NIRS Looking for Executive Director

August 16, 2010 ( - The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) is looking for an Executive Director.

NIRS is a 501(c)(4) non-profit research and education organization based in Washington, DC, which seeks to encourage the development of public policies that enhance retirement security and to foster a deep understanding of the traditional pension system in the United States. The NIRS Research and Education Fund (NIRS-REF) was established as a 501(c)(3) organization and shares NIRS’ mission of educating the American public about key problems, challenges, and potential solutions related to retirement security.  

The Executive Director acts as the chief executive and administrative officer of NIRS, responsible for supervising all affairs of the organization in accordance with policies and directives approved by the Board of Directors and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. The Executive Director reports to and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.  

According to the job announcement, key responsibilities for the Executive Director include: 

  • Fundraising – developing and executing plans for membership recruitment and fundraising (including grants and foundation support) to enhance the organization’s sustainability; 
  • External relations – Serving as the lead spokesperson for NIRS – informing media, policymakers, industry and other key audiences about the organization’s work and serving as a resource on retirement issues broadly; 
  • Research – Developing and managing an ongoing research program designed to generate credible and meaningful research that fosters a deeper understanding of the value of retirement security for all Americans; 
  • Education – Working with the communications professional retained by NIRS to create ongoing education/communication programs and materials; 
  • Outreach – Cultivating relationships with other organizations involved in defined benefit and retirement issues, including academic researchers, think tanks, policy experts, etc.; 
  • Member programming – Developing and overseeing on-going programs for NIRS members, including an annual conference, webinars, e-newsletters, etc.; 
  • Innovation – Identifying and rolling out new “big ideas” to keep NIRS fresh and continue to build its leadership position; 
  • Supervisory – Supervising staff and reassessing staffing and consultant resources used/needed by NIRS as necessary; 
  • Planning – Developing and recommending annual business plans and long-term strategic plans to the Board; 
  • Administration/Finance – Overseeing the maintenance of financial records, ensuring preparation of monthly financial statements, developing an annual budget for Board approval, and arranging for an annual audit of NIRS/NIRS-REF.  


It is strongly preferred that the Executive Director will be based in Washington, DC.  

Qualifications listed in the job announcement include: 

  • An advanced degree in business, economics, finance, marketing, communications, public administration, law or related field is preferred; 
  • Passion for and commitment to the value of defined benefit plans; experience in the industry, or at least substantive knowledge of defined benefit pensions and issues; ability to frame those issues into policy; 
  • An entrepreneurial spirit; business development experience and/or the ability to plan and implement strong membership development and fundraising efforts to grow the organization and further ensure its sustainability; 
  • Experience leading or overseeing marketing and communications efforts and dealing with the media is preferred; 
  • Experience reporting to, working with, or serving on a board of directors; 
  • Ability to think and act both strategically and tactically to develop and implement a research strategy; experience leading a research effort is a plus; 
  • Budget and business operations experience; 
  • Ability to work independently and without significant administrative support; 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; 
  • Confident, mature presentation and interpersonal skills to develop immediate credibility with diverse parties ranging from the Board of Directors to members, potential members and other stakeholders; 
  • High level of energy and enthusiasm; strong work ethic;and 
  • Ability to travel as required by job duties.  


Compensation and benefits will correspond to the experience level, credentials, and personal characteristics of the candidate.  

Persons interested in the position may contact EFL Associates of Denver, CO, at 303-779-1724 or Elena McCall, Assistant Vice President, at