Next Century Cities (NCC), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting city and local officials in expanding high-speed, affordable broadband access for all residents in the United States and closing digital divides, is seeking nominations and applications for Executive Director. The Executive Director will serve as both chief executive officer and organizational spokesperson, leveraging strong subject matter expertise and building upon the existing foundation at NCC to drive growth, innovation, and excellence. Leading a small yet powerful team of five, the Executive Director will bring vision, strategy, and execution skills to NCC’s network in order to organize, build, and sustain the movement to ensure equitable access to broadband and digital services for all and particularly in urban areas that are overlooked or vulnerable to disinvestment.
The ideal candidate will bring 10 plus years of leadership experience advancing effective policy and systems accountability, ideally in the broadband equity sector or relevant adjacent sectors. Qualified candidates will demonstrate exceptional competencies in strategy, fundraising, management, stakeholder organizing, and communications relevant to connecting local officials to resources and capacity building to expand broadband access for their communities. Application and nomination submission instructions can be found below.
While Next Century Cities has evolved significantly in recent years, particularly in both federal and local level government’s attention to the need for digital access in the COVID-19 era, there is still much work to do in order to ensure communities are not left behind in our rapidly evolving digital world. The Executive Director will be an effective advocate, strategist, and a doer who is motivated to not only provide thought leadership but also to roll up their sleeves and advance the work. The Executive Director's responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities will include the following components.
Vision and Strategy. The Executive Director will first and foremost bring strategic vision and leadership to NCC’s future and will be responsible for developing and refining strategic plans for brand development, fundraising, membership engagement, and coalition-building. The Executive Director will drive the organization's growth, sustainability, and internal and external success in growth and impact goals.
Fundraising and Brand Visibility. The Executive Director will serve as the chief brand ambassador and fundraiser, working closely with the Deputy Director and Advisory Board to build visibility and funding for NCC. The Executive Director will work collaboratively to nurture existing funding relationships and effectively manage grants while cultivating and diversifying new funding streams, ultimately with a goal to increase the organization's budget by 20% in 2024.
Management and Organizational Effectiveness. The Executive Director will lead a team of four in day-to-day tasks such as meetings, conducting research and analysis, drafting publications, developing public awareness campaigns, collaborating with organizational allies, and flexing into other areas of responsibilities as needed. Setting organizational and performance goals: The Executive Director will set organizational and performance goals to help build organizational efficiency and brand recognition. They will maintain a close working relationship with NCC's fiscal sponsor, New Venture Fund, to approve budgets, human resource needs, accounting functions, and 501(c)(3) compliance. They will also supervise NCC staff with a clear vision for individual and organizational impact.
Board Relations. As the Board Governance Officer, the Executive Director will play a crucial role in fostering strong relationships with NCC's advisory board members. Overall, the Executive Director's leadership in Board Relations will help ensure that NCC has the support it needs to achieve its mission and impact goals. This includes promoting engagement and soliciting feedback to ensure that board members have the necessary information to make informed decisions, and recruiting a diverse pipeline of advisory board members who share NCC's commitment to expanding broadband internet access to all communities.
At a tactical level, the Executive Director will use email to touch base throughout the year, as well as host at least two board meetings per year, with one of these meetings being in person. The Executive Director will also take responsibility for preparing, documenting, and following up on action items discussed in these meetings to ensure that every resident in every community has reliable access to broadband internet.
Stakeholder Engagement and Movement Building. The Executive Director will work across levels and sectors to position local officials as subject matter experts and ideation partners in federal, state, and county-level broadband policy discussions and implementation efforts. The Executive Director will also build short-term and long-term coalitions of common and uncommon partners who are mission-aligned in improving policy and accountability outcomes at all systems levels for communities and people impacted by the digital divide. The Executive Director will bring together municipal leaders, rural leaders, tribal lands leaders, and more in furtherance of their shared missions and objectives around the digital divide.
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- Strategic leadership and direction: including setting priorities, managing change, and driving growth.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders, including industry leaders, funders, policymakers at the FCC, executive branch policymakers, members of Congress as well as state and local officials and community leaders.
- Passionate advocacy: ability to engage as a passionate advocate to increase NCC's visibility and support networks.
- Effective staff management: providing guidance, feedback, and support.
- Project management skills: balancing multiple priorities and projects, meeting deadlines, and delivering results.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills: including developing and implementing data-driven strategies.
- Creativity and innovation: identifying new opportunities and approaches to achieving organizational goals.
- Commitment to equity and inclusion: incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens into all aspects of organizational work.
- High motivation and efficiency: ability to work efficiently, meet deadlines, motivate, and manage competing priorities.
- 10+ years of work experience, including supervisory experience.
- Advanced degree preferences: Graduate degree preferred. A JD or other legal degree is helpful but not required.