Jewish Federation of Greater Washington,
Chief Executive Officer (Search closed)

Washington, DC


The Community

Greater Washington DC is home to 270,000 Jews in 110,000 households in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. It is the sixth largest Jewish community in North America. As a global and sophisticated capital abundant in museums, concert halls as well as national/international conferences and events, Greater Washington DC is home to one of the world’s most affluent and best educated Jewish and secular communities. Jewish life in Greater Washington is vibrant and diverse, supporting well over 100 local agencies and synagogues and serving as headquarters for many national and international Jewish organizations.

The Federation

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, Inc. (The Federation) began in 1925 as the Jewish Welfare Association. Today, The Federation and its United Jewish Endowment Fund support and partner with 43 local agencies, 12 national organizations, 4 overseas partners and more than 60 synagogues.

Around the world, The Federation’s efforts support rescue, relief, reconstruction, and renewal for tens of thousands in Israel and in more than 60 other countries around the world. Building a community and helping make the world a better place is what they do every day. The Federation not only supports those in need, they are building a network to inspire a love of Jewish heritage and culture. They are committed to helping people connect in ways that are relevant and meaningful to the community. And from this work, The Federation is confident that the Jewish community of Greater Washington will be a strong, thriving and welcoming place for generations to come.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is recognized as a national leader within the Federation system based on its inclusivity, programmatic innovation, and leadership contributions to national and international life. The Federation’s leadership is very engaged and knowledgeable, and many are active in local, national and international Jewish organizations. The Federation’s Annual Campaign is the foundation of The Federation's philanthropic efforts. In calendar year 2016, the Annual Campaign was $24.2 million supported by approximately 10,000 donors and includes approximately $4.4 million in gifts from donors who direct their giving to fields of interest or specific programs.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s United Jewish Endowment Fund (UJEF) is the planned giving arm of The Federation and consists of a variety of gifting arrangements. More than $23 million in new gifts were raised by the Endowment in calendar year 2016 and as of December 31, 2016, total assets under UJEF management are approximately $209 million.

The total assets of The Federation are $219.5 million, and the operating budget is approximately $7 million. For more information visit


The Federation seeks a professional leader with a vision for Jewish community and Jewish life, and the ability to build relationships throughout the community by sharing this vision in a compelling and meaningful way. This is a unique opportunity for a professional to lead and build an organization where relationships with the community agencies are strong, and where the community of lay leaders is committed to growing, building and diversifying the number of community members who want to engage with The Federation and its important work. The Jewish community of Greater Washington DC has very strong assets and resources and its leadership is committed to guiding a new CEO through a smooth transition to continue to build and develop this prestigious community.

The Federation’s strong senior lay leadership team has spent time in conversation with many stakeholders in the community, and is clear about their priorities for selecting a new professional leader. Through these conversations, The Federation leaders have determined that fundraising will be the highest priority for the new CEO. S/he must be able to manage a portfolio of the community’s leading donors by stewarding relationships with people of wealth and influence. S/he will also assume responsibility for building and leading a professional staff who are charged with maintaining, and stewarding relationships with current and prospective donors, and with the next generation of donors from multi-generational families who have been the historical foundation of The Federation's support.

Enhancing fundraising strategies, and ensuring successful fundraising plan implementation with both the professional staff and lay leadership, will be a key focus for the incoming CEO. S/he will be actively involved in developing strategies in partnership with both professional staff and lay leadership that result in renewed growth of The Federation's annual campaign, and will lead the efforts to build The Federation’s endowment as well as designated campaigns.

The new CEO must be a community leader who will continue to engage and strengthen relationships with agencies, organizations, synagogues and other professionals in the community, with the goal of enhancing collaboration and innovation to meet the needs and challenges of growing Jewish life locally and abroad. The Federation has created several transformative and impactful new initiatives for community members by providing social connection, networking, and leadership development opportunities to further goals in Israel advocacy, philanthropy, and more. The new CEO will be metrics driven and accordingly prioritize, maintain, and expand existing programs by increasing opportunities to build and strengthen connections to Jewish life. S/He will continue to steward philanthropic advancement and a deepening of Jewish knowledge to ensure that these communal values endure.


CEO candidates will have a significant history of fundraising success and a proven capacity to build trusting relationships with major donors and their families. S/he must be able to sharpen and articulate the vision of The Federation, and can communicate their ideas, experience and knowledge in a manner that is engaging and compelling.

The new CEO must be a skilled organizational leader who can provide leadership to The Federation staff and Board of Directors. S/he must be an experienced manager, able to build and lead a staff of professionals in varied fields. S/he must also have the skills to support and manage the work of the Board and its committees and to ensure both good governance and meaningful volunteer leadership opportunities.

The new CEO must be a strong communicator, internally and externally. As a senior community professional, s/he will serve as a convener and bridge-builder who will work to foster dialogue and planning community-wide. S/he must able to present complex issues clearly and effectively as to build consensus around plans of action.

The successful CEO must have the skills and experience required to lead a complex institution that operates within an ever-changing organizational and communal environment. An important responsibility of the new CEO is to maintain and grow an inspired team of professionals and lead them through changes in The Federation’s vision, priorities and operations. The CEO will continue to grow an already strong workplace culture that maximizes the skills and passions of the professional staff in their work with volunteers and the community.

The new CEO will have to be able to lead the Federation in developing strategies to adapt to an ever-changing philanthropic landscape. S/he will have extensive experience in balancing the responsibilities of organization management with the external responsibilities of community development, relationship-building, and work with key stakeholders. The CEO should have experience working with a COO, CDO and CMO and other senior team members who, in partnership with the CEO, are responsible for day to day operations, program administration and finance.
Finally, the CEO must understand organizational and political aspects of Jewish life locally, nationally and internationally and the ability to effectively engage and impact those systems and processes. S/he must model and command respect throughout all segments of a diverse Jewish community.




• Lead the professional team responsible for planning and executing financial resource development within the community, with emphasis on the development of effective strategies and solicitation training to increase both the funds received for the annual campaign and the number of donors.
• Be personally active in building relationships with major donors, including the community’s multi-generational families, and soliciting these major contributors to the annual campaign, designated campaign and endowment fund.
• Work with FRD team to develop and implement strong systems for data tracking, data analysis and prospect research of donors.
• Motivate both lay leaders and professionals in their fundraising efforts.
• Identify new and potential donors to The Federation. Work with staff and lay leadership to build engagement strategies to develop long-term relationships with potential donors and community members. Particular emphasis should be placed on developing relationships with currently under-represented streams in the leadership (e.g., younger families, interfaith families, LGBTQ community).
• Establish and implement data driven systems and structure to guide The Federation and the community enabling them to respond to, thrive, and understand the shifts and real time demographics within the world of charitable giving and within a changing Federation world.

Leadership & Executive Management

• Provide visionary and strategic leadership to the Board, staff and the community. Assess the current landscape and develop a plan to position The Federation as a central leader in the Greater Washington DC Jewish philanthropic community and the community at-large.
• Provide on-going supervision, mentoring and professional development and growth to The Federation professionals. Set, foster and model a positive and collaborative environment within the organization
• Ensure that The Federation’s human resources, operations, data platforms and technology are aligned to meet its goals and expectations effectively.
• Work closely with the volunteer leadership and staff responsible for finance and administration, ensuring that fiscal oversight and management is in place for The Federation. Regularly evaluate the management and status of all financial resources and procedures.
• Oversee the Board and staff process for developing The Federation’s annual budget.

Community Relations

• Deepen and strengthen the culture of cooperation both within The Federation and with its constituent and affiliated agencies, synagogues and other organizations throughout the Greater Washington DC area.
• Build The Federation’s role as a resource, convener and a facilitator of strategic partnerships, programs and initiatives.
• Serve as a primary spokesperson for The Federation, along with the lay president, throughout the Jewish and the greater Washington DC community, with private and public funders and with national and international organizations, partners and beneficiaries.
• Ensure that The Federation’s story, message and positions are effectively developed and disseminated to the Jewish and general community.
• Serve as a visible representative of The Federation (together with other staff and leadership) in the religious, cultural and social activities of the community.

Board Development

• Work with the Board and the past Presidents of the Board to develop short and long-term strategies for engaging and cultivating future lay leadership for The Federation.
• Serve as professional advisor and resource to the Board in all areas of finance, policy, programs and governance.
• Work with the Board to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to build agreement on issues, maximize their efforts and maintain a focus on the mission of The Federation.
• Work with the Board to cultivate, recruit, and retain effective placement of, and maintain relationships with, top lay leadership and leadership prospects.


• Professional experience and demonstrated success in all areas of fundraising, planning and implementation/financial resource development. A proven track record and the willingness and desire to be personally involved with these efforts.
• Experience with the cultivation and solicitation of major donors is essential.
• Strong leadership skills including the ability to set and articulate an organizational vision; see and manage from a big picture perspective; be decisive and inclusive in the decision-making process; be proactive and employ critical thinking skills.
• Excellent interpersonal, political and diplomatic skills, along with the ability to lead and partner with integrity and inspiration. Flexibility and openness to working with professional and volunteer leadership community-wide.
• Experience in driving teams towards developing and implementing data driven models for success in all areas of fundraising, operations and program development.
• Skill in presenting oneself and communicating in a manner that will challenge and inspire volunteer leadership and professionals.
• Keen understanding of running a mission based organization. Able to integrate the use of business models and sensibility with the core values of The Federation.
• An individual who evidences a genuine and personal commitment to Jewish life and values that inform the work of the Jewish community and the unique complement of Jewish and American values.
• A diplomatic problem solver who can build consensus and engender cooperation between lay leadership and professionals from the breadth of interests and perspectives in the Jewish community.
• Creative and innovative manager; someone who uses expansive thinking to solve problems and generate new ideas.
• Ability to maintain and model high personal, ethical and professional standards.


David E. Edell, President
Dara Klarfeld, Managing Director
Marlene Mlawski, Associate


DRG, Inc.
275 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, New York 10016
Tel: (212) 983-1600
Fax: (212) 983-1687

This search began in March 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, an equal opportunity employer.