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Split This Rock is currently seeking an Interim Executive Director. Read more about the position below. The job description is also available as a accessible Word document that can be downloaded.

Image of the words Split This Rock in black slanted print over a white background.

Interim Executive Director -- Position Description

Organizational Background

Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes personal and social change. It calls poets to the center of public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. All of Split This Rock’s programs are designed to integrate poetry of provocation and witness into public life and to support the poets who write and perform this critical work.

Founded in 2008, the organization is celebrating ten years of revitalizing poetry as a living, breathing art form with profound relevance in our daily lives and struggles. Split This Rock programs include readings, open mics, workshops, poetry contests, awards, an online social justice poetry database, a Poem of the Week series, youth slam festivals, school-based youth activities, campaigns to integrate poetry into movements for social change, and the award-winning DC Youth Slam Team.  Our cornerstone program, Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, is a unique biennial event featuring three days of readings, workshops, discussions, youth voices and activism. It will next be held in 2020. 

Split This Rock, though an independent non-profit organization, is housed within the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC.

For more information on the organization, its programs, and its core values, please visit:

Position Overview

Split This Rock is seeking an Interim Executive Director with the track record, skills, and energy to lead the organization to its next phase after leadership by the founding Executive Director. The Interim Executive Director would be an at-will employee for the time period of about December 1, 2018 - May 31, 2020. This person could also apply to be considered for the permanent Executive Director position that will follow.

The Interim Executive Director’s role is to provide organizational, operational, fundraising, and programmatic leadership and oversight to further Split This Rock’s mission. The selected candidate will help to further transition the organization from a grassroots startup to a firmly established and sustainable organization.

Skills and Background

The ideal candidate will be driven, adaptable, and believe deeply in our organization’s mission. Additionally, the successful candidate will possess the following:

  • A commitment to social justice and the role that the arts can play in social change
  • Interest in and deep knowledge of contemporary poetry of social change
  • Strong record of achievement in fund development
  • Ability to effectively build consensus, to thrive on collaborations (both as a management style and in building external relationships), to understand and respond to the issues of social justice strategically, and be mission-driven
  • Effective advocacy leadership, and ability to lead effective advocacy campaigns
  • Understanding of the non-profit sector preferred but not required
  • Deep appreciation and sensitivity level in regard to working with and within oppressed and marginalized communities
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Organized with excellent attention to detail and follow through
  • Outstanding interpersonal and teamwork skills
  • Comfort working in culturally diverse settings and demonstrated commitment to continuous personal growth including within and as an ally to marginalized communities
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience

Specifically, the Interim Executive Director is charged with achieving the following:

Programs Oversight/Staff Management:

  • Responsible for staff of four employees and a cadre of committed volunteers to deliver on the organization’s programs and the promises made to constituents and donors.
  • Provide oversight for all Split This Rock programs to set programmatic goals, assist in problem-solving, offer feedback on implementation plans, ensure assessment strategies are developed and implemented, and support staff in accessing necessary resources.
  • Build a team of staff and volunteers to plan and execute a successful Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2020.
  • Serve as lead staff on a variety of projects and initiatives of Split This Rock.

Fund Development

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive fund development strategy and plan to secure adequate resources to sustain our efforts, and to support strategic, planned growth. The annual budget for the organization has been growing and is currently $400,000-$500,000, depending on whether it is a festival year. The Board of Directors expects this growth to continue in line with our strategic goals.
  • Provide leadership to grow the annual budget to adequately fund strategic goals.
  • Oversee key fund development efforts, including (but not limited to) major donor cultivation and stewardship, seasonal appeals, grant preparation and reporting, backing from corporations and nonprofits, sponsorship campaigns, and special events.

Financial Management

  • Maintain sound financial policies and practices.
  • Produce monthly financial reports.
  • Prepare annual budget for Board approval; manage revenues and expenses to that budget; forecast and adjust to variances as they occur to maintain financial stability.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as accurate, informative reporting as required by the Board, our constituents, and by law.

Communications/External Relations

  • Develop and execute strategies to elevate the visibility of Split This Rock’s work and of the contributions of poets of witness and provocation.
  • Serve as a spokesperson on behalf of the organization.
  • Maintain relationships with peer organizations and major stakeholders, locally and nationally.
  • Serve as the organizational liaison to the media.
  • Develop and execute advocacy campaigns.
  • Cultivate strategic partnerships with other organizations and key stakeholders to advance our mission and goals.

Board Relations/Governance

  • Develop strong, working relationships with the Board of Directors.
  • Support Board leadership in advancing the work of the Board, including new member recruitment, team building and engagement.
  • Inform the Board regularly of progress, developments, and significant events.

Split This Rock encourages applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI individuals. Split This Rock does not discriminate on any basis including on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, family duties, personal appearance, citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by federal or local laws.

Salary and Benefits

The Interim Executive Director position has a salary range of $55,000-65,000. Split This Rock offers a generous benefits package. Employees receive individual health, dental, and vision insurance with premiums covered in full at this time. In addition, employees receive a generous paid time off package including three weeks paid vacation, ten days of paid sick time each year, all federal holidays, the day after Thanksgiving, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. There is not at this time a retirement plan in place for the organization.

Disability Related Accessibility -- Reasonable Accommodations

As noted above, we welcome applications from individuals with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the hiring process, please email the Board at so that we can discuss options that might be helpful.

To Apply  

Please send a cover letter, resume, and a professional writing sample of no more than 3 pages in a single pdf file with your name as the document title to The professional writing sample should demonstrate skills and competencies you possess that are related to the job functions, of particular interest are successful documents relating to fundraising.

We regret that we are unable to return telephone calls regarding the applications. We will be in touch with individuals who are selected for interviews in the short-term and will respond to all applicants once the position is filled. Thank you.


Split This Rock will extend best consideration to applications received by 5 pm PDT on Friday, September 28, 2018.