We’re Looking for Our Next Executive Director


The Thea Bowman Foundation (“Foundation”) is seeking an experienced and proven leader as its Executive Director.  The Executive Director is responsible for leading and managing the organization’s operational, fiscal, administrative, programmatic and strategic functions in compliance with the foundation’s mission, goals, and objectives. 

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.


Named for Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA the Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to her passion for the education of underserved African American college eligible students.  Founded in 1989, the Foundation is dedicated to providing access to Catholic institutions of higher education for underserved African - American students, Catholic or non-Catholic, whose families are at or below the poverty line.

In the years since its founding the Foundation has provided partial scholarships to over 250 students.   The scholarships contribute to funding up to four years of academic studies at one of the partnering Catholic colleges or universities.   Our current partners are DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Duquesne University, The Catholic University, Assumption College, and University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, St Francis University Loretto.  The Foundation does not merely provide financial support for its students, but also engages in mentorship ofthe recipients, provides spiritual formation as an essential component of the program, and guidance for internships and post-graduation opportunities.

Position Summary – Executive Director

The board of the Foundation is seeking a dynamic leader to work collaboratively with the board, existing staff, students, partner institutions of higher education, donors, and other constituents in building the next phase of the organization’s history.

The ideal Executive Director must be committed to and have an understanding of the mission of Catholic Higher Education, hold an MA in education, value the importance of the liberal arts, appreciate the centrality of faith in the formation of young people, and have a commitment to social justice and the growth and development of the students the Foundation is dedicated to serving. Ideally, the Executive Director will be a practicing Catholic.

The Executive Director has day-to-day responsibility for leading and overseeing the four core components that are equally fundamental to the work of the Foundation

  • Spiritual Formation
    • Mentoring
    • Educational Programs
  • Fundraising

The Executive Director will be the organization’s external spokesperson.  Therefore, he/she must possess the ability to initiate and establish effective communication and cooperative working relationships with a diverse array of individuals and institutions.

Primary Responsibilities


  • Hire, manage and oversee staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization
  • Develop and execute plans and initiatives that promote the mission and ideals of the organization
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a strategic plan for the growth of the Foundation over the next 5 years.
  • Build an organizational business model and restructure programs as necessary
  • Ensure the organization’s financial viability
  • Establish and maintain a collaborative and open relationship with the Board and other stakeholders
  • Develop a working knowledge of the Foundation’s values, guiding principles and promote them to current and prospective stakeholders and students
  • Meet regularly with the students at the various institutions in which they are studying
  • Maintain regular contact with administrators at the participating institutions of higher education
  • Operate at all times with accountability, professionalism and high ethical standards
  • Support the canonization efforts underway for Sister Thea Bowman if called upon by those pursuing her cause for sainthood.

Educational Programs

  • Develop and implement a program that will support the transition from high school to college for the incoming class of students

Spiritual Development

  • Oversee the development and administration of a Catholic African American formation program that will provide support throughout the academic year


  • Act as a resource to the students in the program assisting with course selection and advising

Resource Development, Fundraising and Financial Management

  • Act as the Chief Fundraising Officer pursing grants and gifts from donors to support the Foundation’s programs, as well as identify and cultivate new donor prospects
  • Oversee the financial solvency and integrity of the organization
  • Ensure the adequacy of financial controls, records, practices and procedures as well as preparation of all budgets and financial reports
  • Provide clear and concise reports to the Board regarding fiscal health and related issues
  • Identify and follow-up on opportunities for generating new revenue/funding sources and methods.

Communications and External Relations

  • Establish and maintain a proactive communications culture
  • Establish a strong working relationship with the constituencies that have historical,relationships with the Foundation as well as identify new constituencies
  • Maintain a user friendly interactive website
  • Professionally represent the Foundation’s interests in external forums serving as the organization’s spokesperson.

Experience, Competencies and Education

The Executive Director is expected to be a proven manager, leader and professional.  Experience in non-profit leadership and/or higher education is desirable.

The Executive Director is expected to:

  • Demonstrate a keen awareness and understanding of the African American experience
  • Be a strategic thinker and implementer
  • Be a well-organized and self-directed team player
  • Be an articulate, succinct and persuasive oral and written communicator and public speaker who can interact with diverse audiences
  • Be a decisive leader who is also inclusive and collaborative
  • Think and act entrepreneurially
  • Be a results-oriented professional who can positively influence organizational outcomes
  • Demonstrate a commitment to and the ability to articulate the unique mission of Catholic Education
  • Have the capacity to manage multiple responsibilities and activities simultaneously
  • Demonstrate understanding, respect and support for Catholic Church teaching, mission and values
  • Have knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to the nonprofit sector

Salary is competitive and based on experience.  Interested candidates should send a resume and a detailed cover letter that includes why they are interested, how they are qualified, and salary history, as well as a list of 5 references to theabowmanfoundation@gmail.com.  Only email applications will be accepted.


2nd Annual Chicago Scholarship Dinner

Date, Time, and Location are still to be determined. Please check back soon! 

View the Winter 2017 Newsletter here!

For more information, contact:

Mrs. Mary Lou Jennings,
Executive Director, The Sister Thea Bowman Foundation,
4870 Woodridge Drive
Hermantown, MN 55811
Phone: 218.969.6227 

Mary McIntyre
Phone: 412.396.6668
Email: mcintyre@duq.edu