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Director, Governance

Alexandria, VA

Relocation expenses: Not paid

Full time
5 - 10 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree

Published on 9 Nov 2019

Expires on 9 Nov 2019

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Director, Governance

The Director of Governance leads Governance/Board operations for United Way Worldwide, including developing and implementing strategic goals and objectives of United Way Worldwide’s governance structure. She/he manages and develops United Way Worldwide’s Board of Trustees and USA National Board of Trustees to be best in class within the non-profit sector. This position is responsible for leading all aspects of board development, including board and committee meeting preparation, volunteer leadership engagement, trustee nominations and recruitment, onboarding, board chair support, board communication and the annual meeting of the membership. This role works with all staff across the organization in order to ensure the board is highly effective in carrying out its essential duties and governance responsibilities and is able to attract and develop the highest caliber candidates to serve as trustees. The Director of Governance works closely with all trustees and their staff to build and preserve ongoing relationships with board members, senior management, and external groups. She/he acts as an interface between the board and senior management and keeps the organization informed of board and board member needs and expectations.



An individual must be able to perform each essential duty listed below at a satisfactory level:

  • Knowledge of applicable state non-profit laws and information regarding governance best practices, board status, bylaws, and board history in order to advise on and steer decision-making while maintaining and building on United Way’s reputation and accountability standards. 
  • Helps the CEO, U.S. President, Chief of Staff and Chairs of the Boards in shaping a strategic agenda for all board meetings, including recruiting guest speakers and contributors. 
  • Supports the Chairs of the Governance and Nominating Committees in volunteer leadership recruitment efforts and succession planning.  Generates ideas and information related to prospective trustees in terms of the organization’s needs, diversity commitment, and opportunities for elevating the status and effectiveness of the Boards. Facilitates exploratory conversations and visits, including appropriate briefing material.  
  • Is responsible for all aspects of the planning and execution of Worldwide and USA Board meetings, including dinners and other ancillary meetings of the trustees; committee meetings and conference calls; and post-Board meeting debriefs between trustees and senior leadership. 
  • Ensures UWW's board-level committees and advisory bodies are appropriately populated and accomplishing their charges.
  • The Director works with the General Counsel on the planning and execution of the Annual Meeting of the Membership including management of the voting and proxy process. 
  • Is responsible for the creation, distribution and posting online of all Board-related materials including, meeting notices and details, extensive briefing materials, presentations, minutes, and ongoing communications, that provide trustees with the necessary reliable and accurate information related to issues and recommendations that they require in order to be well-informed in carrying out their duties.
  • Designs, administers and analyzes the board self-assessment survey with an emphasis on continuous improvement in board effectiveness. Utilizes insights from the board self-assessment and best practices and trends in board governance, as well as outside expertise, to support the Governance Committee’s and U.S. Nominating Committee’s efforts to strengthen the boards.
  • Responsible for building and maintaining strong and productive relationships with a wide variety of diverse stakeholders.  Primary among these is the relationship with the Board Chairs.   Other relationships include the Board Chairs’ staff, all trustees, their staff, the UWW Leadership Team, and other key leaders.
  • Works with internal and external stakeholders to facilitate opportunities for members of the Boards to lend their voice and expertise to the mission.
  • Facilitates best practice sharing among United Way’s membership.
  • Supports the Boards throughout the year with all levels of engagement, communication and service.
  • Assists with oversight, operations, and services of the Executive Office.



Minimum requirements include:

A bachelor’s degree with at least eight to ten years of progressive experience in a similar role, and at least three to five years of experience in a leadership role.  Also requires Board management experience, 3-5 years experience in meeting planning and knowledge of non-profit governance. 

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated understanding of governance principles and best practices of high performing boards; ability to apply practices and principles to inform board discussions and decisions; ability to think creatively and strategically, bringing ideas forward to the CEO and other senior leaders that add value and accelerate continuous improvement in effective governance and strategy.

Excellent oral and written communication. Demonstrated diplomacy and ability to offer dissenting points of view in consistently constructive and positive ways.  Ability to generate respect and trust from staff while fostering cross-functional collaboration and a strong sense of teamwork.

Excellent organizational and project management skills with a commitment to detail. Advanced and precise writing skills are required; event planning and meeting management preferred; knowledge of United Way network preferred; advanced technical knowledge required.  The successful candidate will be able to work in a high-energy, fast-paced environment.  Must be flexible in terms of work schedule and emerging responsibilities.

This job description describes the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this position.  It should not be construed as an exhaustive list of all required duties, responsibilities and skills. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable disabled individuals to perform the essential functions of the job.



United Way Worldwide seeks diverse, qualified professionals who want to make a difference in the world. If you are passionate about your work and desire to help others achieve enhanced education, income, and health, United Way Worldwide is the place for you.

United Way Worldwide is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics. The EEO is the Law poster is available here: If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail or call 703-836-7100, ext. 324 and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.

We are a charter member of Employers of National Service and encourage AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni to apply.

United Way Worldwide is located in Old Town Alexandria, VA. We offer competitive salary and excellent benefits including: health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability, employee assistance program, 403(b) plan, tuition assistance, paid time off, family sick leave, medical appointment leave, parental/adoption leave, dress for your day, free parking, onsite gym, monthly volunteering opportunities, and more.



We take the broadest possible view of diversity. 

We value the visible and invisible qualities that make you who you are.

We welcome that every person brings a unique perspective and experience to advance our mission and progress our fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.

We believe that each United Way community member, donor, volunteer, advocate, and employee must have equal access to solving community problems.

We strive to include diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at the center of our daily work.

We commit to using these practices for our business and our communities.

Join us in embracing diversity, equity and inclusion for every person in every community.


Approved by the United Way U.S.A. Board of Trustees on March 6, 2019.


Thank you for your interest in employment with United Way Worldwide. You will be contacted if your qualifications are a good match and you are selected for an interview.