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Executive Director

Boston Society for Architecture
Massachusetts, United States
$225,000.00 - $250,000.00
Posted Date
Jun 15, 2024

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Position Type
Advocacy, Arts, Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time

The Boston Society for Architecture’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Boston-area residents by championing innovation in the built environment with a clear vision to solve related critical equity and sustainability challenges.


The Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) is seeking a charismatic, energetic, and passionate leader with a strong operational and fundraising background and a track record managing and building collaborative, high-performing organizations.

The BSA is a partnership between the Boston Society of Architects (BSA/AIA) and the BSA Foundation. The BSA operates as a convener, collaborator, educator, and action leader to ensure that the power of design is fully employed in creating solutions that address the equity and climate crises of our time.

As a member-led association, the BSA/AIA is one of the oldest and largest chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Comprising world-renowned architects, designers, engineers, builders, and other industry professionals, it benefits from a committed membership who are some of the leading thinkers and innovators in professional practice today. The Foundation is a community nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives through design for all in Greater Boston.

The BSA delivers on its mission through two connected streams of work:

  • Enabling architects to excel in their profession by offering education and networking opportunities, and advocating for the profession at local, state, and national levels.
  • Catalyzing and collaborating on innovation initiatives aimed at addressing equity and sustainability challenges in the built environment.

These streams of work are synergistic: architects apply their skills to collaborative initiatives, which in turn inform their knowledge and capabilities. Both are designed to ensure a thriving architectural community that is tackling the issues of our era.

The BSA’s vision is to solve critical equity and sustainability challenges related to the built environment. It aims to realize this vision by activating its network of architects, engineers, developers, policymakers, community members – and new partners – to work together designing and testing solutions to today’s most demanding problems. Its goal is to lift these solutions up as models that can be adopted locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Chapter’s members include more than 4,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. The BSA has an annual budget of approximately $4 million, an endowment of $10 million, and a staff of 13 professionals.



The Executive Director will be a strategic thinker who will provide the energy and leadership necessary to ensure that the BSA continues to provide a dynamic public voice in design, civic life, and the role of design in society and culture. The Executive Director’s knowledge of the intersection of architecture, advocacy, and community engagement will be critical in leading the organization with a deep passion for architecture, urbanism, and the built world. The Executive Director, in collaboration with the BSA Board President and the Foundation Board Chair, will be the public face of the organizations, key spokesperson, and instrument for educating the public about the importance of architecture and design.

Reporting to the BSA Board President and the Foundation Board Chair, the Executive Director will oversee the staff, internal operations, and programs. Working closely with the Boards, the Executive Director will guide and motivate the staff and be a leader who will serve as an advocate for membership issues and BSA programs. A consensus builder, the Executive Director will be the primary link between the Boards and staff and the overall driver of the organization’s mission.

The Executive Director will be an enthusiastic fundraiser and advocate on behalf of the BSA with civic leaders, practitioners, academic institutions, the media, and the general public. 



  • Champion the BSA’s values, mission, culture, and constituencies.
  • Prudently manage the finances of the organization and ensure strong financial systems and controls, working closely with the Board Treasurers and outsourced finance partner.
  • Develop, hire, and retain high-performing staff and ensure a collaborative, supportive work culture.
  • Forge mutually beneficial working relationships with both Boards.
  • Implement a strategic vision that addresses revenue and programs. Develop strategies to ensure the BSA has a long-range, cohesive plan to achieve member-focused goals pertaining to programming, education, events, and grantmaking that increase member value.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with the BSA’s members and constituents, particularly members that serve as leaders of the BSA’s elected committees and knowledge communities (volunteer committees). Collaborate with the Boards through the promulgation of design excellence, advocacy, and continuing education.
  • Play a critical role in expanding the BSA’s funding base to best position the organization for long-term sustainability and impact. Actively pursue membership growth and engagement of leadership. Maintain the chapter’s preeminent position within the AIA. Participate in AIA activities in Massachusetts and on regional and national levels.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with leaders in government, design, educational, cultural, civic, and professional organizations in the community – both in Boston and beyond. Work to implement Board initiatives to enhance the involvement and engagement of emerging design professionals and the area schools of architecture in their activities and programs.



The Executive Director should understand the Greater Boston landscape and have a strong interest in and commitment to architecture and design and the following experience and qualifications.

  • Proven executive leadership, problem-solving, planning, and fiscal capability as a manager within an organization representing cultural, educational, or academic institutions with a focus on the built world; able to represent important views in the areas of urbanism, architecture, and design. Business and financial acumen are necessary to direct a complex organization.
  • Experienced fundraiser with a track record of closing major gifts from individual donors, foundations, government sources, and corporations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with high emotional intelligence and experience leading and collaborating with staff and valuing their work and ideas. A team builder who will seek to break down organizational silos.
  • A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of an organization.
  • The skill, confidence, and political savvy to work effectively with two separate boards coupled with the experience to create and maintain constructive partnerships with a variety of constituents including: donors; government, civic, cultural, and business leaders; academics; and colleagues and partners in architecture and design.
  • A history of effectively communicating internally and externally; demonstrated ability to identify and capitalize on public relations opportunities as they arise; able to build support and consensus by listening well and synthesizing information clearly to explain objectives.
  • Ability to think in highly strategic, analytical, and political ways, particularly about issues affecting architecture, design, urbanism, and the like; understanding of the public policy process.
  • Entrepreneurial; willing to embrace changes and innovations faced by the profession.



Salary range: $225,000 to $250,000


The BSA is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from any and all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment. It is therefore the BSA’s policy to prohibit discrimination and harassment against any applicant, employee, vendor, contractor, or client on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. It is also the BSA’s policy to prohibit any and all forms of retaliation against any individual who has complained of harassing or discriminatory conduct or participated in a firm or agency investigation into such complaints.


Nominations and applications may be submitted to Susan Meade and Addie Jones at


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