The Executive Director serves as the chief executive officer (CEO) of both IDSA, a non-profit 501c(6) membership organization, and of Design Foundation, IDSA’s non-profit 501c(3) charitable arm. This individual is responsible for providing strategic leadership across all aspects of IDSA and Design Foundation programming, service offerings, and operational processes to ensure that both organizations serve the needs and interests of our community, pursuant to their core purpose, mission statement and bylaws. The successful candidate has the opportunity to lead and transform a professional organization focused on membership experience, learning, innovation, and the vitality of design for our future. The Executive Director will ensure that IDSA is a leader in advocating for industrial design, that it maintains relevancy in a rapidly evolving world, and that it attracts, engages, and retains members and sponsors with high quality services, content, experiences and programs.
The Executive Director will engage with the Board of Directors to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies for membership, financial growth, and overall organizational health. He/She/They will have the ability to discover new approaches to leverage current IDSA programming to support, energize, and ensure relevancy of this US-based organization with an international footprint, for our wide community that includes multiple city-based Chapters and issue-focused Sections. Under the leadership of a courageous Executive Director, we can advance the value of industrial design as a professional practice and solidify our legacy through the positive impact industrial design can have for millions of people around the world. The Executive Director reports to the Chair of IDSA's Board of Directors and is present for all Board meetings, but is not a voting Board member.
Develop and curate the Strategic Vision, and generate the business plan that drives the supporting marketing, financial planning and resourcing activities.
Provide leadership in planning, tracking and implementing key initiatives that support the Strategic Vision.
Guide the Board of Directors and Committees to work within proper governance and administration guidelines.
Manage the IDSA headquarters staff; foster a positive and collaborative team culture; empower team members to achieve their best.
Ensure Society compliance with all applicable laws and legal requirements.
Build and maintain strong partnerships with other business and design-related organizations that can support IDSA’s mission.
Increase membership growth, retention, and engagement.
Increase relevance of IDSA within the local and global design community.
Ensure success of all core annual programming, including Deep Dives, International Design Conference, Education Symposium, International Design Excellence Awards, Student Merit Awards, IDSA Awards, National Industrial Design Day, Membership, Chapters, Sections.
Ensure success of all core publications and content distribution, including INNOVATION magazine, email campaigns and outreach, social media, and website content.
Timely & meaningful communication with membership, design community, business community, sponsors, etc.
Ensure coherence with BOD through timely communications, collaboration, and information sharing.
Maintain and improve organizational health.
Build public awareness and advocacy for industrial design and IDSA in the design, academic, and business community.
Oversee annual fundraising campaign for Design Foundation.
Knowledge & Experience
Experience in both strategic planning and tactical implementation.
Successful track record with fundraising and strategic partnerships.
The capacity to advocate for design professionals and knowledge of the history, the current state, and the future of design.
A strong business acumen with a proven record of business innovation and successful revenue generation.
Original thinking and the ability to conceptualize visionary solutions.
Collaborative and creative problem-solving acumen.
Experience in managing, motivating, and bringing out the best in a 10 – 15 person multidisciplinary team working in a distributed/remote setting.
Responsible for budgets in excess of $2MM.
Ability to manage professional and program engagement both in-person and virtually.
Strong technology acumen.
Adaptability and flexibility. Can-do attitude, ability to wear many hats as needed to achieve goals.
Founded in 1965, IDSA’s roots stretch to the beginning of the profession and our members are some of the most celebrated industrial designers in history. We are a future-focused, dynamic organization that is focused on enriching our membership, advocating and promoting industrial design, strengthening industrial design education, and leading the most compelling design conversations, events, conferences, competitions, and awards in the world.
Industrial design is a growing profession with specialization in service design, UX design, experience design, education, and design research. We currently have ~2,500 members, and our annual revenues are 2.2MM. With close to 40,000 practicing industrial designers in the US alone, we envision an opportunity for organizational growth.
The Design Foundation was founded by IDSA in 2001 as our charitable arm, focused on increasing access to industrial design education and creating opportunities for young designers who are beginning their journey into the field. Through its focus on education as the starting point for a successful career in industrial design, the Design Foundation has distributed over $120,000 in collegiate tuition assistance over the last 20 years.
The two organizations are separate legal entities; however, they often work in concert and share commonalities with their programming and purpose. The Design Foundation focuses its efforts on K-12 through collegiate level communities. IDSA supports aspiring designers' transition from higher education into professional practice and beyond.
Design’s role is changing rapidly within society and business settings. Both IDSA and Design Foundation have a rich history to build upon, but now require a bold leader to envision and implement an innovative new future with inclusivity, diversity, sustainable responsibility in mind. We want our membership to experience a culture where they feel appreciated and empowered to contribute to our success. Through our collective efforts under the leadership of a courageous Executive Director, we believe we can advance the value of industrial design as a professional practice and solidify our legacy through the positive impact of industrial design on millions of people around the world.