Job Opening: Executive Director

May 23, 2019

Executive Director

Cambridge, Massachusetts

This may be a telecommute position

Since 1972, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples' rights and cultures worldwide. The core of our efforts rest on the principles of supporting, amplifying efforts and raising awareness of self-determination for Indigenous communities. Our programs work to inform, create resources, support access to information, bolster freedom of expression, and support Indigenous communities' right to self-determine their futures consistent with their traditions, languages, and cultures. We publicize Indigenous Peoples' issues through our award-winning Cultural Survival Quarterly; we mount on the ground campaigns and other advocacy efforts to stop environmental destruction and abuses of Indigenous Peoples' rights, always at the community's invitation. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we have a satellite office in Santa Fe, NM, and staff based in Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nepal, Canada, and South Africa. Cultural Survival also holds consultative status with the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Council since 2005.

The Executive Director needs the capacity to think strategically at a high level, to convert that thinking into action, and communicate in a way that engages diverse audiences including Indigenous communities, policymakers, funding partners, and the general public about Cultural Survival. With a staff of approximately 20, the Executive Director oversees an organization with a $2 million budget with funding primarily coming from private foundations and individuals.


  • Leadership: Serves as a decisive, credible leader for Cultural Survival in advancing Indigenous Peoples rights and cultures worldwide. Maintains an environment that fosters staff empowerment and accountability. Supports a culture of collaboration and mutual respect for the multi-cultural staff.
  • Board Relations: Reports to the board and implements its decisions. Works to engage and build strong relationships with a Board dispersed nationally and internationally. Keeps members fully informed regarding the status and activities of the organization. Staffs board meetings.
  • Strategic Planning: Leads strategic planning with the board. Follows through with implementation.
  • Fundraising: Works closely with the Director of Philanthropic Relations to raise funds to assure Culture Survival’s sustainability and growth.
  • Financial Viability: Holds primary responsibility for managing the budget and ensuring sustainable, diverse funding streams.
  • Communication: Serves as the primary spokesperson for Cultural Survival and effectively articulates the vision, mission and outcomes.
  • Partnerships: Recognizes the importance of collaborating with other non-profits in the Indigenous culture and rights sector and works to identify strategic partnership opportunities.
  • Community Relations: Interfaces and establishes strong relationships with constituencies at the national and international level including policymakers, funders, donors and the public.
  • Operations: Oversees administration of operations. Oversees implementation of programs that carry out the organization’s mission. Responsible for the hiring and retention of competent, qualified staff.
  • Advocacy: Works to shape policies that have the most significant impact on Indigenous culture and rights.

Professional Qualifications

  1. A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree is required
  2. At least 5-7 years of nonprofit management skills and fundraising experience.
  3. Strong background and experience in working with Indigenous People in their local communities. Passion for the mission of advancing Indigenous Peoples’ rights and cultures.
  4. A history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  5. Active fundraising experience, both in foundation and individual giving. Excellent donor relations skills and understanding of the funding community.
  6. Experience and skill in working with a Board of Directors.
  7. Ability to effectively communicate the organization’s mission to donors, volunteers and the overall community.
  8. Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence including funders, partner agencies and volunteers.
  9. High level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  10. Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.
  11. Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting.
  12. Ability to work remotely and build strong collaborative teams with a diverse national and international staff.
  13. Flexibility, being able to adapt working with people of different cultures, Visionary but realistic.
  14. Strong work ethic with a high degree of energy.
  15. Willingness to travel.
  16. Spanish-speaking is a plus.


The compensation and benefit package is industry competitive and includes health insurance.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Cultural Survival is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. We particularly encourage Indigenous individuals to apply and to identify their Indigenous community, but we welcome applications from all qualified candidates. For more information about Cultural Survival and its programs, please visit:

Application Process

To apply for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume electronically (see link below) to Bill Moran at The Moran Company. The cover letter should highlight your qualifications and connection to the mission, as well as any other relevant experience.  APPLY NOW