Interim Executive Director

Interim Executive Director

Dhamma Dena is a Vipassana Buddhist Center situated in the Mojave Desert of California, near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.

We are dedicated to supporting and awakening our capacity to love unconditionally and speak and act wisely. Through silent retreats, work retreats, self-retreats or as staff we orient towards building the strength to live our lives free of the clouds of anxiety, fear, obsessions, depression and confusion.

Dhamma Dena is committed to building accessibility by supporting all those who want to come to the center, those who are people of color, transgender, gay, lesbian, queer, gender non-conforming, those who have immigrated, those who live with physical disability, those with chemical sensitivity, and those without financial resources. We are dedicated to building a beloved community where all parts of ourselves feel welcome and honored.

The organization is in a multi-year transition towards and commitment to a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) leadership team. Our current board has selected Renato Almanzor to collaborate with us toward enhancing the structures and accountability practices for greater sustainability and alignment with our commitment to BIPOC leadership. We are looking for a candidate who is excited to work towards this vision.

The Ideal Candidate

This is a two year contract position and is a hands-on job. The ideal candidate will live full-time at Dhamma Dena. The ideal candidate is someone who has excellent communication skills including training in Nonviolent Communication that is trauma informed and decolonizing in view and practice, has the experience to work collaboratively with teams and in multicultural groups (residential community, Board of Directors, queer & BIPOC sanghas and a teachers’ council), direct and supervise two part-time employees (administrative/ retreat assistant and facilities/caretaker) and volunteers, and who can hold the big picture and the details of running an organization in transition. Our new Executive Director will have experience creating organizational procedures, fundraising, and creating and stewarding an institutional budget.


Strategic Leadership (15%)

  • Facilitate alignment with the various roles (volunteer, staff, etc) around strategic plans, organizational vision and structures, and annual and long-range programmatic and financial goals.

  • Work with the Board to transition the Center to a BIPOC leadership retreat center.

  • Communicate with Board and committee members, retreatants, volunteers, staff, and the overall community.

Retreats (35%)

  • Work in collaboration with the Guiding Teacher and Teachers’ Council to implement retreat programming.

  • Manage staff, ensuring the smooth functioning of online and in-person retreats.

  • Create policy and procedures for in-person retreats, including maximum number of participants and requisite staffing.

  • Be the primary problem solver and liaison to teachers and retreatants.

Operations and Finances (35%)

  • Create and manage organizational budget including disbursements and income.

  • Fundraise and write grants in collaboration with the Board.

  • Hire, train and supervise staff.

  • Ensure compliance with all relevant county, state and federal laws.

  • Identify and prioritize capital needs, and ensure buildings and land are in good repair and safe.

  • Update and comply with the Employee Handbook for all staff.

Board Liaison (15%)

  • Build and nurture a strong relationship with the Board and support the work of the Board and its committees as appropriate.

  • Regularly update the Board on organizational, programmatic, and financial objectives.

  • Communicate the work of the Board back to the residential community.

Skills & Abilities

  • Strong interest in service and community living and in Dhamma Dena’s mission.

  • Transparent and high-integrity leadership.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills, proven ability to communicate effectively.

  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.

  • Financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting.

  • Computer skills including social marketing, communication platforms, Gmail and Google documents.

  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising for non-profit organizations.

  • Experience in hiring, training, and supervising staff.


  • Previous non-profit management experience.

  • Be able to live at the Center.

  • Must be fully vaccinated and adhere to organizational COVID Protocols

  • A car would be very helpful (there is no public transportation, and only one car for the Center’s needs)

Compensation & Benefits

Status: This is a full-time, exempt position that requires a flexible schedule including nights, holidays, and weekends.

Compensation: $60,000 plus private home adjacent to the Center, medical allowance, vacation time, sick time and holidays.

Commitment to Racial Justice

There are many residential insight meditation centers in the United States but none with only Black, Indigenous, People of Color leadership. Dhamma Dena is committed to changing this by undergoing a transformation to become a multicultural retreat center with BIPOC leadership. We are dedicated to learning about and changing the hidden power dynamics that are unconsciously played out through the conditioning of privileged locations in race, gender, class, ability, gender expression, education, citizen status etc. in our personal, interpersonal and organizational fields.

The executive director should have a proven commitment to and prior experience in this area.

How to Apply

Please email your application to It should include:

  • Letter of Interest including a description of your experience in building equity in multicultural organizations and/or organizations with BIPOC leadership.

  • Resume.

  • List of three to five references with contact information (References will not be contacted without prior notice).

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. This position is open until filled.

EEO Commitment

Dhamma Dena Meditation Center is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome all students and staff and do not discriminate based on ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability in the administration of our educational policies, enrollment or hiring.