Chief Executive Officer, The Carter Center

  • Full Time
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Applications have closed

Website The Carter Center

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The Carter Center is a global leader in human rights, focused on peace, health and alleviation of human suffering. Founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, The Carter Center has saved and enhanced countless lives in over 80 countries. The Center seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. It receives over $300 million a year in cash, pledges and in-kind support.

Today the world faces unprecedented challenges to human rights, peace and health. Political polarization, eroding democratic principles, climate change, human migration, wars and human rights violations are proliferating. Addressing these and other significant issues calls for fresh approaches and adaptive strategies.

The Carter Center is poised to enter a new era of impact. The Center is transitioning from a founder-led organization to one that is guided by the founders’ principles. The next CEO will build on a strong foundation, focusing the Center’s unique capacities and principles on critical current and emerging issues.

The next CEO will lead The Carter Center forward in ways that make the greatest possible difference. Building on the significant progress made by previous CEOs, Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters, CEO since 2014, has continued to strengthen the Center internally and externally and prepare it for the next phase of contribution. Amb. Peters has announced plans to retire during 2020, and to support the CEO transition.

The CEO will bring executive leadership, strategic acumen and ideas to propel the Center forward while embracing the timeless principles of the founders. The CEO’s leadership will engender renewed bold, clear direction.

A solid foundation supports The Carter Center’s future. The Center’s next accomplishments will build upon strengths that include:
• A differentiated record of success in health and peacekeeping.
• A very substantial endowment.
• A partnership with Emory University that dates from the Center’s inception.
• A committed Board of Trustees, 1,500 global staff and tens of thousands of financial supporters.
• A culture oriented to action, problem solving and big challenges.

The Carter Center is a pioneering force for good. The Center created the field of international election observation and remains at the forefront of conflict resolution, democracy and peace building. The Center has almost eradicated Guinea worm, eliminated other debilitating diseases, and reduced the stigma of mental illness, preventing and alleviating suffering for millions.

A nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts, advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity, preventing diseases and improving mental health care. As an organization co-founded by President Carter, who made human rights a central focus of U.S. foreign and domestic policies, the Center must continue to defend and advance universal human rights and make the United States a global champion for sustainable peace.

In its 2019 Strategic Priorities document, The Carter Center commits to being a frontline actor working to resolve persistent conflicts, stem the erosion of human rights and democratic norms and strengthen the rule of law. The Center will continue to be a strong leader in the fight to eliminate and eradicate neglected tropical diseases that disproportionately affect the very poor. The Center plans to prioritize work that benefits women and girls, and to be known for its expertise, data-driven analysis, rigorous monitoring and evaluation and commitment to sustainability. The Center will magnify its impact through ongoing expansion of its network of partners, including governments, communities, local organizations and other NGOs.

The Carter Center is guided by unchanging principles:
• The Center believes that people can improve their own lives when provided with the necessary skills, knowledge, and access to resources.
• The Center emphasizes action and measurable results in the lives of the people it seeks to help.
• The Center values the courage to break new ground, fill vacuums, and address the most difficult problems in the most difficult situations.
• The Center recognizes that solving difficult problems requires careful analysis, relentless persistence, and the recognition that failure is an acceptable risk.
• The Center is non‐partisan and seeks to work in partnership with other organizations from the highest levels of government to local communities.

During 2017-18, the Center received support of over $300 million and allocated 92% to programs. Over 100,000 donors and partners support the work of The Carter Center. Of the resources raised last fiscal year, about $100 million was financial support and over $200 million was essential medicines and other in-kind gifts. The organization has a very substantial endowment, raised to ensure the Center will meet its commitments to those it serves. The Carter Center collaborates with other organizations to carry out its global mission. Partners include Emory University, the International Task Force for Disease Eradication, public and private entities and the communities where it works.

In recent years, progress has included:
• Leading a coalition that has reduced incidence of Guinea worm disease by 99.99 percent, making it likely to be the first human disease since smallpox in 1980 to be eradicated.
• Observing some 107 elections in 39 countries to help establish and strengthen democracies.
• Helping to establish village-based health care delivery systems and capacities in thousands of communities in Africa.
• Furthering avenues to peace in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, the Korean Peninsula, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Middle East.
• Strengthening international standards for human rights and the voices of individuals defending those rights in their communities worldwide.
• Pioneering new public health approaches to preventing or controlling devastating neglected diseases in Africa and Latin America.
• Advancing efforts to improve mental health care and diminish the stigma against people with mental illnesses.

For more about The Carter Center, go to


The CEO will shape the next era of The Carter Center. The CEO will have a substantial record of leadership and accomplishment in relevant global contexts, and will be a compelling, strategic leader with unshakable commitment to human rights and the mission of the Center.

The CEO will:

1. Lead with bold vision and strategic acumen. The CEO will engage with a strong Board and staff, and will lead development of vision, strategy and plans for the future. The CEO will inspire fresh approaches to current and emerging challenges and develop clear strategic direction. The CEO will be an experienced board partner and driver of innovation.

2. Represent and advance The Carter Center. The CEO will be a credible, substantive frontline leader across the Center’s diverse constituencies. The CEO will be a source of expanding networks, synergies, access and leverage. The CEO will be an influential and compelling leader, whose actions and persona amplify the Center’s reputation and relationships.

3. Foster innovation and sustainable impact. The CEO will have or gain deep appreciation for the difference the Center makes in human rights, health and peace. Building on the strengths of the staff and the institution, and factoring in emerging issues, the CEO will lead successful timely conclusion of current initiatives and foster future programming goals. The Center will make big bets and execute boldly, taking judicious risks.

4. Differentiate and grow the organization. The CEO will seek to differentiate and enhance The Carter Center organization and brand in ways that are grounded in the mission. The CEO will enthusiastically engage and value Carter Center supporters and seek ways to deepen their commitment. Over the years, the Center has benefitted from the founders’ passion, engagement and visibility. As it moves forward, the Center may consider marketing, digital and other methods of expanding visibility and support.

5. Deepen and expand partnerships. The CEO will develop productive relationships with Trustees, staff, financial supporters, external partners and program participants. To advance progress in the Center’s mission, the CEO will deepen current relationships and create new strategic partnerships.

6. Lead talent and organizational development. The CEO will have significant executive experience and a track record of building and sustaining high-performing organizations. The CEO will recruit and develop talent, and will build a culture of shared values, aspirations, high standards and accountability.


The ideal CEO candidate is a leader of substance and charisma who has meaningful nonprofit, public service and global experience including in the developing world. The CEO will bring passion, ideals and informed commitment to the work of The Carter Center. The CEO’s assets will include:
• Credibility, integrity and trustworthiness.
• Authentic commitment to human rights, peace, equality and alleviation of suffering.
• Boldness, self-confidence and humility—mission over ego.
• Listening, relationship, communication, diplomatic and negotiation skills.
• A magnetic, likable and energizing presence.
• An inclusive, supportive and participative management style that builds consensus and buy-in.
• Strengths in leading strategy, innovation and technology.

The CEO reports to The Carter Center Board of Trustees, which is led by Board Chair Jason Carter. There are over 200 Carter Center staff based in Atlanta and 1,300 in multiple international locations. The CEO has direct reports that include the Vice Presidents of Operations and Development, Peace, Health and Finance.

The CEO is based at the Carter Presidential Center near downtown Atlanta. The center houses The Carter Center Executive Offices, the Jimmy Carter Museum and Presidential Library, and 35 acres of beautiful gardens that are open to the public.
Atlanta is home to over five million residents and considered among the most dynamic metro areas in the U.S. Regularly cited for its livability, Atlanta ranks in the top five cities nationally for Fortune 500 headquarters. It is home to the world’s busiest airport and major educational institutions including Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University and the country’s largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities.
Nationally prominent public-benefit and nonprofit organizations based in Atlanta include the CDC, the Task Force for Global Health, CARE, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity International, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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