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Managing Director at HOW Institute for Society


The How Institute for Society seeks to build and nurture a culture of moral leadership and principled decision-making that enables individuals and institutions to meet and manage the profound changes of the 21st Century.  

Human civilization is  experiencing technological and economic change that our ancestors could not have conceived of.  As we are witnessing, profound social, cultural, and political upheaval accompany these changes.

Our institutions, models of leadership, and ethical comportment are not keeping pace with these changes. We have seen how quickly ethical norms and basic civilities can break down--and history teaches us how terrible the costs of these dynamics can be.

The world has rarely been in greater need of moral leadership.

The HOW Institute for Society seeks, through deep examination, education, measurement, and action, to help lead the global conversation and create the conditions for moral leadership across organizations both public and private.

We know that:

  • Moral leadership is an essential requirement for a healthy, productive society
  • A dearth of moral leadership will inevitably lead to the worst possible outcomes for human beings everywhere
  • Moral leadership can be taught and learned
  • Moral leadership requires continual attention and effort
  • The means (the How) to any end is crucial in any endeavor
  • Organizations that enjoy moral leadership, that pay attention to how means are achieved, are happier, more productive and more profitable
  • We have the capacity to measure our results and prove this case

Today, the HOW Institute for Society seeks its inaugural Executive Director— a thought leader, an earth mover, a partner, to accompany the founder on the journey of a lifetime, toward an end that human beings absolutely require in order to live well and produce much.

The HOW Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in New York City, and founded by Dov Seidman, the author of HOW: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything.


Working in partnership with the Institute’s Founder, and in close communication with its extremely high-profile Board of Directors, the Managing Director will provide day-to-day management of the organization, and will help design and execute an ambitious path to organizational growth, new initiatives, productive relationships—and ultimately, to societal change. The Managing Director of the How Institute for Society will bear the primary day-to-day responsibility of ensuring that the Institute’s resources, including board, talent, and financial capital, are optimally deployed and operating efficiently to create an effective and durable global movement around moral leadership.

To this end, the MD will manage, coordinate, and drive the execution of strategies, initiatives, programs, and engagements for the organization. S/he will also bear the primary responsibility for managing the organization’s staff and daily operations.

In addition, the MD will contribute, through management and direct action, to the financial health of the organization through fundraising and budget management.

Finally, the MD will lead the daily implementation of the context, consciousness, and culture of the organization as created by the founder, board, and executive leadership of the Institute.

The ideal candidate will be fluent in moral leadership and management practices, possess an entrepreneurial sensibility and rigorous operational track record, and embody the HOW ethos of leadership and action in their daily work.


The How Philosophy: The MD must have a dedication to and embodiment of moral leadership

  1. Be Driven by Purpose: Pursuits are worthy, valuable, and connected to human progress and betterment of the world.
  2. Inspire and Elevate Others: Every decision is made with consideration of others’ full humanity. In doing so, they are more inclusive and better able to listen to and learn from those whom they lead.
  3. Be Animated by Courage and Patience: Have the courage to do the right thing, even if  entails vulnerability. Trust others to take responsibility in their own role as a leader.
  4. Continue to Build Ethical Muscle: Always on the path to learn and grow. Continue to build moral muscle by wrestling with questions of right and wrong, fairness and justice, and what serves others and what doesn’t.

Strategy: At the direction of the Board of Directors, and with collaboration from the collective talent of the Institute, the MD will:

  1. Facilitate the creation of organizational strategy
  2. Take primary responsibility for executing organizational strategy
  3. Take primary responsibility for managing progress towards specific strategic goals

Program Performance and Impact: The MD will help design programs, and will manage program personnel, so that:

  1. Program goals are met
  2. Impact of the programs, initiatives, campaigns, and engagements are being tracked, understood, and responded to.

Talent: The MD will bear the primary responsibility, through management and direct action, for:

  1. Hiring and tenuring of staff
  2. Ensuring that mentoring and leadership development opportunities are available to staff
  3. Ensuring sound HR practices in the organization
  4. Ensuring good organizational design and use of talent
  5. By modeling moral leadership, help to maintain morale, transparency, and collaboration among staff

Operations: The MD will, through management and direct action, ensure that:

  1. Daily operations are efficient and in direct support of the Institute’s mission.
  2. Operational staff are, within constraints, sufficient to the needs of the  organization.

Financial Health of the Organization: The MD will ensure, through management and direct action, that:

  1. Fundraising operations are sufficient to support the Institute sustainably.
  2. Budgets are created and managed to.

Cultural Health of the Organization: The MD will, in cooperation with all talent at all levels of the Institute, ensure that

  1. The emerging internal culture of the Institute reflects the essential tenets of moral leadership and is clear to all contributors.
  2. That this internal culture is not merely aspirational, but a matter of daily practice and performance.
  3. That this performance culture is intentional, iterative, widely curated and supported.
  4. That this performance culture is well managed - staff understand their goals and management knows when and how these goals are being met

Board Coordination: The MD will ensure that the board:

  1. Has the knowledge it requires to perform its governance and fiduciary duties
  2. Has the awareness and inspiration it requires to contribute optimally to strategy and fundraising
  3. Has activated and deployed in a responsible, appropriate, sustainable manner.


  • 10-15 years leading an organization; some experience in start-up environments preferred
  • Advanced degree/MBA preferred
  • Professional, diplomatic, and tactful relationship management, and experience working with high-profile, senior-level leaders from the private sector, government, and civil society, both in the US and abroad
  • Strong financial planning, organizational management skills, and programmatic M&E experience
  • Demonstrable fundraising strategy and development campaign implementation experience
  • Experience building organizations and programs from inception or an early organizational stage
  • Strategic and savvy communicator, ability and comfort speaking on the record and at public forums on behalf of the Institute with gravitas and poise
  • A demonstrated commitment to the Institute’s mission
  • Willingness to work extended hours (nights and/or weekends) as needed


  • Salary: Competitive salary, commensurate with experience and with the potential for bonus, based on performance.
  • Benefits: Health insurance, life insurance, parental leave, retirement plan contribution, performance bonus, family medical leave, PTO, bereavement leave, volunteer time off (up to 3 days per year), company social events, and professional development and tuition assistance.


The HOW Institute for Society has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this high priority search. In order to apply, please submit a resume and cover letter that outlines how your skills and qualifications meet the requirements of the position.

Please refrain from contacting The HOW Institute directly; all inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at

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