Society of Biblical Literature — Executive Director

The Society of Biblical Literature invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director. The Society of Biblical Literature (the “Society” or “SBL”) is the largest international association devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible from a variety of academic disciplines. Founded in 1880, the SBL is quickly approaching its sesquicentennial of service to those who engage in the academic study of biblical texts and their contexts, of interpretation of the Bibles and their many traditions and contexts, as well as comparative studies that focus on other culturally-central texts. The SBL stands at a pivotal moment. At a time of transformation and promise, the area of biblical studies and cognate fields includes diverse disciplinary approaches, engages questions about the role and function of religion in higher education, and is a forum for understanding how biblical texts are used and experienced in society as a whole. The next Executive Director has an opportunity to leverage SBL’s core strengths and values to address these challenges and to lead the Society into its next chapter to further its international impact. 

With over 8,000 members who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible, SBL provides a forum to test ideas and advance the understanding of the Bible’s history and its role in the public arena. Services include, but are not limited to, providing networking and community; a flagship journal, the Journal of Biblical Literature; publications; a forum for publicly accessible information about the Bible (https://www.bibleodyssey.org/); and review of books in the Review of Biblical Literature (https://www.sblcentral.org/home/rbl). Members also have access to congresses including annual international, U.S.-based, and global virtual meetings. To learn more about the work of the Society, please go to https://www.sbl-site.org.

Reporting to a dedicated 14-member active governing body, the Council, the Executive Director leads an experienced and talented staff of 14 full-time employees and oversees a $3.8M budget. Working with Council, membership, staff, and partners, the next Executive Director will create a compelling vision and strategy for SBL, demonstrating the Society’s ability to adapt to the changing social and cultural dynamics locally and globally, as well as the shifting landscape in higher education, while maintaining its core values and mission. In particular, the Executive Director will sustain membership and service to members, enhance partnerships, and further advance SBL’s core values of inclusivity and respect for diversity, within the Society and across the field. The next Executive Director will have the opportunity to build on the Society’s financial foundation and to identify new revenue-generating initiatives and funding sources.  

This is an exceptional opportunity for an experienced and innovative leader who is energized by bringing together people of diverse scholarly approaches and commitments. The ideal candidate will have a passion for biblical scholarship with an inclusive, global, forward-looking perspective; demonstrated business acumen; excellent communication, relationship building, and negotiation skills; deep experience promoting and sustaining diversity, equity, and inclusion; the ability to develop effective strategies within a complex environment; and preferably five years of senior management experience developing and managing people, plans, and budgets. Ideally the candidate will have knowledge of publishing, copyright, and licensing agreements and experience working with, or within, non-profit associations. A doctoral degree in biblical studies or the humanities is preferred.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters, which will remain confidential, should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website. Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Jacqueline Mildner, Partner
Rachel Brown, Senior Associate
Pamela Carty, Senior Search Coordinator
https://www.imsearch.com/search-detail/S8-818

SBL is committed to equal employment opportunity. We will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally recognized basis (protected class), including but not limited to:  veteran status, uniform service member status, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law.

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