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Executive Director (New York, NY)

THE OPPORTUNITY:

POSITION SUMMARY

The Executive Director is responsible for leading the organization (including operational and financial management of WGAE’s professional staff), facilitating and working collaboratively with WGAE’s Council and the elected-President to establish goals, and partnering with the staff to carry out WGAE’s strategic plan. The Executive Director also manages the collective bargaining and contract oversight process for several national and local contracts, will ensure members in all three sectors feel supported and served and will work to develop, maintain and build the relationship with sibling union WGAW.

This leader will communicate and be transparent with and accessible to Council, staff, members and, in concert with the President, be the lead spokesperson with the media, labor, bargaining partners and government officials. They are also responsible for staying on top of industry and labor trends (and anything that can affect the working writer) and making recommendations to the governing bodies regarding policy and financial and contractual issues. This professional will be a key driver in WGAE’s efforts to be even more inclusive and grow as a national union.

Thus the ideal candidate will be a dynamic, empathetic and inspiring leader who has substantial experience overseeing collective bargaining and labor negotiations, and yet also is a proactive and superior communicator (with staff, the public and Council). The ability to be present, to listen, to empower staff and bring parties together with diverse viewpoints to build solidarity is key, as is someone who can both lead and work collaboratively. This person will hold themselves and others accountable, be technologically facile and will embrace the opportunity to lead the organization as it emerges from the twin challenges of recent growth, as well as a historic strike. Passion for, and/or knowledge of, the arts, writing, and media is ideal.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Serves as chief negotiator for national and local collective bargaining agreements and oversees all collective bargaining and contract implementation, administration and enforcement.
  • Oversees and manages all staff, including hiring, training, supervising, and terminating staff. Oversees negotiations of collective bargaining agreements with staff unions. Will structure the organization to insure all current members are best served, including developing an ED succession plan.
  • Works with President, Officers, Executive Committee, and Council to assist in developing strategic priorities and implementing policy decisions of Council (e.g. DEIB and bargaining priorities) and to supervise communication with membership nationwide.
  • Along with President, acts as public spokesperson for the organization.
  • Strengthens, builds and expands the relationship with the WGAW, including traveling to WGAW offices and elsewhere to represent and insure WGAE voices are heard, facilitate national coordination and address issues that arise.
  • Forges relationships with and lobbies government officials to advance the interests of members.
  • Oversees the staff governance functions of the organization, including the preparation of Council agenda and staff presentations to Council.
  • Oversees development and implementation of HR policies and ensures that WGAE is compliant with applicable legal requirements.
  • Oversees development of annual budget in collaboration with the Secretary-Treasurer. Makes and implements financial decisions consistent with approved budget. Facilitates budgetary recommendations to Council.
  • Serves as Trustee on benefit funds.
  • Serves as liaison to other labor organizations (e.g. SAG-AFTRA, DGA, IATSE, AFL-CIO, etc) and/ or appropriate industry groups.

Define Culture

  • Define, foster and build an anti-racist culture of inclusion, equity, belonging, dignity and psychological safety, one that welcomes diverse perspectives, opinions and approaches and roots out bias.
  • Set a tone of openness by working closely with leadership of all divisions.
  • Bring creative approaches to developing incentives and structures that promote staff sharing and cross-training across units, as well as staff growth.
  • Foster a culture of empowerment, collaboration, accessibility, personal and professional integrity and accountability.
  • Serve, help facilitate and take direction from the Council.

Change Management

  • Serve as a critical link between the broader institutional goals/current growth and the present and future.
  • Bring energy and creativity to rethink WGAE structures, systems and technological processes to help the organization respond more nimbly and effectively to its recent growth, as well as the fast-paced demands of a dynamic, external industry environment.
  • Foster a culture that encourages experimentation and collaboration across Writers Guild of America East and among a team of professionals who are innovative, entrepreneurial, and committed to highest standards of quality.
  • Lead an organization that is well-managed, high performing and empathetic.

Leadership and Development

  • Cultivate an environment that fosters excellence through teamwork, resourcefulness and entrepreneurialism.
  • Provide high-level leadership to the team, including ensuring the training and development of staff and planning for succession across key roles, including the Executive Director.
  • Hold teams accountable to complete projects on time, within budget, and of high quality.
  • Communicate clear expectations and be able to lead volunteer experts from many disciplines who serve on study committees.

Cultivate and Expand Impact

  • Advance interests of WGAE members through building and maintaining solid and effective relationships with the WGAW, other unions, alliances/associations, industry leaders and State/Federal politicians and/or political leaders.
  • Regularly evaluate the health and strength of the organization’s financial condition, and strategic alliances and partnerships, ensuring that WGAE is responsive to member needs.
  • Through negotiations, contract oversight and political astuteness, demonstrate advocacy and support for writers and artist-workers.
  • Explore new potential partnerships and collaborative projects, with the goal of growing the organization’s influence, by engaging with leaders in entertainment, business, states, and other organizations on a regular basis.

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

  • 10–15 years of leadership and management experience, ideally in a union, entertainment related or other related environment, with a focus on management, leadership and union expertise and labor relations. Demonstrated experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements, including involvement in a campaign, and serving member-led organizations is vital.
  • At least 5 years of prior staff management experience and demonstrated experience creating an environment of equity and inclusion, teamwork, empowerment, staff growth and collaboration.
  • Prior financial oversight experience, including budget management, proven business acumen, a results-oriented approach, and a track record of delivering results.
  • Prior successful experience serving and managing a Board and/or governing council, with a range of stakeholders and constituencies is essential.
  • Demonstrated experience as a proactive and skilled communicator both internally and externally. Interpersonal and communication skills needed to build and sustain relationships with a range of constituencies.
  • An undergraduate degree is required and a master’s degree and/or Juris Doctor (J.D.) is a plus.
  • Passion for writers, artist-workers and media/entertainment.

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS DESIRED

  • Ability to attract and retain a diverse, highly accomplished staff and part-time network by working collaboratively, inspiring and motivating colleagues, and building trust within the organization.
  • Unflappable executive presence conducive for both serving and facilitating the National Council as well as for a strong representational role with the WGAW, other entertainment organizations, the media, government officials, WGAE members and leaders from private industry.
  • A highly creative approach to strategic innovation and intellectual curiosity to stay abreast of emerging trends and future opportunities.
  • A thoughtful approach to navigating and problem-solving in a consensus-driven organization.
  • Exemplary leadership abilities with superior interpersonal skills with groups at all levels.
  • A thorough understanding of, and experience in, collaboratively leading strategic planning.
  • Ability to communicate a compelling vision for an organization and embrace and implement change.

Salary range is $200,000-$400,000.

TO APPLY: Please send résumé and cover letter to: j.leibowitz@stantonchase.com


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