Executive Director, The Song Foundation

The Song Foundation was founded in November 2019 by Dug and Linh Song with resources from the successful sale of Duo Security, a cyber security enterprise specializing in multi-factor authentication, to Cisco. Throughout his career, Dug consistently championed a people-centered approach to business and community impact, guided by the values of mutual respect, ethical behaviors, continual learning, innovation, and organizational excellence. Linh brings a depth of understanding and commitment to supporting the enabling conditions for the success of individuals and communities from her social work background, her board services in the nonprofit community, and her public service work. Together, the Songs embrace an organizational culture characterized by continual learning, adaptation, innovation, and service with authentic joy, candor, and humility.

The role of executive director

  • Strategic Planning/Visioning. Engage the board in a comprehensive, inclusive and creative strategic planning/visioning process that will clarify the philanthropic focus area/s, strategies, goals, and evaluation measures.
  • Philanthropic Educator/Mentor. Provide education, guidance, training, and information on best practices in family philanthropy, governance, and board roles and responsibilities. Educate and mentor the newer generation of philanthropists on the board.
  • Board Relations/Governance. Develop strong, positive working relationships with the board. Work in collaboration with the board in defining and developing the Foundation’s guiding frameworks. Work with the board to determine the most effective governance structures.
  • Programs and Grantmaking. Create and administer grant making programs, policies and procedures that fulfill the mission of the Foundation. Engage in ongoing research and information gathering to ensure the Foundation is making plans about the present and future, understanding and anticipating changes in the landscape particularly in key focus areas. Assess and recommend program ideas and opportunities that align with the mission as well as strategies to achieve them, engaging the board along the way.
  • Partner/Grantee Relations. Develop and maintain strong, positive working relationships with partner/grantee organizations. Develop ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the Foundation’s grantmaking and report back to the board.
  • Budgeting and Fiscal Oversight. Work in partnership with the family office in all matters related to finance and administration. Develop and recommend an annual operating plan and budget to board.
  • Internal Communications. Frame issues for board discussion and decision-making effectively. Develop effective communications protocols. Keep the board regularly informed of progress, developments, and significant events.
  • External Relations. Develop and maintain constructive relationships and strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Serve as an ambassador for the Foundation. Communicate effectively through various channels about the Foundation’s mission and purpose alongside, and in coordination with, family members.
  • Results and Impact. Develop ways to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Foundation’s grantmaking to inform decision-making, and also as a tool for board reporting.


  • A demonstrated track record as a strategic thinker with an equal track record of getting things done and attention to detail.
  • A reputation for being a mature, seasoned professional with excellent judgment and open to feedback and the opinions and ideas of others.
  • Demonstrated work style that is humble and flexible, a low need for public recognition, and a high need to focus on the “work.”
  • A diverse, innovative understanding of philanthropy; a track record of creative, impactful grantmaking; and a demonstrated commitment to and passion for the value of family philanthropy.
  • Impeccable reputation for integrity and judgment, with a demonstrated ability to exercise confidentiality and neutrality in complex and sensitive situations.
  • Ability to empathize with, be sensitive to, and interact positively and appropriately with constituents from widely divergent socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Excellent people skills and the ability to cultivate strong relationships and work successfully in partnerships.
  • Proven ability to drive culture and influence change – inspiring, professional, and credible.
  • Fast, ambitious learner, comfortable with a beginner’s mindset, and open to new ideas.
  • Motivated, organized, efficient self-starter who is able to work well independently.
  • Highly capable writer and articulate and inspiring public speaker. Ability to write succinctly and coherently in a manner that facilitates board discussion and decision-making.
  • Experience starting and running an organization strongly preferred. “Start-up” organizational drive and the ability to seek out and bring innovative ideas and opportunities to the board.
  • Highly skilled in group facilitation and the ability to work in an engaged, creative, and intimate way with the board on philanthropic education, visioning, prioritization, and decision-making.
  • Comfortable working with a family foundation made up of folks who are new to the game. Able to be responsive and accessible to requests for advice, counsel, and guidance from board members.
  • Demonstrated successful experience with planning, budget development, and administration.
  • A history of social activism or demonstrated commitment to meaningful change through challenging and reconfiguring power. Impatient with injustice, motivated by movements, and impelled to drive impact.
  • Experience as a dynamic, diplomatic, mature, and seasoned leader with the ability to inspire, energize, engage, and direct all work toward the Foundation’s goals and objectives.
How To Apply: 

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs, Linh Nguyen, and Britni Russell-Bianchi of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

For the full position description and to apply, please visit: https://npag.com/additional-searches/song-ed

Hiring Organization: 
The Song Foundation
Executive Director
City and State: 
Ann Arbor, MI

The Song Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.