Interim Executive Directors: The Power in the Middle

Publication date: 
May, 2008

Poorly managed transitions can erode organizational effectiveness and service quality, and even put a nonprofit out of business. However, nonprofits that receive the proper support and understand the transition process use these periods of change as opportunities for growth and improvements. This monograph describes the benefits and basics of using an interim executive director in a leadership transition. Interim executive directors are highly skilled managers who temporarily take the helm of an organization (four to eight months on average), help the board and staff address important systems and capacity issues, and lay the groundwork for the permanent leader’s success.