Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

Executive Director Asheville, NC

North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS), one of the nation’s largest and most well-respected providers of experiential learning programs, seeks a strategic, inspiring, and creative Executive Director. This new leader will have the opportunity to leverage the school’s existing assets and chart a course for the future. With the support of a strong staff and board, the new Executive Director will ensure that NCOBS continues to be a leader in experiential education – one that provides life-changing experiences for students from all backgrounds, allowing them to return to their everyday lives with new skills, perspectives, and strengths.

Since its founding in the mid-1960’s, NCOBS has been known for its wide-ranging courses – from wilderness courses to urban leadership development programs – that challenge participants to push outside of their comfort zones. NCOBS experiences are at the same time deeply collaborative and highly personalized; students develop both increased self-reliance and compassion for others. With a pre-COVID annual operating budget of $8M and a nearly $20M endowment, NCOBS is the largest Outward Bound school in the country. Its vast geographic footprint covers nearly all the southeastern region of the United States, with the headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Executive Director (ED) role calls for an inspiring individual with exceptional operational and financial acumen, including proven skills in organizational and staff leadership. A record of growing and diversifying revenues, especially through philanthropic fundraising, is vital. Additionally, a passion for the natural environment and experiential learning is essential. The ED should bring experience leading and implementing a strategic planning process and managing through organizational change. A lived commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity is a must. This person needs to be comfortable listening to and communicating with a variety of different stakeholders, including field- and office-based staff, board members, external partners, donors, students and families, and the federated network of Outward Bound schools and organizations.

Inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including resumes and letters of interest responding to the opportunities and challenges outlined above) should be submitted below. Applications will be held in strict confidence.

Sheryl Ash is leading this search with Caitlin Barrett.

The North Carolina Outward Bound School is committed to equal opportunity and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote respect for all people and look for applicants and to our employees to accept, celebrate and support each other, our students and our community. We prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of the disability, or any other category which may be protected under applicable local, state or federal law.

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