In Smith & Dale Blog


By Guest Blogger: Diana Sheldon

Before the Board/Search Committee begins the “search process” for a new Executive Director/CEO taking an overall view of the organization is recommended.

Assess – Community need and mission work.

Is the organization meeting the community need and fulfilling its mission?

Identify – Current strengths and challenges

Compile a list of the organization’s strengths & challenges. Due to ever changing climates of communities is the organization still meeting the original reason it was formed? What are the challenges the organization is facing internally and externally? Is the organization having trouble reaching its yearly financial or program goals, recruiting new Board Members?

Address – Long term sustainability

Does the Board see the organization continuing its overall mission in the next 3-5 years?

Consider options –

  1. Start as search process.
  2. Assign a board member as an interim executive director.
  3. “Anoint” an internal candidate as Successor or as Interim Executive Director.
  4. Recommended – Hire a Professional Interim Executive Director.

Though 1-3 seem like the easiest choices for Board members but there are many problems that can and will arise. Listed below are a few:

  • Board Member is appointed Interim ED. Board Member must resign from the Board.  During this transition the Staff is now reporting to a Board Member.  Does the Board Member return to their Board position after ED/CEO is hired? Staff have been reporting to a Board Member during transition.  Does that pose a problem for the new ED/CEO?


  • Board Member applies for the position. Board Member must resign from Board. If the Board Member is not selected for the new ED/CEO, it is recommended the Board Member must not return to the Board for over a year.


  • Has the Board vetted the internal candidate before hiring as the Successor or Interim ED? If the Staff person appointed as Interim ED applies for the position, what happens when the Staff person does not get the position?
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