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Executive Director, Non-Profit

Telluride Association
Michigan, United States
$90,000.00 - $120,000.00
Posted Date
Apr 11, 2022
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(Regular, full-time, exempt, travel required)

Telluride Association seeks a collaborative and experienced leader who shares our values of democratic self-governance, equity, service, and intellectual inquiry to step into the newly created role of Executive Director. A qualified candidate will possess nonprofit, academic, or other organizational leadership experience with a record of success in: supervision and mentorship of in-person and remote staff; stewardship of donor and institutional relationships; and strategic planning and change management. Partnering with individuals from a wide array of backgrounds, the Executive Director must work to further racial equity and inclusion in all aspects of Telluride Association’s work. The ideal candidate will help drive organizational and programmatic changes currently in progress.


Founded in 1911, Telluride Association is run by a large working Board whose mission is to prepare and inspire promising students to lead and serve through free, transformative educational experiences rooted in critical thinking and democratic community. Telluride Association offers residential scholarships for university students and residential summer programs for high school students. In addition, Telluride Association considers membership on its Board an educational program in its own right, as most members (currently 78 in number) are students and early-career individuals seeking to gain leadership and non-profit board  experience. Supported by a $70 million endowment as well as annual giving and grants, the Association is poised to deepen its impact under the leadership of an Executive Director. For additional information about the Association’s history and programs, see our website at


The Executive Director collaborates with the Board to advance Telluride Association’s mission through its programs, practices, and services. Given the Board’s composition and active role, the Executive Director must lead the staff in balancing the goals of Board member education and self-governance with operational efficiency. The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the day-to-day management and oversight of business operations and management of all permanent staff (currently five to six individuals).

In the midst of a period of change, Telluride Association seeks an Executive Director who will learn and grow with us. Our long-term Administrative Director retired in 2020, and other longstanding staff members will retire in the coming years. The Executive Director will explore new staffing roles and structures as new staff are brought on board. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, we also have rechartered our summer programs to align more closely with our mission and with an explicit goal of combating racism and anti-Blackness. Staff will have an important role in helping develop and manage the Association’s changing programs, and the new Executive Director will help hire our first Summer Program Manager.

This full-time, exempt position may be based in Ithaca, New York or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Although the Executive Director must live within commuting distance of one of our offices during this transitional period, we are open to full-time remote work within a few years. This position will also require travel among our program sites.

The Telluride Association offers a variety of employee benefits. The Association contributes 10% of each employee’s salary toward a TIAA-CREF retirement plan, with another 20% contribution to be used, through a Section 125 Plan, as the employee wishes for premiums for the Association’s health insurance plan, childcare expenses, non-covered healthcare expenses, or additional retirement savings.  Vacation days accrue each pay period, and after a three month probationary period may be taken (up to 13 days in the first year), and 13 sick days are also granted, in addition to holidays (New Year’s Day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the following Friday, and the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) and three personal days. 


  • Providing leadership to staff, Board members, stakeholders, and volunteers during a period of change
  • Using this period of change to develop a long-term staffing structure and collaborate with the Board on a long-term plan for allocating work among staff and Board members
  • Collaborating with the Board to adopt and implement organizational policies and procedures that advance Telluride Association’s mission and values
  • Supporting successful policy and program execution in partnership with Board President
  • Managing day-to-day business activities and identifying opportunities to increase accessibility, efficacy, equity, and awareness of processes and operations
  • Maintaining a good understanding of the Association’s finances and, together with the Board and Financial Manager, ensuring effective oversight of organizational fiscal health and financial accountability to external stakeholders
  • Coaching, mentoring, and developing staff
  • Assisting the Board in creating Board development opportunities and year-long learning pathways
  • Conducting annual performance reviews for all permanent staff
  • Engaging with alumnx, donors, community groups, and institutional partners to represent Telluride Association’s interests
  • Attending scheduled Board meetings (four times per year on weekends) and committees’ evening meetings upon request (two to three times per month)


  • At least five to seven years’ experience, including three to five years of leadership experience, within mission-based organizations, university or academic settings, or participatory democratic organizations (e.g. community/labor organizing, workers’ cooperatives)
  • Experience supervising and developing permanent staff
  • Proven track record of facilitating and supporting organizational change
  • Deep personal or professional experience with anti-racism work and practice, diversity/equity/inclusion work (DEI), and/or transformative justice (minimum three years’ formal experience or equivalent non-traditional qualification)
  • Interest in and commitment to the Association’s mission; an eagerness to practice democratic skills (facilitation and deliberation) and values
  • Operations management, project management, and strategic planning experience
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and flexibility
  • Proficiency in Google Drive, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Office and the willingness to learn more tools useful in a hybrid workplace


  • Demonstrated success working with and cultivating volunteers, especially volunteer-run committees
  • Experience supporting Black and Latinx students, working class students, LGBTQIA+ students, and other students of marginalized backgrounds
  • Experience with residential or cooperative education (as administrator or manager), summer program administration, higher education and/or university administration

If you believe you would excel in this role despite not meeting every qualification, we welcome your application.  Please explain in your cover letter what and how you would contribute.


To apply, please visit our website and follow the instructions for submitting a redacted resume and cover letter, or apply directly at To receive consideration, all materials must be received by May 6th. Applicants must be available for a first interview between May 19th and May 27th.  

To request an accommodation for the application process, please contact, at (607) 273-5011.

The position is expected to start in the summer of 2022.

Telluride Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other legally protected category. Telluride Association is committed to building a diverse staff, and welcomes applications from people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities.

Salary Range: $90,000 - $120,000, depending on experience

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