The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with the League of American Orchestras in the search for a President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The CEO will further the fulfillment of the mission of the League of American Orchestras: to advance the experience of orchestral music, support the people and organizations that create it, and champion the contributions they make to the health and vibrancy of communities. The CEO will be a leading voice for member organizations and individuals, empowering them with knowledge and perspective to navigate a rapidly changing environment. The CEO will lead an exceptional team, engage and support a devoted board, ensure the financial stability of the organization, and serve as its chief strategy and fundraising officer.
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. In total, more than a quarter of a million professionals, volunteers, musicians, and administrators are served by the League, who in turn bring symphonic music to more than 26 million audience members annually. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. The League nurtures the community of orchestras through essential programs that strengthen leadership, generate knowledge, create and communicate public value, and inform and connect the orchestra field. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners.
With nearly 1,400 orchestras across the country, America abounds with extraordinary musicians, live concerts, and orchestras as unique as the communities they serve. The demands on staff, board, musicians, and volunteer leaders to navigate change have never been greater. Yet these ensembles bring orchestral music to life, at ever increasing standards of virtuosity and quality, and continue to demonstrate resilience and creativity.
The next dynamic and broad-thinking leader of the League will help shape the orchestral landscape for years to come. Orchestras are brimming with creativity and new, exciting ways to deliver value to their communities. Large and small, these organizations fuel the cultural life of their communities. They play not only iconic works from the historical canon, but also new and less-known pieces that expand horizons. They play not only in concert halls, but also in senior centers, schools, parks, nightclubs, and coffee shops. They produce not only great concerts, but programs that teach, create access, and heal wounds. Orchestras are stunning collaborations on stage and off, serving their communities in four key ways:
Orchestras inspire people and communicate across differences.
Orchestra musicians, staff, and volunteers are unique assets in their communities, addressing community priorities and contributing to the creative economy.
Orchestras champion and provide lifelong music education to people of all ages, from infants through seniors.
Orchestras collaborate with civic partners to identify and address gaps in access to the orchestral experience.
In recent years the League has been a vocal and assertive advocate for orchestras to address the imperatives of equity, diversity, and inclusion, using its capacities to convene, connect, inform, and communicate. The urgency of this work is set to accelerate as the need for change grows in light of evolving social, cultural, and economic forces.
Our next CEO will build on this momentum and help point the way toward a future of even greater community relevance, with expanded access to orchestras for all Americans and with vibrant and inclusive musical organizations that communities cherish.
Now is the time to push ever harder to realize our mission – to advance the experience of orchestral music, support the people and organizations that create it, and champion the contributions they make to the health and vibrancy of communities.
–Douglas Hagerman, Board Chair
The President and Chief Executive Officer leads member and stakeholder relations, investing considerable personal time in relationships with the League’s stakeholders, and ensuring that the League staff is sensitive and responsive to member orchestras’ needs. Informed by these relationships, the CEO serves as a knowledgeable, passionate spokesperson and advocate for the field of orchestral music, representing members in a wide variety of public, private, and governmental venues. The CEO provides managerial oversight to a dedicated and high-performing staff of 30 and works in close partnership with a passionate, generous, and active board of 45 members.
Organization Mission and Strategy
The President and Chief Executive Officer will
work with the Board of Directors and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through strategic and tactical planning, programs, advocacy, community outreach, and member engagement;
be a strong and proactive thought partner to all the League’s constituencies, investing considerable time in building and sustaining excellent stakeholder relationships;
be a thought leader in the field of orchestral music and in the arts more broadly, proactively identifying shifts and trends in the field, and representing stakeholders effectively in the face of considerable opportunity as well as challenge in the field;
develop and implement the League’s equity, diversity, and inclusion work internally and for the League’s leadership in EDI in the orchestra field;
guide and oversee the League’s Learning and Leadership Development, Advocacy and Government Affairs, Jobs Center, Knowledge, Research and Innovation, and Meetings programs that carry out the organization’s mission;
play a leadership role in strategic planning to ensure that the League can successfully respond to environmental changes and fulfill its mission and vision into the future;
sit on the Board and Executive Committee of the Performing Arts Alliance, of which the League is a founding member; and
work closely with partners and other organizations and enhance the League’s brand and image by being active and visible in the community.
The CEO will
work with the Board of Directors in order to fulfill the organization's mission and shape and realize the organization’s vision;
communicate effectively with the Board of Directors and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions; and
partner with the board chair to maintain the highest standards of board performance and promote a culture of meaningful engagement and inclusion.
Financial Performance and Sustainability
The CEO will
develop resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization;
be responsible for the fiscal integrity of the League to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and periodic financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization;
be responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget and ensures maximum resource utilization and appropriate capitalization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position and in favorable standing with financial institutions and insurers; and
be responsible for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support the League’s mission and vision, identifying new revenue streams as appropriate.
The CEO will
oversee effective and sustainable operations;
lead a high-performing staff team with an emphasis on robust service of League members, and effectively delegate to and develop staff;
sign all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization; and
be responsible for the League’s required public reporting and compliance with all laws and regulations.
The League of American Orchestras seeks a President and Chief Executive Officer with
intellectual curiosity and an openness to new ideas and change, proactivity in challenging the status quo, the ability to bring to light and effectively frame issues that may be unpopular or difficult but are important to the field, and the ability to inspire the energy of others in a common course of action, enabling them to address challenges and seize opportunities;
a deep appreciation for and capacity to lead efforts to strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion within the League staff and board and across the League’s membership;
superb active listening skills and an ability to interpret member wants and needs, including a desire to hear diverse stakeholder viewpoints and perspectives from outside the field;
strong diplomatic skills, sensitivity to the challenges and diversity of the field, a capacity to solve complex problems, and an ability to hold and respect opposing relationships and perspectives;
the ability to speak in an informed and persuasive manner about the past and the future of orchestras and their music, including excellent storytelling skills, and an ability to frame issues in a way that is clear, concise, and compelling;
integrity, with the ability to build trust through consistency between what is said and what is done;
proven fundraising skills, with a demonstrated ability to establish lasting relationships with major institutional and individual donors;
a visionary view of the field;
the ability to ensure that the League serves all types of orchestras;
a demonstrated ability to network, and the skills to connect and form and sustain strong relationships with key players;
the ability to create systems and procedures for communications and service delivery;
a proven ability to cultivate and mentor talent, delegate effectively, leverage resources, build capacity through others, and drive effective decision making;
the ability to understand and implement necessary technologies to serve members effectively; and
a necessary level of calm, confidence, clarity, humor, and credibility.
EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
At its January 2019 meeting, the League of American Orchestras’ Board of Directors adopted a strategic framework for the League’s work in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the orchestral field. “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: An Evolving Strategic Framework” outlines why EDI is important to the League, and why the League thinks it is important for all orchestras.
The League believes that a commitment to EDI is foundational to upholding the principles of equality and fairness inherent in American democracy; imperative for meaningful, authentic, and relevant relationships with audiences and communities; fundamental for creating cultures where creativity flourishes and all staff, musicians, and boards are supported in bringing their full identities into their orchestras; necessary for the innovation that orchestras must continually pursue to adapt to their changing environments and to be fiscally secure and artistically vibrant; vital in attracting and retaining the highest levels of talent to our organizations; and essential to the long-term vibrancy of orchestral performance and the viability of the institutions that support it.
The President and Chief Executive Officer will report to the Board Chair. The direct reports to the CEO are the Vice Presidents for Advocacy; Knowledge, Learning, and Leadership; Marketing and Communications; and Development, as well as the Senior Director for Finance and Administration and the Executive Assistant and Secretary to the Board.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The CEO will work with an active board that participates in fundraising and focuses its board meetings on generative and strategic work. The board is highly engaged but cognizant of the difference of roles between board and management.
The League board currently consists of 45 members, representing most of the dimensions of difference that characterize the orchestra field. The board includes people from orchestras of all sizes and regions. The board is increasingly diverse and inclusive and is directly involved in the League’s EDI work: https://americanorchestras.org/images/stories/diversity/EDI_Framework.pdf. Board composition has been intentionally shaped to include a mix of musicians, orchestra administrators, and trustees of member orchestras.
The board acts through a complement of committees and task forces. The CEO will be involved with all of these, together with staff members who are assigned to support particular committees.
The League of American Orchestras offers a competitive and comprehensive salary and package of employee benefits.
All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of the League of American Orchestras. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.