Managing Director

Harmony Institute
Where to Apply


The Harmony Institute (HI) is a pioneering, interdisciplinary research institute and developer of data-driven products and tools, including StoryPilot, a digital, online platform for understanding, analyzing and maximizing the impact of media on social issues. Founded in 2008, by John S. Johnson, co-Founder of BuzzFeed, HI is an independent not-for-profit that believes a compelling story has the power to change the world. But despite massive investment in media designed to win hearts and minds, no one fully understands how this happens. The team at HI employs a variety of measures and methods — from brain scans of individuals experiencing a narrative to analysis of online conversations around media — to uncover fundamental principles and share actionable insights with media makers, policy makers, and the public. HI combines academic rigor with a tech startup ethos: their trail-blazing research around media\’s influence on individuals, groups, and social systems directly informs the platforms they build.

The Harmony Institute is growing and seeks a creative, entrepreneurial, highly-motivated thinker to be the Managing Director to lead the organization’s capacity-building activities.

The Position:

The Managing Director will be accountable for the day to day running of Harmony Institute, and provide leadership on research direction and product development. This role will also have a strong external-facing function and be accountable for realizing the full potential of business development opportunities for HI including “white glove” project-based services; tools for politics and cause marketing; and ongoing expansion of the social impact platform StoryPilot.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Managing Director will work closely with the heads of research, design, development, and product teams to shape products and services for market needs.  The role requires a creative and strategic individual who, together with senior management, will draft and execute business plans and pursue opportunities, ranging from cross-branded data partnerships to custom research services to foundation funding. The Managing Director will establish and maintain high-caliber, productive funder and business relationships within overlapping sectors that may include: news media publishers; entertainment—book, film, TV, gaming—industries; public interest stakeholders; and tech entrepreneurs. New business leads, increases in institutional capacity, and advancement of the Institute’s reputation as the leading media research center in the country are among the desired outcomes.

The ideal candidate will be a tactical risk-taker, succeed in an open, results-oriented culture and share HI’s passion for pioneering social impact in media, both measuring and realizing it for clients. He or she will thrive in a small, highly collaborative environment that emphasizes cooperation and teamwork with a minimum of ego.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Leadership & Management:

•       Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals

•       Actively engage and energize board members, partnering organizations and companies, institutional funders, and academic stakeholders

•       Lead, coach, develop, and retain high-performance senior management team

•       Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components

•       Communicate successes to the board, funders, and other constituents

•       Maintain and improve Harmony Institute’s unique culture of trust, openness, and collaboration

Fundraising & New Business:

•       Build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with funders and industry leaders and by locating, developing, defining, negotiating and closing business relationships

•       Expand revenue generation through multiple channels including research grants, corporate and tech partners, fee-for-service consultation and individual donors

•       Identify trends in the media sector by researching industry and related events; publications and announcements; tracking individual contributors and their accomplishments

•       Manage contracts and agreements between HI and clients/partners

•       Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand

•       Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities

•       Cultivate and steward major prospects and help solicit and secure funding in collaboration with Board members, the Executive Director, and the HI advisors

•       Oversee work of the Development Officer

•       Work closely with staff to develop a mid- and long-range strategic plan to grow brand, business and thought leadership

•       Serve as a spokesperson for the organization


•       6+ years of management experience,  including day-to-day operations and supervisory responsibility,  in a nonprofit or small company

•       Successful track record generating new business leads, fundraising, or resource development

•       Experience in a new media industry

•       Command of web culture and current issues, trends and practices (programmatic, data-driven,

•       and human) impacting the media world nationally

•       Knowledge of one or more of the following industries: media (including film, news, and advertising), political, social activism, and applied research

•       Familiarity with business models, especially for SaaS and client services

•       Strong prospecting and closing skills, skilled at selling to customer needs

•       Roster of established contacts from within and across the media and nonprofit sectors

•       Knowledge of for-profit and nonprofit funding environments

•       Resourcefulness and the ability to leverage HI’s extensive network to increase the

Institute’s programming capital

•       Demonstrated leadership and social savvy, excellent communication and interpersonal skills

•       Goal-oriented with disciplined time management skills

•       Strong writing and research skills

•       Passion and ambition for high-level strategic thinking


Salary is commensurate with experience. HI offers a generous benefits plan.

For more information about the Harmony Institute, please visit their website at

The Harmony Institute has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, President/CEO or

Gina Roose, Research Director

Harris Rand Lusk

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605

New York, NY 10168

By e-mail (preferred):

Please put the words ‘Harmony Institute’ in the subject line of your emailed application