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Executive Director (International Literacy; Hybrid in NYC)

New York, United States
$140,000.00 - $150,000.00
Closing date
Jul 2, 2022


PNP Staffing Group is excited to have been retained by LitWorld to lead their search for an Executive Director.


About LitWorld

LitWorld International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to strengthen kids and communities through the power of stories. LitWorld International was founded in 2007 by literacy educator and author, Pam Allyn, following a trip to Kibera, Kenya. On this trip Pam experienced firsthand the urgent desire children had to read, write, and share their stories, and the barriers that stood in their way.

For the past 15 years, LitWorld has developed & operated its core programming - LitClubs, LitCamps and World Read Aloud Day – to serve at-risk children around the world with an unparalleled curriculum of social-emotional learning and traditional literacy techniques via a community-based approach. LitWorld believes deeply in the power of stories. At its core, the LitWorld mission is about changing lives by providing children with the tools they need to speak their own truth, to tell their own story, and, in so doing, to chart their own paths. In a time when growing oppression is matched by unprecedented access to global storytelling outlets and platforms, LitWorld’s work has never been more urgent.

LitWorld touches hundreds of thousands of children and parents each year through ongoing operations in fifteen countries and 5 US states, and nearly 10MM parents and children through our annual World Read Aloud Day advocacy event.


Position Summary

LitWorld is seeking a mission-driven, transformational nonprofit leader who believes in the power of literacy and stories to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director. A successful LitWorld ED will embody the ‘serious joy’ that sits at the heart of LitWorld’s work, believe deeply in the importance of children’s happiness despite challenging personal circumstances, and be able to inspire those around them to join this extraordinary effort in service of all children. 

Reporting to and working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director sets the tone and direction for LitWorld. This individual is responsible for defining and implementing the LitWorld strategy in service of the organizational mission, ensuring excellence in programmatic execution & partnerships, and positioning LitWorld for long-term endurance & growth. In collaboration with an expert staff, a diverse team of globally based local partner organizations, and a robust network of external supporters (Board, Advisory Council, Young Professionals Network and corporate partners), the ED will sit at the helm of a global movement.



Programming & External Partnerships

  • Engage with global network of local partners to ensure content, curriculum, and processes fully support their unique needs and contexts. Partner openly and empathetically to identify new solutions that expand LitWorld’s strategic programming, and partners’ impact within their communities
  • Support day-to-day relationship management with community-based partners
  • Set an intentional partnership network strategy, and expand/nurture in line with strategic intentions
  • Support identification, prioritization & implementation of innovative curriculum & delivery methods, in collaboration with academic research partners and on-the-ground community partners
  • Develop strong collaborative relationships with corporate partners, in service of furthering both LitWorld’s and partner’s priorities


Mission-Driven Strategy    

  • Seeking inputs from key internal and external stakeholders, chart a multiyear vision and path for LitWorld that honors our core values and mission, while accounting for always-evolving operational realities
  • Implement 3-year Strategic Plan, with annual adjustments as appropriate
  • Develop annual operating plan grounded in the long-term strategic plan, inclusive of measurable goals and plans for tracking outcomes
  • Evolve and embed LitWorld’s measurement strategy. Build data-driven story to demonstrate the systemic changes fueled by LitWorld’s programming


Organizational Culture

  • Establish a strong organizational culture, rooted in candor, integrity, diversity, and gratitude
  • Lead, motivate & mentor the LitWorld staff, with an eye towards fostering an engaged, positive, high-performing team. Scope to include staff retention, recruitment & development (inclusive of clear annual goal setting, ongoing priorities management, and timely, actionable feedback)
  • Establish a respectful culture that is mindful of DEAI principles and best practices
  • Foster powerful relationships with the Board, Advisory Council and Young Professionals’ Network to catalyze these networks as agents of change. Act as primary liaison between Board and Staff


Sustainable Development Agenda

  • Oversee a multi-year fundraising strategy and annual plan/campaign to support strategic & operational plans
  • Oversee a responsible annual budget process, driving for efficient spending in line with the budget and strategic plan while advocating for smart investments as needed
  • Identify and pursue new fundraising opportunities, revenue streams, grants, sponsors, and donors, as needed to support the mission
  • Ensure compliance with regular reporting of revenue and expenditures to the Board & appropriate staff members
  • Connect deeply and regularly with donors (individual, corporate sponsors/partners, and all other funders) to drive connection and maintain engagement to and excitement for, the work, instill confidence in outcomes, and identify new opportunities for “win-win” engagements


Advocacy & Thought Leadership

  • Be ready, willing, and able to speak with authority on the criticality of education, specifically literacy and storytelling, as a key LitWorld representative in public forums - both written and live
  • Oversee Marketing, PR, and collaboration opportunities, with an eye towards tapping relevant trends & platforms to ensure impactful communication of LitWorld’s work with the right audiences


Critical Skills & Qualifications


  • Minimum 5-8 years of leadership experience (department or organization), with focus on nonprofit strongly preferred
  • Substantive professional experience in at least one of the following: literacy, early childhood education, international partnerships & development, academic research & measurement
  • Proven track record building and strengthening external partnerships with an eye towards understanding needs & cultural nuances, and driving for mutually beneficial outcomes (across collaborators, programming recipients, donors)
  • Proven experience with developing, selling-in, implementing and tracking a plan (strategic or operational)
  • A deep belief in - and ability to eloquently communicate - the power of education, stories & literacy to transform lives, especially in service of at-risk and under-served communities
  • Passion for the LitWorld mission and values; a hunger to hold these principles at the core of all actions
  • Commitment to equity, justice, antiracism, and advocating for communities and individuals of different backgrounds, origins, genders, ethnicities, education levels, orientations, and socioeconomic situations
  • Clear leadership principles. Demonstrated ability to set a vision, making decisions & implement a productive plan via engagement of key internal (staff) and external (partners) stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor, motivate and develop a diverse, high-potential staff
  • Comfort ‘being the face’ of LitWorld across multiple stakeholder groups (donors, corporate & foundation partners, academic & peer networks, operating partners)



  • Experience setting strategic development plans, and demonstrated excellence in delivering financial growth
  • Experience building communication plans
  • Demonstrated success managing a team through a period of transition



LitWorld International is an Equal Opportunity Employer

LitWorld International respects and values diversity. LitWorld will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Diversity of perspective and experience benefits LitWorld and helps us deliver our best work; we encourage qualified individuals from all backgrounds to apply.

LitWorld International strongly encourages people of color, women, LGBTQ, veteran and differently-abled candidates to submit.

Applicants must have work authorization that does not now or in the future require sponsorship of a visa for employment authorization in the United States.

LitWorld has retained PNP Staffing Group to lead this search.  Please send resume and cover letter to Wade Savitt, Executive Recruiter:


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