Position Description

Position Description

National Center for Science Education

(Remote or Hybrid Position, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, CA)

Title: Executive Director

View Position Brochure Here


The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is the nation’s leading independent organization fighting for integrity and accuracy in science education. NCSE works with teachers, parents, scientists, and concerned citizens at the local, state, and national levels to ensure that evolution, climate change, and other scientific matters are taught accurately, honestly, and confidently. Established in 1982, NCSE has successfully championed against efforts to insert creationism into the science classroom, to water down the teaching of evolution, and compromise the teaching of climate science. NCSE serves as a public advocate for sound, effective science education, conducts research on science education and science-education policy, and supports science educators with activities that include teacher training, curriculum development, and professional mentorship.

For additional information, please visit www.ncse.ngo.


With a mission to promote and defend accurate, effective science education, NCSE is well-positioned to benefit from a forward-thinking, persuasive, and passionate leader as its next Executive Director.

Through a collaborative approach in partnership with the staff and Board of Directors, the Executive Director will help shape the future of NCSE to achieve its goals and objectives, as outlined in its Strategic Plan, which include:

  • Ensuring that all efforts to interfere with the teaching of accurate science are detected and blocked. 
  • Becoming a nationally recognized and trusted provider of high-quality professional learning.
  • Building a community of skilled and confident K-12 teachers of evolution, climate change and the nature and practice of science, focusing on communities where societal acceptance is limited.
  • Establishing a national reputation for expertise in teaching on climate change, evolution and the nature of science by conducting, publishing, and communicating peer-reviewed research and developing effective ways to improve teaching practices.
  • Increasing and diversifying NCSE’s reach to and support from people whose deeply held values are aligned with NCSE’s mission. 
  • As NCSE grows, ensuring operational resilience through structure, culture, and processes that seamlessly support its work.


In addition to serving as primary spokesperson and champion on behalf of NCSE, the Executive Director is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, and financial health of the organization. Through cooperation with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director upholds the organization’s mission and vision, sets priorities, evaluates programmatic outcomes, establishes and adheres to an annual budget, and ensures compliance with the organization’s bylaws.

The Executive Director manages the day-to-day operation of the organization, including personnel management, program guidance and oversight, fiscal oversight, fundraising, and communications. The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring that NCSE remains focused on fulfilling its mission and for leading fundraising and outreach initiatives to reinforce the financial stability and strength of the organization.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director supervises the 11-member NCSE staff and is responsible for the annual operating budget of approximately $1.6 million. 


Above all, the Executive Director must demonstrate a compelling passion for the mission of NCSE and the ability to convey the vital importance of basic scientific literacy to all members of society.

NCSE is seeking a strategic and facilitative coalition builder who can work at multiple levels and in multiple sectors with staff, board, supporters, the scientific community, the science education community, and members of local communities to advance the organization’s mission. The Executive Director will have exceptional communication skills and be a persuasive and motivating leader who will represent NCSE to a broad audience. A demonstrated ability to reach out, form effective relationships, and work collaboratively in a diversity of communities is important, as is the ability to build bridges, foster dialogue, and build trust. As such, the successful candidate should be conversant around issues of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) and have experience working productively across lines of difference, effectively incorporating DEIA into all aspects of their work. 

The Executive Director should have the ability to identify trends and issues of significance to the field for the future, and be capable of combining visionary, strategic thinking with a pragmatic approach to tactical implementation.

The Executive Director must be comfortable as a hands-on contributor and enabler of others and be excellent with follow-through. The successful candidate should be an inclusive, open, and outgoing professional who enjoys exploring new ideas and thinking creatively. Exceptional written and oral communication skills are essential. The Executive Director must be highly self-motivated, organized and resourceful, and should excel at setting priorities and follow through. 


Competitive candidates will bring a track record of excellence in positions of increasing responsibility, ideally within a nonprofit organization recognized for its work in promoting science or science education. Individuals with experience from informal science education, K-12 education, academia, public policy, associations, or other science organizations who demonstrate an understanding of the work of NCSE combined with a compelling commitment to the organization’s mission and programs are encouraged to apply.

In addition to demonstrated leadership abilities, competitive candidates will bring competencies in the following areas:

  • Strategy and programmatic development
  • Communications, media relations, and public speaking
  • Bridge-building and working effectively and diplomatically with diverse communities and allies
  • Team-building and talent development
  • Fundraising and donor cultivation
  • Technology and innovation, including in social media and digital communication
  • Board relationships and partnership development
  • Nonprofit and financial management
  • Demonstrated success in helping realize Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access as organizational values

Knowledge of the scientific community, an understanding of current issues facing educators, and a record of outreach to the public on science-education issues are all critically important.

The Executive Director must demonstrate an ability to recruit, develop, inspire, and collaborate with a diverse and geographically dispersed staff, and have a management philosophy that supports a positive team culture and high performance, as well as fosters employee development and retention. Exceptional relationship-building skills and success in forming strong partnerships are also essential.  

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, visionary individual who has shown success in generating widespread support for an organization, broadening its reach and scale to increase its impact.

The Executive Director must have a solid understanding of effective, forward-looking fiscal management and the implications for a small nonprofit. 

Demonstrated successful experience in program development, fundraising and board relations will be highly valued. The ideal candidate will have strong donor relations skills and success at cultivating donors and asking for and obtaining major gifts.

Studies in fields related to science or science education and degrees in biology, geology, or climate science are particularly desirable. 


The annual salary range for this position is $150,000 to $175,000 plus benefits. This is a full-time exempt position. 

The Executive Director may work remotely and reside anywhere in the U.S. or choose to work from the NCSE office in Oakland, California. Currently, NCSE staff have either a hybrid remote/in-office schedule or work fully remotely. Regular travel is expected.

NCSE is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

NCSE seeks to foster an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices and is committed to building an organization whose staff, Board, and partners are diverse.

People of color, people who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. NCSE will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations as part of this commitment.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234