Executive Director

  • Anywhere
Organization: Free to Run
Closing date: 22 Nov 2021

About the organization

Free to Run is an innovative non-profit organization focused on women and girls living in conflict-affected communities. Our mission is to create female leaders in regions of conflict through outdoor sports and education. Since 2014, we have worked with several thousand young women, primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their achievements are too numerous to count – Free to Run participants include activists, TEDx speakers, Fulbright scholars, athletes with disabilities, national and international marathon runners, community leaders and so much more.

Through a combination of sports programs, life skills development, and community outreach, we help females to reclaim public space and change views about the roles they can (and should) play in a society. Our programs are designed to develop community leaders who can bring people together across cultural, ethnic and religious lines. We work to provide our participants with the tools to succeed because we know they can, and will be, a force for positive change.

Our award-winning work has made international headlines, winning the With & for Girls Award for being the most disruptive girl-led organization in 2020, the Beyond Sport Shortlister award for Gender Equality in 2019, the Beyond Sport Award for Courageous Use of Sport in 2020, and the Beyond Sport Award for Peace & Social Justice in 2020.

About the position

The Executive Director is a unique leadership opportunity for a visionary individual who can inspire and build organizational growth and transformation. This individual will provide the leadership, strategic direction, and management expertise for the organization.

Reporting to the President of Free to Run, and the Board of Directors, the new Executive Director will lead and fully manage a small team that includes country program management, marketing/fundraising, and volunteers. A key responsibility of the incoming Executive Director will be to build Free to Run’s full-time team and develop the systems and processes needed to take its work to the next level of growth, development, and impact. More broadly, the Executive Director is responsible for fundraising and development, programming, marketing, fiscal, and budgetary management.

Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Work with the Board of Directors to develop and achieve strategic planning goals that fulfill Free to Run’s mission

  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that is committed to and delivers excellence consistently

Fundraising and External Affairs

  • Oversee the development and implementation of the organization’s annual fundraising plan to secure the resources to execute Free to Run’s mission

  • Support relationships with current funders including foundations, individuals, and corporations

  • Leverage external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities and cultivate a broader pool of funders

  • Maintain, strengthen and develop relationships with program partners, peer organizations, and donors

  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations to create a stronger awareness and reputation

Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Hire and develop a team of full-time staff to support Free to Run’s programming and operations

  • Provide oversight to all financial aspects of the organization, ensuring that sound, efficient financial procedures, controls, and accurate reporting systems are in place

  • Report regularly to the Board of Directors regarding organizational strategies, objectives, achievements, and challenges

  • Ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state nonprofit governance, requirements, and regulations

Candidate Requirements

  • Critical interest in the mission, programming, and approach of Free to Run with a deep commitment to human rights and female empowerment.

  • Passion, interest, and ability to build a team and develop the systems and processes to transform a high performing and young organization into an enduring institution

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead fundraising strategy with a track record of attracting and growing philanthropic support from foundations, corporations, and individuals

  • Possesses entrepreneurial skills and a “builder” mindset; is an energetic, collaborative and proactive team leader who productively impacts both strategic and tactical initiatives.

  • Executive presence bolstered by excellent, persuasive communication skills with proven success

  • Outstanding management expertise and experience with a demonstrated track record running complex organizations and/or programs with multiple stakeholders, and managing a diverse, geographically dispersed staff

  • An inclusive leadership style that seeks out and values diverse backgrounds and perspectives

  • A collaborative management approach that motivates staff, provides clear and consistent direction, and fosters accountability

  • Previous experience as an executive director and/or at senior management level is highly desirable

  • Ability to commit fully to our mission and organization and take on a sustained leadership role


United States preferred, but not required. Free to Run will work with the right candidate to accommodate flexible arrangements.

Compensation And Benefits

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Free to Run is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds. Free to Run recognizes and appreciates the value of building a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive work environment. Free to Run takes pride in being an equal opportunity employer regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

How to apply:

Please send in your resume and cover letter to stephanie@freetorun.org by the deadline. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.