Executive Director

Executive Director Job Description

Classification: Exempt, Full-time
Reports to: Board of Directors
Salary: Commensurate with experience



The Board of Directors of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) is seeking an energetic Executive Director who will lead the organization into its next stage of growth. FABBS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has conducted advocacy and educational activities for the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior for over 37 years. The organization represents 23 scientific societies, and over 50 academic affiliates and corporate supporters. FABBS is the only coalition of scientific societies focused exclusively on promoting these sciences in the U.S. It focuses its efforts on advocacy and education at the federal level and on communicating the contributions of research to policy makers and the public.

The FABBS Executive Director provides the passion, knowledge, and leadership necessary to carry out the mission of the organization, working with the Board of Directors in setting strategic directions and policies. The Executive Director is the chief spokesperson for FABBS; oversees advocacy activities for the organization with Congressional staff and federal agencies; develops creative educational programming to highlight the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior; and, cultivates sources of funding for activities and special projects. The Executive Director has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations; supervises staff; and oversees the programmatic, financial, and management operations of the organization.

Candidates should have some knowledge of the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior; experience sharing research findings with policy makers and the public to inform policy and improve lives; and the ability to confidently lead the organization, working collaboratively with the larger scientific community.


Primary Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership and work with the Board of Directors to set the strategic direction, priorities, and policies for the organization.
  • Develop approaches to accomplishing organizational goals and carrying out the advocacy and educational mission of FABBS.
  • Develop, organize, and motivate staff to maintain consistently high levels of performance in carrying out the mission.
  • Be a leader in advocating on issues of central importance to FABBS.
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization.
  • Keep members of the Board fully informed and utilize their talents effectively in support of the work of FABBS.

Public Affairs, Advocacy, and Education

  • Develop and maintain relationships with policy makers, governmental agencies, media, funders, member organizations, and other relevant parties in a manner that enhances the credibility, reputation, and leadership of FABBS in the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior.
  • Promote the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior with Congress, federal agencies, and the public.
  • Share important research findings from the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior with policy makers and the public.
  • Develop educational programs to share compelling research findings with public audiences.
  • Act as spokesperson for the organization.
  • Play an active role in the community of related national organizations that connect to the strategic interests of FABBS.

Program Management

  • Oversee the development and funding of all programs and services.
  • Supervise and direct staff as appropriate to deliver programs and services.
  • Plan and implement creative educational events for the organization.
  • Keep member societies and affiliates informed of FABBS activities.
  • Initiate efforts to attract new members and affiliates and ensure the satisfaction of current members.
  • Develop sources of funding for activities and special projects.

Organizational and Financial Management

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization.
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate staff.
  • Manage the business of FABBS.
  • Ensure that the organization operates within the limits of board-approved budgets, policies, and bylaws, as well as within all applicable laws and regulations of a 501(c)(3).
  • Develop and monitor the annual budget.
  • Ensure that the financial affairs of the organization are conducted in accordance with policies and guidelines established by the Boards and generally accepted accounting principles.


Qualifications and Competencies


  • Preference given to advanced degree in psychological science, neuroscience, or related field.


  • Preference given to applicants with prior experience in science policy, research, research administration, or related work. Some management experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes

  • Knowledge of the contributions of the mind, brain, and behavioral sciences.
  • Politically savvy and knowledgeable about the public policy process.
  • Passion for advocacy related to science funding and science policy.
  • Knowledge of key issues for the mind, brain, and behavioral sciences on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies.
  • Experience working with Capitol Hill, executive branch, and science coalitions.
  • Able to motivate and influence others.
  • Able to network productively with a range of stakeholders.
  • Able to formulate creative solutions or approaches to solving problems.
  • Able to build strong interpersonal relationships with a range of individuals.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently while being a team player.
  • Adaptable and able to adjust readily to changing conditions.
  • Demonstrated leadership, coordination, and negotiation abilities.
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Experience in budgeting and financial management.
  • Able to multi-task and work efficiently under deadline.
  • Organized and detail-oriented.
  • Exercise initiative and good judgment, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Able to gain and maintain confidence of FABBS Board, Executive Committee, and key stakeholders.
  • High personal and professional ethical standards.
  • Knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to 501(c)(3) organizations.


Email the following to FABBS President, Nora S. Newcombe, at

  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Personal statement describing experiences, accomplishments, and special talent in each of the four primary responsibility areas: (a) Leadership; (b) Public Affairs, Advocacy, and Education; (c) Program Management; and (d) Organizational and Financial Management. (No more than one page per responsibility area.)
  • List of three to five references.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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