General Manager (67)


WAMU is Washington, D.C.’s NPR station. WAMU is member-supported, professionally staffed, and an important component of American University. Since 1961, the station has provided programming to an audience that now totals nearly 1 million on-air, online, and on demand. Deeply committed to the D.C. metro area, WAMU produces regular and special programming that reflects the unique environment of the region on air, online, including through DCist, and various other platforms. WAMU’s mission is to connect Washingtonians with each other and the world. It aims to be among the most respected and trusted voice in the world of traditional and emerging media, recognized for a commitment to serving the wide range of communities that make up the D.C. region and beyond with balanced, informative, enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining programs of the highest possible quality. WAMU is dedicated to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace that represents the region and is committed to reflecting and amplifying the experiences of local communities accurately and fairly.

American University

American University (AU) is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, D.C., with highly ranked schools and colleges, internationally renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Its main campus spans 90 acres in Northwest D.C. and is a leader among Washington, D.C. universities in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from all over the world. WAMU's mission and service to the community make it an integral and valued department of American University. The University provides critical operating support and expertise to WAMU, which is editorially independent and, like some other university units, is responsible for generating revenue to support its operations. A healthy relationship between the University and WAMU is essential to achieving their shared strategic goals. WAMU and AU are committed to productive and collaborative workflows; leveraging each other’s expertise; building partnerships together in the Washington region; and increasing WAMU’s presence on campus.

The Role

The next General Manager will lead the growth of WAMU’s reach, relevance, and revenue while delivering on its mission and impact. The General Manager will oversee all aspects of WAMU’s operations and ensure the expansion of the service to new audiences, and its financial sustainability, in the midst of a dynamic and changing media landscape. The General Manager will develop and oversee the vision and direction for WAMU’s programming, digital innovation, multiplatform audience services, community engagement, strategic partnerships, and overall impact. Through a collaborative leadership style, the General Manager will build increased synergy between WAMU, American University, NPR, and key stakeholders. They will affirm and grow WAMU’s reach to keep the station relevant, resilient, and far-reaching. With the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including Virginia and Maryland, being the home of the United States Capitol, as well as a top cultural capital of the world, the General Manager will ensure that WAMU serves those who live and work in the region and deepens its relationships within D.C.’s diverse and robust cultural communities.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

The General Manager will set a vision and strategy and closely oversee the day-to-day operations of WAMU and will be responsible for inspiring the team to pursue excellence and impact. They will inspire and lead a passionate team and create a culture of inclusion, creativity, alignment, and accountability, and will oversee and act as an effective steward of an operating budget and financial structure reliant upon both public and private support. As WAMU’s lead fundraiser, the General Manager will partner with WAMU’s Chief Development Officer to engage the support, enthusiasm, and trust of existing and new supporters. This includes securing continued support from individual donors, foundations, public entities, corporate donors, and other major funders while also proactively identifying and assessing new sources of revenue for long-term sustainability.

Candidate Profile

WAMU seeks an inspirational, accomplished, and entrepreneurial leader with a clear passion for the value and impact of public media. The candidate must exhibit significant knowledge of and an active engagement with the evolving media landscape and show a relationship with the D.C. area or articulate a clear curiosity to learn, which could manifest itself through a personal or professional passion. The candidate will have a proven track record of leading significant teams and operations in the nonprofit or private sector and will have a track record of success cultivating relationships with and building bridges among diverse constituencies. Leadership experience in the media industry is desirable, although not required. The candidate will also bring strong financial acumen and agility with a deep understanding of the P&L and KPIs. Most importantly, the candidate will be sincerely vested in WAMU’s mission and committed to the organization’s principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Eligibility Qualifications

Strategic and Creative Vision

  • Ability to articulate an inspiring vision and plan for the immediate and long-term future of WAMU, while also integrating seamlessly with AU’s strategies and plans
  • Experience approaching issues from a high-level, systemic perspective, identifying broader contextual issues, constraints and objectives that may impact the current situation
  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries within the industry; challenges the status quo; encouraging people to question existing methods, practices, and assumptions; supports people in their efforts to try new things
  • Expanding the breadth and depth of platforms leveraged beyond audio and web to expand reach, develop new partnerships, and increase and diversify revenue
  • Effective leadership and management balanced with an understanding of how much change the organization can handle to create realistic and achievable goals
  • The inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others with the organization's overall strategy
  • Success identifying opportunities to increase revenue and market share and forecast accordingly

Executing for Results

  • Ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving and delivering results.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations; able to shepherd ideas and lead a team from concept to execution.
  • A risk-taker who seeks data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended circumstances from decisions; someone who confidently takes smart risks and ensures others understand decisions before moving forward.
  • Experience in functional and general management roles with oversight of significant operational budgets and complex, fast-moving organizations.
  • Skilled at building infrastructure to support goals.

Eligibility Qualifications (Continued 1)

Building, Leading and Supporting Teams

  • Honest, engaging, and energizing team leader who encourages group collaboration and shows empathy for others
  • Builds and maintains good working relationships across WAMU and with AU
  • Experience attracting and recruiting top talent, motivates the team and manages performance; widely viewed as a mentor, inspirational leader, and strong developer of others
  • Self-aware; leads by example and is open to continuous feedback and improvement
  • High degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to making decisions; acts in a transparent and consistent manner while always considering what is best for the organization
  • Experience developing people to fully realize their potential; supportive of career goals and encouraging team members to pursue growth
  • Enthusiasm for being a member of the team; conveys respect and appreciation toward the talents and contributions of fellow team members; takes pride in being part of the team
  • Demonstrated ability to enable others to act, allocating appropriate decision-making authority and/or responsibility to others to maximize organizational and individual effectiveness
  • Ability to connect and build strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively
  • Inspiring trust and motivation in others through passion for the mission and the product
  • Strong communication skills and ability to connect to a wide variety of people, both in intimate and large group settings
  • Ability to build coalitions and accomplish goals through networking and broad influence
  • Ability to identify and proactively tackle external and internal pressures; addressing conflicting perspectives in a productive manner in which issues do not linger unresolved
  • Demonstrated experience operating within complex environments with the valuable AU relationship as well as multiple stakeholders such as NPR, labor unions

Eligibility Qualifications (Continued 2)

Leading and Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Community

  • Builds, supports, and retains a diverse team by all definitions that reflects the incredible diversity of the region served by WAMU
  • Encourages and promotes practices that support diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Committed to implementing changes and new ideas identified by WAMU’s Task Force on Workplace Culture
  • Ability to effectively leverage individual differences, encourages diversity and mutual respect among team members and demonstrate compassion and sensitivity
  • Experience calling attention to comments, behaviors, or practices that may be perceived as unfair, biased, or critical toward people with certain backgrounds and cultural beliefs; does not tolerate practices that promote biases or stereotyping
  • Sensitive to cultural differences and beliefs; shows respect for the beliefs and traditions of others
  • Leverages diverse backgrounds and perspectives to drive cohesion, bolster new ideas and generate content that reflects the diverse needs of the region

Eligibility Qualifications (Continued 3)

Knowledge of Media Industry, Public Media and Local News

  • Understanding of the dynamic and critical climate across the media industry.
  • Experience staying ahead of changes in the global environment that could impact the business.
  • Understanding of global and national markets and conditions; aware of how cultural and international differences may impact business plans and strategies.
  • High levels of enthusiasm for being a member of the public media industry, and enthusiasm for the industry itself.
  • Recognition of the impact of WAMU both on the local community and on the national level.
  • Takes pride in sharing local news and showcasing local achievements.
  • Seeks to be inclusive of the full community and a diversity of voices, experiences, and views.
  • Understands WAMU’s comprehensive competitive set.

Editorial Integrity

  • Understanding of the boundaries and where the lines are drawn for the newsroom.
  • Committed to accuracy and integrity in the pursuit of facts about events, issues, and matters that affect communities and people’s lives.
  • Demonstrated fairness and responsiveness in content and services, with particular attention to reflecting diversity of demography, culture, and beliefs.
  • Transparency in news gathering, reporting and other content creation and shares the reasons for important editorial and programming choices.
  • Protection of the editorial process from the fact and appearance of undue influence, exercising care in seeking and accepting funds.
  • Promotion of the common good, the public interest, and these commitments to integrity and trustworthiness in organizational governance, leadership, and management.

  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.

How to Apply

To apply or submit nominations, please send an email to:

1. Jamie Hechinger

Russell Reynolds Associates

2. Alisha Hathaway

Russell Reynolds Associates

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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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