The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

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Executive Director

The Opportunity

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is conducting a search for its next Executive Director. SMPTE is the global society of media professionals, technologists and engineers working together to drive the industry forward. From the early days of entertainment technology to the latest digital media breakthroughs, the brightest minds in the industry have found their community in SMPTE, the home of creative technology. Its mission is to drive the quality and evolution of motion pictures, television, and professional media through its global society of technologists, developers, and creatives by setting industry standards, providing relevant education, and fostering an engaged membership community. The organization has 5,000 individual members and 200 corporate members represented across 28 sections and 28 student chapters in 64 countries.

The Executive Director is accountable for executing SMPTE’s vision and mission and securing the future of the organization by serving its members’ and customers’ evolving needs. The Executive Director is a self-motivated, innovative, out-of-the-box thinker, with modern leadership and business skills, ensuring that SMPTE and its 15 staff members perform optimally in accordance with the values and guiding principles of an internationally recognized nonprofit professional media technology organization with global perspectives.

The Executive Director reports to the SMPTE President and in consultation with the Executive Committee of the SMPTE Board of Governors (Board), collaborates as a trusted advisor in setting the goals for the organization, commits to their achievement, and directs the activities necessary to ensure success. The position benefits from experience in nonprofit business models and the digital media industry sector and requires leadership in identifying the right initiatives to prioritize, effective operations management with sound fiscal judgment to perform efficiently and effectively, and business development acumen through programs, services, partnerships, grants, philanthropy and more.

The Executive Director must be able to develop a future-oriented, creative, and skilled staff and work collaboratively with the Board, SMPTE’s many volunteers, and external partners to grow and maintain relevance and the fiscal health of the organization through new and expanded revenue streams.

SMPTE’s headquarters are in White Plains, NY, about an hour north of New York. While a candidate located in the mid-Atlantic region would be preferred, SMPTE is willing to consider all qualified candidates located in their membership centers. Extensive domestic and international travel is required.


SMPTE delivers value to its stakeholders through standardization, innovative programs, education, and membership.

Standards: As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE’s more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines touch nearly every piece of motion-imaging content consumed by billions of viewers worldwide. SMPTE standards ensure this content is seen and heard in the highest possible quality on any display screen, while they enable repeatable workflows for content creators and distributors, and the manufacturers who support them. By providing structure, organization, and interoperability, SMPTE has helped advance the motion-imaging industry through all its major transitions, from the advent of sound and color to the shift from analog to digital formats, receiving an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work.

Most recently, in 2021, SMPTE was recognized for its work in the SMPTE ST 2110 standard, work that is revolutionizing how content is delivered digitally within the broadcast ecosystem. To date, SMPTE’s case includes nearly a dozen Emmys for its technical work and three acknowledgements from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). SMPTE has been the innovator of some of the most iconic standards for high-quality content, as well as those that are facilitating the transition to an IP-based multiscreen world.

Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS): RIS was launched in 2021 as a concept to address industry needs in a particular domain, as well as to test a new business model. RIS is meant to deliver real results within one year with all outcomes becoming freely available to industry. RIS is supported financially by its proponents, who drive the work direction and pay for a contract project manager to ensure progress. The first RIS initiative addresses virtual production. Outcomes can take the forms of educational efforts, interoperability/standards work, and more.

Education: SMPTE offers a wide range of educational offerings, technical conferences and exhibitions, blog posts, webcasts, and the renowned SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. The organization champions local and global forums, section meetings and other events that offer invaluable knowledge and access to a network of mentors and colleagues.

Membership: SMPTE fosters a diverse and engaged membership from the technology and creative communities, encouraging and rewarding volunteer participation in leadership roles. Its members span the globe, and while SMPTE’s resources help all its members in their day-to-day jobs, they provide a special advantage for younger and mid-level professionals who are looking to jumpstart their careers and enrich their working lives.

SMPTE Value Proposition

For our members, we provide, promote, and nourish the technical motion picture, television, and professional media communities through our membership, education, and standards activities.

For our partners, we provide the resources, expertise, and accreditation to support their cause to further advance the motion picture, television, and professional media industries.

For the industry, we define, manage, and promote the technical standards and specifications by which our industry operates, educating the society on those technologies to maximize the quality and ubiquity of the global motion picture, television, and professional media industries.

The organization’s revenues are forecast at $2.9M in 2021, with $4.5M in reserves. SMPTE’s 15-person staff works out of its office in White Plains, NY. Since the pandemic, the team has been primarily working remotely, with some staff now coming more often into the office per week.

The Executive Director Role

The Executive Director reports to the President and to the Board of Governors and serves as an ex officio member of all Board committees and special committees to provide guidance. The Executive Director will have the following priorities, duties, and responsibilities:

Strategic Growth Leadership

  • Uses detailed knowledge of SMPTE operations and dynamics to advise the Board on viable short- and long-term strategic options to innovate and effectively contribute to SMPTE’s success.
  • Uses data and analytics to support strategy development and execution.
  • Provides forward-looking insights to the Board, ensuring the successful future of the organization.
  • Develops a clear understanding of members’ needs and values in a radically changing market, and strategically re-evaluates the products and services needed to serve an industry undergoing transformation.
  • Innovates SMPTE into a modern enterprise using current digital tools for membership and volunteer tracking, initiative management, and marketing outreach to SMPTE members and beyond to open opportunities for new growth and revenue initiatives.
  • Identifies and executes new surplus-generating opportunities such as the Rapid Industry Solutions.

Staff and Volunteer Leadership

  • Clearly communicates to the Board, SMPTE’s current and targeted future members, and customers.
  • Develops and leads staff for effective performance.
  • Represents the organization internally to SMPTE membership.
  • Inspires, organizes, engages and motivates volunteers and their involvement in SMPTE.
  • Engages in proactive succession planning of volunteers in the governance framework.
  • Sets goals and metrics for third-party consultants,
  • Reviews and guides project performance with accountability metrics for results.
  • Manages staff, holds accountability for staff results, including goals and metrics, position assignments, staff development, succession planning, performance reviews, appropriate delegation of authority and responsibility, and compensation to best enable the fulfillment of objectives.
  • Ensures employee adherence to highest ethical standards and in all instances represents SMPTE in a manner that reflects positively on the organization.
  • Maintains the employee handbook in compliance with all applicable laws and core values of SMPTE in consultation with the SMPTE Human Resources Committee.
  • Identifies and develops SMPTE future volunteer leadership and supports current leadership.


  • Advocates to existing and prospective members, customers, volunteers, partners, staff, press, relevant standards and industry organizations, the global media, and the entertainment industry.
  • Establishes and maintains positive and constructive relationships with SMPTE members and sections worldwide, volunteers, staff, and industry organizations and associations, collaborating to strengthen and ensure future viability of SMPTE.
  • Externally acts as an influential negotiator and evangelist representing SMPTE’s interests and role as the home of media professionals, technologists, and engineers.

Financial Leadership

  • Manages Board-approved financial plans and prepares surplus-generating budgets and forecasts including innovative revenue generating initiatives for Board approval.
  • Establishes and maintains policies and actions to ensure the fiscal viability of all SMPTE organizations including controls and maintenance of all association records and files required for ongoing business needs.
  • Maintains SMPTE’s accounts and supports the work of the Finance Vice President as described in the Governance Operations Manual.
  • Has legal responsibility for the financial records of SMPTE, including being the registered authority on all accounts, and working collaboratively with the auditors and other third-party financial advisors hired by the Board.

Operational Leadership

Serves as the lead staff executive for SMPTE’s subsidiaries including the SMPTE-IBC LLC, the SMPTE Registration Authority LLC, and SMPTE, Ltd. In the UK.

  • Represents SMPTE and its interests on the IBC Partnership Board.
  • Ensures compliance with applicable laws and tax obligations, domestically and internationally.
  • Ensures SMPTE activities are managed in accordance with governance documents, policies, and guiding principles.
  • Oversees and improves functional operations efficiency and effectiveness consistent with modern governance principles.

Candidate Profile

Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree is a plus. Emphasis on business management.
  • Media technology background is a plus.
  • Extensive work experience as an organizational leader in a senior management position.
  • Experience and skill working with and facilitating volunteer Boards is a plus.
  • Familiar with international media landscape with expertise in adjusting to global sensitivities and cultures.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, with the ability to research, prepare, and deliver cogent presentations to diverse audiences including technologists, business leaders, members, volunteers, press, and industry representatives.
  • Creative, forward-thinking marketing skills.
  • Strong, collaborative team-building and strategic management skills.
  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, resource allocation, management and delegation, program development, task facilitation, and constructive review.
  • Strong financial growth and management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret financial statements, business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations, particularly within the global professional media industry.
  • A track record of successfully creating new revenue streams and improving overall financial results.
  • Technologically proficient in the modern workplace. Strong knowledge of social media opportunities, and their uses to promote the organization, as well as virtual meeting and communication platforms to effectively conduct the ongoing business and activities of the society.
  • Proven ability to manage remote teams, and work in hybrid-workplace conditions. Proficient in an electronic work environment and able to use available tools for communications, information management, and analysis.
  • Familiar with modern facilitation skills such as Lean Start-Up, Design Thinking, Six Sigma or similar.
  • Ability to speak English fluently for business purposes and travel to events, meetings, and conferences as needed. Multi-language capabilities are a plus.

Personal Characteristics

In addition to the qualities listed above, the Executive Director must possess these characteristics:

  • Strategic and visionary; takes an innovative approach to managing resources and opportunities.
  • Engaged in the long-term success of the industry.
  • Dependable, ethical, emotionally intelligent, and self-aware.
  • Member-focused servant leader with a commitment to teamwork.
  • Open-minded and inclusive, seeking and considering ideas and suggestions from others before making decisions.
  • Manages change using a transparent, creative approach that boosts staff morale and team building, and enhances programs.
  • Personable, approachable, and available to staff, Board, members, and other stakeholders.
  • Positive attitude and inspirational personality with a high energy level.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity in a rapidly changing environment; resilient and adaptable.
  • Demonstrates commitment to continued professional growth and development for themselves and staff.
  • Ability to handle and communicate multiple, complex issues in an effective manner.


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

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here. You may also contact David Martin, CEO and Managing Partner, at [email protected] or Daniel Borschke, Client Partner, at [email protected]. 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.

SMPTE is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer committed to inclusion and cultural diversity in the workplace. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other protected class.