Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Chief Executive Officer

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The Opportunity

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma), has significant and diverse duties and responsibilities for this nonprofit organization. The position reports to the Board of Directors, and the role requires a leader who is a proven visionary, innovator, and a holistic thinker with demonstrated success in past performance. Sigma’s CEO will be the champion driving Sigma’s new Strategic Plan, working collaboratively with the Board and staff to advance Sigma’s vision. Ultimately, the CEO is responsible for communicating Sigma’s impact, progression, and performance to the Board of Directors and membership.

About Sigma

In its role as the International Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma has been empowering nurse leaders for 101 years. Since its founding in 1922, the Indianapolis-based 501(c)(3) honor society has grown to include over 100,000 members in 600 chapters and institutions. Its members are clinical nurses, academic nurse educators and researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and nurse administrators from across the globe. Its volunteer leaders and staff of nearly 80 full-time employees strive to fulfill Sigma’s vision of transforming global healthcare by connecting and empowering nurse leaders.

Sigma has annual revenues of approximately $14M and has three subsidiaries:

  • Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3)
  • International Honor Society of Nursing Building Corporation, a 501(c)(2)
  • Sigma Marketplace (formerly Nursing Knowledge International, Inc.), a 501(c)(3)

The Building Corporation holds Sigma’s real estate assets, Sigma Marketplace shares and distributes information to the nursing community, and the Foundation holds permanent funds to run programs that connect and empower nurses. Each entity is governed by its own board of directors. Sigma’s governing body includes the House of Delegates (two delegates from each chapter), the board of directors, standing committee chairs, regional chapter coordinators, and past presidents. Sigma’s Board of 11 voting Directors is currently led by President Sandra Bibb, DNSc, RN, FAAN. Sigma’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), serves as a non-voting member of the Board.

The CEO Role


The CEO is responsible for:

  • Implementing Sigma’s recently updated Strategic Plan, its future plans, and contributing to the continuous development of improvements and updates to plans in collaboration with the Board.
  • Communicating the vision, mission, and biennial Organizational Call to Action, and for implementing new approaches to grow and maintain Sigma’s reach and dynamic membership.
  • Analyzing, planning, recommending, and participating in the formulation of tactics to achieve and maintain the mission and vision of Sigma.
  • Establishing priorities and organizing, directing, and making decisions within the existing policies and limits of authority as defined by the Sigma Theta Tau International Board of Directors.
  • Operations that include but are not limited to the management and oversight of Sigma and all its subsidiaries.
  • Directing work of the staff within the existing policies and limits of authority as defined by the Sigma International Board of Directors.
  • The CEO carries out supervisory responsibilities by following the organization’s policies and all applicable local, state, federal, and international laws, rules, and regulations.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Within the limits of the bylaws, Governance Manual, and established policies, the CEO is responsible for and has commensurate authority to accomplish the responsibilities and duties summarized below.


  • Positions oneself as a consistent leader in the global nursing and healthcare communities following best practices.
  • Continually fosters a culture that encourages collaboration between departments, recognizes positive contributions and outcomes, and inspires a business-oriented, professional, results-driven environment across the organization.
  • Implements Board policies and procedures and builds support for Board decisions amongst staff.

Communication and Collaboration

  • Maintains open communication with the organization’s Board of Directors, relaying mandatory reports and all significant information with appropriate conduct necessary to continually function properly and make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner. Maintains regular and ongoing communication to build strong relationships with the entire Board.
  • Proactively monitors and protects Sigma from threats to its global reputation, brand recognition, market positioning and external competition, fiscal stability, membership growth, legal and regulatory concerns, and other relevant forces. Communicates challenges to the BOD, enlists appropriate stakeholders to assess and intervene, and recommends and implements strategies to protect Sigma.
  • Works collaboratively with the Board of Directors to develop and implement a Strategic Plan that uses objective outcome measures to monitor, progress and accomplish goals.
  • Presents strategic options and plans for the organization’s impact and gains Board approval to carry out innovative work of the mission of the organization.
  • Consistently informs the Board of Directors of any significant internal or external changes and advises on the most preferred solutions and strategies to meet the goals, objectives, mission, vision, and Strategic Plan.
  • Attends all Board meetings and subsidiary Board meetings and provides reports and updates on staff, project, and programs including progress and challenges for the organization.
  • Works closely and collaboratively with the Board and its committees to build consensus, provide reminders of outstanding deliverables, demonstrate support, and ensure ongoing communication of risks, issues, and successes.

Advancing Sigma

  • Advances Sigma through membership gain and financial strength with an understanding that these are keys to Sigma’s future growth and sustainability.
  • Plays a critical role in strategic relationship development as well as maintaining and managing individuals and businesses that contribute positively to the organization.
  • Conceptualizes innovative approaches to build the organization’s reach to the nursing and healthcare arenas, membership, and brand awareness.
  • Serves as a primary change agent in Sigma, who, together with the rest of the leadership team, establishes alignment at all levels of the organization, while encouraging speed, agility, and accountability, as well as anchoring transformation through bold and rapid decision-making through the support of the Board.
  • Initiates, cultivates, and extends relationships with the organization’s individual, foundation, and corporate supporters portfolio.

Representing Sigma

  • Represents the organization and serves as a spokesperson at events, conferences, and partnership meetings. These meetings will be divided up between the CEO, Board President, and Board President-Elect. When faced with a decision to attend events in person, consideration should be given to the significance and benefits to the organization of attending in person, whether there is an option of virtual attendance, and the financial implications for the organization.
  • Travels up to 40% nationally and internationally to represent Sigma.
  • Promotes the image of the Board and communicates it to the membership and public. Reviews and approves all key external messaging to preserve the organization’s brand.

Management, Oversight, Strategic Direction

  • Manages and oversees all organizational projects and programs. Program details are communicated to the Board with a sufficiently appropriate business rationale prior to and throughout implementation.
  • Applies innovative thinking and performance measurements to analyze and support strategic decision-making.
  • Manages and oversee all organizational operations, including but not limited to finance, marketing, website maintenance, public relations, human resources, sales, and national/international community outreach and fundraising.
  • Oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensures its overall successful long-term operations and sustainability as an organization.
  • Builds and maintains motivation and satisfaction amongst staff, fosters creativity and innovation, creates a safe professional and motivating environment, and facilitates organizational change in accordance with the Strategic Plan.
  • Manages human resources with a significant focus on staff retention, onboarding, satisfaction, talent development, mentoring, productivity, and ensuring staff meet performance expectations within the organization.
  • Abides by the policies and procedures of the Sigma Governance Manual and ensures the same adherence by all staff.
  • Plans and monitors long and short-term business and outreach initiatives.
  • The CEO or designee perform the duties as a Nurse Planner in the Provider Unit and is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating continuing education activities to award ANCC contact hours per ANCC criteria, which will extend to the Sigma chapters.

Budget and Finance

  • Prudently directs resources and manages all financials within budget guidelines.
  • Ensures maximum resource utilization, budget management, and maintenance of the organization in a positive, consistent financial position.
  • Reviews monthly financial reports and collaboratively shares the organization’s treasurer report at Board meetings. In collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the CEO develops strategies to address negative budget variances.
  • Leads process of making budget recommendations to the Board of Directors and annually submits to the Board for approval. Ensures that staff abide by the budget that is approved by the Board of Directors, resulting in a yearly balanced budget.
  • Presents a balanced yearly budget to the Board of Directors that demonstrates fiduciary concern and fiscal integrity for the organization.
  • Confirms the organization’s financial stability and sustainability by maintaining healthy cash flow and adequate reserves.


  • Responsible for overseeing and executing the fundraising activities of the organization, which includes planning appropriate strategies as well as implementation of various regulations and tactics.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the organization’s strategic priorities and financial needs, while cultivating donor and investor relationships, submitting donor proposals, seeking novel and innovative opportunities for fundraising, and maintaining the organization’s fundraising records.
  • Ensures high visibility to prospects and the public and builds interest in engaged philanthropy.

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Proven leader with 10+ years of experience in an Executive Director, COO, or senior-level position within an organization of comparable complexity.
  • Experience implementing strategic plans, working with Board and staff to manage change and expectations.
  • Strong business acumen and proven history of delivering visionary, compassionate, energetic, transformational, outcome-driven leadership at the senior executive level. Intellectual resourcefulness, sound judgment, industry knowledge, adds value to the Research & Development process, ability to drive innovation, and ambassadorial skills.
  • Leadership qualities include proven ability and experience in fundraising, human resources, sales, marketing, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Sets high standards and gets exceptional results, superior analytical skills, communication skills, drives change, develops, and empowers a high-talent team, creates a sense of urgency, and is a role model to the organization.
  • Personal characteristics are understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, having stamina, demonstrating competency and leadership, resilience, and being a continuous learner.
  • Possesses nonprofit organization expertise and involvement in working with diverse groups.
  • Embraces passionately inclusiveness, diversity, and equity in all groups and programs.
  • Strong preference for candidates with familiarity/experience operating in international business endeavors/settings.
  • Excellent oral, written, and public speaking skills and a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Proven experience executing organizational growth and leading a successful nonprofit organization of similar or larger size.
  • Experience and success in motivating, recruiting, developing, retaining, and mentoring high-performance, mission-driven, and results-oriented teams.
  • Extensive association or organizational experience in an executive leadership position that would complement Sigma’s future success, growth, and advancement.
  • Experience in working collaboratively with a volunteer, nonprofit Board of Directors.
  • Candidates from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.
  • As Sigma is an inclusive international organization based in the US, a fluent English speaker is desired.
  • Relocation to Indianapolis is desired but other locations will be considered.


  • Certification in Association Management (CAE) preferred.
  • Advanced degree preferred.
  • Registered/Professional Nurse preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and current resume (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here. The cover letter should outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

Sterling Martin Associates is committed to providing equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, political affiliation, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.