Executive Director

Posted: Feb 11, 2014
National Society of Black Engineers

Washington, District of Columbia

Position: Executive Director
Organization: National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Reporting Relationship: The Executive Director is accountable to the National Executive Board and reports to the Chairperson


The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), with more than 29,900 members, is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. Founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 394 College, Pre-College, and NSBE Professional chapters in the United States and abroad. NSBE’s mission is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

NSBE is a 501(C)(3) non-profit association that is owned and managed by its members. The organization is dedicated to the academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals. NSBE offers its members leadership training, professional development, mentoring opportunities, career placement services and more. NSBE is comprised of 242 collegiate, 70 professional and 82 pre-college active chapters nationwide and overseas.  These chapters are geographically divided into six regions. NSBE is governed by an executive board of college students and engineering professionals and is operated by a professional staff in our World Headquarters located in Alexandria, VA. NSBE has accomplished more for Black engineering students than any other organization in the world. The same light that flows from the NSBE torch to students and professionals in the United States is also relevant for NSBE students in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean. It is the goal of the Society to replicate its mission and vision in countries around the world, creating a global network of Black engineers, scientists and technologists.


The Executive Director reports to the National Chairperson and oversees the operations of the NSBE World Headquarters (WHQ). S/he ensures a compelling value proposition, fostering member engagement and growth, and executing the strategic direction as approved by the Board. The Executive Director is charged with maintaining the integrity of the NSBE mission and goals as a student-managed organization.

Specifically, the Executive Director is responsible for the following:

Board Relations

Maintains regular and open communication with the Chairperson and National Executive Board (NEB). Builds and ensures strong relationships with the Board of Corporate Affiliates (BCA), National Advisory Board (NAB), and the Professional Executive Board (PEB). Provides the strategic leadership necessary to garner full engagement of all board members. Provides information and counsel to the board and actively manages staff regarding programs and other key initiatives. Serves as one of the organization’s liaison to senior level officials from the BCA, public and private sectors. Provides continuity and transitional support for officers, advisors, and supporters.

Strategic Direction and Assessment

Assists the National Chair and National Executive Board in the development and execution of NSBE’s strategic plan.  Facilitates the development and successful implementation of the organization’s value proposition and operating plans. Evaluates and reports quarterly on WHQ services to assess their value, their success measure and their cost/benefits in order to more effectively achieve the goals of the organization.

Operations and Financial Management

Serves as the administration leader, by managing the day-to-day operations of NSBE WHQ. Manages a highly effective and efficient organization as measured by achievement of priority goals, membership satisfaction and growth, revenue generation to support priorities, and quality programs and initiatives. Develops and effectively manages a board approved annual World Headquarters Staff budget that is aligned to the strategic goals of NSBE. Ensures a balanced World Headquarters budget annually. Prepares a Year End Report on the organization's finances and activities. Maintains all records, reports and legal documents.

Staff Development

Attracts, develops, and retains a strong staff; develops future leaders for WHQ.  Manages department heads including: Accounting, Membership, Programs, Publications, Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK), Corporate Relations, and Information Systems and indirectly all other staff members. Manages the Meeting Planning Team. Establishes and refreshes as appropriate, WHQ policies and procedures. Engages in succession planning for all Director level staff.  Responsible for maintaining an effective system for staff personal development and evaluation.

Membership and Events  

Supports the development and executes a board approved strategy to strengthen the recruitment and retention of members. Ensures member statistics and data are accurately captured and monitored. Maximizes engagement of members through events and member programs. Builds and maintains relationships with various constituents and continuously demonstrates NSBE’s strong value proposition. Exhibits a strong understanding of the engineering field and the opportunities, pressures, constraints, and demands that the members face.  Assists and facilitates meeting planning activities for conventions, conferences and meetings. 

External Relations

Serves as a visionary and alliance builder to ensure a vibrant and member centered organization. Works closely with a wide range of constituencies across the country and globe, in the academic, public and private sectors, to build support consistent with the organization’s overall mission and priorities. Leverages board members to represent NSBE, and also serves as a spokesperson and representative of NSBE in front of various audiences. Coordinates public relations activities related to promoting NSBE.  Ensures the organization’s mission, programs and brand is consistently presented in a strong, positive image to all stakeholders. 

Revenue Generation & Fundraising  

Serves as one of the organization’s chief fundraiser to support NSBE programs and activities by forging relationships with key corporate partners, foundations, and individuals.  Develops and presents strategies of new lines of non-dues revenue, and with board approval, implements these strategies to grow and diversify revenue.


  • An effective transition into the organization that best serves the NSBE mission, membership, volunteers, and staff.  
  • Achievement of key milestones and performance goals in alignment with the Board’s strategic direction. 
  • Positive representation of the NSBE before all internal and external audiences.
  • Identify strengths/weaknesses of current WHQ staff members and suggest a strategy for enhancements.


The successful candidate will bring passion for NSBE’s mission and will provide strong, strategic and collaborative leadership to advance the organization. S/he must have a record of increasing responsibility and demonstrated professional success in the leadership and management of a wide range of complex business operations. Required qualifications include: 

  • 5 to 10 years management experience in three or more of the following areas: non profit operations leadership, higher education, information systems, fundraising, publications, public relations, government relations, marketing, meeting planning or finance/accounting.
  • Advanced knowledge in managing, organizing, and coordinating operations in a multi-unit organization.
  • Appreciates and is able to align position responsibilities with NSBE’s student-governed leadership structure.
  • Experience working effectively with the volunteer leadership and broader membership.
  • Servant leadership style and the ability to build bridges and drive consensus among many stakeholders.
  • Strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing the number of under-represented minorities in STEM fields.
  • Strong business acumen and proven management experience including fiscal responsibilityData and metrics driven. Exhibits deep understanding of key performance indicators, organization fundamentals, and critical business drivers.
  • Availability to attend meetings and participate in teleconferences in the evenings and on weekends
  • Experience in transitional management situations and a variety of negotiations.
  • Previous leadership roles in government, academic, corporate, or higher education environments.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with diverse constituents.
  • A demonstrated track record of successful engagement, partnering and alliance building with a broad range of constituencies.
  • Creativity and the capacity to think outside of the box. Ability to make innovative and resourceful decisions to address critical situations.
  • Experience recruiting, developing, motivating and retaining a strong, diverse staff in a team-oriented environment.
  • Strong confidence and humility. 


Understanding the Business

  • Knows the business and the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of business propositions and understands how businesses operate in general; learns new methods and technologies easily.

Making Complex Decisions

  • Can solve even the toughest and most complex of problems; great at gleaning meaning from whatever data is available; is a quick study of the new and different; adds personal wisdom and experience to come to the best conclusion and solution, given the situation; uses multiple problem-solving tools and techniques.

Creating the New and Different

  • Is able to come up with the next great breakthrough thing to do; is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.

Keeping on Point

  • Can quickly separate the mission-critical from the nice to dos and the trivials; quickly senses what's the next most useful thing to work on; focuses on the critical few tasks that really add value and puts aside or delays the rest.

Being Organizationally Savvy

  • Maneuvers well to get things done; maze bright; knows where to go to get what he/she needs; politically aware and agile; knows what the right thing to do is; presents views and arguments well.

Communicating Effectively

  • Writes and presents effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.

Managing Diverse Relationships

  • Relates well to a wide variety of diverse styles, types, and classes; open to differences; effective up, down, sideways, inside, and outside; builds diverse networks; quick to find common ground; treats differences fairly and equitably; treats everyone as a preferred customer.

Advanced degree (preferred), bachelors degree (required).  A degree in engineering, mathematics, or the applied sciences preferred but not required. 


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis. Korn/Ferry shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the performance of duties pursuant to this Agreement, including but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws to the extent applicable.

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