Director of Contemplative Based Resilience

December 2022 | Hybrid / Garrison, NY
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The Garrison Institute seeks a mission-oriented Director of Contemplative Based Resilience to lead programs, build partnerships, and expand their ability to support our nation’s most vulnerable frontline workers.

About The Garrison Institute

aerial view of garrison instituteThe Garrison Institute was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization that explores the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. Since its founding, the Institute has made the case for the relevance of contemplative-based approaches to social and environmental change, and demonstrated that they can be applied in practical, evidence-based ways while meeting scientific rigor and providing measurable, pragmatic results. The Garrison Institute provides several offerings and programs, including:

  • Contemplative-Based Resilience: The Contemplative Based Resilience Project (CBR) was created in response to the need to address the chronic and acute stress that frontline professionals experience as they provide care for the most vulnerable in our society. The CBR Project teaches the ABCs of Resilience: Awareness, Balance, and Connection with courses and coaching that provides practical skills and tools to maintain mental health and well-being. Grounded in cutting edge evidence-based research, the CBR Project was designed by experts in trauma informed care, humanitarian aid work, and psychology.
  • The Garrison Institute Fellowship: Through monthly retreats, lectures from visiting scholars, Fellowship Forums, curated research and literature, and intra-fellowship collaborations, our Fellows develop relationships with one another as well as experts in the field, expand their individual understanding and methodologies, and organize meaningful offerings – such as public workshops and conference convenings – that have the potential to make long-term impact on communities and systems.
  • Pathways to Planetary Health: Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH) is the Garrison Institute’s signature environmental initiative, building upon nearly two decades of experience developing practical, scalable solutions to global problems by integrating science, mindfulness, and morality. With a particular focus on environmental change and its health impacts, PPH hosts public forums, leadership programs, and courses for executives in the financial and business sectors, all in pursuit of planetary health.
  • Compassionate Leadership: It’s possible to be a successful leader – both in business and in life – while building a more sustainable, compassionate society. The novel challenges of today require a novel approach, one that combines deep introspection and compassion. Learning how to hone those qualities puts you in a position to succeed as a leader.

Through its retreats and programs, more than 100,000+ individuals have learned contemplative-based methods for building personal resiliency and transforming their approach to work in the world. The Institute has a team of over 20 permanent staff with an annual operating budget of approximately $4 million. The Institute is housed in a beautifully renovated former monastery on 90 acres overlooking the Hudson River an hour north of New York City. To learn more, visit

About the Contemplative Based Resilience Project

group of people meditating in a circleThe Contemplative Based Resilience Project (CBR) was created in response to the need to address the chronic and acute stress that frontline professionals experience. The CBR Project offers courses for society’s “unsung heroes” – the people who serve and support our most underserved and vulnerable populations in society.

Grounded in cutting edge, evidence-based research, the CBR Project provides an integrative and contemplative approach, and was designed by experts in trauma care, humanitarian aid work, psychology, meditation, mindful body work, and educational pedagogy. The CBR Project teaches the ABCs of Resilience: Awareness, Balance, and Connection with courses and coaching that provide practical skills to maintain mental health and well-being. These courses are available in multiple formats – virtually and in-person.

The CBR Project presents a compelling opportunity for funders to recognize the importance of lifting up our society’s frontline workers and investing in their wellbeing in order to invest in our society as a whole. Garrison’s CBR faculty and staff are currently providing the ABCs of Resilience course to the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as other international, national, and community-based agencies. The CBR International Project focuses on delivery to international aid workers, human rights advocates, and journalists, among others.

About the Position

people outdoors enjoying metal art installationThe Director of the CBR Project will be responsible for the oversight and management of the Project within the United States. The ideal Director shares the Institute’s vision for integrating contemplative methodologies and scientific research into work for social transformation. The Director will be self-directed and highly collegial with an entrepreneurial spirit, and will have proven experience as a project leader with the professional background and drive to advance the CBR Project’s vision and work. The Director will provide leadership focused on the development of trainings and coaching for front line professionals and leaders, while establishing and strengthening partnerships and relationships with various agencies and organizations with the goal of enhanced resilience and mitigation of worker stress.

The Director will oversee a full time CBR Project Manager, and report to the Executive Director, with direct access to Diana Rose, Co-Founder of the Garrison Institute. They will also work with co-founding faculty and Garrison advisors, including Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned teacher and author, Gayla Stiles of New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, Dan Goleman, New York Times journalist and best-selling author, and Dan Siegel, founding Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA School of Medicine.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership, Strategy & Partnership Development

  • Provide strong visionary leadership in creating and implementing a multi-year plan for the US-based CBR Project.
  • Determine and measure short- and long-term benchmarks and outcomes.
  • Map out the sector landscape to identify, develop, cultivate, and manage strategic partnerships with key organizations, agencies, and networks for the purpose of program growth and effectiveness.
  • Align with the International CBR team to assure that CBR’s overarching mission for global impact is achieved.

Program Design & Implementation

  • Facilitate a dynamic environment of learning, sharing, and creative energy to inform, lead, and inspire new ways to apply the CBR Project’s work in challenging work environments.
  • Access and fully utilize the scientific body of knowledge on resilience, psychological trauma, contemplative practices, and direct service work to continually evolve the theoretical basis for trainings and advocacy.
  • Implement training programs for first responders, front line social sector workers in healthcare and government, as well as customized trainings for specific agencies. These trainings will include a portable “suitcase model” for off-site programming.
  • Working with the Head of CBR Faculty, build out a talented pool of trainers and faculty to deliver CBR courses across agencies and in varied formats including in-person, virtual, and hybrid settings and develop a robust faculty training process, curriculum development, along with methods of evaluation.
  • In collaboration with the CBR Review Committee, refine and update the CBR materials to embed relevant adaptations and recent research.
  • Identify and collaborate with academic entities to continue data collection and evidence-based research to inform concept papers and theory of change.
  • Continue development of existing evaluation tools to gather timely and actionable feedback from all stakeholders. Use evaluation findings to design action plans for program improvement and to build knowledge and excellence of developments and trends in the field.

Management and Operations

  • Oversee all CBR Project operations ensuring that internal systems and processes for tracking program, financial, fundraising, and operational data are coordinated and streamlined for maximum efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency.
  • Participate as a member of the Garrison Senior Management Team
  • Provide management and oversight to support CBR staff with a focus on professional development.
  • Monitor and administer the CBR Project budget in collaboration with the Finance and Development teams.
  • Work and collaborate with the Chief Digital and Technology Officer to develop, test, refine, and evaluate virtual and on-demand digital CBR offerings.

Resource Development and Communications

  • Working with the Development team, create a comprehensive and adaptable fundraising strategy to maintain and expand CBR’s revenue streams, including drafting LOIs and proposals, and writing funding/program reports.
  • Through effective cultivation and stewardship, engage current and potential donors including, but not limited to individual donors, corporate contributions and sponsorships, grants, government funding, and earned income strategies.
  • Serve as the “face” of the CBR Project for the domestic work, promoting accomplishments, findings, and vision to engage a range of audiences and stakeholders, including donors, potential funders, policy makers, media entities, peer organizations, and partners.
  • Together with the Communications and Marketing team, develop and integrate a set of communications tools for promoting the CBR Project’s unique brand to include the creation and updating of content for the website, marketing the use of the Care for Caregivers app, and other digital/social communication venues.

Key Qualifications

The ideal candidate should demonstrate most, if not all of the following:

  • 10-20+ years of related experience working in the social sector field.
  • Deep, personal and professional commitment to the mission and vision of the CBR Project.
  • Experience with high-quality and evidence-based contemplative practices, and the ability to communicate that research to diverse stakeholders.
  • Innovative and strategic thinker capable of developing and implementing retreats/trainings and building strong rapport and relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Proven leadership and management experience with excellent critical thinking, decision-making, and team building skills
  • Commitment to working from a trauma-informed lens providing service delivery which reflects and responds to diversity, equity, and inclusion across position role and responsibilities.
  • Accomplished fundraiser at ease in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts, and building partnerships with foundations and other strategic partners.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications abilities, including effective listening and presentation skills for diverse audiences both locally and nationally.
  • Highest levels of integrity and professionalism, with ability and willingness to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities as well as the ability to address and solve problems or issues as they arise.
  • Very strong interpersonal, collaborative, and working relationship skills with proven ability to build networks and partnerships.
  • Thoughtful ability to work with and respect culturally diverse stakeholders.
  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in Social Work or a related field such as social service, public health, or psychology is preferred but not required
  • Willingness to travel mostly within the U.S. and the ability to conduct and attend various trainings often held on evenings and weekends.

The Garrison Institute is committed to being is an equal-opportunity employer. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. All applications will be handled confidentially.

As of 2021, the Garrison Institute has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for staff and attendees of onsite retreats and events. Click here for more information:

Candidates are strongly encouraged to provide a cover letter accompanying a resume and two writing samples. Please include what interests you about the mission, what has motivated you to apply and why interested you are in working for the Garrison Institute.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

William Weber and Mel Witman

Development Guild DDI

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