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Executive Director

van Ameringen Foundation
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
May 31, 2022

View more

Position Type
Advocacy, Health
Employment Type
Full Time



The van Ameringen Foundation funds innovative and practical programs for early intervention, advocacy, and increased accessibility of mental health services for people and communities with limited financial means and opportunities. 





The van Ameringen Foundation was established by Arnold Louis van Ameringen in 1950. Mr. van Ameringen found success as an entrepreneur and business leader in the fragrance industry. He contributed his wealth to addressing matters of mental illness. For over 70 years, the van Ameringen Foundation has stayed true to this mission, focusing on increasing access to mental health treatment, particularly in New York City and Philadelphia. The Foundation is an intergenerational family foundation that honors the legacy of its founder, Arnold van Ameringen. 





Do you believe in the power of philanthropy as a catalyst to transform the mental health and well-being of individuals, communities, and systems? 


Do you derive satisfaction from helping others to realize their goals?  


Do you feel a charge to connect people, resources, and ideas for meaningful systemic change? 


Do you have the finesse to serve as an exemplary external spokesperson for the Foundation yet the grit to manage the administrative matters of a leanly staffed organization? 



The van Ameringen Foundation fully embraces the founders’ philanthropic spirit, values, and passion, providing a vehicle for future generations of the family to work together to strengthen mental health services and systems. 


First and foremost, the founder’s descendants are committed to sustaining the founders’ philanthropic intention to intelligently and compassionately distribute grants to impactful mental health practitioners. 





The van Ameringen Foundation, founded in 1950, is a private grantmaking foundation located in New York City. The Foundation received its assets from Arnold Louis van Ameringen during his lifetime and at his death in 1966 and from his widow, Hedwig van Ameringen, during her lifetime and at her death in 1996. 


From its inception, the Foundation has funded prevention, education, and direct care in the mental health field, as well as advocacy efforts to achieve systems change locally and nationally. The emphasis continues to be on assisting people and communities with limited resources and opportunities to access preventive, early intervention, and effective mental health treatment with a focus on the communities of New York City and Philadelphia, where the family has its roots. 


The Foundation is at an important point of development as it has expanded its historically mostly direct service and targeted grantmaking to include more grants to nonprofits committed to advocacy. 


The Foundation is currently governed by a board of nine including six family members and three non-family members.  


The Foundation is based in New York City, with a current staff of two and an endowment of approximately $100 million. The Foundation has a 2022 grant budget of $10 million. 







Reporting primarily to the Board President as well as to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership for the Foundation and will: 


Governance and Board Relations 


  • Support the operation and administration of the Foundation by advising and informing Board members, interfacing between Board, family members, and staff. 


  • Implement Board guidance to the Foundation. In consultation with the Foundation’s legal counsel, advise the President as required to keep Board activities within the bounds of its bylaws and keep critical corporate records. 


  • Interpret and apply laws, rules, and regulations applicable to the Foundation and, in matters where reference to legal counsel is necessary, do so in conjunction with the Board. 


  • Design, review, and innovate operational policies, practices, and guidelines of the Foundation, periodically presenting to the Board for input and approval. 


  • Arrange and attend Board and committee meetings/activities including preparing facilities and agenda. Oversee materials development, implement Board directives, and communicate with Board between meetings. 


  • Collaborate with the Board and Board President in strategic planning and provide professional input to establish objectives based on goals and budget considerations agreed upon by the Board. 


Program Leadership and Operation 


  • Implement the Foundation’s mission and annual grantmaking goals/objectives within Board-approved guidelines. 


  • Provide overall direction to grantmaking initiatives/strategy. Fine-tune and implement grantmaking policies and procedures in conjunction with the Foundation Board, as appropriate. 


  • Administer the Foundation’s grantmaking program, including preparation of written agendas, grant proposal reviews, site visits, and other matters requiring the Foundation’s action. 


  • Develop, implement, and oversee evaluation of funded programs; monitor progress of approved grants and make periodic reports to the Foundation on funding effectiveness. 


  • Ensure timely payout of approved grants. 


  • Provide information and guidance, where needed, to grant seekers concerning the Foundation’s programs, processes, and fields of interest. 


  • Write acceptance letters for President’s signature; sign decline letters. 


  • Collaborate with the Board President on grantmaking, develop meeting agendas, and lead the seamless administration of the Foundation. 


Human Resources 


  • Ensure that appropriate staff and policies are in place. 


  • Perform annual evaluation of staff to assess performance and present compensation recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. 


External Relations/Communications 


  • Ensure the Foundation and its mission are consistently presented in strong, positive images to relevant stakeholders. 


  • Continue professional growth in the field of philanthropy by participating in events, seminars, and conferences. 


  • Attend briefings, symposiums, and meetings to remain informed and updated about the mental health issues in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. 


  • Represent the Foundation at grantee events. 


  • Participate in partnerships and collaborative opportunities with other grantmakers and nonprofit organizations, as appropriate. 


  • Supervise the preparation of the annual report, content on the website, and other communications and outreach activities. 





The Executive Director should be, have, or reflect the following. 


  • A caring leader with humility and integrity driven by passion to help others and unwavering commitment to promoting equity. 


  • Strength of character and conviction to promote the values and mission of the Foundation without being ego driven. Someone for whom the ownership of and/or credit for ideas is less important than the collective results of the process and effort. 


  • A record of accomplishment in program development, strategic planning, and financial management. Experience as a compassionate visionary with proven ability to lead and facilitate strategically and manage an organization. 


  • A values-driven and mission-driven leader who views philanthropy as a catalyst for community and systemic change. 


  • An unwavering work ethic and commitment to excellence. 


  • A naturally consultative and inclusive management style. A visionary with the maturity, confidence, wisdom, and collaborative skills necessary to garner the trust and confidence of the Board, family, staff, and grantee partners. 


  • The emotional intelligence to deal effectively with the Board, family, and, externally, with grantees, community leaders, and partners. 


  • A reflective and pragmatic practitioner. 


  • An active listener and agile lifelong learner who is open to innovative ideas and can think conceptually, critically, and strategically. 
  • An ability to lead by example, bringing out the best in others. 


  • A focused leader able to distill ideas and clarify issues; someone with a high degree of intuition. 


  • A strong record of accomplishment as a motivator, collaborator, innovator, and builder. A natural convener who can share, learn, and listen effectively to build consensus and inspire strong, enduring partnerships across diverse communities. 


  • Proven record as an effective spokesperson with the appropriate level of finesse and grace to represent the Foundation. The judgment to know when it is best to speak on behalf of the Foundation and when it may be more appropriate to have a family member speak. Strong writing skills. 


  • Bachelor’s degree required and graduate degree preferred.  



The van Ameringen Foundation is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in its workforce fosters excellence and is reflected in the Foundation’s values. 



Nominations and applications including cover letters and CVs should be submitted to the attention of Paul Spivey at 


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