Job Announcement: Executive Director Search


Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is seeking a new Executive Director. Our beloved Shanti Norris—who co-founded Smith Center with Barbara Smith Coleman—is retiring after 20 years of brilliant service.

We are looking for a gifted person to lead Smith Center’s work forward. Our new leader should have creative vision, the ability to guide our staff, the capacity to grow our programs, and an ineffable quality of the human spirit that has permeated our work for 20 years.

Please share the attached announcement of what we are looking for with anyone you think might have the qualities and qualifications we seek.

Get more information about the position and the application process.

Job Announcement

The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a unique non-profit health, healing, and arts organization in Washington, D.C., seeks a strategic, innovative and collaborative leader to succeed its founding Executive Director, Shanti Norris.

Reporting to the Center’s board of directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic, operational and programmatic responsibility for assuring that the Smith Center achieves its mission to provide hope and healing to thousands of people living with cancer and serious illness in the city.

The successful candidate must be a leader with strong interpersonal skills and experience working successfully with non-profit boards of directors in developing and implementing organizational strategies. Candidates should possess exceptional empathy, integrity, maturity, and creativity. S/He must be an effective communicator, a successful fundraiser, and have a supportive and accessible management style. S/He must deeply understand and operate within Smith Center’s unique vision, mission, and healing culture.

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts was established in 1996, created from the extraordinary vision of Barbara Smith Coleman, an artist and cancer survivor, in collaboration with Michael Lerner, Ph.D., creator of Commonweal. The Smith Center became a place where people facing life-threatening illness, their caregivers, and medical professionals could experience the healing powers of art and creativity. The Center is located in the heart of the city’s culturally vibrant U Street, NW Corridor. Its multi-faceted approach to health and healing includes:

Cancer Programs: The Center offers retreats and programs for adults living with cancer and their caregivers including yoga and stress reduction, creative expression, nutrition classes, as well as lectures and support programs. It also serves young adult cancer survivor populations.

Patient Navigation: Through the Institute of Integrative Oncology Navigation, Smith Center offers innovative patient navigation trainings and contributes to the developing dialogue about patient care nationwide. It also offers individual patient navigation.

Arts & Healing: Smith Center has become a leader in the nationwide movement to promote the use of the arts in healing. The Center does this through programs and exhibitions at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery and by developing and sharing a range of innovative programs and initiatives in the community and across the nation.

With an annual budget of $1.5 million, the Smith Center provides cancer support to over 400 unique visitors and over 1,800 visits through its small group and highly individualized services. An additional 3,000 community members visit the Smith Center’s gallery annually. The Smith Center is showcased for the third time in the 2016-2017 Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the “best small charities” in the Washington, DC area. For more information, please visit

This position is an excellent opportunity to lead a unique, effective and highly valued organization.

Get more information about the position and the application process.

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