Project U.S.E. [urban suburban environments] » Join Us » Employment Opportunities » Executive Director – Job Description
Executive Director – Job Description

Reports To: Project U.S.E. Board of Trustees
Salary Range: $75,000 to $90,000 (depending on experience)

Program Mission

Project U.S.E. inspires personal growth through experiential education in diverse and challenging environments, building strong foundations for lifelong success.

Program Description

Project U.S.E. is a nonprofit educational organization that provides acclaimed experiential learning opportunities to more than 7,000 young people and adults each year. Specializing in the out-of-the-ordinary, our tools and tactics support academic learning and promote self-respect, strong character and social and environmental consciousness. In their entirety our services focus on three main areas: Experiential Education, Job Readiness & Life Skills, and Professional Development. We offer adventure-based wilderness expeditions, employment skills training, curriculum-based school programs, and consulting services to educators, trainers, and managers. Our workshop locations range from natural environments to city streets to waterways to school buildings to boardrooms.

Executive Director Job Description

The Executive Director is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Project U.S.E. The Executive Director reports to the
Board of Trustees, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial
objectives.  The Executive Director provides direction and leadership to the Project U.S.E. staff toward achieving the
organization’s mission, strategic goals and objectives, and meeting daily operational requirements. They will have a
passion for the Project U.S.E. mission and will demonstrate high ethical standards in carrying out their
responsibilities. They will have a strong sense of purpose and be a strong organizational leader, with skills, capacity
and drive to ensure that the organization has (a) a strong financial base, (b) a highly focused, effective and efficient
staff team in place, and (c) a healthy and productive relationship with the Board of Trustees..

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees and is accountable for:

Program Development addresses the design, promotion, delivery, outcomes and quality of Project U.S.E. programs and services. The Executive Director will:

  • Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy which supports its mission.
  • Provide leadership and guidance to staff in developing programmatic, organizational and financial plans.
  • Present plans to Board for input and approval where appropriate on a strategic level.
  • Maintain awareness of significant developments and trends in the field and opportunities in the extended
    community. Anticipate new programming opportunities based on these developments and trends.
  • Assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.

Administration and Operations addresses the day-to-day business of Project U.S.E. The Executive Director will:

  • Maintain the organization’s capital assets.
  • Organize and supervise an efficient administrative organization for Project U.S.E. Develop, review, analyze
    and implement operational procedures required to effectively manage day-to-day operations and implement
    Board approved policies.
  • Make consistent and timely progress toward the execution of the existing strategic plan
  • Carry out plans and policies authorized by the board.
  • Maintain official records, certifications, accreditations, licenses and documents, and ensure compliance
    with all federal, state and local regulations.
  • Jointly, with the president and secretary of the board of directors, conduct official correspondence of the
    organization, and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.
  • Work with program directors to manage program content, financial targets, staff qualifications and training,
    and program capacity (resources and capabilities) as described in the Strategic Plan.
  • Work with program directors to establish metrics to evaluate program and financial performance and
  • Work as instructor/builder/trainer in each program area as needed. The Executive Director should maintain
    the appropriate certifications and training with respect to the level of service they are providing.
  • Recommend policies, plans and programs, and provide the Board with information necessary to the Board’s policy-making functions.

Budget and Finance addresses the fiscal sustainability of Project U.S.E. and its constituent programs. Project
U.S.E. has an annual revenues of approximately $500,000. The Executive Director will:

  • Develop and maintain effective revenue channels for the organization. Fee for service is a primary revenue
    channel but efforts may include government, foundation, corporate, and individual donor support.
  • Develop and recommend to the Board a five year financial plan and the yearly working budget.
    Appropriate input will be incorporated from the staff, Board Finance Committee, and the overall Board.
  • Exercise sound fiscal management by reviewing and analyzing current fiscal conditions and projecting
    financial needs and resources.
  • Ensure the organization operates within budget guidelines based on income & expense projections.
  • Oversee fundraising planning and implementation. Ensure that fundraising efforts are carried out
    effectively and professionally.
  • Coordinate with the Board of Trustees to create, execute and evaluate fiscal development programs so that
    adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work.
  • Oversee development efforts to ensure Project U.S.E. meets fundraising goals:
    • Coordinate with Board to support fundraising activities (e.g. Hike, Boat Launch, etc.).
    • Develop relationships with key funding sources

Human Resource Management addresses the oversight of the staff at Project U.S.E. There are approximately 20
staff in the organization but this number varies due to the use of seasonal instructional staff. The Executive Director

  • Explain and interpret policies to the staff.
  • Conduct staff meetings, establish staff training programs, supply the staff with significant information from
    professional and technical publications, all to the end of enhancing staff capabilities and maintaining open
    and effective staff relations.
  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
  • Establish, track and evaluate individual professional development goals with program directors. Provide appropriate support to program director’s efforts to do the same for staff they supervise.
  • See that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place.
  • Maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.
  • Use agreed-upon metrics to evaluate performance of program directors.
  • Maintain Project U.S.E. culture and positive work environment.

Communications addresses the responsibility of the Executive Director to oversee the communications of the
organization to all of its stakeholders; i.e. program participants and partners, Board, staff, funding agencies, etc. The
Executive Director will:

  • Publicize the activities of the organization, its mission, and its programs.
  • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with clients, community groups and
  • Represent the programs of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public.
  • Ensure that Project U.S.E. has significant positive visibility so as to attract clients, donors and employees.
  • Work with program directors to publicize each program.
  • Create and keep up-to-date collateral materials and maintain current website to inform clients and donors
    about Project U.S.E. and the benefits of its programs.
  • Act as the official means of communication between the Project U.S.E. employees and the Board of
  • See that the board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors
    influencing it. Utilize communication during regular board meetings and on ongoing, one-on-one dialog
    with the Board president.

Position Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 2+ years experience in senior leadership role that demonstrates ability to assume a chief leadership role
  • Experience with participating in the type of programming offered by Project U.S.E.
  • Demonstrated experience with strategic planning and execution
  • Demonstrated experience with financial operations
  • Demonstrated experience with staff management and development

Preferred Requirements

  • Master’s Degree
  • 2+ years experience in a chief leadership role
  • Demonstrated experience leading / facilitating the type of programming offered by Project U.S.E.
  • Demonstrated experience working with a board of directors

Work Environment and Physical Requirements

The Executive Director will work mostly in a typical office environment. Work in the field is possible and
involves rugged terrain and potentially adverse weather conditions.

  • Regional travel is required.
  • Executive Director will work occasional weekends and evenings as program and events require.
  • Moderate physical activity is required. The Executive Director should be able to lift moderate loads (25 to
    50 lbs.) and participate in physical activity with moderate exertion (e.g. hikes in moderate terrain).

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality or sex.

To apply, send letter of interest and resume to