Executive Director

Company Information

Company Name: Discovering Deaf Worlds

Position: Permanent

Start Date:


Rochester, NY 14610
United States

Job Information

Job Description for Executive Director

Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW) is seeking a new Executive Director, a full time position available immediately. The Executive Director is responsible for leading the organization toward attaining its vision, mission, strategic goals and financial objectives. This is accomplished in two primary areas: international development programming and fund development. The Executive Director is also responsible for overall management, operation and protection of the organization’s financial assets while ensuring compliance with its bylaws, Board directives, and applicable grantor, federal and state requirements.

Founded in 2006, Discovering Deaf Worlds is dedicated to creating a world that recognizes the abilities of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in developing countries to acquire an education, maintain a job, raise families, and live autonomously. DDW staff and Board work towards this mission with partners and affiliates from around the world.
DDW provides organizational management training to Deaf advocacy organizations in developing countries. All projects aim to improve standards of Deaf education, communication accessibility, employment opportunities and human rights. These programs include, but are not limited to: Social Inclusion of the Deaf in the Dominican Republic, Capacity Training, Global Leadership Readiness Program.


We are seeking an Executive Director to lead our organization through a transition to a new leadership focused on expanding our current capacity and programming. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our organization, ensuring that we operate efficiently and effectively to meet our ambitious mission and strategic plan. The Executive Director is the face of our organization, working closely with the Board of Directors, government officials and the public to ensure that our operations and messaging is tightly aligned with the DDW mission and vision.
Our organization is a close-knit culture in which we place a high priority on communication, recognition, and collaboration. We are excited about bringing aboard a new Executive Director who can accelerate our progress toward what we hope to achieve with the international Deaf community. The Executive Director can work remotely and will need to attend and plan DDW fundraising events and Board meetings in Rochester, NY every spring and in Washington DC every fall, as well as events and meetings with donors.
Key Responsibilities:

  • Inspire progress and support for Deaf communities in developing countries
  • Proudly publicize our organization’s activities, programs, and goals
  • Uphold our unique approach in engaging and supporting Deaf people in developing countries
  • Maintain our organizational culture of transparency and communication
  • Develop relationships with stakeholders, including government agencies; local, national, and international leaders; sponsors, and key nonprofit organizations.
  • Proactively address challenges in the internal and external environment to protect the organization
  • Expand our organization’s programming through funding from new sources and opportunities, building from existing relationships and events, such as our fundraisers
  • Increase our capacity to support our mission and stakeholders through greater funding support
  • Provide leadership in developing program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board
  • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization's work
  • Keep the board fully informed on the condition of the organization and all factors influencing it
  • Ensure commitment to and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies
  • Handle all aspects of human resource management in regards to paid staff and volunteer
  • Analyze, evaluates, and manage relevant vendor services
  • Oversee marketing, media relations, public relations
  • Own primary responsibility for relationships with current and potential funders and grants, including proposals and follow through on delivering proposal outcomes and requirements
  • Oversee budget and ensure the organization operates within budget parameters
  • Oversee all accounting functions including those necessary for auditing, budgeting, financial analysis, capital asset and property management and payroll

Job Requirements for Executive Director

Experience and Attributes:

  • Integrity
  • Commitment to our mission
  • Respect for diversity
  • Ability to inspire and motivate
  • Empathy
  • Self-directed
  • Results oriented
  • Detail oriented
  • Track record of advocating for human rights issues


  • Bachelor's Degree or higher
  • Experience working with international deaf communities, in particular from developing countries
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement successful strategic plans and projects
  • Experience in grant-writing and fund solicitation, organizing fundraising campaigns and events
  • Deep understanding of financial strategies and finance-related performance metrics
  • Strong aptitude for visual and written communication, presentation, and relationship development
  • Working knowledge of trends in the Deaf community and international development
  • Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) and written English
  • Knowledge of other international sign languages is a plus
  • In-depth knowledge of best practices in management and governance
  • Knowledge of compliance with U.S. Federal government grants preferred
  • Ability to work flexible hours and travel abroad for 2-4 weeks at a time, 2-3 times per year
  • Understanding issues affecting Deaf communities in developing countries

Application Process:
To apply, send an email with a cover letter detailing your qualifications, resume salary requirements, and three references to: executivesearch@discoveringdeafworlds.org
Commensurate with experience and as allowed by DDW salary schedule and policies.
Applications will be considered until position is filled.  Discovering Deaf Worlds is an equal opportunity employer.

Resume Information

Majors Desired


Candidates should apply directly by sending:

Cover Letter
Salary Requirements; 3 References