Executive Director

Position Description


The Executive Director position at Root Division offers an exciting opportunity for dynamic, strategic, innovative leadership to guide impactful programs for artists and youth. 

Our next Executive Director is an experienced and collaborative leader with a deep understanding of nonprofit arts organizations, artists’ needs, and the local arts community. They demonstrate managerial ability, successful fundraising skills, financial acumen, and a commitment to work within budgetary constraints. They create a climate that fosters communication, cooperation, and openness. They are self-motivated with strong strategic thinking and execution skills. As an effective communicator, they have excellent writing skills and will enjoy being a dynamic public ambassador and spokesperson for Root Division in the broader arts and philanthropic communities.


The next Executive Director of Root Division will share the leadership of the creative, strategic, and financial vision of the organization’s programs, staffing, and development efforts with other members of the staff leadership team. This collaborative model will enable the Executive Director and staff team to effectively maintain the organization and ensure its long-term sustainability. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Creative Vision & Strategic Leadership

  • Establishes and drives visionary leadership and program partnerships to enhance Root Division’s direction, growth, and  impact in the fields of visual art and arts education
  • Amplifies Root Division’s brand and visibility, and serves as a key player in the local arts ecosystem 
  • Oversees Root Division’s delivery of high-quality, relevant programs for artists, youth, and the broader community
  • Stewards Root Division’s diversity, equity, and inclusion frameworks and ensures they span across all constituencies and programs
  • Collaborates with staff to implement and practice Shared Leadership principles

Development & Advancement

  • Creates and implements fundraising strategies, partnerships, and events in collaboration with other staff members and the Board Development Chair
  • Works with board and staff to cultivate individual and corporate donors and solicit funds, including making specific requests personally to existing and potential donors
  • Identifies funding opportunities and prepares grant proposals and sponsorship requests to solicit foundation, corporate, and government support, and maintains relationships with funders
  • Represents the organization internally and externally

Financial Stewardship

  • Oversees financial management functions in collaboration with the Managing Director, including accounting, budgeting, and reporting systems
  • Serves as a liaison to the Board Treasurer and Finance Committee.
  • Ensures  Root Division’s strong fiscal and cash management, investments, and financial policies

Operations & Administrative Leadership

  • Supervises a small staff team in collaboration with the Managing Director, including hiring, retention, performance evaluation, and leadership development initiatives
  • Works closely with the staff leadership team to ensure a healthy, collaborative work environment and a thriving community culture.
  • Serves as the key staff liaison with the Board of Directors to provide coordination and support.
  • Represents and advocates for overall organizational wellness; models behavior and organizational core competencies to all staff, artists, and board members.


The ideal candidate will have the following personal qualities and professional experience:

  • 3-5 years of experience in leadership roles at nonprofit arts organizations
  • A graduate degree and/or work experience equivalent to a Master’s Degree   
  • Visionary leadership guiding programmatic direction and a deep understanding of artists’ needs and the Bay Area arts scene
  • Proven fundraising ability with individual donors, grant writing,  and corporate sponsorships 
  • A demonstrated record of financial stewardship
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Equitable and inclusive management of staff teams and experience working collaboratively in a creative, fast-paced environment
  • Strong personal initiative, and detail-oriented organizational skills with the capacity to manage schedules and meet deadlines
  • An ability to converse with people of all ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds, including artists, curators, students, visitors, neighbors, donors, and civic leaders.


This full-time position includes a combination of onsite and remote hours M-F as well as some evenings and weekends for committee meetings, gallery openings, and fundraising/special events. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes a base salary range of $90,000-$120,000, paid time off, and health plan coverage with related HSA contributions. 

Root Division is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity on our staff team, governing groups, and artist community. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants, women, and LGBTQ+ candidates are encouraged to apply.

Projected start date: Fall 2024 (with paid onboarding starting as early as Summer 2024 if possible).

ROOT DIVISION’S SHARED LEADERSHIP: Root Division believes in Shared Leadership, which engages staff members at all levels in the decision-making process and recognizes that effective leadership is a collaborative effort rather than an individual responsibility.  

A downloadable PDF of the job description can be viewed here.


Please send an email to John-Mark Ikeda, Search Committee Chair to edsearch@rootdivision.org with the following:

  • Subject: Attn: Executive Director Search – Your Last Name
  • Contact Info: Name, Email, Address, Phone, and website (if applicable)
  • PDF ( 4-6 pages total) including:
    • Clear and concise cover letter (1-2 pages); Content should include how the candidate will contribute to the strategic vision, effective fundraising, financial stewardship, and the mission of diversity and inclusion in our organization
    • Recent CV/ Resume (3 pages max)
    • 3-4 References (1 page): Contact Name, Title, Phone, Email
  • (Optional: Portfolio/links of any related work or other samples)

** We encourage you to visit our 2nd Saturday exhibition to learn more about Root Division’s programming.

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received until the position is filled. Applications received by May 15, 2024 will be given priority consideration.


Founded in 2002 by three MFA graduates from SFAI, Root Division was born to constructively address the primary needs facing Bay Area emerging artists. Its unique arts ecosystem embraces four interconnected programs: artist studios, youth education, adult education, and exhibitions/events showcasing local artists. 

Today, Root Division’s comprehensive programs are a launching pad for artists, an incubator for arts educators, a door to creativity for youth, and a bridge for the public to become involved in the arts. Giving back to the community is essential to our unique model where artists receive subsidized studio space in exchange for volunteering their time to teach art classes to adults and low-income youth and produce public programming.  Root Division plays a pivotal role in sustaining the Bay Area’s arts community by directly working with hundreds of artists and students each year, with a focus on those from marginalized communities.

Learn more about Root Division’s Mission and History

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