The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world’s leading association for sustainability professionals. ISSP builds professional networks, defines professional excellence, and has developed the leading credentials in the field of sustainability, which are now integrated into the GBCI platform. A range of professional development offerings, industry-leading resources, and networking opportunities empower sustainability professionals to drive positive change in every region of the world.
We are searching for a passionate and pragmatic Executive Director to lead a rapidly growing organization that empowers professionals advancing sustainability across sectors and around the world. As a membership organization serving a mission-oriented field of practitioners, ISSP seeks a leader with equal parts strategic vision, business acumen, and relationship-building skills. The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial and dynamic individual who can design industry-leading programming and then execute each step of their vision. Collaborating closely with the ISSP Governing Board, they will lead a small and dedicated team of executive staff and volunteers from the field. The Executive Director will have at least 5 years leadership experience, ideally in the nonprofit or professional association spaces, bringing deep understanding and keen insight into the rapidly developing sustainability market. In all situations, they will demonstrate a commitment to ISSP's mission and values in tandem with driving strategic growth.
As an international association, we value multiculturalism in our staff and leadership and welcome candidates from the fullest diversity of geographic, economic, and social communities. The position offers an outstanding opportunity for liaising with industry leaders across the business, nonprofit, and academic sectors and for shaping the development of the sustainability profession. As the face and voice of ISSP, the role requires occasional travel to events and conferences, although day-to-day operations and meetings are conducted virtually. Professional development opportunities abound at ISSP, and the Executive Director will be supported in earning their Sustainability Excellence professional credentials (SEA and SEP).
This position reports to the ISSP Governing Board President
- Develop and implement ISSP’s strategy, while effectively managing the day-to-day operations of the organization.
- Annually develop a business plan and budget, designed to meet the goals set by the Governing Board.
- Responsibly manage ISSP’s fiscal operations and financial reporting.
- Prioritize resources and focus staff efforts on critical activities.
- Execute ISSP operations technology & communications infrastructure.
- Develop Board and Committee meeting agendas, ensuring the Governing Board and Leadership Team are kept fully informed, in a timely way, on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
- Effectively manage and supervise a growing remote team of 2-5 full- and part-time individuals, along with an array of volunteers located within and outside the US.
- Develop, execute, modify, and dismantle programs and activities to maximize mission impact.
- Comply with ISSP policies and procedures while ensuring organizational compliance with all governance, statutory, and contractual obligations.
- Serve as the public face and voice of ISSP, building its brand as the global leader empowering professionals advancing sustainability.
- Understand the synergies between ISSP and other organizations, acting strategically to advance our goals.
- Establish and cultivate working relationships with organizations and thought leaders, building strong partnerships that advance our mission.
- Maintain and use a high-level working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the sustainability field.
- In collaboration with the Communications Manager, develop and deliver a strong marketing and communications plan to build broad awareness across all channels.
- Attend professional conferences and events, as needed.
- Strategically build ISSP into a world-class organization.
- Redesign ISSP’s educational offerings as an innovative, multifaceted professional development program.
- Build connection for a growing global network of ISSP members, such as by hosting virtual and in-person networking opportunities.
- Expand the network of ISSP Chapters around the world and strengthen their connection with ISSP Global.
- Facilitate continuous improvement to ISSP’s educational products and the Sustainability Professionals Body of Knowledge (SPBOK).
- Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
- A minimum of 5 years relevant experience, at the senior level, in membership association management, nonprofit management, and/or program management.
- Proven experience in business development.
- Understanding of the climate change, sustainability, ESG, CSR, environmental, and social impact fields. Familiarity with professional credentials and certifications will be an asset.
- Substantial financial management and reporting experience, with demonstrated excellence in meeting or exceeding financial goals.
- Extensive knowledge of on-demand professional development programming development, with experience managing such programs preferred.
- Demonstrated experience in managing volunteer or nonprofit Boards.
- Experience in member development, engagement, and retention.
- Competency in Microsoft/Google applications including Word/Docs, Excel/Sheets, and Powerpoint/Slides; and
- Native/bilingual proficiency in English, additional languages preferred.
Additional consideration will be given to candidates who:
- Have a SEA/SEP credential (preferred); SEA required within 6 months of hire;
- Have experience in data collection, analysis, and report generation;
- Have experience working with Learning Management Systems (LMS), Association Management System (AMS), and/or Customer Relationship Management (CRM);
- Have ISSP membership; and
- Have multicultural and/or cross-cultural experience.
Personal Attributes and Qualities
- Demonstrated commitment to ISSP’s mission.
- An agile thinker, with a demonstrated ability to act strategically.
- Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative, with multidisciplinary project skills.
- Persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent written and verbal communication skills including business writing, public speaking, and virtual presentation skills.
- A natural relationship builder with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and disciplines, including both corporate and educational partners. Established resources and connections preferred.
- Excellent organizational skills with the ability to prioritize needs, delegate effectively, coach staff, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage an ambitious budget.
- Strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to contributing to a positive, fun work environment;
- Enthusiasm for, and reliability in, collaborating as a team with a wide variety of participants, including ISSP staff, Governing Board, contractors, interns, and volunteers; and
- Comfortable working virtually with a distributed team.
- Salary and benefits range: $87,000 to $100,000 per year;
- Professional development allowance provided to all staff;
Complementary access to ISSP professional development courses, and SEA & SEP credential exam study materials;
- Must be currently authorized to work in the United States;
- ISSP is a virtual organization so this position will be performed remotely; and
- Flexible time off policy with availability to participate regularly in remote meetings as necessary.
ISSP is an equal opportunity employer. As an international association, we value multiculturalism and are committed to equitably recognizing, respecting, welcoming, and engaging the fullest possible diversity across geographic, economic, and societal spectrums.
Please email one (1) attached PDF file with your Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter to the ISSP General Manager, Gina Macllwraith, at email@example.com
. Please use the subject line: ISSP Executive Director Application, Last Name-First Name.