Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer 150 150 liztho417 liztho417
National Eating Disorders Association
January 11, 2021
1500 Broadway, 1101, New York, New York, 10036, New York City, possibility for remote office
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Elizabeth Thompson




The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights. In fact, eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opioid addiction.

Eating disorders are widely misunderstood illnesses and support options are often limited or inaccessible. As a result, too many people are left feeling helpless, hopeless, and frightened. Through our programs and services, NEDA raises awareness, builds communities of support and recovery, funds research, and puts life-saving resources into the hands of those in need.

NEDA, as the leading national organization serving the eating disorders community, operates within a complex eating disorders ecosystem that includes, but is not limited to recovery centers, clinicians at recovery centers and/or private practices, researchers at major academic medical centers, and non-profits with targeted focus areas and targeted population bases including sufferers and family members.  The work NEDA conducts also intersects with adjacent related fields (mental health, anti-bullying, empowerment of marginalized communities, body liberation, etc).  This is a dynamic, complex and evolving field.


NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.


NEDA envisions a world without eating disorders.

For 20 years, NEDA has been a beacon of help and hope, fighting for more research, better education, bolder advocacy, and broader public awareness.


  • Listen & Build Community: Respond to Critical Needs. The toll-free NEDA Helpline enables a personal response to thousands of requests each year, via phone calls, chat, or text options, providing free information and support - a much-needed lifeline for many.
  • Lead the Conversation. Public awareness events and activities, including National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and Weight Stigma Awareness Week and the NEDA Walks, successfully raise awareness, fight stigma and encourage understanding that this is a serious public health issue. NEDA works with reporters and others on a daily basis to make sure our country understands how important it is to understand the range of eating disorders, the significance of eating disorders, and to ensure that the tools and resources NEDA offers are known and accessible, and that eating disorders are fully represented in mental health public policy deliberations.
  • Educate & Support. Through NEDAcon educational programming is provided (for now in a virtual format) assuring individuals, families, educators, providers, civic and community leaders get the support and information they need.
  • NEDA advocates for increased research funding, enhanced insurance coverage, equity, inclusion and quality care. Through the collaboration with the Eating Disorders Coalition, NEDA helps shape national public policy for people with eating disorders and their families and the broader research community.
  • Feeding Hope Fund. Our research funding – the Feeding Hope Fund has supported more than $2M in research since its founding in 2013. Funding spans clinical research and partnership ventures (advocacy organizations paired with academic institutions). We are inclusive of geographic, gender, and racial diversity and we encourage women and minorities, as well as investigators from around the U.S., to apply.


  • HOPE: We believe in the possibility of full recovery, wellness, and the potential in all of us.
  • INCLUSION: We embrace diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives.
  • EMPOWERMENT: We promote confidence, self-efficacy and service to our mission.
  • COMPASSION: We practice respect, kindness and empathy.
  • FAIRNESS: We fight for equity and justice. NEDA envisions a world where all people affected by eating disorders live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares.

Reports To: NEDA Board of Directors

Direct Reports: Senior Director of Development, Senior Director of Programs, Director of Communications and Marketing, Associate Director of Finance and Operations, IT Director, and Executive Assistant; others as needed and agreed with the Board.

Overview: On the heels of the pandemic, the NEDA Board embarked on an extensive organizational review involving an external listening tour with a wide variety of stakeholders in the field, systems and programmatic evaluation, and board member and staff assessments. From that work, they established the initial Refounding Plan, examining how each of NEDA’s departments and programs align with its core mission and values.  Their assessment determined that the Helpline is a vital anchor at one end of the mission (support of individuals and families) and that research anchors the other end (catalyst for treatments, prevention and cures).  Identifying these two anchors as the top priorities, particularly during a time of significant resource constraints, was a key driver of the decisions made about priorities and resource allocation in 2021.

NEDA is seeking a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will achieve the vision and mission of the organization.  The CEO will be responsible for inspiring and leading constituents and team members within NEDA and the larger eating disorders community, as well as other stakeholders, and building the movement at a pivotal time in its history. The CEO will need to become deeply knowledgeable about the eating disorders ecosystem and its intersection with broader mental health communities and the adjacent areas referenced above; it is expected that this leader will be adept at working constructively with leaders of other organizations in the ecosystem and beyond.

The ideal candidate is authentic and resilient, with business acumen and the ability to lead change within the NEDA organization, as well as elevating the importance of eating disorders issues in our culture. NEDA’s next leader will leverage national recognition that the issues surrounding eating disorders are receiving in the media to raise greater awareness for the communities NEDA serves and the need for continuing commitment to research.

Position Summary: The CEO provides direction and leadership for the organization’s mission and vision, communicates the goals of the organization and its work internally and externally, works with the Board to create a strategic plan that aligns with its reaffirmed direction, and oversees the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, programs, and initiatives. In partnership with the Board, the CEO is responsible for the successful and long-term growth of NEDA, the translation of strategy into clearly aligned operational plans, and the development of efficient infrastructure and a sustainable funding model. This person will ensure accountability for the outcomes and the impact of NEDA’s programs. Together, the Board and the CEO will assure NEDA’s relevance, its focus on its mission and vision, the accomplishment of NEDA’s strategic plan, and the accountability of NEDA to its diverse constituents.

The CEO is responsible for management and day-to-day operations and has the authority to carry out these responsibilities, in accordance with the direction and policies established by the Board. The CEO provides guidance to the Board and facilitates the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its governance functions.


Leadership & Strategic Vision

  • Provide inspirational leadership and management of staff; build and nurture an organizational culture that is grounded in a shared vision, vibrant in teamwork and accountability, supported by mutual respect, and unrelenting in the pursuit of quality programming, services, and support to the NEDA Network and the grassroots community.
  • Drive the vision and strategy for growth; act as a change agent, engaging both internal and external stakeholders to achieve NEDA’s mission, next level of impact, and sustainable organizational growth.
  • Oversee operational planning and hold executive and senior leaders accountable for ensuring successful implementation of programs, fundraising, partnerships, and building awareness of NEDA.
  • Assist the Board in monitoring and evaluating NEDA’s impact to its constituencies- its effectiveness and results.
  • Facilitate fair and empathetic resolution of issues and matters that arise in a large, community alliance with multiple stakeholders.
  • Strengthen communications and responsiveness from the national office to the grassroots members.
  • NEDA will be forming seven strategic councils to provide guidance and leadership to NEDA’s Board and leadership. Those councils will represent BiPOC, Lived Experience, LGBTQ+, Males, Founders, Science/Research and Healthcare Providers.  The individuals involved in these councils will be visible and highly interactive as part of the strategy for policy and position development, awareness building, community engagement, and content development. The CEO will be counted upon to be a visible and highly engaged leader understanding how to effectively place the talents and skills of the council members and utilizing their knowledge to further the mission of NEDA.

Community Relations

  • Serve as chief champion and spokesperson, representing NEDA locally and nationally; leverage public speaking opportunities, attend conferences; act as a leading voice in pursuit of the NEDA mission.
  • Implement an internal and external communications strategy; use effective communications activities and effective marketing of NEDA and its work.
  • Understanding the importance of social media in this online world, it is expected the new CEO will be a dynamic communicator with experience harnessing the power of social media and will understand how to manage the positive and negative facets of this medium; it is also expected that the leader will guide the communications team through a process of updating the website and maintaining its relevance.
  • Act as an advocate, within the public and private sectors, for issues relevant to NEDA, its programs, services and community needs.
  • Maintain an open dialog with stakeholders, volunteers, donors and communities at large to improve services and programs, and ensure alignment around the NEDA mission and strategy.
  • Work with partner organizations, legislators and regulatory agencies at the highest levels to further strategic advocacy priorities.
  • Identify opportunities and facilitate strategic partnerships with other organizations to advance NEDA mission and priorities.

Board Relations & Board Development

  • Work with the Board of Directors to assure its strong, transparent, and high-functioning governance role; assist the Board in articulating its role and responsibilities and that of its committees; assist with regular performance assessments.
  • Aid the Board in developing strong governance standards and practices for the Board and staff; oversee implementation of these standards.
  • Serve as a thought partner to the Board’s executive committee and committee chairs to assure that relevant, accurate, and timely information is provided to inform and guide the Board’s strategic level thinking.
  • Inform the Board and its committees about trends, challenges, and opportunities in order to facilitate discussion, deliberation and policymaking; recommend policy positions.
  • Build a trusting and transparent partnership with the Board in order to achieve the mission, vision and goals.

Financial Management & Administration

  • Provide general oversight of all NEDA activities; assure the effective management of day-to-day operations, and a high-functioning, efficient organization.
  • Create an environment of transparent cross-functional communication, planning, goalsetting, and teamwork.
  • Promote programs and services that are produced in a cost-effective manner; assure program quality and organizational stability through development and implementation of standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular evaluation.
  • With regard to programs, the CEO will be expected to oversee the successful management of the Feeding Hope Fund with responsibility to provide oversight for grant solicitation, review, approval and oversight function to NIH/NIMH standards.
  • Together with the Finance Department and Finance Committee, oversee the fiscal status of the organization including developing long and short-range financial and operating plans, monitoring the budget, financial reporting to include forecasting and cash flow, and audit.
  • Inspire, coach and develop a diverse team with multiple perspectives and talents; motivate and collaborate, actively seek input from a variety of sources; assure a process for recruitment, development of appropriate salary structures, and consistent evaluation of staff and volunteers.
  • Oversee all information technology systems and functions for effective operation of the office (consideration for remote national office).
  • Assure the filing of all legal and regulatory documents and monitor compliance with relevant laws and regulations.


  • Lead diversified fund development efforts in partnership with the Board and the development team, focusing on individuals, corporations, foundations, and fundraising events that will ensure the adequate funding for the effective operation and future growth of NEDA; personally engage with key donors/donor organizations.
  • Guide and support the Board and its fundraising committee; provide resources and support that enable all members to serve as brand ambassadors for the organization.
  • In partnership with the marketing and communications team, formulate and execute marketing, branding and development strategies that will increase NEDA visibility and enhance revenue from major donors.
  • Assure the development and operation of gift management systems and reports for quality decision-making.
  • Prioritize the consistent collection of data and the evaluation of service offerings and programs; use metrics to make decisions regarding the development of new programs, partnerships, fundraising, and initiatives that are tied to the strategic plan and financial targets.

Candidate Profile

Professional Experience:

  • A minimum of 15 years of strategic executive leadership experience in complex model organizations during periods of growth and change.
  • Professional experience preferred, in the mental health sector or a health- related field, large patient advocacy organizations, and/or organizations serving disadvantaged populations.
  • Broad general management experience across finance, human resources, operations/technology, marketing/media, program, fund development, and working with volunteers and Boards.
  • Demonstrated achievement in change environments, bringing to scale complex organizations; adept at assessing infrastructure/operational requirements necessary to support sustainable growth and healthy organizational culture.
  • Ability to set clear priorities, delegate and guide investment in people and systems; proven strategic, organization and problem-solving skills that enable sound and decisive decision making.
  • Proven change management and coalition-building experience; ability to influence and enable others to work collaboratively in service of the NEDA community.
  • Proven record of innovative and sustainable fundraising from individuals, corporations, foundations and events.
  • Superior mentoring, professional development, people management, communication and leadership skills; evidence of leading change with positive outcomes; an inspiring team builder who engenders trust and builds group commitment to goals and objectives.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionately committed to NEDA’s values, mission, vision and strategic plan.
  • A servant-leader who communicates a clear and compelling vision for the future of the organization; applies creative solutions to organizational problems, anticipating situations and needs, and responds appropriately to emerging situations.
  • Change agent who manages continuity, change and transition while establishing buy-in along the way.
  • Constructively addresses the impact of attitude and action on NEDA, and its participants; facilitates conflict resolution and is able to successfully work through tough decisions.
  • Systems thinker who is client focused and defines goals and establishes priorities with clear responsibilities to ensure results.
  • Comfortable with diversity and respectful of a wide range of faiths, beliefs and experiences.
  • Multi-cultural management experience and a high level of emotional intelligence.
  • Exceptional written, verbal and presentation skills; ability to inspire and motivate people at all levels within and outside of the organization including groups, partners and donors.
  • Displays the highest levels of personal and professional integrity and models exemplary behavior.
  • Lifelong learner and intellectually curious.
  • Ability to travel (when travel restrictions are removed).
  • Lived experience with eating disorders and/or mental health issues, personally, with a friend/family member or in relevant professional experience, is an asset; a willingness to learn the multiple facets of lived experiences is a must.


A Bachelor’s degree is required; graduate degree is preferred.



How To Apply

Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining why you are the right leader for NEDA now, including salary requirements and location preferences, to by or before January 25, 2020.