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Executive director

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Executive director is commonly the title of the chief executive officer (CEO) of a non-profit organization, government agency or international organization.

The title is widely used in North American and European not-for-profit organizations, though in the United States many have adopted the title 'president' or CEO. It generally has the same meaning as CEO or managing director.

The title may also be used by a member of a board of directors for a corporation, such as a company, cooperative or nongovernmental organization, who usually holds a managerial position with the corporation. In this context the role is usually contrasted with a non-executive director who usually holds no executive, managerial role with the corporation.

There is much national and cultural variation in the exact definition of an executive director.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Executive Director Interview
  • Transitioning from Manager to Executive
  • Meaning of Executive & Non-Executive director and their role in company (in hindi)


>> In this first demonstration, you'll observe parts of an interview with the executive director of a fictional agency we are calling Great Lakes Mental Health Center. >> We're interested in learning about the executive director's understanding of supportive employment and the executive director's role in promoting the practice. >> While observing this interview, we are asking you to identify information that may be used for scoring specific items in the fidelity scale. It is also important to make detailed notes that will assist you in writing a fidelity summary report. So, let's take a look. >> Tony, good to see you. >> Great to have you here. >> Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We've heard that your program has made some changes as far as implementing supportive employment. >> Tony: We've been working really hard on it and it's great to have the two of you here. My staff and I have really been looking forward to this as an opportunity to do some learning and figure out things we can do to get better at it. I took the liberty of putting together just some material about the organization that you can look at at your leisure. It's just a way of catching up real quickly on a little bit about what's new here. >> Thanks a lot. I really appreciate that and thanks again, Tony, for taking some time with us. I really appreciate it. >> Sandy: So, we find it really useful to ask you some questions. Do you mind? And also, I'd like to be able to take notes. Is that ok? Great. So, can you tell us what you've done so far? At this point I'm real curious to hear about what sorts of measures and steps you've taken in order to start implementing supportive employment. >> Well, we've done a lot of things I think to get ready for this. Some of the big changes are that we're working with vocational rehabilitation in a really different kind of a way than we used to. You know, we used to each kind of operate in our own orbits and now we talk to each other a lot more and we see ourselves as part of the same team working together in the interest of the clients that we share responsibility for. That's been a big change for us. And we're also much more focused on competitive employment. And so much of the work that we used to do was focused on pre-employment activities, things you need to do to get ready for that day when you might go out and get a job. And we've dumped almost all of that and we're really focused on competitive employment and getting people out into real jobs as quickly as we can. >> Sandy: Great. Great. So, what happened as a result of that? >> Tony: Well, as a result of that, we've had to make a lot of changes in the organization. And so there's been a lot of buzz around the organization about supportive employment. Conversation about competitive employment is part of every conversation in the organization. It's part of our treatment team meetings in a different way than it ever was before. It's part of our strategic planning process in a way that it never was before. So, competitive employment is part of every type of conversation that we do here now in the organization. We've also made some changes in the size and in the way that our treatment teams run. They're a little bit smaller and every one of them has an employment specialist on it. >> Well you know, Tony, you've talked about some of the organizational changes that you've made and I know there's probably some others that you've made, but let me ask you specifically about this. What about supportive employment specialists providing only vocational services in those community settings that you've talked about? How is that matching up? >> Tony: I know that the right answer is they're only doing employment services and we're really making a lot of progress with that but it's always a little bit of a struggle, you know, because there are always clinical crises going on. There's always clinical case management work to do and it's a constant effort to keep the employment specialists' time from getting pulled into all of those things that could be doing and to really keep their time focused on what they need to be doing, which is good jobs in the community and competitive settings. We're getting better at it. >> Olright. Mind just a follow up question to that? What are the next steps you see in implementing supportive employment? >> Tony: There are a couple of things I can think of off hand. One is the fidelity assessment. And we've got to start using that more regularly I think. When we first started doing this we were aware of the fidelity assessment but people were kind of reluctant to use it. I think they felt like they were being graded. But we've really come to discover that the fidelity assessment provides us with really great mile posts for the work and it gives us good guidance in what we need to do next. And I think the staff are ready to start doing that routinely and start really driving service development based on what we find in the fidelity assessment. A second thing is this little team that we've done, this little project that we've done for an in-house janitorial assessment project where we formed a small janitorial crew that we use to help our clients who haven't really had much work experience just to try on work a little bit so that they can get a better sense about what it's about and that our staff can get a better sense of them in a job. Just as a preliminary assessment kind of a thing. We may want to expand that a little bit. >> One more question. What about outcome data? You know evidence based practice employment as you know is pretty outcome driven, Tony. And I'm wondering how you're handling that situation. What steps are you taking around that? >> Tony: Well, that's new for us and I think we've got pretty good tools in place with our information systems and quality systems, but it's only been very recently that we've put together a specific set of data elements and outcomes that we want to track around employment. So I don't have anything I can show you in terms of a report because we're at the beginning stages of that but I do recognize that beginning to collect specific outcome data is going to be important for us. >> Sandy: Great. It sounds like you've really committed to helping people re-enter the workforce and that's terrific. I'm just wondering if you've had any opportunities in the last year to talk about the supportive employment program, to bring it up to the management team, newsletters, anything else that may have occurred. >> Tony: You know, as you mention, I think that most of the work on that has been pretty informal. We talk about it a lot in the organization and I suspect that every one of my managers is going to tell you they know that supportive employment is important here. But, we may have missed some opportunities around newsletter, web page, those sorts of things for bragging about what we do. And to show what we've done over the last year and where we're going with it, that we still need to take care of. >> Sandy: OK. OK. Let's think about some of the ways that you've talked about how you started implementing supportive employment that will help me out here. So, if I can just kind of re-cap that you've increased your partnership with VR, vocational rehabilitation. You're building that relationship together, and you've integrated the team meetings so that now employment specialists join the teams. It sounds like employment specialists are more focused on jobs only, but that still is struggle because there are so many other things that are going on. So, you're focusing more on that. Is there a way that you have of talking to the supportive employment supervisor in case there are any issues or problems that come up within the program itself? >> I think it will come up mostly clinical management structure, and I certainly see the head of our employment services around the hallways. But, you know, that person reports to their supervisor who reports up through the chief clinical officer. And I see the chief clinical officer all the time. So, it's pretty informal and then through the management structure. >> Sandy: OK. >> Well, I don't want to leave before asking Tony if he has any questions for us. >> Tony: I don't think so. I'm really looking forward to hearing what you find out there. And for all your feedback and consultation I know that like I said earlier, we've come along way with this. But I know that there are things that we can do better with. And your visit and consultation is going to be an important part of helping us get there. >> Sandy: Great, great. Yalend and I will be writing up the report and hopefully we'll get that to you in around two weeks, and then we'd like to schedule a time to talk to you so we can review it and hear if there are any issues and concerns. >> Tony: Good, looking forward to it. >> Sandy: Great. >> Tony, really appreciate your time. It was great to have you here. >> Tony: Thank you. >> Thanks a lot. >> Sandy: Now that you've seen this interview and made notes, we want to share some of the information that we gathered from this interview. >> I'll start. I heard some information about the actions of the executive director, and the management team to facilitate the integration of Mental Health Treatment Services and Supportive Employment Services. That information will be helpful as part of scoring the fidelity item executive team support for supportive employment. >> I was impressed with how much the executive director knew about supportive employment. He has a real passion for this. That being said, it may be very helpful for him to find ways to communicate how employment fits with the mission of the agency. >> I also heard information about the fidelity scale item vocational service's staff. The agency is working to protect the role of employment specialists for doing just employment services. As we know, agencies sometimes assign case management duties to employment specialists, which prevents them from assisting people to get jobs. When we review the client records, we should remember to find documentation about how employment specialists spend their time. Sandy, we heard how the agency has begun tracking employment outcomes, which is useful for the fidelity item agency focus on competitive employment. >> Sandy: Well, when I looked at this fidelity item on the scale, it said that the agency not only collects the outcomes data, but the agency then shares the outcomes with the agency leadership and staff. It appears that Great Lakes Mental Health Center does not currently share outcomes. >> I agree. What else did you notice? >> The executive director mentioned something about a janitorial at the agency, which could be an issue. We'll need to gather more information about that in-house work program and other items during our visit. >> And we will. Let's move on to the next interview. See you in the next section.

United Nations

The title is used for the chief executive officer of several UN agencies, such as UN Women.

United States

In the US, an executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation.[1] The title is widely used in North American not-for-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.[2]

Confusion can arise because the words executive and director occur both in this title and in titles of various members of some organizations' boards of directors.

In the US nonprofit sector, the executive director role is the highest ranking position within the organization. It corresponds to a CEO position in a for-profit corporation.


The role of the executive director is to design, develop and implement strategic plans for the organization in a manner that is both cost and time-efficient. The executive director is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, which includes managing committees and staff as well as developing business plans in collaboration with the board. In essence, the board grants the executive director the authority to run the organization. The executive director is accountable to the board of directors and reports to the board on a regular basis as defined by the organization's bylaws. The board sets the vision through a high-level strategic plan, but it is the role of the executive director to create implementation plans that support the strategic plan.

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.[3]

United Kingdom (UK)

In the UK, an executive director is a member of a board who is also an employee with a senior role. It is common for boards to have several executive directors, e.g. for different departments. There is no legal difference between an executive and a non-executive director (NXD or NED), but there are considerable differences in the expectations associated with the role.[4]


  1. ^ "Executive Director Definition".
  2. ^ Policy vs. Paper Clips: Selling the Corporate Model to Your Nonprofit Board, Eugene H. Fram with Vicki Brown, 1995, 2nd Edition, Families International, Milwaukee, WI
  3. ^ Charles W. L. Hill, and Gareth R. Jones, (2001) Strategic Management. Houghton Mifflin.
  4. ^ "What Are Executive & Non-Executive Directors? | NED on Board". 11 January 2015.
This page was last edited on 24 August 2023, at 14:48
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