Executive Director - Western Arts Alliance


Portland, OR 97205


Jul 07, 2022


Jun 07, 2022

KEES has been exclusively retained by Western Arts Alliance in its search for an Executive Director.

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is a Portland, Oregon based membership association of touring and performing arts professionals, promoting, and presenting the performing arts throughout the western states/provinces of the United States and Canada. Throughout the past decade, WAA’s member base has expanded to include presenters, agents and managers across all 50 states and internationally in the Pacific Rim and Latin America.

WAA seeks its next Executive Director following the accomplished leadership of the organization’s current leader, Tim Wilson, for the past 25 years. Reporting to an engaged Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee a 2022 organizational operating budget of just over $1 million and a team currently comprised of five staff. This is an excellent opportunity for an entrepreneurial program builder who, with the Board of Directors, will take WAA out of a pandemic-related contraction period, and into the future with robust strategies for significant increase in earned, membership, and contributed revenue. The next Executive Director will recognize the huge opportunity that WAA has to help shape arts programming presented in the region, and to help envision and create the future of the arts sector while championing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion throughout the organization and the performing arts sector so that WAA may best serve all members, artists, and professionals fairly, giving a voice to all. This is a unique opportunity to engage people’s minds and hearts during a watershed moment in the performing arts.

Some specific requirements include:

  • Passion for WAA and its mission, augmented by demonstrated experience in similar arts, nonprofit or association service areas. Experience in the performing arts preferred.
  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in leadership in arts or association management, including 3 years documented ability to manage staff and lead teams.
  • Three or more years of partnering with a nonprofit or association Board to shape and advance organizational strategy.
  • Proven ability to build strong external relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Strong background in nonprofit financial management, stewardship, and revenue development. Experience with hands on financial tasks such as bookkeeping and creating reports.
  • Proven success in building strong and productive work teams with a focus on mentoring and nurturing staff development.
  • Commitment to equity in all aspects of the association and prior experience managing and leading ED&I programs and initiatives.

This position offers a competitive salary of $140,000 – $160,000 dependent on experience, and strong benefits. Relocation assistance is negotiable. This position will be based in Portland, Oregon at WAA’s offices. Remote work will not be considered at this time.

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Western Arts Alliance will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Western Arts Alliance does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Western Arts Alliance stands in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and is based respectfully in the now occupied traditional lands of the Chinook, Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, and Molalla tribes.

KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams and dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public entity sectors. A woman owned and operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and HR support. For more information, please visit

WAA is recognized by its peers as a leader in promoting social equity in the arts profession, and commitment to equity is a vital part of its mission and values. WAA’s pacesetting leadership fosters professional development, mentoring, networking, and recognition through competitive awards. WAA’s signature annual conference provides opportunities to spark industry connections, discover and learn, strengthen ties, and generate business opportunities. The 2022 conference will be held in Calgary, Alberta, from August 29 to September 1 and will represent a joyful return to an in-person format. For more information please visit