June 26, 2018

Executive Director, Adam Smith Society

The Manhattan Institute
June 26, 2018
Job Type


Executive Director, Adam Smith Society

The Manhattan Institute

New York, NY or Washington, DC



The Manhattan Institute is looking for an executive director for its Adam Smith Society (Smith Soc), a national organization for business schools akin to what the Federalist Society has been for law schools.

In its seven years of operation, the Society has already grown to include 32 chapters on the campuses of top business schools in the US and abroad, 8 professional chapters and over 9,000 members. Our chapters are thriving, with the vast majority recruiting more than 10 percent of the student body as members. We are providing the education that so many business leaders never get: exposure to Adam Smith, Hayek, Friedman, for example, as well as capitalism’s most thoughtful critics. We ask questions. We encourage debate. We network MBA students and professionals who want to think deeply about these topics and equip them to be thoughtful advocates for the free-market system we care so deeply about and that has enabled so much opportunity across the globe. 

Starting immediately, we are looking to talk to truly impressive candidates who share our mission and would be a good fit for the role and on the Manhattan Institute team. The Executive Director’s responsibilities will include daily and long-term management of all aspects of the Society including but not limited to:

  • Management
    • Managing a team of five direct reports across programming, operations, events, and marketing
    • Coordinating and managing relationships with 5 MI teams that provide media relations, editorial, fundraising, operations and marketing leadership for Smith Soc
  • Strategy and Operations
    • Developing the strategy and growth plan for the Society
  • Member Outreach and Relationship Management
    • Actively identifying, equipping, and motivating the Society’s chapter leaders to achieve their goals
    • Cultivating relationships with speakers (CEOs of Fortune 1,000 companies, as well as intellectual/policy leaders on free market issues, and journalists) to maintain and grow the Society’s speakers’ bureau of business and thought leaders
    • Extensive travel to develop relationships with members and manage high-level national events
    • Working closely with marketing team and development team on paid membership program and overall strategy for membership communications
  • Programming
    • Overseeing programming across all student chapters. Managing a program office responsible for 200+ events per year
    • Developing nascent programming for a professional network of regional chapters for business school alumni and professionals
    • Developing and organizing an annual National Meeting attracting more than 300 members from schools and cities across the country
    • Conceptualizing and curating one-of-a-kind experiences for members


The successful candidate may come from a variety of backgrounds—including private industry, government or public affairs, Capitol Hill, a think tank, or academia — and should possess the following attributes:

  • Creative, entrepreneurial & organized: We are looking for a person who is ambitious and creative in their thinking but also grounded with skills to execute—including superior project management, organizations skills and a high level of strategic focus.
  • Ability to serve as the public face of Smith Soc: The Executive Director will spend half of his/her time interfacing with members, university staff, the general public and, at times, the media. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required. Ability to network and build relationships a must.
  • Strong project manage skills and a keen eye for logistics: Experience working with membership organizations and experience/interest in planning for retreats, events, and conferences.
  • Mission-driven: The Executive Director must not only have a passion for the mission, but must also have—formally or otherwise—a strong grasp of the underlying philosophical foundations of free enterprise. The successful candidate needs to understand what Smith and other seminal thinkers have said and be able to conceptualize and curate programming.
  • Team: The Executive Director will run the Adam Smith team and organization on a day to day basis and sit on the Manhattan Institute team working to ensure that the Adam Smith Society helps advance MI’s mission.
  • Proven leadership skills: We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate that they have been responsible for significant and meaningful achievements in their past employment—especially along the lines of institution/program building and that they can relate and connect to the Adam Smith membership. Candidates should have work experience befitting this senior role on the Manhattan Institute team.   
  • Graduate degree (MBA, JD, MPP/MPA, etc.) preferred but not required. 

This position is based at MI's main office in midtown Manhattan, and interested candidates who do not reside in the New York City region should be planning or willing to relocate immediately. We will consider DC based candidates if they are willing to spend 2 days a week at the Manhattan Institute headquarters in NYC or another similar arrangement.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following in one PDF file:

    • Resume
    • Cover letter explaining your interest in the position/SmithSoc’s mission and salary requirements

PDF applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: 


Questions about the opening can be directed to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: claire@talentmarket.org.

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.

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