Position: Executive Director

Location: New York, NY
Application Deadline: December 31, 2020

Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science (“Nalanda”, the “Institute”, “NI”) is looking for an inspired and dynamic Executive Director to take the helm and lead the Institute to deliver greater scale and impact globally. As Executive Director, you will work with the Founder, senior leadership and the Board of Directors to carry out our shared mission, rapidly innovate and deliver leading training programs, expand our partnerships, and launch key new initiatives. You will help build the legacy of 20+ years in which the Institute and its founders have focused on meeting the most central challenge of our age—how can we live a fully awake, fully human life in an increasingly complex, interconnected world. Now, as we face a historic crisis on so many fronts—systemic racial, gender and economic inequities, an environment in the red, epidemics of addiction and trauma, and the global pandemic—Nalanda Institute is poised to expand the positive social impact we aim to have on professionals from all walks of life, on progressive organizations, and on the world we share.

About Us

Nalanda Institute is a leading provider of educational programs that help people integrate contemplative well-being, cutting-edge neuropsychology and social equity into professional practice and contemporary life. We were founded in 2007 as a 501(c)3 non-profit and are based in New York City with program hubs in San Francisco, Toronto, and Zaragoza, Spain, as well as a virtual presence in Latin America.

Our mission is to train leaders in rigorous contemplative science and practice, informed by current neuropsychology and deep social equity work, to tame self-limiting survival biases and emotions, and to embody and teach prosocial ways of being that accelerate the development of personal thriving, interpersonal compassion, organizational stewardship and collective liberation.

In collaboration with a world-class faculty and community-based organizations, we deliver best-in-class training programs to professionals in the healthcare, behavioral health, wellness, social services, education, and business. Over the years, we have offered in-person and digital programs (ranging from short workshops to 9-months in duration) integrating contemplative science with psychotherapy, medical research & clinical interventions, business & management, meditation, K-12 education, and mind-body movement.

We were founded by Executive Chairman Joseph Loizzo, MD, PhD, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Columbia-trained Buddhist scholar with over forty years’ experience studying the beneficial effects of contemplative practices on healing, learning and development. He is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he researches and teaches contemplative self-healing and optimal health. He has taught the philosophy of science and religion, the scientific study of contemplative states, and the Indo-Tibetan mind and health sciences at Columbia University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies.

While the Institute is an established thought-leader in its field with a number of income-generating programs alongside continual philanthropic projects, it is also an early-stage organization. We are transitioning in the next year to a stage of rapid growth and professionalization by pursuing opportunities to expand our digital platform, to innovate program offerings, and to establish new partnerships with stakeholders across the industry. Additionally, we plan to launch two new initiatives around social equity and advanced clinical research. To achieve our vision, we need dedicated people who are excited by the chance to build a growing organization aimed at enabling thriving life and a vibrant society.

About the Role

The Executive Director will serve as the strategic and operational leader of the Institute and will be responsible for leading all aspects of the Institute’s strategic vision and execution of short- and long-term goals, program innovation and organizational development. You will be responsible for delivery on performance across the organization, including in-market growth, operational excellence, impact outcomes, and financial success.

You will partner closely with the Executive Chairman and Founder to set strategic direction for the organization and to run all aspects of the Institute, and will report directly to the Board of Directors. You will be part of a five-member Executive Committee comprised additionally of the Executive Chairman and three long-term advisors of the Institute who have many years of experience in the non-profit and corporate sectors. You will oversee and work closely with the Institute’s thirteen team members and faculty of over fifty leaders in the field.

You will oversee all programmatic leaders and leaders at Nalanda Central (comprised of external relations, marketing, finance, technology functions) to own overall program delivery, operational excellence, strategy and innovation, network development, partnership management, community outreach, student and member engagement and satisfaction, and team management.

You are driven by a passion for contemplative well-being and have a personal contemplative practice (meditation, mindful movement, etc.), engage in a spiritual tradition (Eastern / Western), and / or practice modalities of integrative mind-body health.

You care deeply about the impact of training for professional leaders and caregivers to serve their respective communities, organizations, and complex societal needs. You are a leader and operator who brings experience managing teams and in building trust-based relationships with partners, stakeholders, customers, front-line employees and executives.

If you like challenges and an entrepreneurial opportunity to lead and grow a lean organization, we want to hear from you!

Requirements for the Role

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university required; MBA or equivalent preferred; 15+ years leadership experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 10+ years of experience working as a senior and respected leader in the wellness, health, medical, educational or philanthropic communities
  • Have a strong commitment to and significant experience with the role of deep equity—regardless of race, gender, financial status, age and ability—in working and learning with people of all backgrounds and orientations in a spirit of open dialogue, mutual respect and equal dignity
  • Bring experience managing a P&L
  • Are deeply strategic AND operationally oriented, constantly focused on performance excellence and efficiency, and seeking ways to innovate and grow
  • Have hands-on operations leadership experience. You’ve built and improved lean teams, built deep stakeholder relationships will, and driven day-to-day operations
  • Have superb project/process management skills, and you are rigorous, energetic, agile, flexible, and aren’t afraid to do the work yourself
  • Have exceptional organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to project professional competence, leadership capability, and personal maturity
  • Are deeply committed to and inspire commitment to Nalanda Institute’s mission
  • Are charismatic with excellent presentation skills and the ability to own external relationships

How We Define Success

  • Own the operational, impact, and financial results for the Institute in accordance with the Institute’s mission and 4-year strategic plan
  • Own all operations, budgeting and administrative activities that drive performance and an efficient, lean operating model
  • Oversee the operations that support a distributed workforce spanning multiple roles and diverse geographies
  • Oversee the embedding of deep equity into all Institute operations and programs
  • Act as business development leader to establish new partnerships with external stakeholders, including funders, alumni, research institutions, community-based organizations, to establish strategic collaborations and drive implementation
  • Lead and oversee fundraising from individuals and institutions, including applying for grants and building and sustaining long-term relationships
  • Drive new program expansions and new launches in accordance with strategic plan
  • Grow student base and faculty pipeline in accordance with milestones
  • Hire, train, manage, and develop faculty pipeline and organizational leaders
  • Promote a feedback-driven culture, with the development of consistent approaches to setting milestones and seeking ongoing performance improvement
  • Review financial outcomes and budgets and drive profitability
  • Provide quarterly operations, impact and financial updates to the Board of Directors
  • Meet monthly with the Executive Committee to provide updates and set operational direction

Nice to Have, but Not Required

  • Knowledge of 501(c)3 legal and accounting regulations and guidelines
  • Strong understanding of health / wellness or education industry and operating models
  • Strong understanding of digital education platforms
  • Experience leading a non-profit organization at the senior level and fundraising / applying for grants

What We’d Like From You

  • A resume
  • A short cover letter — describing why you are interested in the position and what you can bring to the organization

Please send your resume and cover letter to

Nalanda Institute values diversity, inclusion and deep equity as core tenets of the work we do and the communities we serve. We are an equal opportunity employer, indiscriminate of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic.