Req Number: PU441
Location: Washington District of Columbia
Posted: 12/18/2020
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Education
Job Type: Permanent

Position President

Organization Population Institute

Location Washington, DC


”We envision a world where girls and women have achieved full gender equality; all women have access to reproductive health services, every child is a wanted child, and where global population is brought into balance with a healthy global environment and resource base.”

The Opportunity

In accordance with the Population Institute’s powerful vision, the President will work collaboratively with its Board of Directors and the Chairperson to ensure the continued growth and ongoing impact of the Population Institute (The Institute). During this period of global upheaval, with an ongoing pandemic, looming climate catastrophe, and reckoning on racism and injustice in all forms, the work of the Population Institute is more vital than ever.

The President is responsible for the development and execution of an innovative, strategic vision and the effective administration and oversight of all operations, external affairs, corporate activities, and contract services to achieve the strategic goals set by the Board. The President will cultivate a dynamic workplace culture rooted in the values of trust and cooperation, they will elevate the visibility of the Institute while increasing influence in policy circles and civil society on a global scale. The next President will join the Institute at a period when both the domestic and global threat to reproductive rights and autonomy is high; the President will be a tireless advocate of equality, justice, and reproductive freedom for all.

Population Institute

The Population Institute’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of people and the planet by supporting policies and programs that promote sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Institute builds support for those policies and programs by educating policymakers, policy administrators, the media, and the general public about three key elements. (1) The essential importance of achieving gender equality and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights; (2) The adverse impacts of overpopulation on the environment, scarce natural resources, biodiversity, and efforts to eliminate hunger and severe poverty in developing countries; and (3) the personal, social, and economic benefits that arise from expanding access to family planning services and information.

Founded in 1969, the Population Institute was an early advocate for expanding access to family planning and reproductive services, and helped to pioneer the use of entertainment education as a vehicle for impact. Today, as it did in its early years, the Institute is working both domestically and overseas to ensure universal access to family planning and reproductive health services. As part of that effort, the Institute has put increased emphasis on the need to promote sexual rights and gender equality, particularly in the developing world, where child marriage practices, sexual violence, and the failure to educate girls are contributing to high fertility, perpetuating poverty, and limiting the potential of girls and women. The Institute also works to promote public understanding of, and support for, environmental sustainability.

In support of its mission, the Population Institute issues periodic reports that will give an in-depth look at key facts and trends relating to important population topics. The Institute additionally publishes fact sheets on topics of current interests relating to population, family planning, gender equality, and reproductive rights, to inform the debate and combat misinformation. Funding for the Population Institute comes from foundations, corporations, and individual gifts. The Institute does not seek or receive financial support from the U.S. government.

While the Institute is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, since 2008 it has proudly served as an affiliate of the Population Media Center (PMC). Based in Burlington, Vermont, PMC is a recognized leader in entertainment education. PMC-sponsored serial dramas, both radio and television, have aired in more than 50 countries, including the U.S., and have reached an audience totaling more than 500 million people. These serial dramas have helped to promote use of family planning, advance the cause of gender equality, and protect the environment. PMC is committed to the ongoing success of the Institute and supports the organization through board leadership.

Position Summary

In partnership with the Board of Directors, the President is responsible for providing vision and strategic leadership to the Population Institute and its employees. The Institute is well positioned financially, with approximately $6M in assets and an annual programmatic budget of nearly $2M. Its team of 6 staff include policy and research experts as well as finance and administrative professionals; the Institute is also currently supported by several non-resident senior fellows.

The President is a listener first, who leads by example, embodies a transparent management style, and empowers others. This leader should be equally adept in serving on the ground as a hands-on partner with staff and stakeholders as they are working with high level organizational strategies. The President inspires and motivates internal and external audiences, leads with clarity and purpose, expands the Institute’s partners and supporters, engenders a positive, engaged, and inclusive and equitable culture, and demonstrates a strong commitment towards the Institute’s mission.

Specific responsibilities will include, but are not be limited to, the following:

Executive Leadership

• Serve as a global leader, advocating for sexual and reproductive health and rights as a key lever for improving the health and advancement of all people as well as promoting a healthy global environment.

• Cultivate relationships with a broad spectrum of organizations to advocate, set standards and continue to advance the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) field. Actively seek to engage and inform parties not traditionally aligned with the sector.

• Develop and define a strong organizational vision in partnership with staff and the Board of Directors. Translate this vision into the first comprehensive strategic plan and lead its operationalization.

• Serve as the chief spokesperson for the Institute and assure proper representation of the organization in front of all audiences.

• Function as the primary liaison between the Institute and the Population Media Center, ensuring the relationship continues to multiply both organizations’ impact.

Organizational Management

• Thoroughly understand the Institute, its mission and policies, culture, values, history, key partners and stakeholders, programs, finances, and fundraising efforts.

• Monitor ongoing legislative and policy developments and maintain an understanding and expertise in population, family planning, reproductive health and rights, and related issues such as gender equality.

• In collaboration with both Board and staff, direct the design and development of new programs and activities in support of the Institute’s mission.

• In partnership with the Research Director, lead the recruitment and supervision of non-resident senior fellows to support the Institute’s work and supplement the staff.

• Create and/or provide editorial oversight of all reports and factsheets published by the Institute.

Operational and Fiscal Management

• Promote a culture of trust, accountability, strong integrity, meaningful collaboration, and continuous improvement that values learning and personal development.

• Oversee the planning and budgeting process to maintain a sound financial basis for the organization, supporting both short-term and long-term needs and the objectives of the organization. Ensure financial solvency of the organization.

• Recruit, lead, develop, and inspire a diverse staff to manage and advance the Institute’s work in support of strategic and operational goals and objectives. Conduct annual performance reviews for direct reports.

• Establish a performance-oriented, accountable culture with appropriate performance management systems. Work with senior leaders to establish and monitor transparent performance and development goals for staff, assign accountabilities, set objectives, and establish priorities.

• Review and approve all contracts. Steward and manage external consultants in the support of the Institute’s work.

Communications and Fundraising

• Seek opportunities to enhance the Institute’s work and increase capacity of the organization by leveraging existing relationships with funders and partners and by creating new strategic relationships.

• Develop and steward the Institute’s relationship with the media, ensure the Institute’s position as a reliable source and contributor on topics relating to population, family planning, reproductive health and rights, and related issues such as gender equality.

• Serve as the Institute’s chief fundraiser; engage potential donors in the Institute’s strategic vision and direction. Develop and cultivate a new base of donors to ensure continued support for the mission.

• Lead the drafting of all appeals to the Institute’s donor base and manage the writing of foundation proposals and reports. Serve as the principal director for all development related writing and content.

• Ensure that the Population Institute remains a trusted entity and partner amongst potential donors through its reputation as an informed and pioneering leader in the FP/SRHR field.

Board Development and Governance

• Maintain a productive relationship with the Board and work with Board members to set the organization’s strategic direction and policies.

• Support the Institute Board Chair and PMC Board in the recruitment of qualified and passionate board members from a diversity of backgrounds in order to strengthen the organization and build greater representation.

• Work collaboratively with the Board Chair to set and implement the Board of Directors’ governance, policies, and bylaws.

• Ensure transparency and communicate regularly with the Board around all key governance issues, including strategic planning, financial oversight, staff accountability and performance metrics and board recruitment and development.

• Ensure the Board receives timely and useful reports and information and access to staff, donors, partners, and others to enable them to form appropriate judgments.


The successful candidate will be a dynamic and visionary leader with a strong personal commitment to the Population Institute’s mission and values

Specific qualifications include:

• Minimum of five (5) years of experience in senior management roles with progressively increasing responsibility. Exposure to some, if not all, areas of functional responsibility for a chief executive officer.

• Experience advocating on a national or global scale for a public health, global development, or social justice issue, with an understanding of population, family planning, and sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as the principles of reproductive justice.

• A national and global perspective and a high degree of flexibility and adaptability. Understanding of domestic and international politics, complexities, and sensitivities.

• The ability to deliver measurable impact and results, while developing the financial health of the organization. Comfort with managing budgets, analyzing financial statements and leading financial scenario planning exercises.

• A proven track record of implementing a strategic plan and enhancing an organization’s capacity and impact.

• A collaborative leadership style based on exceptional people skills and a high EQ. The flexibility and foresight to institute contemporary management practices informed by the principles of equity and justice.

• A track record of generating and mobilizing significant resources in support of a cause from a variety of sources, including individuals, foundations, and corporations.

• Comfort with ambiguity and crisis management. The ability to pivot and adjust in the face of a rapidly changing political, social, and public health environment.

• Experience working with a Board of Directors or equivalent governing institution.

• An excellent listener and communicator who can inspire and motivate, both one-on-one and as a public speaker. Proven proficiency leveraging diverse forms of media, particularly new and social media, in engaging with the general public.

• Political savvy; experience building and sustaining relationships with a broad range of constituencies, both internal and external, including government agencies, funding sources, and the media. An appetite for opening dialogue with those of differing perspectives.

• Willingness to travel both domestically and internationally.

• Impeccable integrity and an ability to support ethical decision making throughout the organization.

Key Relationships

Direct reports/Leadership:

Director of Finance and Administration

Director of Public Policy

Director of Research

Senior Fellow(s)

Other key relationships: Population Media Center (PMC)


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution required.


Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.