US Chess Seeks Executive Director

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US Chess is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the organization and is a non-voting member of the US Chess Executive Board. US Chess is the national governing body for chess in the United States, as well as the official national federation representing the USA with the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

US Chess, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a financially stable and growing 501(c)(3) organization with over 115,000 members. Learn more about US Chess at

The desired start date for this full-time position with benefits is on or before May 31, 2024.


Responsibilities: The Executive Director reports to and informs the US Chess Executive Board and is responsible for the Federation’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. In addition, the Executive Director has responsibility for the following areas:


  • Overall organization staffing and development consistent with the US Chess mission and goals and objectives established by the Executive Board.
  • Manages Director of Operations and provides guidance on membership, IT, accounting, HR, and US Chess complaint processes.
  • Manages the Directors of Events, Programs, Development, and Strategic Communication roles.
  • Oversees the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision, voluntary separation, and when necessary, termination of US Chess employees. The Executive Director ensures job descriptions are developed, that annual performance evaluations are completed and documented, and that best human resource practices are in place. Reviews compensation and benefits program on a regular basis.
  • Advises on policy adoption and standard procedure development with Director of Operations.
  • Helps develop the budget during the annual budget process. Ensures monthly financials are timely, with quarterly reports offering more in-depth analysis and review.
  • Assists with the annual audit process, including assisting Audit Committee on auditor selection.
  • Ensures compliance with good financial practices as well as internal policies driving financial management.
  • Oversees organizational compliance with local, state, and federal laws as well as US Chess governance policies.
  • Manages non-event contract negotiations.
  • Works with outside counsel on contract review, compliance issues and policy development.


  • Partners with the Executive Board to define strategic direction. Implements programs to carry out strategic goals and policies set by Executive Board. Implements actions of US Chess Board of Delegates.
  • Supports annual meeting activities with direction agenda setting, Delegates Call production, workshop scheduling, post-meeting documentation, and reviews meeting logistics for continuous improvement.
  • Manages the Governance Coordinator.
  • Serves as Staff Liaison to US Chess Committees related to governance, finance, and programs.
  • Represents US Chess in International Chess Federation (FIDE) governance activities, including commission service. Maintains positive working relationship with global chess community.
  • Liaises with State Chapters to offer technical assistance and other guidance.


  • Identifies program areas and assists in the design of new programs.
  • Drives identification of program metrics to allow for program evaluation and modification.
  • Works with Director of Events to drive national event strategy for location, attendance, and financial performance of events. Advise on international event participation, qualification criteria, and budgeting.
  • Manages Director of Programs and offers guidance on program activities.
  • With Director of Programs and Director of Development, ensures US Chess programs are properly funded.

Other Revenue-Generating Activities

  • Supports US Chess fundraising efforts with donor cultivation and stewardship. Manages key donor relationships.
  • Manages the US Chess Director of Development and advises on fundraising strategy.
  • Develops proposals for grant and sponsorship applications.

Outreach and Communication

  • Develops partnerships with external organizations to advance shared mission activities.
  • Serves as an ambassador for US Chess with members, partners, media, and other points of contact.
  • Works with Communications Director on strategic and other messaging


  • Has well-honed skills using standard software packages. (Office 365, Adobe, Zoom)
  • Demonstrates a “can-do” approach to problem-solving and seeks out assistance to get the job done.
  • Has availability to work evenings and weekends on a regular basis.
  • Is available to travel to US Chess events, meetings, and other related activities as well as spend several days each month at the US Chess office in St. Louis, MO. Some international travel is required so an active passport is necessary for this role. The amount of monthly travel varies from one to two weeks, possibly more if trips are performed back-to-back.


Qualifications: The successful candidate will possess strong communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, and must have a demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines. A bachelor’s degree is required; an MBA or other advanced degrees and/or equivalent experience is strongly preferred. At least five (5) years of experience leading a charitable or nonprofit organization is required, as is the management of a staff of more than 20 and prior P&L responsibility.

The successful applicant need not be knowledgeable of the game of chess, but he or she will be expected to become rapidly proficient with the core services of US Chess, infrastructure needs, membership services, ratings services, a network and system of administering the conduct of dozens of competitive tournaments weekly and managing some of the largest chess competitions in the world.

Special Note: The successful candidate need not reside in the vicinity of the US Chess headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The successful candidate may carry out his or her duties from St. Louis or anywhere within the continental United States. The Executive Director will be expected to spend several days each month at the US Chess headquarters.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application: Interested applicants should submit (in PDF format) the following documents to Click here to show email address, using ED Application as the Subject of the Email: (1) a letter of interest, (2) a resume, (3) three professional references, and (4) a writing sample no longer than three pages. US Chess is committed to having an inclusive community, and as an Equal Opportunity Employer, does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, family or marital status, sexual orientation, or chess-playing skills.

Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately, and all applications must be received no later than 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Following a screening by the Executive Board, select applicants can expect to have a virtual interview over Zoom with one or more Executive Board members. Final applicants may be asked to travel to St. Louis at US Chess expense for an in-person interview with the Executive Board. The process will continue until the position is filled.