Orion Magazine Executive Director
Orion was founded in 1982 as Orion Nature
Quarterly, one of very few media platforms at the time to
convene an inclusive, multi-disciplinary conversation about nature,
culture, and justice. Nearly four decades later, Orion
remains committed to the mission for which it was founded: to
invite readers into a community of caring for the planet, and,
through writing and art that explore the connection between nature
and culture, to inspire new thinking about how humanity might live
on Earth justly, sustainably, and joyously.
Orion has twice won the Utne Independent Press Award
and its stories have been finalists for the National Magazine
Awards and anthologized widely. In addition to publishing a
quarterly magazine, Orion hosts writers’ workshops and
publishes books. Orion is governed by a volunteer Board of
Directors, employs around a dozen staff members, and has an annual
operating budget of $1.2 million. Orion is classified as a
501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Role of the Executive Director
With the departure of an Executive Director of fifteen years,
Orion has entered a new phase and seeks a brave, visionary
partner to help steward our evolution. The Executive Director (ED)
will work with staff and board to create a strategic plan to guide
the organization as it redefines, reorients, and renews itself.
Ultimate accountability over all aspects of the administration,
strategic business operations, products, and programs of the
organization rests with the ED.
Publishing and business strategy
- Lead the development and implementation of short- and long-term
strategies toward financial and operational sustainability in
partnership with fundraising and operations staff and the Board
- Lead an inclusive and collaborative process to develop a
business model that encompasses circulation, marketing, branding,
fund development, and merchandising.
- Oversee and collaborate with the finance team to set budgets
and pursue opportunities to improve revenue generation and reduce
- Oversee and collaborate with the Editor in Chief on direction
of magazine content.
Vision and leadership
- Champion Orion’s unique mission.
- Provide leadership on diversity, racial, and gender equity and
inclusion, and our commitment to becoming an anti-racist
- Promote a culture of collaboration for all Orion staff
by modeling good communication and distributive leadership,
identifying professional development opportunities, leading staff
meetings, and fostering an environment of reflection and
- Maintain an effective team by providing guidance, coaching, and
- Foster a workplace dedicated to excellence, human agency,
creativity, and professional and personal regard.
Fund development and donor relations
- Lead Orion’s fundraising efforts, which provide 70% of
- Personally cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of major
and mid-level donors.
- Work closely with fundraising and editorial teams to ensure
that current donors are regularly informed about the work they’re
- Lead staff and the board of directors in seeking to extend our
strong base of philanthropic support in an authentic, measurable,
sustainable, and collaborative manner.
- Conceive and organize events that publicize the magazine, drive
fundraising, and support Orion’s strategic goals.
- Ensure that all organizational communications adhere to high
standards and grow Orion’s
- Represent Orion at local and national conferences and
serve as a thought leader in the publishing and environmental
- Cultivate impactful working relationships and collaborations
with community groups, funders, and other organizations.
- Actively engage Orion’s board of directors in
supporting the organization and mission.
- Facilitate staff/board connections to ensure that the board is
regularly informed of updates regarding content and programming,
donor and community relations, finances, operations, personnel, and
- Assist in identifying and recruiting board members to serve
specific needs of the organization, with an eye toward racial and
- Understands and can integrate the organizational vision and
publishing strategy into concrete implementation plans. Supports
the staff and board’s understanding of the vision and strategy.
Distills complexity into thoughtful action.
- Leads and contributes to the building of consensus within the
organization in the service of Orion’s mission
- Understands the whole organizational picture; sees culture,
patterns, changes, and the inter-relatedness of content, programs,
staff, readers, writers, donors, system, and mission. Identifies
stakeholders and sets milestones. Identifies causes for bottlenecks
and redundancies and comes up with solutions.
- Communicates with sensitivity vertically and horizontally,
creating space for others and amplifying voices of those with less
power in the system. Demonstrates knowledge of multiple approaches
to manage and resolve concerns and disagreements. Manages the time,
workflow and resources to ensure that work is completed
efficiently. Develops ways to optimize individual performance
within the organization.
- Devises, launches, and sustains fundraising campaigns in
support of organizational development strategy.
- Applies critical financial practices to establish and maintain
realistic budgets. Brings passion to the prospect of financial
- Exhibits fluency as a reader, writer, listener, and speaker,
and awareness of nonverbal strategies to facilitate respectful
interactions with staff, board, readers, writers, donors, workshop
students, and all other stakeholders.
- Demonstrates a drive to increase diversity in the workplace and
sensitivity to the gaps that exist between employee identities.
Enacts antiracist policies that inform our business practices,
communications, and editorial initiatives.
- Proven experience managing the full range of business functions
and systems, including finance, operations, information systems,
human resources, and marketing.
- Ten years’ experience leading a non-profit and/or publishing
company is preferred.
- Experience developing and implementing strategic business plans
- Exceptional capacity for leading people; a team builder with
the ability to connect to internal and external stakeholders both
on an individual level and in large groups.
- Ability to successfully develop and implement fund development
- Thought leadership in the environmental and/or publishing
- Proficient financial management skills including budget
preparation and oversight.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including
- Demonstrated understanding of cultural competency, the value of
diversity in the workplace, and the ability to work in a
fast-paced, diverse and multigendered environment. Commitment to
the work of building a culture of equity and inclusion. Ability to
champion a vision of “creating a community of caring for the
This search is being conducted by Orion in partnership
with TSNE. Interested candidates should submit a resume and
thoughtful letter of interest to:
Electronic submissions sent through this link are preferred. All
submissions are confidential.
Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary range
expectations, information regarding how you learned of the
position, and a description of how your qualifications and
experience meet Orion’s needs and mission. All submissions
of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled.
Priority will be given to applications received by December 31,
2020. The approximate salary range for this position is $100,000
and is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the
organization’s annual operating budget.
Orion actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates and
welcomes people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities,
gender identities, religions, ages, and sexual orientations to
As an EOE/AA employer, Orion will not discriminate in its
employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion,
sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender
identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status
or any other factor prohibited by law.