Scion Executive Search Seeks Executive Director for Born Free USA

February 28, 2019 – Scion Executive Search, which specializes in the non-profit sector, has been selected to find an executive director for Born Free USA, a wild animal advocacy and conservation group in Silver Springs, MD.

Born Free USA wants a visionary leader skilled in driving organizational success and empowering high performing staff, said Scion Executive Search. Reporting to the board of directors, the executive officer will have overall management responsibility for this growing organization with an operating budget of more than $2 million and about 20 paid staff.

The individual will be charged with leading Born Free USA through its next phase of growth and evolution and will be expected to work effectively with the board on governance, budget, strategy and donor development.

Born Free USA, which has a global presence, does not want the executive director to be limited geographically, said the search firm. This opportunity offers the possibility of remote work and the organization is open with respect to the location for the right fit.

Responsibilities of the Role

The executive director will be responsible for the design and implementation of a board-approved strategic plan that maximizes Born Free USA’s impact, said Scion Executive Search. The individual will also be charged with tracking results and updating the strategic plan on regular cycles. He or she must also develop an organizational infrastructure to support and promote strategy and goals, effectively anticipate changes and plan for growth.

The group’s leader will also be expected to transparently integrate strategy, organization and operations when assigning roles and responsibilities, said Scion Executive Search. The executive director will work as part of the advisory Synergy Committee (comprised of the board chairs of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, the executives of both organizations and the joint president) to consider and develop strategic opportunities and advantages in alignment and as appropriate, the efforts of both Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation (and its satellite entities such as Born Free Kenya, Born Free Ethiopia, etc.) to build a global presence and deliver international impact.

Born Free USA’s next leader will also have a range of fundraising, financial oversight, human resources, programs and services, external relations and governance duties as well.

Candidate Requirements

Candidates should have more than five years of successful experience as a CEO, executive director or another directly related high-level position of a similarly scoped organization, said Scion Executive Search. Born Free USA wants an experienced leader with demonstrated skills leading a non-profit, or equivalent for-profit organization in the $1-million revenue range. Prospects should also have broad and deep experience in varied wildlife conservation and wild animal welfare aspects including policy and strategic planning. Familiarity with key wildlife bodies (USFWS, CITES, the Species Survival Network, etc.) is preferred.

Also required is: complete alignment and a genuine passion for the mission, focus and values of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation; a track record of success forming and executing effective fundraising plans, including demonstrated ability to raise funds from diverse sources; proven ability to cultivate long-term genuine relationships with donors and community partners; proven success in building collaborative networks and relationships across sectors including non-profit, for-profit and government; expertise partnering with senior stakeholders such as governments, NGOs and academic institutions at all levels and influencing them effectively.


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Candidate must have a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, in a relevant field. A master’s degree is preferred. Candidates must be able to travel as needed to foster partnerships, cultivate high target major donors, as well as create awareness at industry-related events and conferences.

Born Free USA, founded in 1968, believes every individual animal matters. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning film Born Free, the non-profit works locally, nationally and internationally to end wild animal cruelty and suffering and protect threatened wildlife. Born Free also operates one of the country’s largest primate sanctuaries, where it provides a safe and permanent home for some 500 primates, some retired from research facilities and many rescued from inhumane roadside zoos and private ownership.

Scion Executive Search, founded in 2006, conducts searches for non-profit clients that range from large foundations, universities and government employers, to social services and art organizations. It has regional locations in San Francisco; New York; Chicago; Portland, OR; Seattle; Dallas; and Charlotte, NC. The firm counts among its clients: Make-a-Wish America, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the American Lung Association, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, among others.

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

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