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Executive Director, Investigative Studios


About Us:

Investigative Studios (Studios) is an independent, non-profit production company founded by Lowell Bergman, an emeritus professor of UC Berkeley, and renowned investigative reporter, and other journalism professionals. Investigations primarily result in documentary films and series, but we also work across online, print and audio platforms to extend our reach to a wider audience. Studios is committed to expanding access and opportunities for journalists and filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented backgrounds. 

Mission Statement:

Investigative Studios produces documentary films and multimedia investigative reporting that exposes oppression and corruption to rouse the most dynamic lever of change: an informed public. Our work focuses on issues and events that are overlooked, misunderstood or hidden from view to the public’s detriment. We embrace the notion that for the audience to trust our work, we have to be transparent about our process and adhere to the highest standards of journalism: accuracy, fairness and ethical behavior. We are dedicated to presenting factual reports fearlessly. We believe that trustworthy information is the most important currency in a democracy. 

Job posting:

The Executive Director will oversee and manage the company and its productions. They will form and lead teams of reporters and filmmakers in the production of documentaries, commissioning projects and launching co-productions covering subjects critical to the public interest. This is a leadership position that combines responsibility for the development and oversight of investigative productions along with representing the company with distributors, funders, and the public. In collaboration with the Board of Directors and, when appropriate, our board of editorial and production advisers, the executive director will articulate the vision that defines Studios’ voice and will be the architect-manager responsible for keeping its productions on schedule and on budget. Studios needs a truly inspirational leader who not only knows an important story when they see it, but can also raise the funds to pursue and support it, while also ensuring the non-profit’s sustainable operation through fundraising and commercial production revenue This position reports to the Board of Directors. The ideal candidate will have experience in journalism and multi-platform presentations, as well as in fundraising and development, and will supervise the recruitment of both permanent and freelance staff in coordination with the board.

Specifically, the Executive Director will:

  • Establish the vision and standards for Studios’ productions, and operations  
  • Create an organizational structure that supports project development and production 
  • Decide the subject matter to be covered by Studios’ documentaries and determine which material is better served through other platforms
  • Oversee the search for third party productions and negotiate their recruitment
  • Oversee documentary production by working with filmmakers to frame subject matter, review journalistic accuracy, establish budgets and schedules, periodically review edits in progress and sign off on completed projects
  • Raise funds for productions and operations
  • Seek out distributors (networks, cable TV, streaming services, etc) for each production and negotiate terms for sale  
  • Oversee Studios’ finances, including its operational budget
  • Where appropriate, develop partnerships with other production companies and journalistic organizations, attend industry festivals and conferences

Qualifications:

  • A substantial track record in journalism and investigative reporting
  • Proven ability to build, manage, and lead a team. At least three years of experience in a management role or as a principal in documentary production (e.g., director, producer) including financial oversight responsibilities
  • Strong editorial judgment
  • Robust knowledge of current events 
  • Track record working with top-tier film festivals and/or respected outlets

Additional/ideal qualifications:

  • A substantial track record as a documentary filmmaker
  • A demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple teams on multiple projects
  • Highly organized
  • Comfortable making presentations to freelance contractors, potential funders and the public
  • Able to clearly articulate their vision and instructions to Studios freelance contractors and also be willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in on the work

Application Instructions: All applications must include:

  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter outlining your professional experience and an outline of your vision for this role and for how Studios’ can execute its mission 
  • Electronic copies or links to three work samples, at least two of which are ideally documentaries
  • References: Three letters will be required, but only from finalists

For information about the position or application process, please contact Jennifer J. Janisch, Interim Executive Director at janisch.jennifer@gmail.com [1]. Recruitment is open until filled.


  1. mailto:janisch.jennifer@gmail.com

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