Position Description

Position Description

Headington Institute

(Pasadena, CA)

Title: Chief Executive Officer

View Position Brochure Here

Location Flexible/Remote Office


The Headington Institute cares for caregivers worldwide by promoting the physical hardiness, emotional resilience, and spiritual vitality of humanitarian aid workers, emergency first-responders, and community caregivers. The Institute strengthens organizations by encouraging the wellbeing of their staff, making it a partner in worldwide humanitarian and emergency responder work. When responders have effective self-care techniques, satisfying interpersonal relationships, adequate organizational support, and sufficient public interest, they thrive in their work. This results in stronger organizations that more effectively serve their beneficiaries. The Institute’s ultimate goal is for all relief and development workers, emergency responders, and community caregivers to have what they need to maintain their wellbeing and flourish. The Institute has provided services and online resources to a wide variety of humanitarian aid and emergency response organizations like World Vision International, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, United Nations, Los Angeles Police Department, FBI, and Dallas Fire Department.

Out of a desire to apply their psychological training and organizational leadership skills to help community responders everywhere, Drs. James Guy and Tim Headington co-founded the Headington Institute in 2001. In the past year, Institute staff taught 35 resilience building workshops and worked with 26 organizations in 48 countries to provide services to over 4,000 people. More than 500 international aid workers and domestic responders participated in a research project to investigate factors promoting human resilience. Over 750 individuals took an e-learning course on a resilience topic and over 35,000 individuals accessed Headington Institute’s free online training materials in the past twelve months.

A major campaign for Headington Institute, Extraordinary Care for Extraordinary People, is currently underway. The comprehensive campaign seeks to raise $12 million over a 5-year period (2021-2026) to ensure the success of the Institute’s mission now and in the future. To change the lives of the next generation of compassionate and committed responders, the campaign will increase the scalability of services and resources to reach aid workers, emergency responders, and community caregivers. 

The Headington Institute’s annual operating budget exceeds $1.3 million. Approximately sixty percent comes from charitable contributions, and the remainder is professional fee income. The cash reserves fund exceeds six months of general operating expenses. Annual income has outpaced expenses every year since inception. The Headington Institute Foundation currently has an investment fund of $2.1 million.


The CEO will help lead a world-renowned organization where talented people do worthwhile work in a sustainable way. The Institute functions in international and inter-agency contexts requiring high self-awareness, advanced social skills, and practiced diplomacy. To succeed, the successful candidate must be flexible and skilled in cross-cultural communication. The fieldwork is demanding, and the work challenges are significant and complex. The CEO must bring confidence and poise to high-stress, high-risk environments where client needs take priority over personal comfort. The CEO must be in good health and able to travel and work in environments that are sometimes unfamiliar and challenging.  

Years of research and practice have shown that a holistic approach to wellness is most effective for maintaining resilience in this population. This includes an appreciation for the importance of personal spiritual practice in the lives of many humanitarian workers and emergency responders. Since the Institute works with individuals representing all faiths and worldviews, the CEO will be someone who respectfully understands the importance of meaning, purpose, transcendence, and faith in promoting wellbeing and trauma recovery.


Headington Institute is seeking a self-driven, empathetic, and caring leader with demonstrated success in team leadership as its next CEO to lead the Institute toward continued sustainability and success in accomplishing its strategic priorities and objectives. The CEO will possess the ability to quickly build successful, collaborative relationships with individuals representing complex domestic and multinational organizations. This requires humility, superior intelligence, creative vision, common sense, excellent social skills, high energy, patience, integrity, and strong analytical thinking. The successful candidate will have a proven ability to be effective across cultures.  

The Institute staff consists of four full-time and five part-time employees, and six independent contractors, most of who are doctoral-level clinical psychologists with many years of professional experience. The CEO supports the Institute’s entrepreneurial, nimble, and collaborative style and oversees an annual budget of approximately $1.25 million and a total team of 15. 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the successful candidate will join a dedicated team guided by the Institute’s core values of compassion, excellence, transcendence, responsibility, generosity, cooperation, and advocacy. The CEO supervises and empowers the Institute’s leadership team of two directors and assists the Board in fulfilling its governance functions, ensuring that all Board members, staff, volunteers, and donors are working to achieve a common vision and purpose. 

The CEO is responsible for the Institute’s consistent achievement of supporting the mission, strategic goals, and fund development/financial objectives, helping to maintain the Institute’s excellent reputation. 

Leadership, Management, and Oversight

  • Lead, direct, and oversee all strategic aspects of the Institute’s programs and brand
  • Directly supervise the Director of Clinical Services and the Director of Development and Operations
  1. Responsible for recruiting, hiring, releasing, orienting, reviewing, and sustaining all staff directors, and supporting those processes for their direct reports
  2. Provide leadership, mentorship, expectations, support, training, empowerment, and coaching
  • Develop and lead all-staff meetings and annual retreats
  • Maintain knowledge of developments, trends, and best practices in the nonprofit sector and field of supporting aid workers
  • Mentoring and coaching: Succession planning, consulting with client management

Fund Development and Operations

  • Oversee execution of annual fund development plan
  • Engage in continual donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Work with the Director of Development and Operations to:
  1. Assess and implement funding strategies, constituent groups, and proposals
  2. Ensure grant reports and proposals are complete, timely and reflect accurate data and expectations
  3. Complete case for giving
  4. Ensure contributor database is precise and comprehensive
  5. Steward specific portfolio of major donors and foundations
  • Review and renew insurance policies ensuring that coverage meets the needs of the Institute
  • Oversee risk management related to security, liability, and confidentiality


  • Work with the Director of Clinical Services to:
  1. Ensure that programs are consistently presented in a strong and positive image to stakeholders and the community
  2. Ensure that funding agreement criteria are met
  • Monitor domestic and national needs on an ongoing basis, be aware of changing context within which programs and services are provided and develop programs consistent with those needs
  • Provide to the Board, and other applicable bodies, summary reports of programs and services including statistical and qualitative data as well as recommendations for future improvement and change

   Financial Management

  • Sustain sound financial management practices
  • Strategically develop an annual operating budget with input from staff and Board of Directors
  • Review quarterly actuals and forecast long term income/expenses to ensure consistent cash flow
  • Manage approved annual budget and report quarterly to Board of Directors and committees
  • Oversee and approve all expenditures, weekly invoices, and expense report processing

   Board Development

  • With Board Chair, plan and implement meetings and annual retreats for Institute
  • Gather, interpret, and articulate information to the Board of Directors about trends and resources as they relate to enhancing the Board’s capacity for effective communication, decision-making and long-term planning
  • Assist in the recruitment, selection, and evaluation of Board members
  • Oversee development and implementation of orientation and education for incoming Board members
  • Support committee structure by participating in meetings; working with chairs to ensure optimal committee functioning
  • With Board Chair, meet strategic initiatives of building, diversifying, and strengthening the Board of Directors

Strategic Planning

  • Articulate the vision and ensure that the Institute has a long-range strategy and plan which achieves its mission
  • Oversee the ongoing implementation, review, and revision of the Institute’s strategic plan
  • Manage the budget and timeline for the strategic plan
  • Communicate initiatives and future needs to Board, Board committees, staff, and Institute stakeholders
  • Ensure organization continues to define/pursue DEI initiatives to enhance diversity among staff, volunteers, and boards
  • Oversee the development and deployment of technology-based tools to expand services


The CEO will be an empathetic, inspirational leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep dedication to the Institute’s mission. Candidates should be self-driven and have business acumen and strong problem-solving skills coupled with a warm, caring attitude and high emotional intelligence. The ideal candidate will be a collaborative team builder, mentor and experienced leader who operates with a strategic perspective while executing the day-to-day activities. Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, are essential. The ideal candidate will be a good listener who is accessible and who possesses the ability to adapt and respond effectively to change while continuing to lead, empower and mentor the team. 

An inclusive leadership style that endorses collaboration, trust, and open, transparent communication between all stakeholders will be highly valued. This individual will accomplish goals through motivation, empowering staff, and the use of systems that are designed for effective planning, evaluation, and accountability. The successful candidate should have a reputation for honesty and trustworthiness, a strong work ethic, self-initiative, compassion, and a sincere dedication to the mission and programs of the Institute. Experience working abroad and the ability to speak multiple languages will be valued.  

The successful candidate must demonstrate an ability to oversee, inspire, and collaborate with staff and will have a clearly articulated management philosophy that supports a positive team culture, high performance, and employee retention. Humble, mature, independent, confident, pleasant, honest, bright, and good social skills will be essential traits for the next leader. The successful candidate will demonstrate a history of success and a strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, will possess a high level of cultural competence by effectively incorporating DEI into all aspects of their work, and will work productively across lines of difference.


The CEO will have at least ten years of relevant senior-level leadership experience. Although it is preferable that candidates come with a background in nonprofit management, it is possible that candidates may come from another sector and demonstrate a strong passion for or personal connection to the mission of the Institute. Experience in creating and implementing strategic plans, as well as using data in assessment and decision-making, will also be important. Experience studying or working abroad with a demonstrated ability to work with various cultures is preferred. Speaking multiple languages is a plus.


A Ph.D. in clinical psychology or related field preferred. 


The CEO is a full-time, exempt position. The annual salary range is $175,000-$225,000 depending on experience, plus comprehensive benefits.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234