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DAILY REPORTS and Documents
Pacifica Executive director search update

Presented at the iPNB meeting in Berkeley June 21 - 23, 2002

Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 10:44:48 -0500
From: Leslie Cagan - lesliecagan@igc.org
Subject: [grc] Pacifica ED search update/report


Please accept our apologies for not getting this information out much sooner. We all recognize how important the selection of a permanent executive director is for the Pacifica Foundation, and as such it is also important that everyone know what the process has been and will be from here on out.

First, a little background. When the interim board was created out of the settlement agreement last December we were charged with dealing with the hiring of a new executive director. At the time, Joanne Meredith had been the acting ED having taken that position after Bessie Wash resigned last fall. We all -- including Joanne -- knew that she would not stay on but we did not know that she would resign with two weeks of the Interim Board being seated. The day before the mid-January board meeting in NYC Joanne informed us that she was leaving the job effective immediately. We found ourselves needing to ask someone to step in right away as the interim or acting ED until we sorted things out and developed a process to make the permanent hire. As everyone knows, Dan Coughlin was able and willing to step in at that time. There was no assumption that he would apply for the permanent position and there was no restriction that he not apply.all of that was left open.

The new Interim Board set up an ED Search Committee on its very first meeting/conference call on December 29, 2001. Marion Barry was selected as the chair of the committee and the other members included Teresa Allen, Leslie Cagan, David Fertig, Ray Laforest, Bert Lee and Carol Spooner. At the January meeting George Barnstone was added to the committee.

The committee has met a number of times via conference calls and once in person (in Los Angeles the weekend of the Board meeting). There were differences on the committee about how quickly we needed to move. An initial decision to announce the job and call for resumes in a very short amount of time led to a relatively small pool of people applying. The committee realized that the search for applicants had been far from complete and so we agreed to put together a new timeline and do a more thorough search.

An ad was written (see text below) and placed in papers and on web sites around the country (see list following text of ad). The deadline of May 10th for resumes to come in was set in order for the committee to have enough time to sort through those resumes, determine who invite to a first round of interviews, and then select three finalists from that pool - all before the next meeting of the Interim Board. The selection of the permanent ED must be done by the full Board and so our time line for this process was developed in order to coincide with this upcoming meeting.

We received 65 applications from around the country. From those, nine people were selected for initial interviews. Because the committee members and applicants are scattered around the country we agreed that not everyone on the committee would be involved in all of these interviews. We decided that each person would be interviewed by 2 of the committee members being there in person and one committee member would call in. For the most part this did happen; but in one case the interviewee and the committee members were all on the phone and in another two cases the person was only interviewed by the two people in person.

The ED Search Committee on Thursday, June 13th to share the results of the interviews and decide which of these three people we will invite for a final set of interviews. References will be called and a background check will be done on the three finalists. These will be done by the full Board on the morning of Friday, June 21st in closed session. The Board will then make its decision about who to offer the job to. A report from the Search Committee will be included on the agenda of the open Board meeting that same evening, and that is when the public announcement about who has been hired will be made.

We are not releasing the names of the three finalists right now because we are confirming that all three are still interested in the job. As soon as this is done we will send out another notice with the names and the jobs they presently have.

The Search Committee also agreed on the following set of criteria to guide our deliberations for selecting people to be included in both the first round of interviews and then as finalists. Those criteria are:
1. Familiarity with Pacifica: mission, history, challenges we face
2. Vision for Pacifica in the future
3. Experience in the progressive social change and/or peace movements
4. Management experience and style of management
5. Experience in multi-cultural settings and working with diverse constituencies
6. Fund raising and budget management skills/experience
7. Work in radio or other media outlets, especially independent and alternative
8. Willingness to live in Berkeley and available to travel to all signal areas

Finally, there has been a request made from a number of listener activists that we convene a public event before the final decision is made. The committee agreed to convene such an event at 7 pm on the evening of Thursday, June 20th. Each of the finalists for the position will be asked to attend and make a brief (no more than 10 minutes) presentation. Then a moderator will pose questions to the finalists and they will each have an opportunity to respond. In addition, those who attend the event will be asked to caucus at the beginning of the evening to decide what five questions they would like to pose from the audience, and who will ask the questions. (We have set aside 30 minutes for this to take place.) We will not take a straw poll, a sense of the body, a vote or anything like that during or after the evening. This will be an opportunity for people to meet and hear the finalists, but the decision about who to hire will be made by the Interim Pacifica National Board.

As we said at the very beginning, we apologize for not getting all of this information out to you sooner.



Pacifica Foundation seeks new Executive Director. Founded in 1948 by anti- war and social justice activists, Pacifica is the only listener-sponsored, community-based radio network in the nation, with stations in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C. and New York City. The Executive Director will provide leadership during period of transition to democratic governance and accountable decision-making processes. Candidates must have demonstrated organizational and leadership experience, the ability to work in collaboration with others, be a skillful consensus builder, and be comfortable with controversy and diverse points of view. Candidates should possess excellent business skills necessary to oversee a complex organization (human resource activities, budgeting, fiscal and investment management, etc.), experience working with diverse cultural and political coalitions, and a familiarity with community-based organizing and democratic process. Experience with radio and progressive/alternative media a plus. Letters of interest and resumes due by May 10, 2002. Mail to Human Resources, Pacifica Foundation, 2390 Champlain St., NW, Washington, DC 20009, or fax to (202)588-0561. For additional information please contact Human Resources at (202) 588-0999 ext 370. EOE

The ad was placed in the following publications (and there might have been a few more as well), and on the web sites listed. In addition, it was distributed on several listserves.

Amsterdam News - New York City
Noticias Del Mundo - New York City
China Press - New York City
New York Times
Rafu Shimpo - Los Angeles
Bay State Banner - Boston
El Mundo - Boston
SF Bayview Newspaper - Bay Area
SF Chronicle - Bay Area
L.A. Sentinel Weekly - Los Angeles
La Opinion - Los Angeles
Philadelphia Tribune - New York
Wash DC Afro American - Washington, DC
Washington Post - Washington, DC
Houston Chronicle - Houston
Currents Magazine - national

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