The Richmond Forum is hiring a Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative Manager

By | July 24, 2022

The Richmond Forum is hiring a Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative Manager. This position is not a coaching position, rather it is a role that works to create and grow speech and debate teams in public middle and high schools in Richmond, Virginia. The salary range is $50-60K. Applicants must be willing to live in the Richmond region or commute to Richmond, VA 2-3 times a week during the season. Check out the Job description below!

Organization Overview

At The Richmond Forum, we present powerful voices so Richmond can learn and empower local voices so Richmond can lead. We are united in the belief that by speaking, listening, learning, and honestly engaging, we can make our community and world a better place.

Founded in 1986, The Richmond Forum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization that for thirty-six seasons has brought the biggest names in the world to Richmond, Virginia for public lectures, panel discussions, and debates. The Richmond Forum is the largest non-profit lecture series in America, with 4,500 attendees at each of its five sold-out programs each season.

Speakers have included former U.S. Presidents, international heads of state and government, and leaders from the arts, sciences, and business.

Noting the absence of speech and debate programs in regional public middle and high schools, in 2018, The Richmond Forum founded the Richmond Forum Speech & Debate Initiative (RFSDI) to start and grow teams in the Richmond region.

Initiative Summary

The Forum’s Speech & Debate Initiative strives to make speech and debate activities accessible to all public middle and high schools with the goal to have competitive speech and debate teams in all of the region’s public middle and high schools by 2025, the 250th anniversary of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, VA. The Initiative focuses on creating and developing teams with monetary grants, coaching incentives and resources, free local tournaments, high-quality summer camps, and volunteer judges.

Initiative Priorities

● Professional development and incentives for coaches

● Regional team growth & collaboration

● Volunteer engagement

Position Summary

The Richmond Forum seeks a passionate RFSDI Manager to continue its fast-paced growth to achieve the 2025 goal. The Manager role will manage the day-to-day operations of the Initiative. This position reports to the Director of Student Programs.

Job Responsibilities

Coach support and professional development

● Provide professional development resources to coaches, based on their needs.

o Plan and execute an annual summer speech & debate coach professional development clinic.

o Gather and synthesize monthly resources for easy virtual consumption by program-supported coaches.

o Offer tips and feedback where appropriate for coach development, based on their needs.

● Organize and execute professional networking and social events.

Regional team growth

● Conduct site visits to all funded RFSDI teams by November 15th of each year.

● Develop a structure for coach/student feedback to improve the Initiative.

● Collaborate with schools and coaches to meet the current needs of teams.

● Support the Richmond Debate Institute’s middle school league and summer camps as needed.

Tournament administration

● Create, coordinate, and recruit for RFSDI hosted/sponsored competitions using

● Recruit school teams and volunteer judges to participate in curated tournament schedules.

o Maintain a seasonal calendar of all local competitions and RFSDI-sponsored competitions.

o Coordinate with local teams, competitive leagues, and other interested parties for an optimized schedule.

● Build and manage RFSDI tournaments through and assist local leagues with administration.

Impact measurement

● Work with the DSP to foster relationships with regional school districts and research partners to collect data that measures the impact of our work.

● Other duties as identified (this is a developing area.)

Other duties

● Manage the Student Page program for the Forum on program nights.

● Other duties, as assigned, to assist with program night execution, other Forum events, and additional Forum needs.

Required Qualifications

Commitment to the mission and vision of The Richmond Forum • Be a former speech and/or debate competitor at the high school or college level • 2 years experience in volunteer management • 2 years experience in program management or program development. • Strong verbal and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills • High degree of professionalism and self-awareness • Excellent organizational skills; able to manage competing priorities while meeting deadlines • Ability to relate and interact well with people of diverse backgrounds • Ability to focus on details while also understanding the big picture • Self-starter and independent worker • A warm, friendly, and customer-service oriented demeanor • Solid computer and social media skills • Team player, excellent work ethic, and positive attitude.

Salary, Benefits, and Compensation

Salary commensurate with experience, but within the range of $50,000 to $60,000. Three weeks annual vacation and the office is closed for a week during winter holidays. Eligible for employer-paid health insurance, and short-term and long-term disability coverage after 60 days. 401K available.

The Forum is focused on community engagement and committed to a healthy, diverse inclusive work environment. Members of historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. The Forum is an equal opportunity employer with an accessible workplace.

How to Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter to Sandra Wheeler at with the subject line “RFSDI Manager.” References and a writing sample will be requested if invited for an interview. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until August 15th or until a candidate is selected. Interviews will begin the week of August 1, 2022

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