Executive director

Executive director

An executive director is the senior manager or executive officer of an organization, company, or corporation. The position is comparable to a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director. An executive director is usually remunerated for his or her work.

Senior employees of North American non-profit organizations are usually called the Executive Director instead of Chief Executive Officer, in order to avoid the business connotations which the latter name evokes. Small groups and membership organizations may use the term executive secretary. It also distinguishes them from other members of the board of directors (who are not remunerated for their roles) and from non-executive directors, who are not actively involved in running the corporation. Charities in England and Wales tend to call the senior employee director, as the governing body is usually a board of trustees.

The role of the executive director is to design, develop and implement strategic plans for their organization in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. The executive director is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, including managing committees and staff and developing business plans in collaboration with the board for the future of the organization. In essence, the board grants the executive director the authority to run the organization. The executive director is accountable to the president of the board and reports to the board on a regular basis - quarterly, semiannually, or annually. The board may offer suggestions and ideas about how to improve the organization, but the executive director decides whether or not, and how, to implement these ideas.

The executive director is a leadership role for an organization and often fulfills a motivational role in addition to office-based work. Executive directors motivate and mentor members, volunteers, and staff, and may chair meetings. The executive director leads the organization and develops its organizational culture. [1 Charles W. L. Hill, and Gareth R. Jones, (2001) Strategic Management. Houghton Mifflin.]

As the title suggests, the executive director needs to be informed of everything that goes on in the organization. This includes staff, membership, budget, company assets, and all other company resources, to help make the best use of them and raise the organization's profitability and profile.


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