The executive director will lead a new organization based in Seattle, working closely with the co-founders and a small but mighty team. This is a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about neurodiversity & employment and excited to build a high-impact foundation from scratch. The Foundation will contribute ideas, funding and build connections to advance solutions that help the State of Washington become a premier location for neurodivergent learners to succeed in work. The deadline to apply is February 3, 2023.
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The Executive Director will build and lead a new private foundation focused on neurodiversity and employment in Washington State. The Foundation’s mission is simple: To improve career pathways and employment outcomes for neurodivergent teens and adults. Although the initial focus of our work is to help the Evergreen State become a premier location for neurodivergent learners to succeed in work, we expect our efforts to have impact in other geographies over time.
This is a full-time position based in Seattle, WA.
Neurodiversity is a concept that regards people with differences in brain function as part of natural variation in the human population. The neurodiversity movement is about uncovering the strengths of neurodistinct individuals and utilizing their talents to increase innovation and productivity of society as a whole. Neurodivergent learners are those with challenges related to conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and Tourette syndrome. Improving employment opportunities for neurodivergent learners produces tremendous benefits for companies, public agencies and nonprofits, while providing purpose, self-efficacy and independence for extraordinary people.
The Foundation will focus on the following areas:
Researching neurodiversity and employment
There is a need to explore why the years after high school and college are so difficult for neurodivergent young adults and to help develop better employment outcomes. The overwhelming majority of research on neurodiversity remains focused on children. We will support research focused on the subsequent stages of life with an emphasis on career building and independent living.
Educating and training employers
When asked for the single biggest change needed to help autistic people acquire work, over 50 percent of respondents replied support, understanding or acceptance in the workplace. Meanwhile, a majority of the employers questioned said they were worried about getting support wrong and did not know how to obtain information about supporting neurodivergent employees. We will advance neurodiversity education and advocacy within public and private employers and in the community at large.
Developing career pathways
It’s becoming clear that novel educational options and work experience programs are needed to help some neurodivergent learners find meaningful employment. We will help high school, college and government transition programs evolve their practices and support new innovations in career-oriented skill development outside of the traditional pathways.
Building a community of practice
A healthy employment ecosystem requires a community of professionals trained in the research and practice of neurodiversity employment matters. These professionals are needed to work for a wide range of companies, to advise on neurodiversity employment initiatives and to counsel promising candidates. We will help build the state’s capacity to develop, connect and support the outstanding professionals working in these areas.
Forming and nurturing coalitions
States and provinces with thriving neurodiversity employment ecosystems have successful collaborations among public, private and non-profit groups. We will help to convene and organize people across sectors with the aim of aligning resources and goals.
Advocating for informed policies
All families should have the education and resources they need to support neurodivergent young adults in their employment journeys. We will attempt to improve access to effective career-related support resources and participate in educating policy makers on employment matters that affect Washington families.
The Foundation will contribute ideas, funding and connections to solutions in these areas, while evolving its strategic plan annually. This role is entrepreneurial: We are seeking a founding leader who is excited to build a high-impact foundation from scratch to improve the employment potential and outcomes of neurodivergent workers in the State of Washington.
Founding Executive Director Responsibilities:
Lead, inspire, and partner closely with the founders as co-workers and allies to support their philanthropic aspirations.
Lead strategic planning and establish annual objectives based on goals and budgets. The annual budget will be in the $3-5m range after a start-up period.
Build and lead a small staff team (1 or 2 others) to be strong community assets, effective social connectors and compelling advocates for the Foundation’s mission.
Cultivate strong and authentic relationships with a range of partners and community leaders including self-advocates, families, teachers and counselors, nonprofit executives, agency staff, business leaders, elected leaders, researchers and funders.
Research and evaluate potential programs working in a range of areas applicable to a healthy employment ecosystem. Support the creation of new programs in existing and new non-profits.
Identify and evaluate prospective funding opportunities. Manage grant applications, evaluate and recommend opportunities, make effective grants, and manage grantee relationships. This is a hands-on grant-making role.
Measure and monitor program impacts and develop methods for doing so.
Lead and manage events, special projects, collaborations and development opportunities. This is an on-the-ground momentum building role.
Serve as a champion for new programs and initiatives. Actively pursue co-funding and partnership opportunities with other funders and field leaders. Be a resource and thought partner for grantee fundraising efforts.
Oversee the creation and maintenance of the Foundation brand and website. Oversee and manage financial and administrative systems, including development and oversight of the annual budget. Manage employees and contractors. (Our expectation is that you will hire a team member focused on operational and financial matters).
Ensure that all operations of the Foundation are carried out in accordance with applicable laws governing private foundations.
This position requires occasional work during evenings or weekends, as well as travel outside the region (estimated to be below 10% time).
This is a full-time role and compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. Experience with issues related to neurodiversity and employment or closely related issues is important, as is a strong work ethic. We welcome candidates without prior executive director experience, as well as experienced leaders looking for an entrepreneurial role with a brand-new organization. We welcome candidates who identify as neurodivergent, and we embrace inclusive and equitable working environments. The salary range is $190k to $230k, depending on experience, plus benefits. Typical relocation expenses will be reimbursed.
About the Founders: The Foundation is being formed by Christian & Angela Chabot, residents of Seattle, Washington, dedicated to improving the lives of neurodivergent learners and their families. Christian was the co-founder and CEO of Tableau, a leading international software company, while Angela has worked as an attorney in environmental law and for the federal government. They attended Stanford University for their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Deadline to apply: February 3, 2023.
In lieu of a standard cover letter, please answer the following prompt (250 to 500 words): “Based on the job description, why do you feel you are the right candidate to be our Executive Director?”
Please send your resume and answer to the prompt to email@example.com
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to answer them. All questions and answers will be uploaded as an FAQ here. We will acknowledge receipt of all incoming applications within 48 hours.
Additional information about the hiring process is included below.
Equal Opportunity Employment Practices
Our mission is to improve career pathways and employment outcomes for neurodistinct teens and adults. We don’t just accept differences; we celebrate and promote them internally and externally.
Our employment decisions are based on our Foundation’s goals, business needs and individual qualifications, without regard to an individual’s disability, neurominority, race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.
We understand everyone gets things done differently, which means some of our applicants or employees may need reasonable accommodations to ensure everyone can perform at their best. If you need accommodations, from technology to changing processes, please get in touch with us at email@example.com so you can bring your true self to our Foundation.
Summary of Hiring Process
1. What are the steps in the hiring process?
We have retained Erin Kahn Consulting to manage the search process, including responding to inquiries about the role. Following the application deadline on February 3, these are the steps and estimated timeline for the hiring process.
Stage 1- Initial Interview
Contact: Week of February 6th to schedule interview
Interviews: Week of February 13th
Based on review of the applications, Erin Kahn Consulting will contact approximately 12 candidates during the week of February 6th to schedule a 30-minute phone or Zoom interview, ideally during the week of February 13th.
Questions will be sent to those candidates, via email, in advance of the interview.
If candidates who are invited for an initial interview need accommodations, please let us know when you schedule your interview
Stage 2- Interview with Interview Panel
Contact: Week of February 20th
Interviews: Week of March 6th
Up to eight candidates will be invited to move forward in the process with a one-hour phone or Zoom with the Interview Panel made up of the Founders and two advisors during the week of March 6th.
Candidates will be asked to respond to a written prompt, submitted by March 3rd. Candidates will receive the prompt when the interview is scheduled.
If candidates need accommodations for the interview with the Interview Panel, please let us know when you schedule your interview.
Stage 3 – Interview with Founders
Contact: March 10th
Interview: Week of March 20th
Up to three finalists will meet with the Founders for an in-person interview in Seattle during the week of March 20th.
The process for this segment will be determined and published after the first set of interviews.
There may be an additional interview or meeting. To Be Determined.
Reference checks and offer.
Some dates estimated above may change due to unforeseen circumstances, but this is the schedule we hope to follow.