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Executive Director

Dakin Humane Society
Job Title: Executive Director
Job Type:
Executive Director
Job Search Ends:
March 15th, 2022
Organization's Website:

Dakin’s guiding philosophy is that animals cannot be helped without helping people. The organization recognizes that providing our fellow humans with tools and resources is the best way to help save animals. The ideal candidate has a true passion for community service and connecting people and pets; they are invigorated by the work of the organization, serving as an effective champion for the mission and community.

The executive director serves as the primary example and resource for all constituents in upholding the vision, mission, values, and philosophies. They are responsible for the administration of all programs and services and have the capacity to develop a strategic vision and execute it.

The ideal candidate will excel at working with individuals and teams whether they are the board of directors, staff, volunteers, or others who are working on behalf of Dakin. They must demonstrate a high degree of integrity in all aspects of performance and interactions with all stakeholders and be able to deftly manage difficult and confidential situations.

They must possess strong people skills and emotional intelligence, and can work up, down, across the organization to achieve goals in a way that inspires and engages others. They have experience working with a board of directors, staff and volunteers, and the capacity to develop and nurture relationships with key stakeholders both inside and outside the organization.

A visionary leader will build upon Dakin’s history as an innovator in animal welfare nationally and regionally. The organization is progressive in its practices and is focused on serving the community’s greatest needs, which includes providing wellness and veterinary services to those in need. Working with their team and a variety of stakeholders, the ED will be the chief architect responsible for determining how the organization will respond to today’s community’s needs.

Principal Responsibilities:

Provide leadership & direction - Provide leadership and developmental opportunities to a strong team committed to the mission. They will nurture best practices and exemplary customer service to ensure growth and maximization of employees and volunteers’ potential. They will lead and participate in a way that promotes high levels of teamwork, cooperation, spirit, and synergy.

Provide sound financial management - Oversee budget of approximately $3.8-$4 million and measure performance against key operational and financial targets/goals; responsible for the fiscal health of the organization in partnership with the board of directors.

Board of Directors and Strategic Planning - Successfully partner with the board of directors to revise and develop Dakin’s strategic plan and identify opportunities to create and advance the organization’s activities and relationships. Working closely with committee chairs, provide updates and policy recommendations.

Communications, brand management - Serve as the chief spokesperson and primary ambassador for Dakin representing the organization before the media, stakeholders, and other public venues. Oversee the development and execution of the communication and marketing strategy.

Partners and relationship management - Effectively engage and collaborate with a diverse constituency in urban and rural settings including staff, volunteers, community, influencers, board, government officials, civic and social organizations, donors, general public, and other stakeholders. Uses multiple ways to get things done, being attentive to interpersonal dynamics.

Fund development - Effectively partner with the board, staff, and donors to develop a successful approach that will enable Dakin to grow its base of support. Foster relationships with donors, foundations, and businesses to expand financial support; cultivate prospective donors while ensuring that activities are managed in a cost-effective manner, deploying resources wisely.

Compliance with Contracts, Laws, Regulations, Policies and Guidelines - Maintain and communicate an accurate understanding of laws, regulations, and guidelines that affect shelter operations. Provide oversight of record keeping practices.


  • Mission match – The ideal candidate has a true passion for community service and connecting people and pets; they are invigorated by the work of the organization, serving as an effective champion for the mission and community. 
  • Respected leader with strong emotional intelligence – They inspire the confidence and respect of the staff, board, volunteers, and donors by their actions and leadership. They demonstrate sound judgment and exhibit strong emotional intelligence. They are confident and know when it’s time to lead and when to be a team member. They demonstrate a sense of purpose and are trusted to “walk the talk.” They can work across educational and social strata, rural and urban communities; work well with front-line staff as well as community leaders. They are focused on nurturing a diverse, inclusive, accountable, and compassionate organizational culture. 
  • Ethics, Integrity and Values – They demonstrate honesty, integrity and unquestionable ethics in all interactions. They are widely trusted; keep confidences; and do not misrepresent themselves for personal gain or protection. Adheres to a set of core values and beliefs during both good and tough times; acts in line with those values; rewards the right values and disapproves of others; practices what they preach.
  • Partnership with the Board of directors – They have experience working with a board of directors and have the capacity to partner effectively with board leadership and committee members. They enjoy helping to develop a dynamic, representative group of volunteers that serve as Dakin’s lead ambassadors.
  • Strategic thinker with ability to execute – They must be able to see the entire organization in its relationship to the community at large. They can conceptualize, plan, prioritize, effectively implement across an organization. They can articulate the pathway forward, anticipating possible future consequences and trends while working with others to create strategies and work plans. They can approach mission-focused work in a business-like manner and have the discipline to set clear priorities and track results. They can make difficult decisions and handle challenges with aplomb. 
  • Fiscal and business acumen – They must be effective in forecasting, cash flow, budget management, and reporting with the support of in-house experts. A track record of developing and managing the changes of a nonprofit organization that is adapting to serve the needs of a changing external environment is helpful.
  • Change management – They are a versatile learner and adept at leading an organization through change and helping others experiment with new approaches. They can shift gears comfortably, and invite input from others, sharing ownership and visibility.
  • Strong communicator – They are a compelling communicator who persuasively shares internal and external messages. They are personable, humble, and approachable. They possess good written and excellent verbal communication skills, and the ability to synthesize various sources of information in order to provide timely and regular communications. 
  • Coalition builder – They are forward-thinking and have shown success in building widespread support for an organization through collaborative efforts with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Composure – They must exude a sense of composure and stature in a work environment where emotions can run high and difficult decisions are necessary (e.g., cruelty, neglect, owner surrenders, and the like). They must demonstrate capacity for staying steady under pressure while maintaining perspective. 
  • Effective fundraiser – They possess an understanding of the variety of fundraising strategies and methods used to support the mission including major and planned gifts, grants, in-kind support, annual funds, and the like. They have experience or acumen to cultivate and close major donors to secure support for the organization. 
  • Experience in animal welfare is preferred but is not required. 

Required experience

Minimum of 5 years’ experience in a substantial leadership role, either reporting directly to or working closely with a Board of Directors. 

To apply

A full description and profile can be found herehttps://adisagroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Dakin-ED-Position-Profile_FINAL.pdf

Please submit a resume and cover letter summarizing your qualifications as they relate to the position description to search@adisagroup.com. For more information about this position or to suggest a prospective candidate, contact: 

Laura Maloney                  

Principal, Adisa                                  


All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Additional information about Dakin can be found on their website: https://www.dakinhumane.org.


133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
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