September 14, 2016

Search Committees Consider Applicants For Leadership Jobs at Non-Profit Groups


THE SEARCH IS ON: The Arts Council of Princeton, where a Fall Open House was held last weekend, is one of two non-profit organizations looking for a new executive director. The deadline for applications was last Friday. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

Last Friday was the official deadline to apply for the leading jobs at two of the town’s key non-profit groups. Both the Arts Council of Princeton and Sustainable Princeton are looking for new executive directors, as Jeff Nathanson and Diane Landis, respectively, move on to other challenges.

While the effort to replace Ms. Landis has yielded nine applications, those involved in the search for a new director of the Arts Council declined to go into specifics about the process. “The Search Committee is actively working and excited about the interest we have received to date,” said Board President Ted Deutsch in an email. There have been “many quality applications,” he added.

Matt Wasserman of Sustainable Princeton said the search committee was “thrilled” to receive the nine applications, most of which have come from Princeton residents involved in environmental issues but also with other non-profit experience. “We’re looking for a few critical things,” he said. “We want someone to build on the success to date, someone who has and can build strong connections and collaborations within the community, and someone who has experience fundraising. There is also a long list of skills, but those are what we’re homing in on.”

Ms. Landis, who stepped down August 1, was the founding executive director of Sustainable Princeton in 2009. The organization came about as the result of a partnership between the Princeton Environmental Commission, the New Jersey Sustainability State Institute and in consultation with the residents of Princeton. Sustainable Princeton has grown from two part-time to two full-time staff members during Ms. Landis’s tenure.

She is credited with bringing form to the town’s adoption of the Sustainable Princeton Community Plan in 2009, the EnergySmart Homes and Buildings initiatives in 2013 and 2015, the Great Ideas Breakfast series, Sustainable Jersey Silver Certification, and a 2014 Statewide Leadership Award, as well as the analysis of Princeton’s historical electricity and natural gas usage in 2015. Ms. Landis was also instrumental in the recent collaboration with McCaffrey’s Market, the municipality, and the Princeton Merchants Association in a campaign that diverted seven tons of plastic bags and plastic film from Princeton’s landfill.

The Arts Council, which dates from 1967, hired Mr. Nathanson in 2005. During his tenure, the organization completed a major renovation and expansion designed by architect Michael Graves, quadrupled its free community programming each year, expanded a free weekly after-school program in partnership with the YMCA/Princeton Young Achievers and Princeton Nursery School, and expanded programs involving the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, among many other milestones.

Mr. Nathanson led efforts to establish the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Business Alliance, for which he serves as chair. He is continuing to serve as executive director of the Arts Council while the search for his successor is carried out.