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2017 Executive Director Search

December 19, 2017


Most of you might be aware but for those who aren't,  our illustrious Executive Director, Betty Burke, announced her desire and intent to retire and (thankfully) gave us plenty of notice to work on finding a replacement.  We are officially launching our search for a new Executive Director and have contracted with M/Oppenheim to lead that search for the organization, working with Lisa Grossman.

The job description is listed below, and can also be viewed at https://www.nanog.org/governance/documents/EDSearch.pdf

If you're interested in applying for the position or you know someone who might be, please feel free to share the link and reach out directly to Lisa.

We are hopeful that we will have a final candidate in the coming months and will be able to introduce that person to the community by the summer meeting.


Will Charnock
Treasurer, NANOG

2017 Executive Director Search


North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG)

Executive Director

NANOG, a nonprofit membership organization for Internet engineers and operators, seeks an executive with exceptional leadership, operational and marketing abilities to evolve the organization to its next level of maturity.

NANOG is the leading trade association for internet engineering, architecture and operations professionals, with a core mission to facilitate conversation and information to make the internet better. NANOG organizes three national conferences a year (average 1000 attendees at each) plus smaller outreach events; works with organizations to ensure that current and future generations of internet-centric engineers and operators have a forum to learn new skills and share experiences to provide for a better running Internet; and provides scholarships to help new and interested students in their educational endeavors.  The organization currently has  647 members, and supports a community of more than 13,000 drawn from core engineering and product personnel of the major North American Internet carriers, content providers, hosting & cloud companies, multi-tenant data centers, interconnection service providers, and other technical experts interested in a robust, resilient, scalable, secure and extensible internet.

Founded as Merit Network in 1994, NANOG became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2011, and has been successfully managed by an Executive Director who is transitioning into semi-retirement. This provides the Board with a forward-thinking opportunity to envision how a new chief executive can positively shape NANOG’s growth strategy, operations, member services and education programs, marketing & outreach, technology tools, and governance policies and practices.

Governed by a seven-person board of directors, NANOG functions as a distributed organization comprised of three full-time staff and professional consultants and vendors. The 2017 operating budget is $2,745,000, and revenue is derived primarily from membership dues, event fees and sponsorships.  In response to significant growth in the Internet due to big data, mobile, internet-of-things, media-streaming, social media and a host of other developments, NANOG is expected to expand and transform over the next years.

The Executive Director will lead this expansion and transformation, and ensure the day-to-day operations of NANOG are professionally and efficiently managed, that events go off without a hitch, progress is made toward strategic and annual goals, and finances track closely to organizational and event budgets. 


The Executive Director’s immediate priorities are to:

  • Thoroughly understand NANOG’s history and culture; its programs, finances, governance structure, people, advisors, consultants, members and board.
  • With the board of directors and in keeping with NANOG’s mission and vision, develop and execute a strategic plan, identifying how the organization will evolve in the next years, the roadmap for getting there, and metrics for measuring progress.
  • With board and staff, develop an operating plan for staffing, modernization of technology systems and tools, funding for capital projects, and other aspirational elements that derive from strategic planning.

Leadership and Management

  • Through effective management and leadership, ensure that the day-to-day operations and programs are professionally organized and administered; execute activities in the annual plan, with a keen eye toward creating efficient, repeatable processes.
  • Develop and support a culture that attracts, retains, develops and motivates a diverse, high-quality staff; identify and address areas inhibiting the organization’s evolution and growth. Ensure a performance evaluation and review system is in place, with emphasis on well-defined goals, clear responsibilities and levels of accountability for all staff.
  • With the board and Treasurer, develop annual operating budget and financial projections with the board; ensure budgets are balanced, and that there is a relationship between strategic objectives and available resources; develop long- and short-term financial plans and prepare financial and operating reports for the Board.
  • Generate and evaluate RFPs for IT consultant/vendors to redesign the website that allows for rich, relevant content and flexibility, and tools for internal and external collaboration, communications, members’ database, email list, etc.
  • As the chief executive, assume overall responsibility for legal and regulatory compliance.


  • At any given time, NANOG is various stages of event cycles: from city and site selection, vendor selection and contract negotiations, sponsorship details, program/agenda development, registration, and on-site logistics.  The ED has overall responsibility for planning and coordination of NANOG events; ensuring board, staff and volunteers are engaged, understand their roles and expected deliverables, have the tools that they need to be successful and communicate with one and other effectively. 
  • Ensure that event speakers, content and agenda (which is developed by the board Program Committee appointed by the Board) is on track and provide operational support as needed.
  • Ensure sponsorship guidelines are clear, competitive, and that tight coordination occurs ensuring everyone’s needs are met, and ongoing relationships with sponsors are mutually beneficial.

Marketing and Outreach

  • Enhance the organization’s approach to marketing, branding and communication to further position NANOG as the valued resource for improving the Internet.
  • Overall responsibility for coordination of internal and external communications; develop a marketing and communications plan that conveys NANOG’s value and member/community resources to diverse audiences. Ensure content is timely and relevant, and aligns to determined guidelines.
  • Encourage board participation at NANOG on the Road, the smaller 1-day events 4x a year in target markets, which are entry points for many into NANOG.
  • Ensure that NANOG Scholarship awards are promoted to a wide audience.
  • Ensure that the College Immersion Program is funded and promoted to a wide audience.


  • In conjunction with the Board, review membership and sponsorship structures and benefits.
  • Seek to identify and steward new sponsorship or partnership opportunities
  • Seek to attract and retain new members, articulate the value of membership and participation in NANOG. 

Board Relations

  • Work with the board to develop NANOG’s strategic and annual objectives and implement programs to reach them; provide ongoing communication to the Board on critical matters related to NANOG goals, programs, finances, administrative management.
  • Help set board agendas; prepare reports; develop outbound communications on behalf of the board.
  • Oversee governance activities, including the bylaws and election of officers.


  • Ten+ years of senior nonprofit leadership experience including well-developed management, operations, finance and marketing skills.
  • Successful experience managing large-scale events, vendors, and negotiating contracts.
  • Experience managing an evolving environment, achieving organizational development and growth in either the nonprofit or business sector; decisive and resourceful with the ability to envision the organization from the broadest perspective, map out future growth and act quickly to assess and create opportunities.
  • Experience interacting with a broad range of members, boards, and staff.
  • Track record of fundraising and/or sponsorship funding.
  • A consensus builder who can collaborate with diverse board, staff and other partners and constituents; a person who is able to define complementary staff, board and volunteer roles and instill feelings of mutual respect, energy, ambition and cooperation.
  • An outstanding communicator with exceptional interpersonal skills; someone able to work productively with strong personalities; someone that is decisive yet patient, and emotionally mature with a sense of humor.


For more information please contact:

Lisa Grossman  (650) 323-3565 or [email protected]

m/Oppenheim Associates

425 Market Street, Suite 1020, San Francisco, CA 94105