Chief Executive Officer

Executive Summary

StoryCorps, one of the largest oral history projects ever undertaken, provides Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. StoryCorps believes that these conversations strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of American culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, StoryCorps is creating an invaluable record of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

Since it was founded by MacArthur Fellow David Isay in 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews from nearly 90,000 participants and millions listen to the weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on the web. In addition to the thousands of recordings, StoryCorps is now producing animations that run on PBS and YouTube, and we have published three best selling books of our stories. Each StoryCorps interview participant receives a CD of the conversation, which is also preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps, a non-profit organization, continues to focus on its core strategy of creating a growing, diverse portrait of who we are as Americans, which will greatly amplify the reach and impact of the organization, and help StoryCorps grow into a sustaining national institution that one day touches the lives of every American family.

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

StoryCorps has its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, home to the executive staff and the program and production departments. The staff numbers approximately 100 full and part-time peopleand the current budget is $8.5 million, with plans to grow to $10 million by the end of 2015.

As part of our effort to create an eclectic portrait of who we are, StoryCorps gathers interviews in a variety of different ways. StoryBooths are fully equipped soundproofed spaces, staffed with facilitators and a site supervisor in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago that can collect more than 700 interviews a year. MobileBooths are modified Airstream trailers containing soundproof recording studios. During three to six-week stops around the country, StoryCorps partners with local public radio stations to collect hundreds of conversations. Staff for the booths are hired on contracts of one or two years. StoryCorps also records stories through its door-to-door service, in which facilitators set up recording equipment in quiet rooms in offices, schools, community centers and elsewhere across the country. StoryCorps’ expanding fee-for-service recording business (in which libraries, corporations and others can buy StoryCorps services by the day) is largely delivered through door-to-door recordings.

We also reach out to certain specific target populations to ensure that their voices and stories are included in our archive and on public radio. Current initiatives include Military Voices; Griot, collecting stories of African-Americans; September 11th Initiative, to remember and honor those who were killed; Historias, collecting Latino stories; and the Memory Loss Initiative, preserving the stories of people with memory loss.

StoryCorps animations bring some of our best radio pieces to life in short films that run on PBS. Current plans are to continue producing six such animations a year.

Finally, StoryCorps has produced three best-selling anthologies of pieces from the radio interviews: Listening is an Act of Love (2008); Mom (2012); and All There Is (2012). A fourth book is scheduled for the fall of 2013 to mark our tenth anniversary.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), in collaboration with the Founder/President, will lead StoryCorps into its second decade. The Founder will continue to shape the creative vision and serve as the public face of StoryCorps with the public, the philanthropic community and elsewhere as needed. The Chief Executive Officer will shape and execute new strategies and redesign organizational structures as necessary in order to meet our goal of vastly extending our reach while building a sustainable institution. In addition to overall responsibility for strategic leadership, the Chief Executive Officer will ensure that the programmatic, financial, technological and physical operations of the organization are mission-aligned and operating at the highest levels of excellence.

Specifically, the CEO’s responsibilities include:

Strategic Planning and Leadership

StoryCorps’ current strategic plan takes us through 2014, and the CEO will chart ambitious but practical ways forward into the next stage of planning. S/he will be operating in a fast-paced environment filled with possibility, and will be responsible, in consultation with StoryCorps staff, for developing specific strategies and allocating resources in order to stimulate the creation and expansion of services.

Operational Excellence

The Chief Executive Officer will bring a sophisticated understanding of how to develop organizational capacity and operationalize the strategic vision by executing plans, tracking progress, identifying gaps and reorganizing to fill them, balancing best practices with dedication to the mission, establishing and consistently communicating StoryCorps priorities, and assuring alignment of work, strategic vetting of ideas, and innovative problem solving. The CEO will have overall supervisory responsibility for finances, including budgets and fundraising and will organize and run meetings of the senior leadership team.

Talent Development and Management

The CEO will work closely with the Founder/President in order to make the creative vision a reality. In addition, s/he will be a thought partner for the exceptional StoryCorps team, working collaboratively and decisively to ensure that each individual is supported to perform at the highest levels. The Chief Executive Officer will recruit, retain and develop a diverse staff, including strategic expansion of the production and technology teams in order to present StoryCorps on all available platforms.

S/he will ensure that communication within the organization is clear and effective, and will foster a culture that fully embraces teamwork, communication and accountability, and will establish systems to support this culture.

Complementary and Synergistic Partnership with the Founder/President

The CEO will build a complementary and synergistic partnership with the Founder/President in a way that maximizes the talent and impact of both leaders.

The Founder/President’s focus will be: to foster the creative vision of StoryCorps in specific areas that leverage his expertise, networks and passion; to further develop resources and relationships with major funders and other external stakeholders; to oversee the quality of all outward facing facets of the organization, including books, broadcasts, animations and any way in which the public experiences StoryCorps; serve as a mentor and example to all creative teams in order to further develop StoryCorps’ “bench strength”; through speaking and writing continue to teach audiences the value of listening and the importance of storytelling.

The Chief Executive Officer’s responsibilities will include overseeing the development of new revenue sources and leading the strategic assessment of new opportunities. In addition, s/he will build organizational capacity to support and take advantage of opportunities when funding is available.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will be a proactive leader who is deeply committed to the StoryCorps mission with experience in creating and managing strategic and operational excellence and the capacity to design and lead a skilled team. The ideal candidate will possess the following professional and personal abilities and experience:

  • A strategic thinker with a track record of success in a creative enterprise;
  • Capacity to recognize and capitalize on mission-aligned opportunities supported by
    new revenue streams and sufficient staff;
  • Experience that can inform the move from concept to execution, handle a diverse
    portfolio and be responsive and decisive to enable and sustain momentum;
  • A sophisticated understanding of communications, business development,
    fundraising, technology and program execution;
  • Demonstrated success in the leadership of an organization of similar size and scale
    through a period of expansion, including recruiting and filling gaps; retaining talented
    staff; and problem-solving around strategic and operational challenges;
  • Exceptional organizational skills and demonstrated ability to produce results;
  • Capacity to be a partner to the Founder and the whole StoryCorps team;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • A sense of humor.

More information about StoryCorps can be found at www.storycorps.org.

Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resumé (in Word format), and salary history should be sent by December 1, 2013 to: susanosnos@earthlink.net

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at StoryCorps, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as protected under law.


  • Major Funding Provided By

    CPB Logo
  • National Broadcast Sponsors

    CTCA Logo Ford Logo
  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
  • Charity Navigator Logo