Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. Its mission is to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.
The organization annually awards a total of $1.25 million to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The organization also produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working to promote the value poets bring to our culture. Taken together, the Academy reaches more than 2 million individuals each month.
In addition to its mission, the Academy staff is guided by the organization’s values, which include anti-racism, collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion, innovation, and leadership.
The Executive Director & President of the Academy of American Poets will be an experienced leader with a deep appreciation of poetry and an understanding of the literary landscape. This is a full-time position, reporting to the Board of Directors. In addition, the Executive Director serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board as its President. The successful candidate will provide vision, leadership, strategy, and fundraising skills to manage the Academy’s wide-ranging portfolio of programs and activities. The Executive Director will be skilled in engaging diverse constituencies and staff with keen understanding and diplomacy. Strategic planning is an ongoing process at the Academy, and the new Executive Director will guide and fully participate in that process. A deep and active commitment to implementing the principles of equity, inclusion, diversity, and access must be part of the Executive Director’s approach to managing the organization. The Executive Director will have expertise in leading and managing a national nonprofit organization, and will develop innovative, leading-edge ways to expand the organization’s reach. Since the Academy has a strong organizational foundation in place, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to guide the organization forward to its 90th anniversary and beyond, broadening its service to all its constituents and the larger literary community.
Artistic Programming, Strategic Leadership, Operations
External Relations and Communications
Board and Chancellor Relations
The Executive Director & President will be an effective communicator and collaborator, with a commitment to transparency, trust, and respect. The successful candidate will lead teamwork and team building, both supporting and supervising the staff. They will build relationships both internally and externally to enhance the Academy’s work, and contribute their vision and entrepreneurial spirit to build on the organization’s purpose and mission.
Other key competencies include:
The successful candidate will have approximately 10 years’ experience in nonprofit administration at the executive or senior level; a bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred. A master of fine arts is desirable but is not required. The President & Executive Director should have a true passion for literature, and ideally an extensive knowledge of poetry and the contemporary poetry community. Proficiency in strategic planning, as well as management, finance, development, and staff leadership, is essential. A track record of successful fundraising and donor and board relations is key to the success of this position, as is technical proficiency, including an understanding of digital publishing, social media, and web and content management. A personal commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access is crucial, with professional experience in implementing best practices.
The Academy of American Poets provides a competitive and equitable compensation package in the estimated range of $180,000 to $200,000, with benefits that include: health insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, paid time off (10 vacation days, five sick days, three personal days, one week off at the end of December, paid summer hours, 12 holidays), a 403(b) savings plan, and a commitment to work/life balance. A relocation stipend is available. The role is based in New York City with a hybrid/remote schedule for the foreseeable future.
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Mario Garcia Durham, Vice President, Arts Consulting Group:
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: The Academy of American Poets is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive staff. Qualified candidates of all backgrounds are welcome to apply. The Academy of American Poets does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of religion, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, or any other characteristics protected by law. Candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply.