Executive Director: Philadelphia Outward Bound School

Lincoln Leadership

The Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) seeks a dynamic and collaborative leader to serve as its Executive Director (ED).

Founded in 1992, POBS’s mission is to change lives through challenge and discovery. POBS uses an experiential learning framework based on Kurt Hahn’s educational philosophy to inspire students to discover innate capabilities, develop character and leadership skills, and engage in service to others to improve their lives and their communities. A robust $3.4M nonprofit educational organization headquartered in and committed to the City of Philadelphia, POBS serves a diverse student body, the majority of whom attend public schools in the region. With 30 full-time employees and 25 seasonal instructors, POBS engaged more than 8,500 youth and adult participants in 2022 in experiential single and multi-day programs that foster character development, leadership and community service. POBS is one of 10 regional Outward Bound schools in the US and serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and northern Delaware from its headquarters at The Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park near the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. POBS is the only Outward Bound school accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.

POBS is operating under a current strategic plan to fulfill a ten-year vision that originally had an implementation focus on the period 2020-2022. Given disruptions to service related to the pandemic, work towards goals has been extended through 2023. The strategic initiatives outlined in this plan focus on five pathways – program & evaluation, recruitment & retention of effective staff, program partnerships & community engagement, sustainable business model, and diversity, equity & inclusion. Organizational accomplishments are many and include increasing the number of students served from 5,000 in 2018 to over 8,500; completing an organizational culture audit as part of a commitment to JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) and adopting a racial justice statement and action plan; launching new public facing programs in The Discovery Center; and increasing revenues (earned and contributed) from $1.3M in 2018 to $3.4M in 2022. The organization has diverse revenue streams, including from a wide variety of program participants and from individual, corporate, and foundation donors.  For more information on POBS, please visit outwardboundphiladelphia.org.

The new ED will inherit a vibrant and impactful organization and will build on these accomplishments with an inspired and committed staff and engaged board. The ED and various stakeholders will develop a  new strategic plan for 2024-2026. As the public face and champion for POBS, the ED will initiate and deepen relationships with various partners, e.g.,school districts, community groups, Outward Bound USA colleagues, Audubon Mid-Atlantic, corporations, foundations, elected and appointed officials, and donors, and continue to elevate the profile of POBS. The ED will report to the board and will collaborate with the staff to ensure the organization is delivering the highest caliber programs. The ED will be accountable for the successful execution of mission, vision, strategy, operations, fiscal management, and development.

The next ED will have extensive leadership experience, preferably with a background in experiential education and/or youth development, and a proven track record in fundraising and building partnerships with diverse stakeholders. The individual must embrace POBS’s core values (compassion, excellence, integrity, inclusion, and diversity) and be committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. They must also be a strategic and experienced manager, as well as an effective communicator.

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume to Andrew Wheeler, Lincoln Leadership at awheeler@lincolnleadership.co or 267.257.1910. All submissions will be held in strictest confidence.

Anticipated salary is approximately $150k, plus participation in a discretionary performance bonus. This position is eligible for benefits including Medical, Dental, and Vision Plan, Paid Time Off, Paid Holidays, and an employer matching contribution to a 403b retirement plan.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume to Andrew Wheeler, Lincoln Leadership at awheeler@lincolnleadership.co or 267.257.1910. All submissions will be held in strictest confidence.