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An executive director is a member of a board of directors for an organisation, but the meaning of the term varies between countries.


United States

In the US, an executive director is a
chief executive officer A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co ...
(CEO) or
managing director A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co ...
of an
organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences), is an legal entity, entity—such a ...

organization
,
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common ...
, or
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
. The title is widely used in North American
not-for-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that oper ...
s, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
or CEO. Confusion can arise because the words ''executive'' and ''director'' occur both in this title and in titles of various members of some organizations' boards of directors.


Role

The role of the executive director is to design, develop and implement strategic plans for the organization in a manner that is both cost and time-efficient. The executive director is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, which includes managing committees and staff as well as developing business plans in collaboration with the board. In essence, the board grants the executive director the authority to run the organization. The executive director is accountable to the board of directors and reports to the board on a regular basis as defined by the organization's bylaws. The board sets the vision through a high-level strategic plan, but it is the role of the executive director to create implementation plans that support the strategic plan. The executive director is a
leadership Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and Br ...

leadership
role for an organization and often fulfills a
motivation Motivation is what explains why people or animals initiate, continue or terminate a certain behavior at a particular time. Motivational states are commonly understood as forces acting within the agent that create a disposition to engage in goal-di ...
al role in addition to office-based work. Executive directors motivate and mentor members, volunteers, and staff, and may chair meetings. The executive director leads the organization and develops its
organizational culture Historically there have been differences among investigators regarding the definition of organizational culture. Edgar H. Schein, a leading researcher in this field, defined "organizational culture" as comprising a number of features, including a ...
.


United Kingdom (UK)

In the UK, an executive director is a member of a board who is also an employee with a senior role. It is common for boards to have several executive directors, e.g. for different departments. There is no legal difference between an executive and a
non-executive directorA non-executive director (abbreviated to non-exec, NED or NXD), independent director or external director is a member of the board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization ...
(NXD or NED), but there are considerable differences in the expectations associated with the role.


See also

*
Corporate title Corporate titles or business titles are given to company and organization officials to show what duties and responsibilities they have in the organization. Such titles are used by publicly and privately held for-profit corporation A corpo ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Executive Director * * Titles Chief executive officers
Management occupations Occupations relating to management. Business occupations Management, Occupations Positions of authority {{CatAutoTOC ...
Positions of authority Board of directors