AAWW Executive Director Position
DEADLINE TO APPLY: August 19, 2019

The Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW)—an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of race, migration, and social justice—is hiring an Executive Director to lead the organization into a new era. The ideal candidate will be an experienced nonprofit leader with a passion for promoting contemporary literature and social justice within communities of color. The Executive Director’s chief responsibilities are to build AAWW’s capacity to deliver on a dynamic programmatic vision for its growing national audience.

Invited to the White House, and covered by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR, AAWW seeks to invent the future of Asian American culture by supporting writers of color who envision a world beyond segregation, immigrant exclusion, and Islamophobia.

In the last few years, AAWW has doubled in size, growing from an organization of about $500K to more than $1M and grown to incorporate highly diverse types of programs, such as fellowships, public programs, youth and seniors workshops, and the publication of books and an online magazine. The Executive Director will work with the AAWW Board of Directors and staff to set a clear vision for AAWW's future growth and development. At the same time, the Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing all areas of organizational management, including strategic and financial planning, program development, staff management, fundraising, and operations.

This is a full-time position in New York City with health benefits. Salary commensurate with experience.


GOVERNANCE: Leverage the resources and talent of the Board of Directors to fulfill the organization’s larger goals. Includes being the intermediary between the staff responsible for operational workings of the organization and the Board, as well as facilitating actions toward goal setting, fiscal oversight, fundraising, and program development. Provide the Board with relevant information and insights to support strategic planning process and implementation of sound governance practices. Ensure alignment of programming and operations with strategic goals.

STRATEGIC PLANNING & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: Spearhead AAWW’s strategic planning and visioning process, which should take into account the organization’s possible financial trajectories and new opportunities for growth and development. Provide the programmatic vision for the organization, which includes: fellowships to individual writers, public programs in our Flatiron events space, and our online magazine and audio/video platform which reach thousands of audience members every week.

FINANCIAL PLANNING & MANAGEMENT: Provide financial oversight and management of long-term plans as well as of day-to-day operations. Work with the Board to set budgets, review analytical reports, profit & loss statements and balance sheets, as well as to establish controls and comply with required auditing procedures. Oversee the daily operational procedures, bookkeeping, financial analysis, and reporting work of financial consultant/bookkeeper.

DEVELOPMENT/FUNDRAISING: Develop and sustain current funding relationships through diversified fundraising efforts to support AAWW’s annual budget of about $1M, which comes from private foundations, government funders, corporations, earned income, and private individuals. Past experience with grant-writing and/or fundraising is required. Create a strategy for increasing individual donor base, as well as AAWW’s sources of private and public institutional funding.

COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC RELATIONS: Provide direction and set the tone for projecting a cohesive vision and public message about AAWW’s goals, programming, accomplishments, and overall brand. Serve as the public face of the organization and represent AAWW at live events, funder meetings, collaborator meetings, and in the New York and national cultural landscape. Relationship-building skills are significant in this role as AAWW’s lead representative.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT: Provide leadership, oversight, and development of the staff team including recruiting, employing, and supervision of all full-time and part-time staff, contractors and consultants, interns, and volunteers. Establish a culture of high performance that reflects the values of the organization and puts into practice workplace policies established in partnership with the AAWW Union. Oversee and authorize staff payroll and benefits plans and contractor payments.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: Provide oversight and management of subleased office spaces within the AAWW rental property, including leases, rental income, maintenance and operations, legal and other related issues, and promoting good tenant/subtenant relationships.


● At least five years of leadership and fundraising experience in a nonprofit arts or Asian American community organization.
● Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to build and motivate teams, manage direct reports, and set a positive tone in previous work environments.
● Strong strategic planning and project management skills. Action-oriented disposition and solid track record in delivering on big picture goals.
● Solid financial management skills; experience with developing budgets and conveying accurate analyses and projections. Working knowledge of Quickbooks online or other financial management applications.
● Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to write in a variety of registers, including grant and marketing copy.
● Familiarity with AAWW, as well as with currents in contemporary literature, Asian American identity and politics, and/or racial justice strongly preferred.
● A passion and drive for AAWW’s vision and mission, and an appetite for creating, innovating, and shaping AAWW’s future.


Prepare a resume, cover letter, and two writing samples as one single PDF. Please include your first and last name in the title of the document. Your cover letter should discuss your vision for AAWW, your relationship with Asian and Asian American literature and/or community, and your fundraising and leadership experience. Writing samples should include successful grant proposals, letters, or marketing copy that can display your ability to communicate effectively.

● Fill out the online google doc and submit your cover letter, resume, and writing samples at
http://www.aaww.org/directorjob (Please copy and paste the url into your browser if the page does not load)
● Please check back to the application page in case of updates to this form.
● New application deadline is August 19, 2019.

AAWW is committed to inclusivity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, parental status, military service, or disability. Women and LGBTQ+ applicants are encouraged to apply.


Founded in 1991, AAWW is the preeminent national arts nonprofit dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. We define “Asian” with radical inclusivity to also encompass West Asia (Arab, Iranian and Afghan Americans) and South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). We are an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice.

Dedicated to the fostering, creation, and dissemination of Asian American literature, the Asian American Writers' Workshop is a national home for Asian American stories. Our main program areas work on three levels: 1) the intimate level of fellowships to individual writers; (2) the community-based level of public programs, workshops, festivals, as well as classes for youth and seniors; and 3) the virtual/national level of our online publications, The Margins and Open City, as well as book publications, our podcast, and video.

First, we distribute grants to emerging Asian American writers, having re-granted more than $100,000 in the last few years. Second, we are a quirky yet curated literary community dedicated to Asian American alternative culture and create a public space for writers of color by hosting more than 50 events a year, featuring nearly 200 writers and artists. Speakers have included Jhumpa Lahiri, Porochista Khakpour, Moustafa Bayoumi, Hari Kunzru, Ashok Kondabolu, Hari Kondabolu, Bushra Rehman, Maxine Hong Kingston, Tarfia Faizullah, Vijay Prashad, Favianna Rodriguez, Jeff Chang, Chang-rae Lee, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, and Alexander Chee.

Finally, at a more national level, we publish the online magazines The Margins, our magazine of arts and ideas, and Open City, which is dedicated to chronicling low-income immigrant communities in New York. About 8,000 people a week access our online magazines, as well as our podcast, Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook livestream. We helped found the pro-immigrant initiative, CultureStrike, which sent 50 writers and artists to a weeklong witnessing delegation at the Arizona border. Invited to the White House during the Obama era, and covered by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR, we seek to invent the future of Asian American culture.
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Upload your cover letter, resume, and two writing samples here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/Zhzm0rlDq44oB7AAGKln The files should be submitted as one pdf with your name as the file name. *
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