President & Executive Director

The Iris Network, Portland, Maine

Come Experience Maine 

The Iris Network, a leading nonprofit organization exclusively serving people who are blind or visually impaired, is seeking an experienced and highly motivated leader to serve as its President & Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have a passion for community, innovation, and organizational development, as well as an eagerness to foster relationships with the organization’s various partners.

Established in 1905, The Iris Network is a leader in Maine and nationwide in vision rehabilitation, low vision services, and vocational training for people who are blind or visually impaired. The Iris Network is a 501(c)(3) corporation, is accredited by the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services, and works in close collaboration with the State of Maine’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

With an annual budget approaching $3 million, The Iris Network serves approximately 800 clients annually.  Its focus is on the continuing availability of a full array of compensatory skills training for transition-age youth, working-age adults, and senior citizens who are visually impaired or blind. This includes community-based and residential vision rehabilitation and job-readiness services; adaptive technology and employment services; an innovative low vision clinic; resident services; and public education designed to open opportunities for competitive employment, independence, and community integration.

Position Details and responsibilities:

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the overall management and administration of the organization and is the lead spokesperson championing its mission. The ED is not only responsible for managing the organization’s programs within the budget and in accordance with its established policies and strategic plan, but also for guiding the organization’s future growth and development.  As The Iris Network’s primary ambassador, the ED is responsible for implementing the agency’s mission with passion and professionalism by inspiring various stakeholders including professional staff, contract partners, the organized consumer community, clients and their families, community leaders, and philanthropists to help people experiencing low vision and blindness to attain independence and community integration. 

The primary areas of responsibility include: (a) planning, management, and growth of core programs; (b) development and implementation of new programs and policies; (c) fiscal management and growth; (d) personnel management and dynamic leadership; (e) developing and maintaining stakeholder and governmental relations; and (f) advancing the organization’s national reach as a leader in the field. 

Principal attributes of the ideal candidate:

We are looking for a dynamic leader who embraces creative problem solving, pursues new opportunities, and is passionate about advancing the organization. The ED must be professionally motivated and charismatic, with strong interpersonal skills that inspire staff, clients, and other stakeholders.  The ED must be an effective advocate and champion for innovative vision rehabilitation and the independence it provides.  A personal commitment to the success of the organization and the ability to effectively communicate the organization’s mission and also market its services is fundamentally important. Candidates for this position will ideally have demonstrable experience in:

  • Advocating for services that promote independence and community integration for people experiencing visual impairment and blindness;
  • Leading a mission-driven organization;
  • Overseeing programs and implementing a strategic plan within budget constraints;
  • Leading an aggressive fundraising and resource development campaign;
  • Fostering relationships with clients, donors, strategic partners, and the community;
  • Developing new alliances and partnerships throughout the community, state, and nation;
  • Conducting press conferences on key policy issues and organizational achievements, as well as being the primary contact for print, broadcast, and social media outlets;
  • Promoting a culture of respect and positive communication within and outside of the organization.


The Executive Director should have the knowledge, skills, and abilities typically commensurate with completion of a graduate degree (preferably with studies in Business, Public Administration, or a related field). Experience with the provision of vocational rehabilitation and low vision services for people who are visually impaired or blind is strongly preferred. The candidate must have strong writing and oral advocacy skills and be able to communicate with a diverse range of stakeholders. The candidate should also have a successful record of accomplishment in organizational and fiscal management, as well as a demonstrated ability to work successfully within diverse public and private reimbursement sources including Medicare and the vocational rehabilitation system.  This position offers a competitive salary commensurate with qualifications, as well as a full benefit package. 

City of Portland, Maine:

Portland, Maine, is a vibrant coastal city of approximately 66,000.  The city is located approximately two hours from Boston and six hours from New York.  Known for its proximity to outdoor recreation, state and national parks, restaurants, and diverse entertainment, Portland is regularly ranked among the best places to live in the country.  Portland is readily accessible by plane, bus, and train. For information about living in Portland, visit: https://www.portlandmaine.com/explore-downtown/livework-portland/

Application Process:

Interested applicants should submit a detailed letter of interest, current resume, and salary requirements in an accessible format by August 11, 2017, to Aparna Shah, H.R. Manager, via email at ashah@theiris.org.  The subject line of the email should state “Iris Network ED Application.” No phone calls please.

The Iris Network encourages all qualified persons to apply regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, place of birth, or disability.  The Iris Network is an EEO/AA Employer.   

COME WALK WITH US on October 14, 2017!


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