Seattle Arts & Lectures

Executive Director

Since 1987, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) has cultivated transformative experiences through story and language with readers and writers of all generations across the greater Puget Sound region, providing opportunities to engage with the most compelling writers and cultural thinkers of our day. We envision a future in which story and language continuously and courageously revitalize equity, justice, and belonging.

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) seeks a forward-thinking, innovative Executive Director who will galvanize and inspire students, staff, community members, and the regional public in a collaborative vision for SAL that reflects innovative approaches to identifying and engaging new live and digital audiences. Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director will be responsible for SAL’s consistent achievement of its mission, programs, administration, and financial objectives. This natural relationship-builder will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills as well as an ability to work constructively and collegially with a diverse constituency and community.

The Executive Director must have a deep commitment to and understanding of diversity—in all dimensions—as a force for academic and artistic excellence and as a deeply held commitment at the heart of the institution’s mission.

Key responsibilities of the Executive Director include, among others:

Strategic Leadership

  • Serve as a thought leader and provide innovative leadership to grow and guide SAL’s program model and impact in a post-COVID world.
  • Lead the Board and team in identifying and implementing strategic initiatives that expand SAL’s capacity to serve audiences.

Operational Leadership

  • Provide leadership for all aspects of operations, including financial oversight and management of programs/events.
  • Ensure that long-range plans are in place and that organizational resources are efficiently deployed to meet SAL’s mission over the long term.

Team Leadership

  • Lead and develop a world-class, high-performing team that is deeply motivated and engaged.
  • Continue to evolve SAL’s culture, specifically as it relates to equity, inclusion, diversity, and access, to be aligned with the communities SAL serves as well as ensuring that SAL continues to be a great place to work.

Community Engagement

  • Act as the primary spokesperson and ambassador for SAL, effectively communicating its mission and vision to a wide variety of community partners and constituents.
  • Oversee the creation and development of innovative education initiatives and public programs that will appeal to and foster new connections with the greater Seattle community.
  • Collaborate with other nonprofits and institutions to do cross-marketing and/or co-producing of events to become better integrated in Seattle’s diverse cultural life.

Fundraising & Revenue Generation

  • Ensure successful fundraising from individuals, corporations and foundations, and others in partnership with the Development Director.
  • Generate new sources of revenue by creatively and strategically expanding and deepening SAL’s existing donor base.
  • Expand and develop fundraising opportunities through new and ongoing strategic partnerships.

Strong candidates will bring a diverse set of skills, characteristics, and experiences, both professional and lived. SAL and Koya strive to mitigate inherent biases that influence hiring practices by focusing on a holistic view of potential candidates and understanding that no single candidate will offer every desired skill and characteristic. The following offers an aspirational view of the ideal candidate profile; we encourage applications from candidates with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented groups.

SAL is open to applications from candidates who are not currently living in Seattle but are open to relocating and becoming deeply engaged in this vibrant, unique community.

To view the full position description, please visit this website:


Molly Brennan and Amber Brown of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here:

All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


SAL is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from all cultures and communities are encouraged to apply. SAL strives to create a diverse and welcoming workplace. We believe that having a board of directors, staff, interns, and volunteers with diverse backgrounds enables us to better meet our mission and we strongly encourage applications from people of color and other historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit