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President & Chief Executive Officer

Foundation for the Mid South
Mississippi, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Mar 29, 2023

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Position Type
Community Development
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details

The Foundation for the Mid South has been improving lives in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi for almost 35 years. Created in 1989 by a strong coalition of public- and private-sector partners, FMS has since inception sought to build upon and strengthen a growing spirit of cooperation throughout its three-state region. 

The need for the Foundation’s leadership has never been greater. Still an under-resourced part of the country, the needs within FMS’s continue to be disproportionately great, even as increased awareness of racial, social and economic inequities throughout the country mean increased competition for scarce philanthropic and governmental resources. 

With the recent retirement of its long-time CEO, the Board of Directors of Foundation for the Mid South seeks an energized, focused leader who can help bring cohesion to the Foundation’s strategy, discipline to its operations, transparency to its communications and renewed vigor to its relationships.

The ideal candidate to lead Foundation for the Mid South may come from a variety of backgrounds, including foundation or nonprofit management or even the corporate and professional sectors. A candidate need not be located within the region to receive serious consideration, but a deep and demonstrated understanding of the mid-south region is critical to success. Among the assets and attributes being sought are the following:

Expertise: The ideal candidate will demonstrate…

  • Consequential leadership success in organizations known for significant local and regional impact
  • A pattern of visionary, strategic thinking, creative collaboration and pragmatic execution, all informed by a charitable spirit
  • Capable hands-on leadership of a dynamic organization staffed with superb people addressing complex issues from both grassroots and policy perspectives
  • The personal and managerial capacity to expand the Foundation’s influence and impact while empowering staff members to stretch themselves in new and compelling ways
  • Success in tackling the tougher issues of the day, particularly ones requiring consensus (and funding) from disparate groups and constituencies. While we are not seeking a subject-matter expert, working familiarity with at least two of the Foundation’s current focus areas would be additive
  • A commitment to leadership development and team-building, both internally and throughout the communities of service, broadly construed
  • A record of developing and expanding successful, sustained relationships with major funders
  • Savviness in board relations and board engagement
  • Consistency, resiliency and creativity in pursuit of progress against bold goals
  • Financial literacy; a leader who combines business acumen with a philanthropic bent, someone who intuits the importance of sound budgets, timely reports and the inherent value of data-informed metrics.

Culture: FMS seeks an executive who…  

  • Demonstrates an authentic understanding of the region’s history and the pervasive impact of economic deprivation and racial provincialism across the three-state service area
  • Enjoys the respect of foundations, community leaders, program partners and collaborators
  • Embodies humility in action and words
  • Exhibits deep-seated passion for the Foundation’s focus, balanced with personal humility in pursuit of the Foundation’s vision.
  • Demonstrates superb skills and demonstrated success in broad-based resource development on local, regional and national levels.
  • Respects the value and integrity of a high-performing team supported by necessary resources, open communications, clear goals and high expectations, all borne of a shared commitment to a bold strategy
  • Manifests an overarching commitment to impact; a leader prepared to take decisive steps in pursuit of measurable progress.
  • Thinks strategically in partnership with the board, the staff and the broader community in refining and executing the Foundation’s mission.
  • Is genuinely comfortable working closely with people of diverse backgrounds, interests, education levels and sophistication.
  • Exudes the commitment and the charisma to be an effective champion for the Foundation’s mission and programs with various constituencies, including corporations, academic institutions, philanthropies, elected or appointed governmental bodies, nonprofit organizations or community constituencies.
  • Leads with firm values but an adaptable management style; an executive comfortable leading through change.
  • Ensures an environment characterized by a positive, multicultural work ethic and a commitment to collective success.
  • Supports the professional development of staff, a commitment evidenced by a successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team

Learn more about this opportunity here:

For potential consideration or to recommend a prospect, please email or call Sam Pettway or Lysondra Somerville at 404-BoardWalk (404-262-7392).


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