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Executive Director

Outrider Foundation
Wisconsin, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Nov 30, 2021

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Position Type
Advocacy, Environment
Salary Band
Not Specified
Employment Type
Full Time
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Outrider Foundation
Executive Director

Position: Executive Director
Organization: Outrider Foundation
Location: Madison, WI
Reporting Relationship: Chair, Board of Directors

We envision a world where people live without fear of nuclear annihilation or climate-induced catastrophe. We can make the world safer and more secure if we work together.

About Outrider Foundation
Outrider uses digital media to provide accessible information about how we can build a brighter future together. Outrider engages on the major global issues of today – including climate change, nuclear weapons and voter registration – the connections between politics and security and how smart policy can sustain a safe and liveable planet. The activities and communications developed by the organization are designed to build deep understanding and to inspire action, and, within the past year, Outrider introduced a new media format, the Outrider Post, to provide ongoing comment, papers, interactives on these primary issues.

Outrider is an operating foundation funded by its founder, Frank Burgess, Chairman of a Wisconsin based money management firm who alongside the board of directors and staff is very passionate about its key thematic focuses. The organization has assets of ~$6,000,000 and a 2021 budget of ~$1,500,000 with high likelihood of substantial asset and budget growth over the next five years. Despite its lack of necessity of solicitation for additional project funding, Outrider has co-produced or co-branded several initiatives with other world class organizations in the areas of climate change and nuclear weapons.

Position Overview
The Executive Director will join Outrider Foundation during a period of evolution and growth. They will assume responsibility for the leadership, strategic execution, and overall management of the organization. This senior leader will be responsible for the execution of Outrider’s mission and the further development and completion of its strategic initiatives. They must have or develop deep knowledge and expertise in the areas of climate change, nuclear weaponry, and digital publishing coupled with a passion for the promotion of the value and importance of reversing the course of global climate change and ending the threat of nuclear war.

This executive leader will report directly to the Chairperson of Outrider Foundation’s four-member Board of Directors and is currently supported by three additional full-time staff members and several part time content specific consultants, writers, and interns. In support of the anticipated financial growth and desired expansion of brand and impact, Outrider expects its full-time staff to reach 10-15 over the next three years.

Key Responsibilities
The Executive Director of Outrider Foundation will assume responsibility for the leadership, strategic execution, and overall management of the organization. This executive will be responsible for spearheading the execution of Outrider’s mission and strategic initiatives and must have or develop deep knowledge and expertise in the areas of climate change, nuclear weapons, and digital publishing.

The ideal candidate will be an inclusive, dynamic, and innovative leader who can leverage their thematic knowledge, business savvy, relationship building and management experience, and strategic vision for the benefit of the Foundation.  This individual will be a visionary leader with a desire to assist in the attraction of future activity and the further innovation of the Foundation’s objectives.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Executive Leadership & Board Relations

  • Serve as a visionary to guide and oversee the organization’s mission and principles through partnership with the Board of Directors.
  • Maintain a productive relationship with the Board and work with Board members to set the enterprise’s strategic direction and policies, enabling the enterprise to adapt to a constantly changing external environment.
  • Serve as a broker of ideas that engage and energize Outrider staff, volunteers, board members in shaping the Foundation’s future.
  • Ensure transparency and communicate regularly with the Board around all key governance issues, including financial oversight and board recruitment and development. Hold quarterly Board Meetings and ad hoc meetings as needed.
  • Promote a culture of strong integrity, high performance, meaningful collaboration, and continuous improvement that values learning and commitment to quality.

Operations & Financial Management

  • Maintain a well-functioning, efficient organization through effective communications and teambuilding; develop measurable goals and objectives to enable Outrider’s commitment to impact.
  • Serve as the director of editorial and newsroom activities, driving organizational deadlines and work schedules to achieve outcomes
  • Develop and implement operational plans to increase brand awareness, expand social media presence, and further organizational following.
  • Develop and execute innovative and forward-thinking digital publication strategies with input from staff and align those plans with organizational strategy.
  • Be proactive in identifying and proposing big bets with the potential for transformative impact.
  • Serve as a proactive and dedicated advocate for Outrider’s legal and financial interests. As appropriate, consult on strategic matters that potentially impact Outrider’s funding.
  • Ensure productive and effective staff performance, providing guidance, feedback, and opportunities for professional development.
  • While there is no current need for fundraising from individual or public sources, provide oversight for the RFP and development office.
  • Develop and maintain appropriate levels of internal controls and communicate the designated processes and procedures to the Board.

External Relations

  • Provide executive leadership to all marketing, communications, and branding initiatives for Outrider to ensure the organization is well positioned among key constituents.
  • Build and maintain key relationships with reporters and news Develop a broad network of contacts with experts across the journalism, climate, and nuclear fields.
  • Initially serve as primary editor of Outrider’s written materials with focus on increasing credibility and visibility for the organization. In time, recruit staff or editorial board to carry out editorial tasks.
  • Drive public visibility and awareness of Outrider through both traditional and new media.
  • Enhance existing and develop new partnerships with other relevant organizations and stakeholders aligned to the Outrider mission. Key peers include the Union of Concerned Scientists and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The successful Executive Director candidate will bring a track record of excellence in roles of increasing seniority throughout their career, knowledge of the climate change and/or nuclear field, and an enthusiasm and vision for the continued growth of Outrider and its mission. They will be a creative visionary with the courage to challenge status quo and push boundaries.

Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include:

  • A minimum of ten years’ experience in the climate, nuclear or digital publishing space.
  • Results-driven, sound business and financial acumen, proven leadership skills, and demonstrated success in leading a digital publishing, scientific, or related organization.
  • Commitment to digital media and innovation as a tool for organizational growth.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to serve as the chief brand ambassador and strategic visionary.
  • Keen ability to develop and sustain relationships with existing partners as well as new partners across a variety of related organizations, societies, and institutions.
  • Strong staff management skills and experience creating collaborative, inclusive, trusting, team cultures. The executive presence and integrity to inspire confidence and teamwork with staff.
  • Unquestionable ethics, integrity, transparency, and accountability in all actions.
  • Commitment to continuous self and organizational
  • This executive must be based in, or willing to relocate to the Madison, WI area.
  • Ability to promote Outrider within its Spanish language programming.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required. Advanced degree in a related field preferred.

Application Process
Interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to:


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