Executive Director

Posted by
WINGS WorldQuest
New York, NY

WINGS WorldQuest

Published 16 days ago

January 1, 2021


WINGS WorldQuest (WINGS) supports extraordinary women making important discoveries in science and exploration. Founded in 2003, it is the only organization that awards unrestricted grants to women scientists and explorers pushing boundaries to advance knowledge and solve critical global crises. Through grants, programming, and platforms for collaboration and storytelling, WINGS champions modern-day role models for the next generation, building a pipeline of future female leaders doing meaningful work on land, in the sea, and in space. WINGS is currently governed by a 13-member Board and supported by a Junior Council.



·      Awarded more than $700,000 in unrestricted grants for research, initiatives, and field expeditions

·      Supported 136 scientists and explorers across 71 countries and to both poles

·      Sponsored 84 women-led Flag Carrier expeditions that helped narrow the gender achievement gap in science and exploration careers

·      Published and promoted the findings of more than 40 Flag Carrier field expeditions

·      Reached 1,000 students in 15 countries through webinars featuring WINGS’ international roster of leading-edge scientists and explorers 



·      The Fellows Program awards $10,000 grants to women leading groundbreaking work dedicated to science, exploration and a deeper understanding of our world.

·      The Flag Carrier Program awards $1,000 grants to women leading specific expeditions and fieldwork to find innovative solutions to safeguard our planet.

·      WINGS’ network and outreach programs, such as Explorer Talks and WINGS Webinars, provide a platform for female scientists and explorers to amplify their work, inspire rising young problem-solvers, and foster a community dedicated to innovative thinking and a more hopeful future.

·      The Women of Discovery Awards Gala and Explorers Forum celebrate new awardees and showcase the groundbreaking discoveries of our community.



WINGS is an entrepreneurial organization poised for growth. With a hands-on Board of Directors, Junior Council, and enthusiastic volunteers and supporters, WINGS serves a growing global community on a lean budget. Reporting to the Board Chair, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to build out the organization and Board and solidify WINGS’ reputation as the preeminent grantor celebrating the accomplishments and discoveries of pioneering women in science and exploration. By creating sustainable donor relationships, philanthropy strategies, and community/corporate partnerships, the Executive Director will focus on fundraising as the highest priority. The ideal candidate is a proven fundraiser, is excited about building recognition for women field scientists and explorers, and is inspired to advance female role models for the next generation of pathfinders. An innovative thinker and strong communicator, this person finds creative solutions to fundraising and brand development.



As primary spokesperson, the ED advances and articulates WINGS’ mission through:


Strategic Organizational Leadership

§ Ensure that the mission of the organization guides all activities

§ Oversee the implementation of the organization’s mission in the community

§ Communicate the mission and vision of the organization to a wide variety of community and regional stakeholders

§ Oversee staff performance, providing guidance and feedback

§ Build consensus and maintain the positive, collaborative, and passionate culture

§ Model and monitor adherence to policies and procedures


Fundraising (75%)

·      Development

§ Establish a major gifts program including identification, stewardship cultivation, solicitation, and recognition of major donors

§ Secure annual sponsorship of 4-5 Fellows and 12-15 Flag Carriers

§ Create and execute a strategy for a sustained base of annual donors with milestones and year-to-year goals

§ Identify and build relationships with new donors to build out the pipeline

§ Develop and solidify relationships with existing donors

§ Work with the Junior Council on identifying and cultivating younger donors to build pipeline of future supporters

§ Manage, organize, and optimize the fundraising database

§ Oversee grant seeking, incl. research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements

§ Strategize on and communicate fundraising progress and provide updates on key activities events to the Board


·      Event Management

§ Work with Board and volunteers to plan and execute fundraising events, including monthly Explorer Talks and webinar/podcast initiatives

§ Oversee annual Women of Discovery Awards Gala and Fellows Forum


·      Board Development

§ Work with the Board to identify, recruit, and interview/onboard new Board candidates with the ability to contribute to WINGS financially and with targeted expertise and advantageous networks

§ Promote long term sustainability by recruiting Board Members who can give and get


·      Branding and Communications Management

§ Plan and set communications strategy and guide Communications Associate in implementation, with specific, appropriate goals

§ Manage branding, differentiating the work of WINGS to key constituencies and next generation donors

§ Plan and oversee social media, monthly newsletter, and blog posts from Fellows


·      Partnerships

§ Cultivate partnerships with 2-5 key stakeholder organizations that share WINGS’ vision to widen audience and mitigate expenses


Program Oversight (15%)

·      In collaboration with the Program Committee and Communications Assistant

§ Produce monthly virtual programming: Podcasts, webinars, etc.

§ Plan and oversee in-person Explorer Talks (post-COVID) and incorporate donor cultivation based on when a Fellow or Flag carrier is passing through NYC with new expedition findings


Financial & Administrative Management (10%)

·      Work with the Finance Committee to create and adhere to the annual budget, comply with financial controls and government regulations, including annual filings

·      Oversee the day-to-day operation of WINGS

§ Hire and supervise Communications Associate, Interns and Consultants to effectively develop and disseminate messaging, in accordance with budget allowances for additional staff

§ Manage routine email, phone, and mail communication

§ Organize Board communications, develop meeting agendas and objectives, and partner with Board Chair to facilitate Board meetings



·      Minimum of 5 years of demonstrated success in front-line professional fundraising and financial resource development

·      Significant history and a proven capacity to build individual giving through moves management and cultivate trusting relationships with major donors

·      Experience in elevating brand and generating sustainable annual revenue with appropriate increases in each subsequent year

·      Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred

·      Demonstrate committed, professional, and inclusive leadership style

·      Excellent interpersonal, public speaking, management, and writing skills

·      Project management skills and attention to detail

·      Self-starter and goal driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls

·      Understanding of donor list management, including Kindful (or similar CRM) tracking

·      Ability to build a strong case for long-term support communicated effectively across multiple channels

·      Ability to independently balance multiple priorities in a complex environment




To learn more about WINGS, please visit

WINGS WorldQuest


To apply, refer candidates, or for additional information


Marlene Mlawski, Principal

MRM Search

(646) 673 5300



WINGS WorldQuest (WINGS) supports extraordinary women making important discoveries in science and exploration. Founded in 2003, it is the only organization that awards unrestricted grants to women scientists and…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional


New York, NY

How to Apply

To apply, refer candidates, or for additional information:

 Marlene Mlawski, Principal

MRM Search

(646) 673 5300

To apply, refer candidates, or for additional information:

 Marlene Mlawski, Principal

MRM Search

(646) 673 5300

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