen a culture of inclusion and equity within the team and across the entire organization
  • Oversee professional development initiatives to grow the staff and Board’s capacity to support LEDA’s mission
  • Directly supervise LEDA’s senior leadership team composed of the Senior Director of Finance and Operations, Senior Director of Development and External Relations, Senior Director of Programs, and Senior Director of Career and Alumni Services as well as the Director of the Policy Project
  • Provide strong partnership, collaboration, and leadership to the Board, ensuring open lines of communication, high levels of engagement, and the advancement of LEDA’s core mission
  • Liaise with members of LEDA’s Leadership Council and Corporate Advisory Council to foster engagement and partnership
  • Effectively manage LEDA’s budget and all internal operations, ensuring sound financial and operational practices and regularly reporting to the Board
  • Oversee risk mitigation in the areas of finance, legal, governance, human resources, and facilities in coordination with the Senior Director of Finance and Operations and LEDA’s Board of Directors

Program Leadership

  • Oversee the program execution of the LEDA Scholars Program, Career and Alumni Services, Policy Project, and other pilot initiatives to ensure that each is maximizing impact toward LEDA’s mission and vision
  • Lead the design and innovation of new program initiatives that align with LEDA’s mission and vision
  • Strategize on program growth opportunities with program leadership
  • Reflect LEDA’s high-touch program model by ensuring that LEDA’s Scholars and Career Fellows are effectively connected to the mission and organization
  • Directly and regularly interact with Scholars and Career Fellows to deepen connections at all levels of the organization
  • Live part-time in residence on the Princeton University campus (approximately 2–3 days/week, flexible schedule) during LEDA’s 8-week Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute; provide high-level oversight, planning, and travel to campus as needed on additional days

Fundraising and External Communications

  • Work in close partnership with the Senior Director of Development and External Relations and the Board to design and implement fundraising and communications strategies that increase LEDA’s visibility and funding
  • Oversee LEDA’s fundraising plan for raising annual operating income, growing LEDA’s “rainy day” fund, developing support for new strategic initiatives, and diversifying revenue streams
  • Actively and directly engage in fundraising by making major gift financial solicitations and cultivating relationships with current and future institutional, corporate, and individual donors
  • Develop a broader base of funders and supporters for LEDA’s work
  • Cultivate LEDA’s external relationships across stakeholders and develop strategic partnerships with funders, corporations/businesses, educational institutions, peer organizations, and other relevant groups
  • Raise LEDA’s visibility and impact by serving as its primary spokesperson with external stakeholders and audiences, providing thought leadership in the field, and engaging with other experts and peer organizations
  • Maintain and deepen relationships with LEDA’s highest level and most committed supporters
Candidate Profile

The Executive Director will be a passionate, accomplished leader with a demonstrated ability to manage a dynamic and evolving organization and will bring significant fundraising experience. They will be passionate about LEDA’s mission and will have the skills required to expand the organization’s vision and impact through collaborative strategic planning and entrepreneurial leadership.

The ideal candidate will offer the following skills, experiences, and characteristics:

Passion for the Mission and a Vision for the Future: The Executive Director will have a true passion for creating pathways for young leaders to realize their full potential through education and career exploration as well as an understanding of the unique challenges that first-generation students and those from under-resourced backgrounds face during their college careers and beyond. They will bring an inspirational and entrepreneurial approach to growth and impact, including a demonstrated ability to build support for ambitious goals and drive measurable growth. The Executive Director will understand and believe in the transformative power of education and bring a demonstrated commitment to improving access to education and career and leadership opportunities for traditionally underrepresented populations. The Executive Director’s passion will be motivational, inspiring others to support LEDA’s mission and work.

Leadership and Management Expertise: The Executive Director will have demonstrated success in leading a diverse, high-performing initiative or organization toward strategic outcomes. They will bring strong people management skills, the ability to mentor and grow leaders, and a highly inclusive, collaborative approach to leadership. They will understand how to work effectively in partnership with an active Board of Directors. Strong candidates will also offer the operational and financial skills required to lead an organization of LEDA’s size and complexity.

Fundraising Expertise: Strong candidates will offer a demonstrated ability to raise funds from a range of sources, including corporate, foundation, and individual donors. They will view fundraising as a core responsibility and will be able to work in close collaboration with the Senior Director of Development and External Communications to identify opportunities and quickly develop and implement strategies for growth.

Commitment to Diverse, Inclusive Organizational Leadership: Understanding the value of diverse and inclusive organizations, the Executive Director will bring enthusiasm for leading a multiracial, multigenerational organization with diverse backgrounds and perspectives that serves equally diverse cohorts of Scholars and Career Fellows each year. The Executive Director will be comfortable engaging in conversations around diversity and will demonstrate capacity and willingness to bridge differences in regard to issues of race, socioeconomic status, gender, and other viewpoints of diversity.

Exceptional Relationship Building and Communication Skills: The Executive Director will be a strong communicator and relationship builder who leads with inclusion and integrity with a broad group of stakeholders, including the LEDA community, staff, Board of Directors, funders, and other outside organizations. They will understand how to raise the visibility and profile of LEDA and build a network of relationships and support the position of the organization as a leader in the field.

In addition to the competencies outlined above, LEDA’s Executive Director will be able to live in-residence two to three days per week at LEDA’s Summer Institute and travel outside of New York City to conferences, donor meetings, convenings, and site visits to education institutions as needed.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position. The salary will be in the $170,000+ range and commensurate with experience. LEDA offers medical and dental insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, TransitChek, at least three weeks paid vacation, and paid sick leave.


LEDA has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. To express interest in this opportunity, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Shelby Woods at Koya here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

LEDA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member 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 and NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

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.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.