Executive Brief

President and CEO
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

The Organization: Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

Founded in 1867, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech is the first and the largest Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) organization in the nation. Clarke prepares children who are deaf or hard of hearing to succeed in mainstream schools and the wider world. In addition to Clarke Schools' work with children, they serve families and adults through a wide range of programs and services.

Annually, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech serves more than 1,000 children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. With Clarke's expertise and today’s technology, there are no limits for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

For a recent announcement from Clarke Schools and Saint Joseph's University, click here.

Clarke's Mission:

Children served by Clarke use advanced technologies, including cochlear implants and hearing aids, to maximize their access to sound. Clarke works with children and their families from infancy through their teen years. Clarke's teachers of the deaf, audiologists and speech-language pathologists have the background, training and experience to prepare children academically and socially for a world of limitless possibilities.

Clarke children listen and learn in the classroom, run and laugh with their friends on the playground, and have lives filled with music, sports, family and community. Many children who come to Clarke are ready to attend their neighborhood schools by preschool and kindergarten. 

In addition to Clarke's work with children, they serve families and adults through a wide range of programs and services. With their extensive staff of experts, physical locations along the Eastern Seaboard and a robust teleservices program delivering services remotely, Clarke strives to reach people with hearing loss at all stages of life.

Joshua's Story:

Clarke Schools Testimonial

Meet Joshua, a remarkable four-year-old enrolled in Clarke’s Preschool Program. Three years ago, Joshua was diagnosed with single-sided hearing loss. In search of technological and educational solutions, Joshua’s family discovered Clarke!

Clarke’s dedicated team embarked on a journey with Joshua and his family, helping them navigate the path to a cochlear implant to improve his access to sound.

Throughout the process, Joshua and Clarke team members collaborated to create a picture book that describes his Listening and Spoken Language journey!

Listen to Joshua bring his story to life!

Madison's Story:

Clarke Schools Testimonial

Madison is a seven-year-old who was diagnosed with unilateral hearing loss at age five. She is in the second grade, attending her neighborhood school.

Madison received a cochlear implant in July 2023 and participated in Clarke’s summer program to better understand the use of her new device and receive additional academic support. Her mom recently reported, “Madison loves her implant and being able to hear better now.”

In addition to enhancing listening, spoken language and learning skills, Clarke provides a unique opportunity for socialization with other children who have a hearing loss.

Madison (pictured, left) and Ellie (pictured, right) met at Clarke’s summer program and hit it off right away. They bonded with other students who also have hearing loss and formed a strong friendship.

Daniel's Story:

Clarke Schools Testimonial

Meet Daniel, a Clarke Philadelphia alum from 2009, pursuing an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University (PSU). 

Daniel is no stranger to overcoming adversity. He was born profoundly deaf and was not diagnosed with hearing loss until he was 10 months old. At 15 months old, Daniel received a cochlear implant, and four years later, he received a second cochlear implant.  

In August 2010, genetic testing determined the cause of Daniel’s deafness, Usher’s Syndrome Type 1B.  

Usher’s Syndrome is a rare genetic disease that affects both hearing and vision. The disease is characterized by complete hearing loss at birth and progressive loss of vision due to retinitis pigmentosa.  

Daniel attended Clarke Philadelphia’s Preschool Program. Daniel shares, “It (Clarke) was the only place that would give me the skills, education and support to be able to listen and speak and become a successful learner.” 

Daniel’s love of meteorology developed during October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States. Daniel’s doctor, in partnership with the Make-a-Wish-Foundation, flew Daniel and his family to Atlanta, Georgia, to spend a day at the Weather Channel headquarters. 

“I got to meet the meteorologists who worked there and explore all the equipment they use and see how weather forecasting is done behind the scenes. I was able to meet with adults who have the career I dream of having,” says Daniel. 

Despite challenges, Daniel finished his first year at Penn State with impressive marks. He is currently on the school’s Earth and Mineral Science Student Council, a member of the PSU Branch of American Meteorological Society, Weather Outreach and Education, Campus Weather Service and the PSU Blue and White Society.  

“Due to my hard work and never letting my hearing and vision losses stop me, my wish is now becoming a reality,” shares Daniel. 

Daniel is a 2023 recipient of the Caroline A. Yale Memorial Fund Scholarship and will use the funds to support his goal of becoming a meteorologist.  

“This scholarship will help me continue to meet my goal to become a meteorologist, studying at one of the top meteorology schools in the country. I am forever grateful to Clarke for laying the foundation and giving me the skills to listen, speak and advocate for myself,” notes Daniel.  

To learn more about the Caroline A. Yale Memorial Fund Scholarship and this year’s recipients, click here.

Clarke's Programs and Services are for:


Clarke works with families to begin their baby's listening and spoken language journey - with compassion, expertise and play.


Clarke provides individualized education for toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and speak, along with coaching for their families.


Clarke serves preschool-aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, with customized programs to fit various needs.

School-age Students
School-Age Students

Clarke works with children in mainstream classrooms, offer programs for socialization and leadership-building, and provide audiological services for maximizing access to sound.

Adults & Families
Adults & Families

Clarke offers educational and social opportunities for families, and audiological services for individuals of all ages with hearing loss, as well as trainings and workshops.

The Opportunity: President and CEO

Clarke Schools - President and CEO - Job Description (PDF Download)

The Role:

The President and CEO will report directly to Clarke’s Board of Trustees, an elected group of volunteer members with connections to the hearing loss community and an unwavering commitment to Clarke’s mission. The President and CEO is responsible for Clarke’s continued success and world class reputation, ensuring operational excellence and program impact, overseeing fundraising efforts to ensure Clarke’s long-term sustainability, and maintaining and extending Clarke’s standing in the field of education for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The President and CEO is responsible for the following direct reports: Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), Chief Program Officer (“CPO”), and Chief Communications Officer (“CCO”), among other positions. Fundraising and institutional development are two of the primary focuses of the role in addition to the financial sustainability and operational success.

The position is remote and can be filled by a candidate in any area reasonably accessible to the Clarke campuses, which are located along the East Coast from Boston, MA to Jacksonville, FL. Due to the work-force being located exclusively in the EDT time zone, candidates in the EDT and CDT time zones will be given primary consideration.

The President and CEO is an experienced non-profit, relationship centered leader who gracefully combines operational and financial expertise with visionary leadership and partners proactively and productively with the Board, the organization’s leadership team, and key external constituents.

Expectations for and aspects of this role:
  • Provide motivational leadership that will allow the CPO and Program Directors and staff to execute their best work.
  • Build and lead sustainable fundraising efforts that supports both programmatic and unrestricted philanthropic support for the broad base of Clarke services. 
  • Advance the business discipline and operational expertise necessary to secure Clarke’s long-term sustainability, including setting organizational goals, actively measuring results, and maintaining accountability.
  • Model and intentionally nurture a mission driven culture of deep caring, trust and belonging, excellence, authenticity, courageous leadership, and mutual accountability. 
  • Guide coalitions, lobbying and other activities related to maximizing public funding.
  • Lead the organization through a new five-year strategic plan focused on building a solid foundation to support future organization-wide growth. Goals for the strategic plan will include and not be limited to:
    • Move toward program standardization and alignment of child/family needs and offerings.
    • Align the Clarke culture, operations, and infrastructure to foster internal and external collaboration and efficiency.
    • Serve the Clarke community and the world through data, research, innovation, and communication.
    • Build toward sustainable funding.
    • Become the employer of choice among institutions serving those who are deaf or hard of hearing using listening and spoken language.
    • Strengthen the Clarke community and network of alumni.
  • Articulate and reinforce, both internally and externally, the Clarke story including a compelling long-term vision that engages and motivates the entire organization, its supporters, and other stakeholders.
  • Serve as a trusted voice in the broader field of education of those who are deaf or hard of hearing and find common ground with other organizations serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Person:


The successful President and CEO candidate should bring:

  • A passion for Clarke’s mission as well as empathy for the challenges faced by those it serves.
  • 10 - 15 years of applicable experience in executive leadership roles. Preference for candidates with experience working in a highly regulated, multi-faceted and multi-state organization.
  • Clear success in fundraising and enhancing diverse revenue streams to advance an organization’s mission.
  • Proven experience as a change agent, advancing methodologies and infrastructure to advance service delivery. 
  • Ability to lead complex initiatives to successful outcomes.
  • The presence, demeanor, intellect, and communication skills to effectively inspire a compelling vision, assemble support and spark enthusiasm for ideas.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and nurture relationships across philanthropy, corporate partnerships, and a broad field of tacitly competitive educational service providers.
  • A belief in the power of teamwork and the demonstrated ability to identify, hire, grow, and develop strong team members.

The right person for this role will exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Enjoys being an active, engaged community builder and provides a steady presence in the daily life of the organization. This is the foundation for strong, supportive relationships with staff that will promote a sense of community, while building a highly engaged culture.
  • Exhibits a collaborative leadership style supported by a pragmatic decision-making approach. Possesses an openness that genuinely invites and respects the perspectives and views of others. Successfully partners with and supports the staff.
  • Has the confidence and perspective to serve as a solid sounding board and business partner to the leadership team and the Board.
  • Has high emotional intelligence and an even-keeled demeanor combined with the ability to manage change and complex decisions.
  • Is a collaborator who encourages ideas and is inclusive of the wide range of resources in the organization to solve problems.
  • Sets a high bar for performance and models positive behavior for all to see.
  • Is a creative thinker with the ability to ‘look over the horizon’ and anticipate emerging factors that could impact Clarke.

Expressions of Interest

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech has partnered with Boyden Executive Search. For more information about this opportunity or to submit a cover letter and resume, please email:

Wendy Wilsker
Managing Partner, Boston

Wendy Wilsker has dedicated her entire career to the non-profit sector, serving in leadership roles within charitable organizations and working alongside them as an executive recruiter and consultant. She excels at identifying the unique challenges and opportunities non-profits face, and partners with senior leadership to build successful organizational structures, teams and advancement programs.

Shaké Sulikyan 
Senior Advisor and Executive Search Consultant, Boston

Making the world a better place is Shaké Sulikyan’s mission in life. She has decades of experience in the nonprofit sector including senior leadership roles in healthcare, academic medicine, higher education, and social services. Shaké loves connecting nonprofit organizations and exceptional professionals and is honored to support social impact organizations throughout the United States. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Don’t check off all the boxes or meet every single requirement? We have learned that potential candidates hesitate when applying for a job unless they meet every single requirement. Boyden Boston is dedicated to inclusivity and valuing diversity and equity in the workplace. If this opportunity excites you, but your background may not be a perfect match, we still encourage you to apply.

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