About week ago, I posted a job vacancy on Global Voices’s website – Executive Director. I’ve gotten a couple of emails that make me think I should clarify why what we’re looking for in an executive director and my future working with Global Voices.
Global Voices is one of those rare endeavours that succeeds well beyond the hopes of its founders. When Rebecca and I began talking about the project in 2004, the hope was to discover a few bloggers in the developing world and make sure a wider audience knew about them. It would have been unrealistic to believe that we’d become one of the most widely cited blogs in the world, or that we’d be a primary source of information on important stories that weren’t otherwise covered in English-language media.
Neither Rebecca nor I really wanted to found an NGO. I’d founded one before – Geekcorps – and was chairing the board of another – Worldchanging. So we did our best to keep from making people economically dependent on the organization, hiring only part-time employees and relying heavily on volunteer labor. But the community of people involved with GV as editors, contributors, translators and technologists has grown, and management of that team – as well as fundraising to support that team – is now a full-time job.
Rebecca has a full-time job – she’s teaching at Hong Kong University. I don’t want a full-time job – I’ve been enjoying a worklife that combines some academic work, some work supporting foundations like Open Society Institute, and a lot of writing, on this blog and elsewhere. If anything, I’d like more time, in the hopes of writing something longer than my prolix blog posts.
Global Voices has grown to the level of complexity and importance where it deserves someone who can focus on its present and future every day, something that I’ve never been able to do. At the same time, Global Voices needs some guidance from people who’ve been involved with it from day one. With that in mind, Rebecca and I are both sitting on the board of directors of the nonprofit we’re founding to manage Global Voices – for the first year, at least, I will be chairing that board. I also plan to spend the first half of next year working closely with that new executive director, especially on fundraising issues. But we desperately need someone who can eat, sleep and breathe Global Voices, helping us figure out how to harness the energy of our amazing community and build an organization that can carry out our work for the next ten or twenty years.
The job description I posted is looking for an almost superhuman set of traits – someone with experience managing NGOs and especially in fundraising; someone who understands the worlds of journalism and weblogs; someone who is likely to be respected and embraced by our community. These people do exist – I’ve met some of them. But we would really use your help finding them. If you know of people who might be interested in this position, please point them to our site and encourage them to apply. Thanks for passing this opportunity around and helping us find Mr. or Ms. Right.
Good luck Ethan, it will be a challenge to find the right person. I think on such matters you just have to wait to get the right person. It could take months. Don’t just settle for anyone.
Ethan, thanks for further clarifying the new Executive Director job opening at Global Voices Online. With such a devoted and creative community of GVO editors, authors, contributors and readers worldwide finding a new top boss should not be a great problem. In my opinion the greatest difficulty will come in selecting Ms./Mrs./Mr. Right from all of the qualified global candidates.
Good luck with your search and make sure that your get the word about the job opening out there on the street (the Sphere).
“…My prolix blog posts.”
Prolix: “Unduly prolonged or drawn out : too long” (Webster’s Collegiate).
Your blog posts? Nay, Ethan, not at all.
I stumbled onto your blog by accident but was compelled to take a look around. I sincerely hope things continue to prosper and that your new recruit shares your level of passion.