Hawthorne Foundation Inc.

Executive Director

To Apply

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

Jack Lusk, Managing Partner & CEO
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168
Dr. Jane E. Herzog, Director Educational Leadership


Please put ‘HFI’ in the subject line of your emailed application




The Hawthorne Foundation is a private, not for profit organization that has provided an outstanding educational program for students challenged by serious disabilities for 34 years.  The program for school age children is known as Hawthorne Country Day School.   It was the first ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) based program to provide services for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities in New York State.   HFI has expanded its services and now offers a full continuum of services for over 500 individuals from birth through adulthood, including early intervention, preschool, school age, service coordination, group homes and day habilitation.   In addition, HFI has recently begun a Self Direction Program for adults in compliance with a New York State initiative.

Located in Westchester County, HFI sits on a beautiful campus where it offers a continuum of care to children and adults with significant disabilities from Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties as well as from New York City.  The faculty includes certified teachers, teaching assistants and one to one aides who are all trained in ABA.  In addition, school psychologists, and many related service professionals participate in the comprehensive curriculum offered to all children and adults.  In addition to the Westchester campus, HFI operates a campus in lower Manhattan, a Day Habilitation Program and has multiple group homes scattered throughout the county.

The Position:
HFI is seeking a highly skilled and intelligent professional to serve as the new Executive Director. The qualified individual must be familiar with and support the mission of HFI, and be committed to improving the education and lives of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will lead, manage and coordinate a team of full- and part-time professionals to implement all aspects of formal and informal services including, but not limited to, recruitment and intake, curriculum and instruction, social and emotional skill development, independent living, enrichment activities, workforce development, and transition and referrals.  Service coordination is a critical aspect of the position as is working closely with families, state and local agencies, funding sources, and community business leaders.

This position requires the successful candidate to possess extensive knowledge and skills in the special education field. Knowledge of autism and familiarity with Applied Behavior Analysis is required.  He/she will also be responsible for the assessment of program effectiveness and managing the implementation and support for outcomes. The Executive Director will serve as the public face of the organization, ensuring that all aspects of compliance are met, and assisting in identifying and overseeing fiscal operations, funding, and grant applications. He/she must be committed to cultivating and stewarding donors and be able to build and expand fundraising capacity. In addition, the Executive Director is responsible for the implementation of staff development and oversight of human resource functions.

In order to be considered for the position, potential candidates must be familiar with and support the mission of HFI.  It is an organization that has prided itself for many years on providing outstanding support to children, adults and families of individuals with significant disabilities.  The Mission Statement of The Hawthorne Foundation Inc. is to “provide quality education, habilitative, vocational, and recreational programs for individuals with disabilities. The Hawthorne Foundation Inc. has a commitment to foster independence, integration, individualization and productivity while enhancing the quality of the lives of the individuals served. Our goal is to enable each and every individual to reach his or her maximum potential in the least restrictive environment and to assist each individual with identifying and realizing his or her own goals.”  It will be necessary that the incoming Executive Director believe in, embrace and passionately work towards fulfilling the tenets of the mission statement, every day.

The successful candidate will be an experienced educator, effective communicator, practiced administrator, highly organized, diplomatic, possess sound judgment as well as outstanding interpersonal skills and can maintain a sense of calm and humor under stress.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Rigorously works to implement programs which support the agency’s mission
  • Insures the continuous direction, operations, control and fiscal viability of HFI
  • Assists with the development of the Master Plan for current and future operations and directions of all programs
  • Assures full compliance with all State and Federal guidelines for providing services to individuals with disabilities
  • Develops and implements plan for continuous evaluation of all programs
  • Supervises all faculty and administrative assignments, authority, responsibility and communication
  • Assures full compliance with personnel policies, procedures and HR management
  • Interfaces with community organizations
  • Is available to meet with families, community groups, faculty and staff, as needed.
  • Assumes leadership role in program development, overseeing design, marketing, promoting delivery and quality of programs and services


  • Licensed by the State of New York as a School District Leader and certified in Special Education
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience administering programs for individuals with disabilities
  • A master’s degree or doctorate in Special Education or a related field
  • Experience in budget and financing of schools and (adult) programs for the disabled (Medicaid)
  • Experience in fundraising, public relations and interfacing with community organizations
  • Sensitivity to the needs of students and families
  • Knowledge of and experience with ABA

For more information about The Hawthorne Foundation, please visit their website at: www.hawthornecountryday.org

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