Cambridge Insight Meditation Center Dedicated to integrating meditation practice and wisdom into daily life
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center Seeks Executive Director
A warm, community-minded, and generous in spirit executive director is sought to lead the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (CIMC), an urban teaching center rooted in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The Board of Directors seeks a mature professional who is a student and practitioner of the Dharma, with fundraising and people management skills, and will be energized by and experienced with working in a collaborative environment that supports shared leadership and distributed decision-making. CIMC is thriving and is looking for a leader to guide the Center through its next period of growth, discovery, and community building.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, works in collaboration with the Guiding Teachers and Resident Teacher, and directs staff, volunteers, and consultants to ensure that the organization continually realizes its mission and vision, and executes on its strategy.
CIMC is a welcoming refuge and teaching center in Cambridge, Massachusetts for all who seek inner peace through the liberating practice of insight meditation. As a community of practitioners, and as an institution, it endeavors to follow the Buddha’s path of ethics, tranquility, wisdom, and compassion. A unique urban center, CIMC is dedicated to the integration of practice into every aspect of community and daily life. It offers Dharma retreats, talks, classes, drop-in, and other programs.
CIMC was established in 1985, the first non-resident, lay Theravadin Center in the West to locate itself in the heart of a city. It provides a unique physical environment where contemplative life is developed and protected amid an urban setting. From its inception, CIMC has offered an innovative model for teaching Vipassana in the West: it is a sangha (community) of 21st-century lay practitioners, deeply rooted in a 2,600-year-old monastic tradition. It is guided by renowned founding and Guiding Teacher Larry Rosenberg, Guiding Teacher Narayan Helen Liebenson, our Resident and Core Teacher, as well as additional diverse, talented Vipassana teachers.
CIMC is dedicated to creating a space that welcomes all people regardless of backgrounds. Regular opportunities are available for people to practice in community or “affinity groups” for example: 35 & Under, Little Buddhas (a group for parents and young children), People of Color, White Awake, LGBTQIA+, Disability & Chronic Illness, Parents, and Elders. CIMC serves practitioners across the spectrum of life. In-person, online and hybrid classes and retreats are offered to beginning practitioners as well as those deeply committed to Dharma practice.
An 11-member board governs CIMC. Membership on the board is comprised of the Guiding Teachers and community practitioners. Five full-time staff and six part-time staff support its administration. CIMC’s finances are strong; it has a $1.1 million budget for FY23 and owns its building.
With new leadership in place, the Board of Directors is beginning work on a new long-term plan to leverage CIMC’s 40-year legacy of success. Its goals might be growing the practitioner community, drawing new and younger practitioners to the Center, and offering programming that reaches the communities of Cambridge and beyond. It is an exciting time for a new leader to join the Board and Guiding Teachers in delivering on these opportunities.
The move to virtual classes during the COVID pandemic resulted in a significant expansion of practitioner engagement in class attendance, geographic reach, and diversity. Online and hybrid classes offer new ways to engage in discussion, talks, meditation, teacher inclusion, and community building and CIMC will continue to offer a robust schedule of online and hybrid programs. At the same time, in-person practice and programming were significantly impacted by the pandemic closure. CIMC is in the process of rebuilding the vibrant, in-person curriculum. A major focus of our new Executive Director will be to reestablish an engaged in-person community.
In addition to a relatively narrow demographic of practitioners who seek and are familiar with insight mediation, at this important inflection point CIMC wants to cultivate a new generation of students: BIPOC students, younger practitioners, people with disabilities, practitioners with fewer resources, and Cambridge-area residents who may be unfamiliar with the liberating practice of insight meditation. The continuation and expansion of CIMC Affinity Groups is an important aspect of this work. There is also interest in making Dharma practice more accessible to newcomers with a clear track for beginners and expanding in-person support and guidance.
Succession planning for our current Guiding Teachers and building a diverse teaching community are of particular importance. A significant aspect of the executive role is working in close collaboration with the Guiding Teachers to guide the curriculum and support the teachers. The role is also to envision and implement events such as member appreciation, volunteer appreciation, and community conversations in collaboration with the Sangha Life Committee and others.
Funding needs are ever-present with building capital costs, renovation ideas, and salary and benefit demands. There is an existing donor base to cultivate, a vibrant membership to engage, and new generation of online followers to inspire to support the Center. There is enormous potential in planned giving.
The Ideal Candidate
While we recognize that candidates may not possess all the following qualities, ideal applicants will exemplify a number of these attributes, skills, and experiences and will have the capability to oversee an organization of CIMC’s size and scope.
Knowledge of the Field
A student and practitioner of the Dharma, ideally in the Theravadin tradition Knows the shared language, understanding, and culture of Dharma
Visionary and Strategic Executive
Demonstrated ability to lead and implement a strategic organizational vision and plan Demonstrated commitment to and success in integrating social justice and equity principles into overall organizational strategy and practice Experienced at holding the big picture and being simultaneously engaged in the details of a small organization
Experience with donor identification, cultivation and relationship development, solicitation, stewardship, and evaluation Practiced in the discipline of fundraising – proposal writing, database management, appeals, membership programs, and capital campaigns Excellent, proven writing skills and is skilled at communicating and championing an organizational vision
Facilitative and Open Leader
Warm, compassionate, kind, and good-hearted Displays emotional maturity and a sense of self; able to hold an independent voice and make effective decisions Has balanced leadership skills; listens well and is comfortable leading from behind Approachable and brings fun, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor Generous of spirit; experiences themselves as connected to others Willing to work at all levels of the organization, as needed
Has proven experience in building community, internally and externally Highly collaborative, flexible, and patient with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders Experience with managing risk and is a solution-finder Wisdom to engage with many different constituencies successfully; is a good translator of different points of view
A Seasoned Manager
Experienced with organizational and staff management, including finance, with a proven record of success in managing growth Has excellent supervisory skills, with the kindness and passion to develop and lead a team A marketing/communications background is a plus Familiarity with nonprofit board engagement is a plus Application Guidelines
Candidates must include a resume and a cover letter that describes how their qualifications and experience match the needs and mission of CIMC. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send required documents to: https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/
Salary is commensurate with experience, with a range expectation of $120k-$140k. Excellent benefits include 100% employer-paid health and dental coverage, generous time off, and no-cost access to all CIMC classes.
CIMC is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and looks forward to an inclusive hiring process. It encourages a broad range of applicants, including candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, particularly candidates of color and LGBTQ candidates.
This executive search is being conducted by Eos Transition Partners consultant Nancy Jackson. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential, and any questions must be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.