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Employment Opportunities > Job Detail

Executive Director

The Independent Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy research and educational organization that shapes ideas into profound and lasting impact through publications, conferences, and effective multi-media programs. Our mission is to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.

About the Executive Director

The Independent Institute seeks an Executive Director to help lead the organization and serve in close association with David Theroux, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Executive Director will be a capable leader with strategic vision, a deep understanding of the principles of free societies, and an ability to communicate and connect with others.

The Executive Director assures that the entire organization supports Independent’s overall mission in the best and most effective ways possible. As part of Independent’s commitment to excellence, continuous improvement and teamwork, he/she is responsible for setting the strategic vision and forward-looking direction of Independent; overseeing the effective management and success of the organization; building a strong donor base; establishing and maintaining a compelling brand that reflects the distinctive mission and quality of Independent; and communicating the organization’s mission and research to media, donors, scholars, and the general public.

  1. Strategic Direction. Set a compelling vision for Independent that reflects healthy growth and success in achieving its mission. Develop, refresh, and implement strategic, operational, and budget plans that align with and advance Independent’s mission and goals. Monitor and anticipate trends in scholarship and current events to shape these plans, paying particular attention to opportunities that leverage Independent’s research and publication strengths. Seek opportunities for innovative, high quality approaches to educate and engage the moveable middle we target.
  2. Management of the Organization. Lead all functions including research and editorial direction, the acquisition of authors, books, journals, and other publications and content including video, budget planning and control, fundraising, technology applications, partnerships, production, distribution, sales, promotion, and liaison with all stakeholders. Ensure fiscal stability and establish an effective organization structure and work processes where departments interact professionally and constructively together and are supported with appropriate personnel, technology, budgets, processes, and information. Operate a flexible business model able to learn from and adapt to rapidly changing market environments and trends and seek out better ways of conducting and organizing our enterprise. Foster an innovative and committed staff.
  3. Donor Base. Oversee fundraising in support of Independent’s mission and strategies. Communicate and cultivate effective relationships with supporters. Provide an exciting vision and plan of growth and impact, which donors will embrace and want to support.
  4. Compelling Brand. Produce independent scholarship and research and peer-reviewed publications that have respect worldwide; provide leadership in support of acquisitions, peer review, author relations, editorial quality, and promotion of materials to augment the brand; ensure that research, content, and promotional plans and strategies are aligned with these needs; and establish Independent as an innovator and leader in its field.
  5. Spokesperson and Communicator. Ensure that the research and educational mission and direction of Independent is successfully communicated to and understood by all stakeholders. Promote Independent and its work throughout academia, the media, policymakers, and the general public. Be a visible part of fundraising and public relations efforts.

All research, operational, and financial departments report to the Executive Director. The Executive Director regularly reviews progress in achieving the organization’s objectives with the President and Board of Directors and receives and acts upon their guidance and counsel.

The ideal Executive Director will possess the following attributes:

  • At least 7-10+ years of publishing and/or research experience including 7 years of progressively responsible management and demonstrated leadership experience
  • Excellent strategic thinking skills and experience managing administrative matters
  • A clear understanding of economics (including Classical, Austrian, Public Choice, and other schools), and knowledge in history, philosophy, law, religion (especially Judeo-Christianity), political science, and other fields
  • Strong communications skills, including the ability to interact effectively with the media and serve as a dynamic spokesperson for the organization
  • The personality and mentality to build effective strategic alliances
  • Experience and success in fundraising with individuals and foundations
  • Bachelor’s degree in an academic discipline or equivalent qualification required; an advanced degree such as a Ph.D., M.S., M.A., or MBA strongly preferred
  • A thorough understanding of the scholarly purpose and mission that guides Independent’s mission
  • Experience with managing scholarship and research in a rapidly evolving publishing environment
  • Comprehensive knowledge of current trends and developments in publishing and economics.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and business management accomplishments.
  • Demonstrated ability to sustain teamwork and partnerships with employees, stakeholders, academic leaders, and peers.
  • Experience managing a multi-million dollar budget and raising funds to support it.
  • Effective proficiency in oral, written, and electronic communication and presentation skills

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates should submit the following in one PDF file with your name in the file:

  • Résumé or CV
  • Cover letter detailing your philosophical interest in Independent Institute, why you are qualified for the Executive Director position, and your salary requirements

PDF applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

Questions about the opening can be directed to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.