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Executive Director

Company: Mediation Center of Dutchess County
Date Posted: August 2, 2016


Organization Summary

The Mediation Center, a vital resource for resolving disputes as an alternative to litigation, seeks a visionary leader with a deep passion for interpersonal interaction, human relations and social justice. The Executive Director will build upon the Center’s solid reputation and history to advance the organization to new heights with a proactive approach and the necessary creativity to help it fulfill its vision of being recognized as the premier conflict resolution center and the leader in preventing and resolving conflict in the community.

Founded in 1983, the Mediation Center has been helping people, organizations, and businesses resolve conflict for more than 30 years. The Center’s mission is to provide and promote conflict prevention, management, resolution services and education for individuals, families, businesses and organizations in Dutchess County. It is carried out in a variety of ways by professionally trained volunteer and staff mediators as well as a dedicated board of directors.

The Center has developed a reputation for creating progressive programs that help people think more clearly and communicate more effectively, understand others and make decisions that improve their lives. Services are provided for disputes in the workplace, special education, agriculture, business, with child custody and visitation, elders and their caregivers, landlords and tenants, consumers and merchants, and with wills and estates, among others. In addition, the Mediation Center also directs two important programs: the Anti-Bullying Initiative launched in 2012 and the Coalition on Elder Abuse founded in 2009.

With a staff of 6, an active volunteer base, and an operating budget of approximately $400,000 the Mediation Center provides services to town, village and city courts as well as Dutchess County Family Court. Over 500 cases are referred for mediation and more than 3,000 people reached annually. In 2002, the Mediation Center adopted the transformative model for mediation, training, and education.

For additional information on the organization, please visit the website at:


Basic Function

The Executive Director will provide the vision, knowledge, passion and credibility to advance in all aspects the Mediation Center’s mission, strategic direction and goals.  The individual will be an advocate, spokesperson and fundraiser, capitalizing on opportunities that enhance the Mediation Center’s ability to serve its members and raise awareness among the general public, policymakers, funders and key influencers.  He/She will take a leadership and public role interacting and collaborating with peers at referring agencies, government offices and agencies, community leaders and the general public, providing a strong voice as a spokesperson and raising the Center’s visibility.  The Executive Director will continue coalition-building with other agencies serving shared populations and explore opportunities to grow the Center’s outreach and impact in the community.

The Executive Director will be an excellent manager, both a team leader and a team player managing a knowledgeable and committed staff.  He/She will oversee the day-to-day operations, be the chief fundraiser and face of the organization, and implement the goals as set forth by the Board of Directors and in the latest strategic planning process.  Reporting to the Board and working closely in partnership with the Board President, the Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally and administratively sound and that its operations, communications, services, programs, and development efforts are coordinated and support the mission, the policies of the Board, and the needs of the clients.

Realizing that the Executive Director must balance and manage the Center’s internal and external needs, the individual will be an outstanding leader, collaborator and communicator who can gain the trust and confidence of board, staff, sister organizations and partners, funders, and government agencies.  It is also important that the Executive Director have the necessary credibility to convey to stakeholders and a broader public the issues, activities, and impact of mediation writ large and the transformational approach in particular.


Responsibilities and Priorities

History – Get to know the Mediation Center’s history, mission, values and culture; understand its organizational structure, programming, services, finances and fundraising needs.

Leadership – Lead by example and with inspirational and strategic vision and judgment so that the Center functions in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s philosophy and mission. 

Administration – Foster a collegial and team-oriented working environment with the staff and volunteers of the Mediation Center, understanding each staff person’s strengths and contributions; build relationships of trust, responsibility and accountability while nurturing cohesion in the organization; sustain open channels of communication and continue to provide professional development opportunities; review and assess internal structure and staffing for the organization to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, as well as professional growth opportunities. Encourage innovative thinking and collaboration to soften departmental silos.

Operations – Work with the Finance Committee to craft and recommend the annual budget to the full Board; prudently manage the Center’s resources from both an organizational and legal standpoint; oversee the annual audit process. Oversee the management of the office space.

Programs and Services – Be trained in the transformative model and thoroughly understand its unique place in the Mediation Center’s identity and reputation. Oversee design, marketing, promotion, delivery, and quality of the Center’s programs and services. Appreciate the communities and clients the organization is serving, how its programs and services are structured and funded, how performance is measured, and what it costs to ensure and deliver quality services efficiently.

Resource Development – Leading the efforts and working with the Fundraising Committee and full Board as appropriate, build on the Mediation Center’s ability to raise funds from diverse sources; create strategies to expand support from foundations, individuals, corporations and government; actively solicit additional funds.

Board Relations – Establish a strong working partnership with the Board of Directors and Board President, gain their trust and confidence as a strong peer, and forge relationships that will bring forth their best ideas and efforts in support of the Mediation Center’s policies, programs, and fundraising activities; coordinate and support efforts of the Board committees; work with the President to enable the Board to fulfill its governance function; maintain a regular communications system for informing Board members of the organization’s activities and programs; help attract new Board members.

Private Sector – Cultivate relationships in the local private sector to increase the Mediation Center’s visibility and client base; speak at business fora offered by such groups as the Chamber of Commerce, the Dutchess County Bar Association, teachers associations and community advocacy groups, and liaise with human resources executives and others concerned with the welfare of office culture and employee well-being in the workplace.

Public Role – Represent the Mediation Center to the outside world; serve as a spokesperson; make effective presentations, both orally and in writing, to the external community, including referring agencies, government offices and agencies, and community leaders as well as staff, Board, donors and media on the effectiveness of the Mediation Center’s services and programs; champion the work and accomplishments of the staff and volunteers; build the brand.

Public Policy and Advocacy – Be a persuasive player at the policy table, both representing the Mediation Center and as a coalition member with other agencies, governmental and nonprofit alike, to make the Mediation Center the “go-to” resource on matters of conflict resolution; call on key government officials and agencies concerned with the well-being of communities and constituencies throughout the county; keep abreast of budgets and legislation at the local, state and federal levels to determine synergy and funding opportunities; testify before appropriate legislative bodies; advocate in collaboration with appropriate agencies, with community residents, and with others in the nonprofit sector.

Growth – Continue to explore opportunities to expand services, broaden outreach, and increase the Center's impact.

Strategic Planning – With Board and staff, implement the goals of the most recent strategic plan and, if necessary, adjust the plan to meet the organization’s future needs. Recognize and capitalize on mission-aligned opportunities supported by new revenue streams and sufficient staff.


Experience and Competencies

The Executive Director should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least five years of senior executive management experience and work with a board of directors. Demonstrated success in the leadership of an organization of similar size and scale during challenging economic times, including retaining talented staff and committed board members.
  • Proven track record of successful fundraising with the public sector, foundations, corporations and individuals.
  • Strong management and operational experience with proven ability to inspire others and lead organizational advancement.
  • Experience using superior organizational skills and ability to juggle multiple competing priorities.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and significant relationship-building experience. An inclusive style with respect to empowering staff and engaging the Board; a decision maker who can be firm, fair, confident, yet flexible.
  • Exceptional communications skills, in writing and orally, both formally and extemporaneously.
  • An ethical individual with outstanding human qualities, able to relate to diverse audiences; must impart trust, integrity, stability, sensitivity, common sense, and tolerance and motivate others in a similar vein.
  • Success with and willingness to “roll up the sleeves” to do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of the organization. High energy.
  • Undergraduate degree required; advanced degree or training in mediation, alternative dispute resolution, social work, or other relevant field highly desirable. Familiarity with transformative mediation highly desirable.

 Mediation Center of Dutchess County is an equal opportunity employer.

Please send applications and nominations to G. Angela Henry at: