October 21, 2019 – Aspen Leadership Group, an executive search firm that specializes in recruiting top talent for philanthropic organizations, has been selected to find the next president and chief executive officer for the New York Academy of Sciences. Ron Schiller, founding partner and senior consultant, is leading the assignment.
“The president and chief executive officer will lead the academy from a place of strength into a future of increased innovation and impact,” said the Aspen, CO-based search firm. “The president and chief executive officer will provide leadership for all aspects of the academy and should be an exceptional leader with broad vision, intellectual breadth, a creative mindset, and a demonstrated track record in achieving innovation, building partnerships and raising funds.”
The new leader, who will report to the organization’s board of governors, will be charged with providing leadership for all aspects of the New York Academy of Sciences, including strategic direction setting and overall management oversight, fundraising, relations with staff and other key stakeholders, program development and management, financial management and relations with the broader scientific community, said the search firm.
The individual must exude a sincere passion for science and education, serving as the academy’s chief spokesperson locally, nationally and internationally, and charismatically communicate the academy’s mission and vision to broad and diverse audiences across sectors. He or she will play the critical role in revenue generation, in partnership with the board and staff, including fundraising and driving increased earned revenue. The next leader must also consistently and predictably execute against plans through increased fundraising, efficient allocation of resources, effective cost management and membership growth.
It is important that the new president and CEO foster a strong and diverse corporate culture with a stronger staff collaboration and connection between staff and the board, said Aspen Leadership Group. Fundraising, leadership and impact, strategy and execution, branding and marketing, and membership growth and engagement are all be critical to the role.
Candidates should have the ability to analyze the mission and business drivers of the academy and build upon its history, track record of transformation and current programs while leading the team to develop new strategies, said Aspen Leadership Group. They must also be able to set clear and challenging goals while holding the organization to a high standard of performance. Tenacity and accountability in driving results are also vital.
The New York Academy of Sciences wants a leader with a professional and personal network that will enable the individual to raise money and expand institutional partnerships. He or she should also have the ability to fundraise at a significant scale and to connect with and secure results from individuals, foundation, government agencies and corporations. The ideal candidate will further have the ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate teams, delegate effectively and manage performance.
Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.
Entrepreneurial vigor in creating sustainable business models, evaluating financial opportunities and optimizing the growth potential of the academy’s programs, events, membership, and publications will be a vital component of the job, said the search firm. Also important will be the ability to advocate for the importance of science around the world and in society, including in the diverse communities which are under-represented in the sciences today.
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries, the academy’s global scientific community benefits humanity by advancing scientific knowledge, positively influencing society’s challenges with science-based solutions, and increasing the number of scientifically informed individuals.
Aspen Leadership Group, established in 2013, conducts searches for board members, presidents, executive directors, chief development and advancement officers, and development and advancement professionals. It clients include Brown University, PBS, the Humane Society of the United States, the Leakey Foundation, and the Denver Zoological Foundation, among others.
Mr. Schiller has 30 years of experience in executive search, fundraising and administration of non-profit institutions. He is a nationally recognized advisor to presidents, board members and other leaders in higher education, arts and cultural organizations, healthcare and social and community services. His focus is executive search and strategic consulting. In this capacity, he draws on his long experience as a fundraising leader, executive team member, board member and search consultant.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media