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Executive Director

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA)


Organization Summary:


HECUA is a consortium of twenty-one liberal arts colleges and universities that offers programs of study focused on issues of social justice. Its programs are widely recognized for their quality, impact, and approach to learning, and are located in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, and Jackson, Mississippi, and five international sites: Ecuador, Italy, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, and Norway. All HECUA programs orient to a model of teaching and learning that is interdisciplinary and experiential, integrating theoretical frameworks with skills and practices that enable students to see how social change happens in close collaboration with local communities.

Operating in a highly competitive environment, HECUA strives to innovate and further develop its programs, deepen collaborations with international and community partners, broaden the membership of HECUA, and adapt to rapidly changing needs of students, member institutions, and off-campus and study abroad markets. HECUA’s current work revolves around educational equity and providing greater access to HECUA programs for students who are underrepresented in off-campus study and study abroad, including students of color, low income students, first-generation college students, and students who face other barriers.

Location: Twin Cities Metro Activity Area: Education Related
Category: Executive Director/CEO Closing Date: open until filled
Job Type: Full Time Salary: $85,000

Primary Duties:

HECUA seeks an Executive Director to provide leadership for a dynamic higher education consortium dedicated to academic-community collaboration for social justice. As a nonprofit organization, HECUA has been providing exceptional off-campus and study abroad programs for college students since 1971. The position calls for a highly skilled and creative organizational leader who works collaboratively with a committed board and staff to achieve the organization's mission, administrative functions, academic programs, and financial growth. This is a 12-month position that includes some domestic and international travel.

Executive Director Responsibilities

1. Board support, administration, policy making, and strategic planning.

2. Strategic leadership of the organization and its mission, goals, priorities, and outcomes.

3. External relationships with leadership of member colleges and universities, partner organizations in the U.S. and internationally, and existing and new constituencies.

4. Management and supervision of staff and leadership/management teams; lead an organizational climate that attracts, retains, and motivates staff.

5. Financial stewardship of HECUA’s resources to achieve strategic goals and organizational development and growth.


Essential Characteristics

1. Ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships, bring diverse perspectives into the conversation, and operate with a commitment to equity and social justice principles.

2. Skilled in creative thinking and critical reflection with ability to foster same in others.

3. Strong practical and theoretical knowledge of non-profit organizations, general knowledge of administrative and academic practices of higher education, and experience with international and off-campus study.

4. Excellence in communication, presentation, problem solving, and organizational leadership.

5. Ability to represent and interact effectively with diverse constituencies.

6. Highly effective in creating a climate of respect and leading the organization’s commitment to equity and social justice.


1. M.A., Ph.D., or other advanced degree.

2. Minimum five years of senior administrative experience in nonprofit or higher education management/supervision, including budget management, staff development, organizational leadership, and strategic planning. Demonstrated success in fundraising and grant writing preferred.

3. Experience with and commitment to liberal arts education and experiential/community-based learning, and to international and off-campus study.

4. Demonstrated ability to develop and articulate a set of related services and programs centered on education for social justice and equity, study abroad and off-campus study, and community and international partnerships.

5. Demonstrated initiative and ability to work collaboratively and effectively with diverse groups and individuals.


Additional Info:

Terms This position reports to the Board of Directors, serves on the Executive Committee of the board, works closely with and supervises the Director of Programs and Director of Operations in a three-person leadership team, and oversees the work of the Communications and Marketing Manager.

How To Apply:

To Apply Send via email in PDF files: a) letter of interest, b) resume, c) personal statement on your vision for leading HECUA, and d) names of three potential references to The subject line of the email should read: “HECUA Executive Director Application.”

The review of applications will begin on March 21, 2016. Applications accepted until the position is filled.

HECUA is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse work environment, and strongly encourages people of color to apply for this position.

Detailed job description available at


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