Executive Director

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America




General Management / Strategic Planning


NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in New York City, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) is a gateway for our nation's best students from under-resourced communities to world-class higher education, providing the admissions, college success, and early career support that develops a diverse corps of leaders. Programmatically, our work falls into two major buckets:

  • LEDA Scholars Program: LEDA specializes in identifying and recruiting 100 outstanding, diverse student leaders from across the nation. A core feature of the Scholars Program is the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute, an intensive residential program which includes: leadership study, writing instruction, standardized test preparation, and college guidance. Following this, LEDA supports Scholars in the college application and scholarship/financial aid process, with 92% of scholars admitted to at least one of Barron's Most Competitive colleges and 71% to an Ivy, MIT or Stanford.
  • LEDA Career and Alumni Services: LEDA begins to focus on economic outcomes for Scholars early in college, connecting Scholars with resources, training and counseling around career exploration and readiness; internships, jobs, fellowships and post-graduate education; and network building across the LEDA community and beyond. Annually, LEDA runs an intensive 5-day Career Institute (for which they identify another 100-150 additional students in their target communities from other highly selective colleges) which brings together employers across a spectrum of fields with their students. LEDA also runs specific programs around postgraduate degrees (Master's and PhD), law school, and public service career paths.

LEDA scholars come from under-resourced backgrounds (with an average household income of $34,800 per year) and many are first generation college students. With a vision firmly rooted in building an inclusive and equitable America where leadership reflects, celebrates, and supports diverse perspectives, 1,700 young leaders comprise the LEDA Scholar, Career Fellow and Alumni community. You can learn more about the phenomenal scholars that make up the LEDA community here.

About the Position

LEDA is looking for a collaborative, inclusive, and hands-on leader committed to diversifying the leadership pipeline, fostering higher education opportunities, and supporting career success for high-achieving, under-resourced students. The Executive Director (ED) will serve as LEDA's chief executive, leading fundraiser, and external advocate. The ED will also oversee the organization's direction, strategic growth, and impact as it seeks to elevate its proven high-touch program model, create new initiatives to further support its Scholars and Career Fellows, and build out its strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations.

The ED will oversee a team of over 20 full-time staff and consultants, and an additional 40 full-time temporary staff during the 6-week residential Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute held at Princeton University each summer. The role will report to the Board of Directors and directly manage a four-member senior leadership team that includes development, recruitment & admissions, scholar programs, and career & alumni services.

This is a unique opportunity for a mission-driven, enterprising, and dynamic leader who is committed to creating pathways for young leaders and understands the unique challenges that first-generation students and those from under-resourced backgrounds face.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

External Leadership and Fundraising

  • Design and implement a fundraising strategy for raising annual operating income, growing LEDA's "rainy day" fund, developing support for new strategic initiatives, and diversifying the organization's revenue streams
  • Serve as the external voice of the organization, raising awareness of LEDA's work and enhancing the organization's visibility, brand recognition, and status as a thought leader in the college access/college success field
  • In collaboration with the Board and the Senior Director of Development and External Communications, develop and manage key relationships with both philanthropic and programmatic partners (individuals, foundations, corporations, educational institutions, and other stakeholders)

Strategic Vision Setting

  • Provide an inspiring vision and direction for LEDA's future growth, working with the Board and staff to implement and refine LEDA's strategic priorities
  • Continue to evolve LEDA's programmatic offerings and organizational strategy, overseeing the execution and evolution of LEDA's core program verticals and setting clear and consistent performance metrics for the organization and external stakeholders
  • Think big about LEDA and how its extraordinary program can have expanded and deepened impact for Scholars and Career Fellows and support the overarching vision of creating a more inclusive and equitable country

Organizational Leadership

  • Promote and model an inclusive and collaborative culture based on a growth mindset and continuous improvement that embodies LEDA's core values of Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, and Community and prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Manage all day-to-day operations (including effectively managing the budget and all internal operations) and staff, with ultimate accountability for the success of the organization
  • Ensure staff has clearly defined roles and goals, and access to the information and resources necessary to achieve their goals; hold team members accountable for achieving ambitious goals
  • Coach and mentor a high-performing team, hire and retain a team committed to LEDA's work, and ensure that they have opportunities for growth and development

Candidate Requirements:

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Critical interest in LEDA's mission and programming, with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; brings a willingness to bridge differences in regard to issues of race, socioeconomic status, gender, and other viewpoints of diversity
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead a fundraising strategy with a track record of attracting and growing philanthropic support from varied partners, including: foundations, corporations, and individuals
  • Excellent, persuasive, and effective communication skills with the ability to serve as the lead spokesperson and ambassador to build awareness and increased visibility of LEDA's work and impact
  • Five years minimum of executive or programmatic leadership experience; brings proven experience analyzing and employing data to drive innovation and growth
  • A track record of strong people and team management, with demonstrated ability running a complex organization and managing a diverse staff; balances an inclusive and emotionally intelligent leadership style that engenders trust, provides clear and consistent direction, and fosters accountability
  • An energetic, collaborative, and proactive team leader who can strengthen both strategic and tactical initiatives; possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and is comfortable operating in a lean environment; highly responsive, detail-oriented, organizer and problem solver
  • An undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is preferred

Compensation and benefits:

The Executive Director is a full-time role. Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with the experience of qualified candidates. LEDA offers medical and dental insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, TransitChek, at least three weeks paid vacation, and paid sick leave.

This position may work out of LEDA's midtown Manhattan office or remotely year-round. Due to Covid-19 precautions, all LEDA positions will be fully remote at least through January 2022. LEDA offers a flexible, collegial work environment that welcomes new ideas and innovation. LEDA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

LEDA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all qualified applicants to apply 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, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage candidates who share the lived experiences of our scholars to apply.

Similarly, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact info@on-ramps.com.