This is an outstanding opportunity to become Executive Director of a diverse, dynamic and growing regional Council of Governments (COG). Founded in 1957, COG is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit association comprised of elected officials from 22 local governments, members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, and members of the U. S. Congress.

The COG Board of Directors is seeking an experienced, forward-thinking Executive Director to provide leadership to the COG staff and to take the COG the next level of success.

Region Forward is COG’s vision for the future.  It is a commitment by COG and its member governments, who together seek to create a more accessible, sustainable, prosperous, and livable National Capital Region. COG’s mission is to make Region Forward happen by being a discussion forum, expert resource, issue advocate, and catalyst for action. COG is supported by financial contributions from its participating local governments, federal and state grants and contracts, and donations from foundations and the private sector.

The Board of Directors is COG’s governing body and is responsible for its overall policies, functions, and funds. Board Members are appointed each year by the participating local governments and by caucuses of state legislative delegations from the region. The current Board consists of 34 members, four selected from the District of Columbia, three each from Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, two from Loudoun and Prince William Counties, one from each of the remaining local jurisdictions, and one representative each from the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies.

This position - one of the most important in the nation’s Capital – requires a professional who not only has a strong command of public policy issues at the local, state and national levels, but also is skilled in the art of advocacy and effective collaboration.

The COG Executive Director is responsible for overall management of the 130 person, $26.8 million, multi-funded organization, including personnel, financial and programmatic activities, as well as the implementation of the policies and programs of COG. The Executive Director is also responsible for identifying and proposing to the Board new program initiatives, and securing funding to underwrite COG programs. The Executive Director provides staff support to the Board of Directors and its policy committees and represents COG before a variety of government, business, and stakeholder organizations in the nation’s Capital and across the entire Washington D.C. metropolitan region. The Executive Director must be adept at juggling critical internally-focused responsibilities for policy, program and administrative functions, with the equally critical external roles as COG’s principal liaison to member elected and appointed officials and other stakeholders. COG is a non-partisan organization that operates in a political environment. Therefore, the Executive Director must be cognizant of the political sensitivities regularly in play in the complex, diverse National Capital Region.

Please visit COG’s web site (www.mwcog.org), for further information on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The Executive Director of COG is a critical, high visibility, senior executive position with responsibility for directing a complex, multi-task organization. The next Executive Director of COG is required to have a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree in Public Administration, Urban Planning, or a related field and substantial experience in public/private sector policy development are preferable.. CAE certification will be a plus.

Other important characteristics of the next Executive Director include the ability to vigorously institutionalize the vision of COG, be very aware that there are three Boards within COG, someone with fresh ideas and perspectives who can leverage and integrate COG’s outstanding member engagement through these policy boards and other bodies within the organization and region, a relationship builder and someone who can successfully be the day-to-day face of COG.

The next Executive Director of COG should be willing to establish residence within one of COG’s member jurisdictions, and be committed to a reasonable tenure.

In 2010, the COG Board and area local governments adopted Region Forward, a guide for regional planning and measuring future progress. COG must support its member governments in fully implementing Region Forward goals on accessibility, sustainability, prosperity and livability and regional performance targets.

Together with the challenges and expectations of this position, COG’s next Executive Director will have a truly significant career opportunity to help “make a difference” and a contribution in the quality of policy decisions, development trends and governmental service delivery activities which will shape and define the region’s landscape, economic vitality and quality of life well into the future.

The current and predictable issues, needs and challenges confronting the COG and its varied departments and constituents call for the experience, skills, style, values, and professional commitment on the part of the agency’s incoming Executive Director set forth in the Candidate Qualification Criteria.

The starting salary for the new Executive Director of the COG will be market competitive depending upon the qualifications, experience and record of achievement of the successful candidate as well as an excellent benefits package. 

The current job description is available at COG’s web site (www.mwcog.org).

This brochure will be used as a guide in the recruitment process, providing specific criteria by which applications will be screened and individuals selected for final interviews. 

For additional information on this outstanding opportunity, please contact James L. Mercer, President/CEO, The Mercer Group, Inc. at 770-551-0403 or via e-mail at   jmercer@mercergroupinc.com

All inquiries about the process should be directed to the attention of the consultant working with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Confidential resumes, cover letters and salary history should be sent by close of business August 24, 2012, via e-mail, hard copy or fax, to James L. Mercer, President/CEO, The Mercer Group, Inc., 5579B Chamblee Dunwoody Road, #511, Atlanta, GA 30338. Voice: 770-551-0403; Fax: 770-399-9749. E-Mail: jmercer@mercergroupinc.com; Website: www.mercergroupinc.com

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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