Company Name: Setting Sun Institute
Job Industry: Executive Office
Job Type: Full time
WorkPlace Type: On-Site
Location: Bellingham, Washington, United States
Required Candidates: 1
Job Description:

Setting Sun Institute, an initiative of Children of the Setting Sun Productions, is seeking an experienced, inspiring leader to guide the next stage of growth as the Executive Director.

About Setting Sun Institute (SSI):

The Setting Sun Institute is a Native-led think tank for the Coast Salish region and beyond. Through the power of storytelling, SSI endeavors to unite tribal and non-tribal communities for the purposes of restoring and respecting the natural environment and addressing other urgent issues of today including threats to democracy and the growing inequities found in underserved communities.

Setting Sun Institute will drive the strategic application of content created by Children of the Setting Sun Productions (CSSP). CSSP is an Indigenous-led non-profit located in Bellingham, WA adjacent to Lummi Nation. CSSP empowers Indigenous communities and future generations through storytelling and leadership development by bridging Tribal, environmental, healthcare, and educational sectors and fostering gratitude, respect and responsibility for unity and transformation.

Opportunity Overview:

As the Executive Director, you will be instrumental in advancing SSI's mission to apply the power of Indigenous storytelling to help resolve threats to the natural environment and human conflict. Your role involves implementing our strategic plan, managing existing staff, hiring new talent, overseeing program effectiveness, and exploring future opportunities aligned with our mission. Reporting to the CEO of Setting Sun Institute/Children of the Setting Sun Productions, you will be a key player in shaping the future of our organization.

Immediate Programmatic Focus (First Six Months):

  • Library Database Development: Advance the development and awareness of the SSI library database including establishing the value of the content that is being shared.
  • Since Time Immemorial Curriculum: Expand the use and awareness of the curriculum.
  • Community Summit: Organize a summit of community partners and allies to integrate SSI's work into the broader community and amplify our partners' efforts.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Is a teacher, leader, organizer, communicator, and challenger.
  • Is able to inspire, motivate and manage the SSI team.
  • Is passionate about the environment with a strong connection to Tribal culture.
  • Holds a Native worldview.
  • Has a strong commitment to the next generation.
  • Can independently set goals and develop pathways to success.
  • Thrives in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.
  • Has a sense of humor and a caring spirit.

Key Responsibilities:

Leadership & Management:

  • Ensure programmatic excellence, rigorous evaluation, and consistent quality across all functions.
  • Engage and energize board members, partners, and funders.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong SSI Board of Directors.
  • Develop and review SSI's annual budget, overseeing financial performance.
  • Help to develop and coordinate the Tribal Sovereignty Program for Native American young leaders.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain the SSI team (currently 5 employees and consultants).

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Expand revenue-generating activities in collaboration with the Fundraising Team.
  • Refine communication strategies to strengthen SSI's brand and accelerate our mission.
  • Strengthen organizational profile and relationships to foster new opportunities.


  • Five+ years of nonprofit executive director or similar management experience.
  • Ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Commitment to quality programs and data-driven evaluation.
  • Excellence in organizational management, team leadership, and strategic planning. Ability to coach, staff, manage and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Proven success with Board of Directors’ relationships.
  • Strong marketing, PR, and fundraising experience.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Action-oriented, adaptable, and innovative approach.


Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. In-office requirement of three days/week with option of working remotely two days/week. May require occasional evenings and weekends for events and/or to meet deadlines. Travel required.


$100,000-$130,000, commensurate with experience, plus generous time off and a supportive work environment.

To Apply:

Thank you for your interest in the position. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Elizabeth Boyle (elizabeth@elizabethboyleconsulting.com). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Priority will be given to those received by January 12th, 2024.


SSI is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our work and throughout our organizational culture. We firmly believe that embracing and actively inviting diverse voices and perspectives is fundamental to addressing the most urgent environmental challenges our planet faces. We enthusiastically welcome applications from individuals whose identities have traditionally been underrepresented in the environmental movement, recognizing the invaluable contributions that diverse experiences bring to our collective efforts.

To learn more about Children of the Setting Sun Productions and Setting Sun Institute, please visit settingsunproductions.org/think-tank.

For questions related to this opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Boyle, 360.201.4762, elizabeth@elizabethboyleconsulting.com. Thank you!

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $100,000.00 - $130,000.00 per year


  • Flexible schedule
  • Paid time off


  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekends as needed

Work Location: In person


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