Garrison Institute

Director, Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project

To Apply

Garrison Institute has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Elly Kirschner, Director of Healthcare and Advocacy
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168

Email a  cover letter explaining your interest in working for Garrison Institute together with your resume to:


Please write “Garrison Institute” in the subject line of your emailed application


Garrison Institute is looking for a Director to oversee, manage and grow one of their signature programs for caregivers, the Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Project, in the United States. CBR supports frontline workers by teaching them the ABCs of resilience: Awareness, Balance and Connection through trainings that provide practical skills and tools to maintain mental health and well-being – in effect, helping direct service professionals “be well to serve well”.  As we have witnessed with the coronavirus pandemic, the critical need for this project could not be more palpable and urgent.

Garrison Institute was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization that explores the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. A thought leader and convener, the Institute drives its mission through learning programs, trainings, and retreats that transform how participants address specific civil society and environmental issues. These programs and retreats have reached over 75,000 agents of change and equipped them with rigorous, innovative, and introspective tools and approaches to help participants better navigate our complex world.

Since its founding, the Institute has made the case for the relevance of contemplative-based approaches to social and environmental change, and demonstrated that they can be applied in practical, evidence-based ways while meeting scientific rigor and providing measurable, pragmatic results. The Contemplative Based Resilience Project (CBR Project) was created in response to the need to address the chronic and acute stress that frontline professionals experience and offers practical tools to those who are at-risk to experience enormous strain and burn-out.

The CBR Project is international. The European-based CBR work is focused on humanitarian aid workers, while the US-based offerings focus on trainings for society’s “unsung heroes” – the social workers, community workers, legal professionals, hotline staff, and others providing support to the homeless; survivors of domestic and sexual violence; victims of child abuse; immigrants in need; those currently or formerly incarcerated; the chronically poor; and all under-served communities facing crises and discrimination. We can now add medical professionals and first responders who have been on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic to this list of heroes.

The Director of the CBR Project will be responsible for the oversight and management of CBR Project domestically, charged first with implementing the growing programs in New York City. As the already high demand increases, the Director will need to oversee development of new curricula, hire and train faculty leading the programs, and scale the Project nationally.  An integral part of the team, the Director must have visionary leadership and be able to articulate a strategic direction that aligns with the overall mission of the Garrison Institute and the CBR Project in particular. The Director will also work with the Institute’s development team to create a comprehensive and strong fundraising strategy to diversify and sustain CBR’s revenue streams.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Provide strong visionary leadership in determining a two-year plan for the US-based CBR Project
  • Cultivate and manage strategic partnerships with key organizations and agencies to enhance program growth and effectiveness
  • Implement training programs for front line social sector workers including customized trainings, as well as a portable “suitcase model” for off-site programming.
  • Build out a talented pool of trainers and faculty to deliver the CBR trainings
  • Collaborate with others, including those in academia, to continue data collection and evidence-based research
  • Oversee all project operations ensuring that internal systems and processes for tracking program, financial, fundraising, and operational data are coordinated and streamlined for maximum efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.
  • Working with the Development team, create a comprehensive and adaptable fundraising strategy to maintain and expand CBR’s revenue streams.
  • Together with the Communications and Marketing team, develop and integrate a set of communications tools for promoting the CBR Project’s.


  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in Social Work or a related field such as social service, public health, or psychology with 5-10 years of related management experience working the social sector field
  • Innovative and strategic thinker capable of developing and implementing retreats/trainings and building strong rapport and relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Proven leadership and management experience with excellent critical thinking, decision-making, and team building skills
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative builder who has had success growing an organization or program or initiative, including strategic planning and problem-solving
  • Accomplished fundraiser at ease in the role of seeking and asking for individual and major gifts
  • Deep appreciation for and understanding of research and evaluation and the impact that evidence-based research can have on influencing policy
  • Deep, personal commitment to the mission and vision of the CBR Project Training and experience with high-quality and evidence-based contemplative practices
  • Exceptional oral and written communications abilities, including effective listening and presentation skills for diverse audiences both locally and nationally
  • Highest levels of integrity and professionalism, with ability and willingness to handle sensitive and confidential situations
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities as well as the ability to address and solve problems or issues as they arise.
  • Very strong interpersonal, collaborative and working relationship skills and proven ability to build networks and partnerships
  • Experience working with and respect for culturally diverse stakeholders
  • Willingness to travel mostly within the U.S. and the ability to conduct and attend various trainings often held on evenings and weekends

 This role will be based in Garrison, NY with some travel domestically and offers some telecommuting options. The Garrison Institute provides a competitive salary and benefits package. They offer an energized and motivated team of colleagues in a collegial and contemplative setting nestled along the Hudson River in Garrison, NY. The Garrison Institute is an equal-opportunity employer. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168