Hiring Organization Information
Hedgebrook is a global community of powerful female storytellers changing the world.
Nestled on 48 picturesque acres on Whidbey Island, Hedgebrook’s ethos is grounded in Radical Hospitality. Hedgebrook’s mission is to amplify women’s voices by providing an oasis of time, space, and nurturing, enabling each writer to connect deeply with herself, her surroundings, and her work. Hedgebrook brings together women from all over the globe and a broad diversity of backgrounds. Here, they create important and meaningful work, share and deepen essential cultural conversations, and raise awareness around equity, equality, and representation. At Hedgebrook, women are authoring change.
Founded by Seattle philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff in 1988, Hedgebrook’s core Writers in Residence Program (WIR) currently attracts upwards of 1800 applications annually for 40 highly sought-after residencies. 75% of participants are women of color and many writers are emerging when they come to Hedgebrook. An impressive number regularly go on to publish bestsellers and many have been recognized with literary prizes including the National Book Award, the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur genius awards, and Tony, Obie and Emmy awards for theatre, film and TV, among others. In addition to its WIR program, Hedgebrook’s calendar of events includes writing workshops, masterclasses, salons, festivals, and labs for filmmakers and songwriters.
Hedgebrook has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade, and at this critical historical moment for women and people of color all over the world, Hedgebrook is seeking an experienced and passionate leader to be its new Executive Director (ED). In collaboration with the Board, staff, and Advisory Council, the ED will ensure the integrity of Hedgebrook’s mission, imagine, build, and support robust and vibrant programming, and maintain the financial and operational health of the organization. The new Executive Director will be a proven organizational leader, a natural team and community builder, an inspired and inspiring communicator, and a passionate advocate for amplifying women’s voices.
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More information about Hedgebrook can be found at: hedgebrook.org
Building on 30 years of amplifying the power and diversity of women’s voices, Hedgebrook’s next Executive Director will lead, nurture, and inspire this dynamic community in the next phase of its impact. In the next 12-24 months, the Executive Director should expect to engage in the following leadership opportunities:
Leadership and Vision
In collaboration with the Board, Creative Advisory Council, and staff, the Executive Director will ground Hedgebrook internally and externally in its core value of delivering radical hospitality, and amplifying women’s voices against a backdrop of promoting equity and inclusion. They will nurture and grow Hedgebrook’s transformative community, continuing to pivot the organization through the COVID-19 crisis while developing the vision for what comes next. They will lead annual planning and strategy development to solidify and broaden Hedgebrook’s impact, and will cultivate a strong culture of collaboration, learning, equity, inclusion, and innovation across the board.
Fundraising and External Relations
The Executive Director will develop a sustainable, long-term fundraising strategy, building on and extending Hedgebrook’s strong base of philanthropic support. They will ensure that Hedgebrook continues to inspire current and potential funders to give generously in support of the mission, and will expand and deepen the vital link to Hedgebrook’s alumnae network.
The ED will develop a thoughtful, intentional, and mission-consistent communications strategy. They will represent Hedgebrook on the local, national, and global stage, connecting with influential individuals and leaders of organizations who champion diverse women writers in a range of industries in new ways. They will seek opportunities for collaboration and network-building with other like-minded literary, arts, and community organizations.
The ED will foster trust, clear communications, strong team morale, and transparency throughout the organization. They will develop a collaborative and cohesive team and center radical hospitality and inclusion at all levels of the organization. They will oversee a current staff team of seven and an operating budget of $1.7M. They will continually evaluate the allocation of appropriate resources and staffing in fulfillment of organizational goals, Hedgebrook’s financial health, and effective business operations. This includes strengthening and developing policies, regular team building and staff coaching, and performance reviews in partnership with the board.
The ED will build a strong partnership with the Board of Directors and engage board members as thought partners and advisors, effectively leveraging their diverse talents, perspectives, relationships, and passions. They will work with the board to clearly define roles, and work to establish a strategy to maintain transparency, collaboration, and mutual accountability.
While the ideal candidate will embody many of the following talents, skills, and experiences, the Hedgebrook Board of Directors anticipates that no one candidate will possess all qualifications listed below. In areas where aptitude and/or interest are greater than actual experience, candidates are encouraged to propose a plan for support. An ideal candidate may currently be serving as a senior leader or executive in mission driven organizations focused on promoting the arts, nonprofit management, fundraising, publishing, philanthropy, social and racial justice, academia, or advocacy for women and girls.
Connection to the Mission
- Passion for the Arts and Literature, the creative process, and commitment to elevating the voices of women and underrepresented perspectives.
- Deep commitment to the concept of radical hospitality and the ability to build and nurture the transformative power of community.
- Core dedication to racial and gender equity and justice, and to living out those values personally and professionally.
- Reputation for effectively managing during seasons of change and transition, while maintaining organizational health and mission focus.
- Ability to promote and deepen sound financial management and planning processes, including deep experience in fundraising with an ability to manage diverse revenue streams.
- Respected operations and program development leader, known for the effective and transparent decision-making consistently focused on the best interests of organization.
People Leadership and Management Style
- A thoughtful and engaging communications style that connects to and reflects the experiences, backgrounds, and voices of diverse audiences in a variety of settings; ability to authentically listen and learn from others.
- A collaborative leader who acts with intentionality and integrity, and knows when to direct, when to delegate, and when to share leadership.
- Strong relationship-building skills, with an ability to engage diverse stakeholders, establish trust, and cultivate belonging.
- A strong preference for undergraduate degree or relevant training and progressive executive leadership training in mission-driven organization, plus ten years of progressive leadership experience in an Arts or non-profit organization.
- Ability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally, representing Hedgebrook in the broader arts and literary community. Capacity to spend significant time at Hedgebrook’s Whidbey Island retreat to collaborate with staff to build and reinforce the connection with programs and community.