Chief Executive Officer

Nia Tero

About Nia Tero

Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and movements worldwide committed to the security of Indigenous rights and territory. Its international governing body, advisory council, leadership, and staff are of diverse non-Indigenous and Indigenous identities and life experiences. Nia Tero views this diversity of world views and experience as a source of its strength and ability to work in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in territory while developing a model as a bridging organization that values Indigenous knowledge, upholds the right of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, and is committed to intentionally building an inclusive organizational culture guided by Indigenous wisdom, practices, and protocols.

Nia Tero provides lasting support to Indigenous Peoples to protect their homelands from colonization and destruction. Nia Tero works in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples who sustain thriving territories and cultures to strengthen guardianship of Earth and all beings. Their vision is of an Earth where Indigenous guardianship of thriving homelands and waters is enabled everywhere possible.

To contribute to this, over the next decade they will uphold a network of place-anchored partnerships with Indigenous Peoples that demonstrate the power of Indigenous guardianship to sustain a vibrant Earth. Building upon and working alongside this network, they will also support efforts to expand recognition and support for Indigenous guardianship globally.

In 2017 a small group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders decided to launch a new, highly diverse organization devoted to supporting Indigenous Peoples in their efforts to protect their ways of life and their territories. The impetus to start a new organization came from the founders’ realization that humanity’s fate is directly dependent upon the ability of national governments, and the public, to support Indigenous territorial rights and embrace Indigenous Peoples’ understanding of the reciprocal relationship between all beings and the Earth. The organization was founded with an inherently different approach than its peer environmental and social justice-driven NGOs – one that centers Indigenous Peoples and their worldview from inception – not speaking for, but rather in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in support of the work already being done through Indigenous leadership to safeguard the Earth.

Nia Tero’s work is deeply grounded in the wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols of Indigenous Peoples in their territories. Its North Star is the foundational principle of reciprocity: the interdependency and relationship among the Earth, humanity, and all other species. Across all of Nia Tero’s work, they honor and uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Nia Tero means “Our Earth” in Esperanto, a language created in the late 1800s to promote peace and harmony. Esperanto is a second language to all, first to none, allowing people who speak different native languages to communicate while retaining their own language and cultural identity. This concept of unity while respecting cultural identity embodies the heart of Nia Tero.

The Role

Reporting directly to the Nia Tero Board, the CEO will work in partnership with the Board, Advisory Council, and staff to address the following key priorities: build an infrastructure to support the work; cultivate and ground Indigenous cultural values into the internal culture of the organization; update and lead strategy; fundraise, mindful of the organization’s positionality in the broader ecosystem of Indigenous land rights; grow the adoption of the Nia Tero model internally and externally; and increase impact through partnerships and as a bridgebuilding organization. The CEO will be mindful to not speak on behalf of Indigenous Peoples and instead engage in active partnerships and elevate the voices of Indigenous Peoples.

The role may be based in Seattle, WA or elsewhere, with expected travel to program sites and remaining offices.

The CEO will:

  • Build an infrastructure to support the mission of Nia Tero, creating internal communications, structures, and processes that respect Indigenous values, cultural practices, and ways of knowing, while also allowing for scaling as needed.
  • Infuse organizational cultural values and protocols with Indigenous cultural values and protocols.
  • Cultivate a work environment of inclusivity recognizing the diverse, passionate, and skilled global staff; prioritize transparency, reciprocity, reflection, and openness.
  • Contribute to the creation and implementation of the strategy to meet Nia Tero’s mission, bringing the knowledge and skills to translate and articulate the approach across diverse constituents to carry out its execution, including inspiring and gathering the Nia Tero team in the strategy adoption.
  • Leverage existing fundraising relationship and building out new relationships with potential funders and policymakers.
  • Grow the brand internally and externally as a global organization.
  • Increase Nia Tero’s impact, in part through upping organizational capacity so that the organization’s volume and speed of funding distribution aligns with the need.
  • Educate funders and advocate for funding to Indigenous Peoples broadly and in relationships with funders.

Candidate Profile

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Deep experience and trust with Indigenous Peoples on a global scale

  • Demonstrated experience working among Indigenous Peoples, with an openness to the range of issues addressed (i.e. territory defense, land rights, climate change, environmental justice, health, education, etc.).
  • Understanding of the diversity of cultural practices and norms among different Indigenous Peoples at a global scale; lives in reciprocity with the land and all beings and generations.
  • Ability to communicate and engage with Indigenous Peoples with authenticity and deep relationship building.
  • Strong reputation among Indigenous Peoples for Indigenous values-centered work.
  • Understands the diversity of and differences in political realities for Indigenous Peoples across the globe.

Bridge builder with experience moving between different systems of power

  • Flexible communication style that can incorporate storytelling, policy advocacy, and demonstration of impact to a wide range of constituents (i.e. Indigenous-led organizations, institutional funders, policymakers, etc.).
  • Ability to weave relationships among Indigenous Peoples, nonprofits, governments, high net-worth individuals, and foundations with a holistic and integrated perspective of the mission.
  • Recognition and respect for the self-determination rights of Indigenous Peoples with particular attention to not be the voice for Indigenous Peoples but rather act in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous-led organizations.
  • Intrapersonal awareness and interpersonal sensitivity, adept code-switching, and cross-cultural competency in building relationships across difference.

Relationship-builder with high fundraising capacity

  • Ability to build and maintain authentic relationships with people from diverse cultures.
  • High capacity to fundraise and build authentic relationships that value and respect different cultures.
  • Committed to the mission with unwavering respect for the knowledge and capacity of Indigenous Peoples to sustain their territories when guardianship is secured from external threats.
  • Experience working with philanthropic organizations with an understanding of how to steward institutional funders and relationships with high net-worth individuals.
  • Knowledge of the philanthropy ecosystem with the ability to navigate relevant governmental regulations.
  • Ability to speak English.

Proven and effective manager and organizational leader

  • Demonstrated management experience at a senior leadership level with responsibility for full-time professional staff and budget management.
  • Problem solver with an inclination to break down siloes and create high connectivity within the organization.
  • Consensus builder who values Indigenous ways of knowing and being, seeks out the wisdom of those around them, and communicates transparently on decision-making processes.
  • Ability to manage an organization in a cross-cultural national, hemispheric, or international context.

Strategic implementor and executor

  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing strategy at an organization-wide level.
  • Ability to listen and incorporate diverse perspectives to shape strategy, with a grounding in Indigenous values and perspectives.
  • Ability to leverage the strengths of staff, Board, Advisory Council, partners, and other relationships in service to strategic priorities.
  • Demonstrated experience in allocating the appropriate resources and creating infrastructure to support a strategic plan.

Humble, open, inspiring, warm, inclusive, transparent, relationship-oriented communicator

  • Ability to inspire different constituents while remaining authentic to who they are; knowledge about the diversity of Indigenous Peoples and an ability to code switch based on audience and context.
  • Engagement of others with humility, warmth, and inclusivity in private and public settings.
  • Ability to communicate with transparency as a way of building trust with constituents.
  • Openness to new ideas and different forms of knowledge; ability to accept coaching and fully embrace the diversity of the organization.

Compensation & Benefits

Nia Tero is dedicated to fair and equitable compensation for its staff. They aim to pay a competitive and market-based salary based on the responsibilities and requirements of the role. The salary for this position is $400-600K USD annually. The compensation program is U.S.-based and pay ranges are representative of compensation in the U.S. market. For candidates to be located outside of the U.S., compensation will be determined based on the applicable local regional market. The range for a specific location will be discussed in screening conversations.

This is a full-time permanent position and qualifies for healthcare benefits (medical, dental and vision), retirement (401k), and paid time off (including vacation leave, sick leave, and personal days).


To apply for the position, please send a resume and cover letter to

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