Executive Director, NYC Literary Organization

House of SpeakEasy
New York, United States
$110,000.00 - $130,000.00
Closing date
Mar 9, 2024




New York, NY



Founded in 2013, House of SpeakEasy is dedicated to ensuring that the power of the written word is accessible to everyone. House of SpeakEasy nurtures the relationship between readers and writers and inspires the authors and audiences of tomorrow through its programs on stage, in schools, and in communities.

We believe access to books and the power of storytelling should not be a privilege and that freedom of expression should be available to all. Thus, we address the challenge of book access in New York City and beyond by offering programs, events, and books to audiences across demographic, reading engagement, and aptitude groups. House of SpeakEasy has three distinct educational programs that forge connections between writers and readers, students and educators, and communities that are underserved by traditional literary culture.

  • SpeakTogether pairs published writers with students and teachers in public schools throughout New York City, at community centers, including Union Settlement Association’s highly regarded College Readiness Program, and in a partnership program with the New York Public Library.
  • The House of SpeakEasy Bookmobile delivers free, new books, as well as their authors, to neighborhoods where few or no bookstores exist. Roughly a third of the Bookmobile’s outings are to NYCHA locations.
  • The Creative Arts Toolkits library consists of 45 author videos, each accompanied by robust, peer-reviewed lesson plans for use in schools nationwide. Each toolkit includes craft lessons, project-based activities, and an anti-racist pedagogy, all of which is thoughtfully and sensitively created to provide teachers and students with ways to explore and understand life’s complexities through literature.

In addition to educational programs, House of SpeakEasy’s Seriously Entertaining  is an acclaimed series of literary cabarets where authors take the stage at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater to riff and ruminate informally, dinner-theater-style, on the evening’s theme. Since its debut, House of SpeakEasy has been proud to present over 350 performances featuring a range of diverse authors and performers, from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to acclaimed novelists and poets, as well as comedians, musicians, and emerging writers. Throughout all its programming, House of SpeakEasy ensures that writers are paid for their work.

 For more information about House of SpeakEasy, visit http://www.houseofspeakeasy.org



Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director serves as the chief professional officer of the organization and is tasked with ensuring House of SpeakEasy continues its mission to deliver powerful and innovative ways to bring authors and readers together.  

 The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring the organization is positioned to succeed by examining and augmenting its infrastructure, program operations, finances, and strategic planning.  Fundraising will be a vital component of the Executive Director’s responsibility.  The Executive Director will be tasked with developing and implementing a successful and diversified fundraising program that includes individual donors, giving from foundations, corporate sponsorships, government grants, special events, and online/social media.

The ability to motivate and lead Board, staff and stakeholders toward the organization’s goals and vision will be integral to the Executive Director’s success. S/he/they are expected to be a leader and resource to the Board and staff in addressing organizational opportunities and challenges. The organization celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2023; the Executive Director will guide the organization into its next decade, working with the Board to develop a strategic plan. Expertise in organizational planning, communications, operations, and management, as well as a strong entrepreneurial vision, will be important to the success of this individual. The Executive Director must have the ability to inspire and mobilize others towards excellence.

Based in New York City, the Executive Director will serve as a key spokesperson where engagement with schools, city agencies, and funders will be expected. House of SpeakEasy’s work is inherently collaborative in nature, hence the Executive Director must be diplomatic yet self-assured in working with external partners.



  • The creation and execution of a vision for the next chapter of House of SpeakEasy, building on its recent achievements and taking the organization in bold new directions.
  • Increased and broadening of earned and contributed funding streams.
  • Innovation in tapping into new and existing communities.




  • Serve as the public face/representative of House of SpeakEasy with donors, sponsors, organizations, stakeholders, and potential new partners.
  • Work closely with the Board to manage and provide oversight to the program portfolio, including quality assurance and strategic direction.
  • Provide quality assurance so that the programmatic portfolio is designed with a deep understanding of the communities served and aligns with House of SpeakEasy’s mission and long-range plans.
  • Work with community partners to ensure the highest quality program support.
  • Support the advancement of the mission by nurturing existing relationships and establishing and developing new partnerships to enhance the role of House of SpeakEasy in its work.


  • Establish goals and create and implement strategic plans for all fundraising activities, including major gifts, foundation support, government grants, corporate sponsorships, special events, and online and social media giving.
  • Build and grow a fundraising program that draws financial support from a variety of sources to ensure that House of SpeakEasy can rely upon diverse public and private funding streams.
  • Ensure that internal systems are in place for effective donor acquisition and donor stewardship programs.
  • Assure that existing and new development initiatives, campaigns, events, and outreach programs engage existing donors, attract new donors, and encourage current donors into higher levels of support.


  • Ensure that House of SpeakEasy’s core mission is reflected in all its programs.
  • Develop goals, strategies, and tactics alongside short and long-term plans.
  • Oversee the organization's accountability to its goals and stakeholders.


  • Build, lead, and retain an effective and diverse staff team dedicated to the mission and with the requisite skills to be successful in their work.
  • Establish effective decision-making at all levels to ensure that voices are heard and that short- and long-term goals are met.
  • Oversee the financial management of the organization, including the preparation of reports, records and other documentation as requested by the Board that present the progress and status of House of SpeakEasy’s plan and activities.
  • Execute effective fiscal policies and procedures and operate House of SpeakEasy in a transparent and financially responsible fashion, including timely budgeting, financial reporting, audits, and compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  • Ensure the effective use of House of SpeakEasy’s financial resources.
  • Ensure that internal systems are in place to capture data regarding program outcomes and effectiveness and develop and make program recommendations to the Board.


  • Ensure effective systems for program evaluation and regularly evaluate the program portfolio, ever mindful of the need to adapt to the needs of communities served.
  • Bring a spirit of innovation to the program work with an eye toward piloting new ideas that could be incorporated into or will maximize existing work.


  • At least 8 years progressive senior-level management and organizational leadership experience.
  • Prior experience in a literary or educational environment preferred, but not required.
  • A proven record of strong interpersonal and management experiences.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and successful professional experience in all areas of fundraising, planning, implementation, and financial resource development.
  • Experience working with Board, Stakeholders, and Consultants to develop and execute a successful strategic plan.
  • Exceptional leadership, supervisory, and team-building skills.
  • A proven track record and the willingness and desire to be personally involved in the cultivation and solicitation of major donors.
  • Proven effectiveness in serving as a spokesperson and representative with institutional funders, individual donors, community leaders, and other stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated experience partnering with and working within a wide range of communities, audiences, and stakeholders and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Excellent written, interpersonal, and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Outstanding organizational skills, with the ability to complete projects in a timely manner and to manage multiple priorities.
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university.



Salary range $110k-$130K plus employer-paid health insurance,  paid time off and holiday time, and hybrid work location.


House of SpeakEasy is an equal opportunity employer. It is committed to ensuring equal opportunity to all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, or expression.


For more information, to refer a candidate, or to apply in confidence, please contact:  

David Hinsley Cheng, Managing Partner

Jennifer Thorne, Search Consultant

DHC Search



(203) 307-0120

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