Aug 27, 2021

Executive Director

  • On-Ramps
  • Baltimore, MD, USA
Full-Time General Management Strategic Planning

Job Description


MERIT is changing the face of health care one scholar at a time by educating and empowering students from underrepresented backgrounds to become health professionals and change agents who advance equity. Serving over 300 MERIT Scholars and Alumni annually, the MERIT Health Leadership Academy is a comprehensive academic and career mentorship program currently supporting Baltimore City high school students who aspire to careers in health care. In 2022, MERIT will expand its programming to other markets, beginning with Washington, DC. By providing long-term mentorship, rigorous academic support, and professional opportunities to students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, MERIT is increasing diversity among the next generation of doctors, nurses, and researchers in Baltimore and beyond.

Established in 2011, MERIT is built on strong, lasting relationships and united by the goal of improving the health of others and our communities. Surrounding each MERIT Scholar is a family of mentors and caring adults who serve as role models, career advisors, and lifelong supporters. MERIT builds a bridge between the medical community and its promising youth, connecting students to hundreds of health professionals across the city. MERIT has partnerships with leading institutions like Johns Hopkins and Howard University to operate its programing. While building such important and meaningful connections, MERIT raises the bar for education, pushing its scholars to the highest levels of achievement and academic excellence. MERIT's goal is to prepare scholars with the academic and professional tools needed to succeed in STEM and health careers. The organization's approach has led to strong outcomes, as 99% of graduating MERIT Scholars have been accepted to four-year universities over the last eight years. For the latest information on MERIT, including its recent "Excellence in Summer Learning Award", please visit their website.


The Executive Director has responsibility for oversight and management of all elements of MERIT's program, operations, and fiscal stability. The Executive Director partners with and leverages senior leadership to ensure that programming and scholar support is implemented effectively and meets goals, as well as ensures that MERIT's administrative and fundraising operations are run efficiently and responsibly. This role is responsible for representing MERIT to external stakeholders, fostering a strong relationship with the Board of Directors, and engaging staff, the Board, and others in MERIT's plans for growth.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee a team of 8. In addition to operating MERIT's core programming in Baltimore, the organization seeks to expand its reach to a new market, Washington, DC. Launching a pilot in 2022, the Executive Director will be responsible for developing and growing the program and team in the DC market. The Executive Director role is an ideal opportunity for an experienced social sector leader to deepen and grow the impact of a highly successful organization in Baltimore while expanding its reach to young people in new markets, beginning with Washington, DC.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Strategic Leadership and Management

  • Manage all MERIT staff, leveraging other senior leadership as appropriate, and directly manage two Program Director and a Development and Operations Manager
  • Develop and communicate annual organization-wide priorities and goals and ensure that team and individual performance metrics reflect and are aligned with these goals
  • Ensure quality of program delivery through leveraging and managing the Program Team and its responsibilities
  • Champion development of annual report highlighting financial, operational, and program successes as well as MERIT's vision for the next fiscal year
  • Ensure that resources and support are available to the organization and to all elements of programming
  • Develop MERIT's next strategic plan, growing it to new markets in partnership with the Board of Directors and other staff members
  • Identify opportunities for operational improvements, with a focus on positioning MERIT to scale
  • Consider risk management in the development of MERIT policies, guidelines, and programmatic plans

Fundraising and External Affairs

  • Lead the development of a fundraising strategy and plan to ensure that MERIT's financial needs are met by generating approximately $1 million in annual support
  • Identify, secure, and steward institutional investments and individual donors to support MERIT's programmatic work
  • Ensure accurate tracking of fundraising goals and donor information so that all gifts are acknowledged and financial projections are accurate
  • Serve as the "face" of MERIT at events and in interactions with current and prospective program partners and donors
  • Serve as liaison between the Board of Directors and the organization, seek guidance on critical issues and report on organizational performance
  • Manage all elements of recruitment and vetting of new Board members, including the diversification of the Board to ensure it reflects the communities MERIT serves

Administration and Organizational Leadership

  • Ensure financial processes and policies are current, communicated clearly, and followed, and that financial reporting is accurate
  • Prepare annual budget in collaboration with Board Treasurer, Finance Committee, and other key staff
  • Determine appropriate staffing models to maximize organizational effectiveness and oversee recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
  • Ensure HR policies and procedures reflect MERIT's core values and equity focus while ensuring that compliance with local and national regulation
  • Oversee staff performance evaluation process, including establishment of annual performance goals, development of regular feedback mechanisms, and annual face-to-face performance evaluation for all staff

Hiring Organization

MERIT Health Leadership Academy


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Critical interest in the mission, programming, and approach of MERIT with a deep commitment to equity
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead fundraising strategy with a track record of attracting and growing philanthropic support from foundations, corporations, and individuals
  • Excellent, persuasive communication skills with the ability to serve as the lead spokesperson and ambassador to build awareness of MERIT's work and impact
  • Strong management experience with a demonstrated and distinguished track record running a complex organization with multiple stakeholders and managing a diverse, geographically dispersed staff
  • Demonstrated facility with analyzing and employing data to drive innovation and growth
  • An inclusive leadership style that seeks out and values diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • A supportive, emotionally intelligent leadership style, with excellent interpersonal skills to foster trust
  • A collaborative management style that motivates staff, provides clear and consistent direction and fosters accountability
  • An entrepreneurial spirit; an energetic, collaborative and proactive team leader who can productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives
  • Five years minimum of executive or programmatic management experience
  • An undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is preferred

Industry/Service Area





Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions


MERIT is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds. MERIT recognizes and appreciates the value of building a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive work environment. MERIT takes pride in being an equal opportunity employer regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

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