Executive Director Position Opening

Salary Range

$126,000 – $158,000

Ballinger | Leafblad is pleased to partner with Native Governance Center to conduct the search for an Executive Director.

The Executive Director is responsible for working with the Board of Directors to establish an organizational strategy, both for mission results and for growth and sustainability, translating the strategy into operational goals for staff, leading and developing the staff team, monitoring the organization’s finances, establishing and growing a base of funders and other revenue streams, and managing external relationships and communication. This position requires a significant amount of travel.

Who We Are

Native Governance Center is a Native-led nonprofit dedicated to assisting Native nations in strengthening their governance systems and capacity to exercise sovereignty. While originally founded to support the 23 Native nations sharing geography with MN, ND, and SD, we have strategically piloted growth beyond this region and hope to continue to expand offerings with thoughtfulness toward needs identified by communities.

We opened our doors in 2016, so we are relatively young. We are constantly growing, changing, and innovating. We like to say “let’s try it!” instead of living by the “we’ve always done it that way” motto, knowing we will learn from each experience.

Everything we do is driven by our values; from organizational development to program delivery to deciding on our annual group Halloween costume, our values help to guide us. We’re collaborative in our approach, listening to input from our team, our nations, and the research we were founded on, to inform our actions and decisions. We love GIFs and memes and try to find ways to use them as often as possible. We encourage respectful candor, authenticity, and balance on our team.

In 2020, we became a fully remote workplace, with staff located in multiple Nations and states. We’ve been successful in this model because we have a dedicated team, but it doesn’t come without its challenges, because we are real 3D humans working in a 2D world. We encourage you to research the pros and cons of virtual work (with some in-person events/travel) and decide if it matches your workstyle. We also require that you have reliable, high-speed internet to be eligible for employment with NGC.

Finally, NGC is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and are free from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

If this sounds like your kind of place, we would love for you to reach out.

About the Position

Management Responsibilities

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. Direct Reports to the Executive Director are Director of Finance and Administration, Development Director, and Program Director.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Leads NGC in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors, including strategic, programmatic, and financial planning to ensure that NGC can successfully fulfill its mission into the future.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction, visibility, and fundraising, and communicate with the Board in a timely and accurate manner all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
  • Lead the direction and success of NGC by fostering a culture of collaboration and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain a strong and competent staff; provide supervision of Directors, including training, direction, ensuring adherence to NGC policies, and performance coaching and evaluation.
  • Speak in public and write about the organization, its work, and relevant topics to help build NGC’s reputation and heighten awareness of native governance issues and successes; enhances NGC’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other organizations, partners, and thought-leaders.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key partners and stakeholders in the work, particularly leaders within the 23 Native nations.
  • Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and strategic and scalable growth.
  • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of NGC, including operating within the approved budget, ensuring maximum resource utilization, and developing sufficient resources for financial health.
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, and communications.
  • Ensure effective systems to track impact and scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program/department components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Other duties as assigned or required to meet program and organizational needs.

Desired Qualifications

Education, training, and experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
  • Ten or more years of lived experience in or with Native communities, with a great sense of community/tribal government protocols.
  • At least seven years’ experience in a professional environment, including progressively increased responsibilities and leadership. (At least five years’ experience in the nonprofit sector preferred.)
  • Experience supervising staff and supporting their professional development.
  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence including funders, partner agencies and volunteers.
  • A history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  • Experience implementing strategies to successfully activate initiatives across an organization.
  • Experience using CRM software as a tool to manage, track, and organize information.
  • Supervisory training and experience.
  • Advanced Microsoft Office or G Suite skills, with an ability to become familiar with organization-specific programs and software.
Skills and Abilities:
  • Excitement for the mission of NGC and desire to work according to its stated values of honoring sovereignty, practicing humility, being a good relative, centering Indigeneity, and embracing fun.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of current and historical Indigenous governance systems and issues that intersect with governance.
  • Ability to effectively communicate the organization’s mission to donors, volunteers and the overall community.
  • High level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers and donors.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and public speaking ability.
  • Commitment to infusing a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and Indigenous lens in all aspects of program management and delivery.
  • Ability to travel independently around the United States. (Travel up to 50% of the time, by car and plane (valid driver’s license required).
  • Ability, initiative, and motivation to work productively in a home office, both independently and collaboratively, and communicate clearly and often with remote team members through email, phone, and video calls.
  • Confidence and ability to utilize various technology programs and tools effectively, including complex databases and teleconferencing tools.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $126,000-$158,000. Compensation includes participation in the comprehensive benefits plan.

Ready to Apply?

Inquiries may be directed to Damon Shoholm:

Applications will be accepted until April 5, 2024 or until the position has been filled, which may be earlier. There will be an immediate and ongoing review of candidates, so we encourage and appreciate early applications.

All inquiries will remain confidential.

Position Profile (PDF)