Executive Director

Position Details


The Ashokan Center’s mission is to change lives and build community through shared experiences in nature, history and the arts. We strive to connect students, organizations, families and individuals with the natural world and with each other through hands on participation in environmental and outdoor education, living history, writing, graphic arts, music, and dance. We are committed to offering programs that inspire discovery, foster teamwork, and awaken environmental awareness and a life-long love of learning.


The Ashokan Center is an historic 380 acre nature preserve bordering Esopus Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River. The history of the land and the people is visible throughout the property from the Middle Devonian sediments and later Native American rock shelters of Cathedral Gorge, to the 18th century mill site at Winchell’s Falls, and the early 19th century Farmstead and craft shops.

In 1967 New York State’s first outdoor education and living history programs for schools were established at Ashokan. Ground breaking programs in traditional music and dance for adults and families began here in 1980 and have inspired similar programs around the country. Our new, sustainably designed campus opened in January of 2013 and has already served thousands of children and adults.

Position Overview

The Executive Director (ED) works with the Board of Directors and the senior management team to provide strategic leadership for the Center. The ED ensures that the Center’s programs and business model sustain its mission and vision, and advance its goal of becoming the region’s premier environmental education and retreat facility. The ED will develop, maintain and promote the Center as a 21st century leader for sustainable living, artistic expression and community building.

Primary Responsibilities
  • Overall management of programs, facilities, personnel and budget.
  • Developing and implementing a strategic plan.
  • Recruiting, retaining and developing top talent, and training and supervising an effective, collaborative team.
  • Executing a growth strategy for programs and business that supports the organization’s mission.
  • Ensuring fiscally-sound budgeting, forecasting, and management of revenues and expenses.
  • Working closely with the Board and individual directors to maximize their constructive involvement.
  • Sustaining and expanding public relations efforts, marketing, grant writing and fundraising.
Relevant Skills, Experience and Qualifications
  • Three years’ experience in a senior executive/leadership role, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • A proven track record at successfully developing and supervising staff, managing a budget and meeting revenue goals, marketing, fundraising, and delivering programs and services.
  • An entrepreneurial approach to business development and strategic planning.
  • Ability to foster and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with personnel, customers, vendors, local and national partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of school systems and the educational community we serve, along with the ability to collaborate and partner with superintendents, principals and teachers, as well as community groups, and government organizations.
  • Supervisory/management experience in education, place-based learning, and/or sustainability programs.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Work Environment and Physical Demands
  • The duties of this job require the employee to work regularly in an indoor office setting, frequently outdoors and exposed to year-round weather conditions, and offsite in indoor and outdoor settings.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, talk, hear, and operate a computer and other office equipment. The employee is frequently required to walk ungraded trails on uneven outdoor terrain, and to lift/move light loads. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • The employee must be able to communicate in person and in writing with Ashokan Center staff, customers, and members of the public. The employee must also be able to travel independently on short notice to and from the Ashokan Center, and regionally.
Compensation and Start Date
  • Salary will be competitive, based on experience and qualifications, with a full benefits package.
  • Send resume and letter of interest to: edsearch@ashokan.org

(Updated: January 14, 2014)

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The Ashokan Center
477 Beaverkill Rd.
Olivebridge, NY 12461

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