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Executive Director (ED) 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.  

As a species and a civilization, we are experiencing technological and economic change that our ancestors could not have conceived of.  As we are all 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 moral leadership.

The HOW Institute for Society seeks, through relentless examination, education, measurement, and action, to 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.


The HOW Institute for Society seeks a seasoned and visionary leader to serve as its inaugural Executive Director, based in New York City. Working in partnership with the Institute’s Founder, and in close communication with its extremely high-profile Board of Directors, the Executive Director will not only provide day-to-day management, but will help design and execute an ambitious path to organizational growth, new initiatives, productive relationships—and ultimately to societal change.

Daily responsibilities will include managing: a small staff, multiple programs, robust fundraising, efficient operations. You will also be responsible for co-creating overall strategies as well as piloting and scaling new programs and initiatives.

The ideal candidate will be fluent in moral leadership and management practices, and in particular will be passionate about, and embody in their daily work,  the HOW ethos of leadership and action.

In particular, the Executive Director must:

  • Be aligned and motivated by the HOW Philosophy: The Executive Director must have a dedication to and embodiment of moral leadership:
    • Be Driven by Purpose: Pursuits are worthy, valuable, and connected to human progress and betterment of the world;
    • 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;
    • Be Animated by Courage and Patience: Have the courage to do the right thing, even it it puts them in a vulnerable situation. Trusting others to take responsibility in their own role as a leader;
    • Continue to Build 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.
  • Be a driven and visionary leader; work in close partnership with the Founder and Chairman of the Board:
    • The Executive Director must set and meet audacious goals. This is an exceptional opportunity to build and be the face of a new, high profile organization at the forefront of real change. In particular, they should have cross-sector experience as there is a broad possibility of application of the Institutes programs with a very targeted approach.
    • To be successful, the Executive Director must work in close concert with the Founder and Chairman of the Board. Of utmost importance is the ability to be an intellectual thought partner that can translate an aligned vision and strategy into a roadmap for success.
  • Demonstrate entrepreneurial and operational rigor:
    • The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial and have a can-do spirit. This person must be able to explore new approaches to stakeholder engagement (both internal and external), working in a relatively flat organization, rolling up their sleeves to tackle new and urgent tasks, and adjusting to shifts in strategy or execution. Additionally, you must be comfortable with changing priorities and a varying altitude of tasks.
    • Mastery of operational best practices with the proven capacity to successfully build organizations, programs, and initiatives from the ground up is essential to this role.
  • Have executive presence and extreme emotional intelligence:
    • As an external face to the organization, the ideal candidate will have an engaging personality with an understanding of how to appropriately interact with a diverse set of stakeholders. The Executive Director must be a charismatic leader who also has a strong sense of humility that can navigate a variety of situations.  


  • Bring Vision and Lead Organizational Development
    • Working with the Institutes’ Founder and Chairman, high-profile Board of Directors, and staff to develop and manage all aspects of the Institute’s strategic plan
    • Set ambitious goals and map out and manage organizational budgets, fundraising strategies, staffing plans, programmatic work, and operational procedures
    • Build out and execute a bold, but feasible, plan for the Institute’s future that rests on the core principles of the organization’s founding HOW philosophy
  • Design and Execute Additional Program(s)
    • In collaboration with the Institute’s Chairman and Board, develop and implement programs that complement the Institute’s existing work to advance  its mission and demonstrate its theory of change
    • Define metrics to monitor, evaluate, and report-out on programs’ impacts and financial performance
  • Cultivate a Community of Funding and Programmatic Partners
    • Work with the Institute’s Founder, Board, staff, and other affiliates to identify and access potential sources for funding, support, and/or strategic partnerships
    • Propose creative engagement and community-building opportunities for new or prospective members that demonstrate the Institute’s practical benefit and ultimately lead to sustained financial commitment
  • Represent and Promote the Institute
    • Serve as the public face, alongside the Institute’s founder, for the Institute’s work, sharing insights, exhibiting thought leadership, and promoting the Institute at conferences, etc.
    • Design and execute a communications and thought-leadership strategy in collaboration with the Institute’s founder and chairman, the Institute’s communications staff, and external communications partners.  
  • Reflect the Core HOW Institute Ethos
    • Internalize and demonstrate exemplary understanding of, and commitment to, the HOW Institute’s core principles of honesty, transparency, trust, and inclusion.
    • Use hiring process, daily management, and stakeholder engagement as opportunities to reaffirm the Institute’s mission and theory of change.


  • 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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