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Executive Director

Job Status
Full Time
$190,000 - $220,000
Job Location
Los Angeles, CA
September 15, 2023

IDA seeks an Executive Director who has the fearless vision, the managerial acumen, and the operational expertise to shape a changing organization and cultivate an organizational culture to support its ambitions.


We believe this moment of organizational transformation is also an extraordinary opportunity for the next Executive Director, who will set an ambitious strategic direction and leverage the success of its programs and historical legacy to further position IDA as a leader and advocate for a sustainable, ethical, and equitable documentary ecosystem.


The ED is responsible for the development and execution of strategy and the effective administration and oversight of all operations to achieve the long-term goals set in collaboration with the Board and staff.

The ideal candidate for this position is a cultural leader with a history of exceptional leadership, who embodies a commitment to inclusive and equitable practices, able to build, motivate, and manage high-performing teams while fostering a culture of accountability, integrity, and excellence.


  • Provide strategic direction and oversight of IDA’s administrative, financial, operational, and programming activities, in line with its mission, vision, and values.
  • Lead strategic planning and program evaluation process to develop and clarify organizational direction; identify and capitalize priority areas for growth while ensuring the IDA has capacity to thrive.
  • Manage staff and consultants by instilling best nonprofit operating practices and policies; foster a culture of collaboration, skill-building, and knowledge sharing; guide the team to understand and commit to the execution implications of strategic ideas and goals.
  • Develop protocols around recruiting, hiring, training, and managing staff to diversify, mentor, and retain talent; ensure consistent staffing structures in support of programming and operations; support professional development opportunities, achievements, and results-based performance.


  • Translate aspiration and strategy into programmatic outcomes and frameworks  for implementation with measurable goals and objectives, setting standards for driving organizational impact and equitable change.
  • Integrate operational plans and timelines for projects and workflows across departments; align the organizational resources, policies, structures, and accountability practices to meet those goals.
  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices, deliver a balanced annual budget, provide oversight, and foster an organization-wide culture of responsible stewardship of resources and shared ownership of and accountability for financial goals.
  • Create a comprehensive and sustainable revenue plan that progressively grows earned and contributory income; cultivate and steward IDA’s community of supporters and champions, including members, institutional/foundation funders, individual donors, and sponsors.
  • Collaborate with the Board to build a culture of nonprofit governance excellence; maintain meaningful engagement and communication to harness their ideas, talents, and resources.


  • Serve as primary ambassador for IDA, providing thought and field-level leadership; be a prominent voice and advocate for independent filmmakers and underserved communities.
  • Lead the organization in defining and further developing a robust, well-supported advocacy program that will position IDA as the leading voice speaking for and representing documentary makers in the public and political sphere.
  • Seek, engage, and leverage the ideas, talents, and spirit of the larger filmmaking community, both past and present, to support their ongoing involvement in IDA.


  • A record of superior accomplishment in leading and managing mid-to large-size independent and/or wider film industry, media, cultural, or social justice institutions.
  • A verifiable record of fundraising success, particularly with foundations and individuals; experience securing six-figure, multi-year gifts.
  • Knowledge of and connections in the documentary field, including a broad network of professional and industry contacts and relationships in the documentary sector, both in the US and internationally.
  • A deep understanding of current documentary field-level issues and their implications for our work and the ability to identify and act on opportunities for IDA to advance organizational and field-level goals.
  • An elevated understanding of how entrenched challenges and structural inequality affects organizational culture; ideas to resolve and dismantle them through internal and external approaches.
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, and speaking skills to represent the organization.


  • A leadership style that reflects organizational values of candor, collaboration, curiosity, dignity, equity, and integrity.
  • A practitioner of innovative problem-solving who takes the initiative, has the confidence, boldness, and resourcefulness to mitigate and resolve conflict but also demonstrates a capacity to learn and self-evaluate.
  • A leader who shows empathy, emotional intelligence, and a generosity of spirit who believes in positive intent in people.
  • Have a passion for film and the mission, vision, and values of the organization, including an appreciation for Los Angeles's vibrant filmmaking community and the vital role storytelling plays in a democratic world to positively impact society.

Read the full prospectus here.


We offer a hybrid work model, with a flexible schedule and work-from-home opportunities. In person presence is required at a frequency to be determined. Our offices are located in the vibrant Koreatown community in Los Angeles.


Applications will be accepted until SEPTEMBER 15, 2023; early submissions will be given priority consideration. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and a resume or CV (in PDF format) with detailed information about professional accomplishments and leadership experience to Phone calls will not be accepted.

To request accommodations for completing this employment application, please contact

International Documentary Association is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, and to building an equitable and just organization that, at every level, reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the community we serve and our society as a whole. We provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or maternity, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable national, federal, state or local law.