Onboarding a New Executive Director: A Comprehensive Guide

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Finding the right executive director for your organization is a crucial task, but what happens once you’ve hired the perfect candidate? The onboarding process plays a significant role in setting up your new executive director for success. From creating a comprehensive onboarding plan to ensuring smooth transitions, this blog post will provide you with all the essential steps and tools. So, grab your new CEO transition checklist and get ready to navigate the exciting journey of onboarding a new executive director in the nonprofit sector.

Onboarding a New Executive Director

The Importance of a Smooth Transition

When it comes to onboarding a new executive director, a smooth transition can make all the difference. Finding the right person to lead your organization is only the first step. Ensuring they have a seamless transition into their new role is equally as important. A well-executed onboarding process can set the tone for their success and help them hit the ground running.

Laying the Foundation

Begin Before Day One

Preparing for the new executive director’s arrival should start before their first day on the job. This means having a clear plan in place, from setting up their workspace to gathering essential documents and resources. By having everything ready to go, you’ll demonstrate your organization’s commitment to a successful onboarding process.

Introduce the Team

Introducing the new executive director to the team is a crucial step in the onboarding process. Organize a meet-and-greet session where everyone can get to know each other. Encourage team members to share their roles and responsibilities, and foster an open and supportive environment. Building early connections will help the executive director feel welcomed and supported from day one.

Providing the Tools for Success

Training and Development

Offering comprehensive training and development opportunities is key to setting the new executive director up for success. Provide them with the necessary tools and resources to familiarize themselves with your organization’s culture, policies, and procedures. Consider assigning a mentor or buddy to help guide them through the initial stages and answer any questions that may arise.

Clear Communication Channels

Establishing clear lines of communication is essential for a successful onboarding process. Ensure the new executive director knows who they can turn to for support and guidance. Regular check-ins, both formal and informal, can help address any concerns and foster open communication. Encouraging feedback and being receptive to suggestions will help the executive director feel valued and included.

Encouraging Adaptation and Innovation

Embrace New Perspectives

Onboarding a new executive director brings fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. Encourage them to share their insights and observations without fear of judgment. Embracing their expertise will foster an environment of innovation and growth. Remember, an executive director who feels supported and valued will be more likely to implement positive changes that benefit the organization as a whole.

By investing in a comprehensive onboarding process, you set the stage for success not only for your new executive director but for your organization as a whole. With a smooth transition, clear communication, and a supportive environment, your new leader will be empowered to propel your organization toward new heights. So, get ready to welcome your new executive director with open arms and set the foundation for a bright future ahead.

New CEO Transition Checklist

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

Before the new CEO takes the reins, there are some key steps you should take to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Conduct a Thorough Handover

To begin, the outgoing executive director should create a detailed handover report that covers all major aspects of the role. This report should include information about ongoing projects, key contacts, and any pending decisions. It’s essential to provide the new CEO with as much information as possible to set them up for success.

Introduce the New CEO to the Team

A warm welcome is crucial for fostering a positive environment during the transition. Organize a team gathering or a virtual meeting to introduce the new CEO to the employees. Encourage open communication and create opportunities for team members to ask questions or share their concerns. By establishing a supportive atmosphere from the start, you lay the groundwork for a harmonious team dynamic.

Ensure a Smooth Onboarding Process

Provide an Orientation Guide

Create an orientation guide that outlines the organization’s key policies, procedures, and culture. This guide should serve as a valuable resource for the new CEO, helping them familiarize themselves with the organization’s mission, values, and goals.

Establish Mentorship Opportunities

Pairing the new CEO with a seasoned mentor can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the transition. An experienced mentor can help the new CEO navigate internal dynamics, understand the organization’s history, and offer insights based on their own experiences.

Strategize for the Future

Develop a Transition Plan

Collaborate with the new CEO to develop a comprehensive transition plan that outlines their goals and objectives for the first few months. This plan should include strategies for building relationships with key stakeholders, assessing the organization’s current state, and developing a vision for the future. By setting clear goals and expectations, you create a roadmap for success.

Foster Collaboration and Innovation

Encourage the new CEO to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation within the organization. By creating a supportive environment that encourages new ideas and perspectives, you can drive positive change and ensure continued growth.

Embrace the New Chapter

Change can be intimidating, but it also presents exciting opportunities for growth and transformation. By following this checklist, you can help facilitate a seamless transition for the new CEO, allowing them to make their mark on the organization and lead it to new heights.

Remember, transitions are a natural part of organizational life, and with proper planning and support, you can ensure a successful and fulfilling journey for the incoming executive director.

Director of Onboarding Salary

Determining the Right Salary

When it comes to onboarding a new executive director, one of the crucial factors to consider is the salary for this vital position. Determining the right salary is a balancing act that takes into account various factors, including the organization’s budget, industry standards, and the level of experience and expertise required for the role.

Market Research

Before settling on a director of onboarding salary, it’s essential to conduct thorough market research. This will help you understand the current salary trends in your industry and ensure that you offer a competitive compensation package that attracts top talent. Keep in mind that an attractive salary not only entices candidates but also demonstrates the value your organization places on this position.

Experience and Expertise

The level of experience and expertise required for a director of onboarding is crucial in determining the appropriate salary range. Someone with a wealth of experience and a proven track record of successfully onboarding executives may command a higher salary compared to a candidate with less experience. Remember, expertise in this role is indispensable, as it sets the tone for the onboarding process and contributes to the executive’s successful integration within the organization.

Scope of Responsibilities

Considering the scope of responsibilities associated with the director of onboarding position is vital. This role entails overseeing the entire onboarding process, which includes developing onboarding strategies, creating training programs, and building relationships with key stakeholders. The broader the scope of responsibilities, the higher the salary range should be to reflect the level of accountability and strategic importance of the position.

Negotiating Salary

When it comes to negotiating the director of onboarding’s salary, it’s crucial to keep the organization’s financial constraints in mind while ensuring a fair and competitive offer. Remember, the salary is just one component of the overall compensation package. You can consider other benefits such as performance bonuses, health insurance coverage, and professional development opportunities to attract and retain top talent while staying within budget.

Determining the director of onboarding salary is no easy task, as it requires considering factors such as market research, experience, expertise, and scope of responsibilities. Striking the right balance between attracting top talent and maintaining financial sustainability is essential. By offering a competitive compensation package, you can ensure that your organization secures the best candidate for this critical role.

New Executive Onboarding Plan

Why is a New Executive Onboarding Plan Important

Starting a new executive role can be daunting for both the organization and the individual taking on the position. To ensure a smooth transition and set the new executive up for success, it is crucial to have a well-thought-out onboarding plan in place.

Setting Expectations

The first step in the onboarding process is to establish clear expectations for the new executive. This includes outlining their responsibilities, key performance indicators, and understanding the company’s goals and values. By providing this information upfront, the executive can align their own objectives with the organization’s vision.

Assign a Buddy

To help the new executive acclimate to the company culture and gain a deeper understanding of the organization, it can be helpful to assign them a buddy. This buddy is someone in the company who can serve as a mentor and guide during the initial weeks or months of the executive’s tenure. This informal relationship can provide invaluable support and help the executive navigate the nuances of the organization.

Provide Resources and Training

Another vital component of a new executive onboarding plan is ensuring that the individual has access to the necessary resources and training. This can include providing them with relevant documentation, a comprehensive orientation program, and any industry-specific training they may need. By equipping the new executive with the right tools, the organization sets them up for success from day one.

Communicate the Onboarding Plan

To ensure everyone is on the same page, it’s crucial to communicate the onboarding plan to all relevant stakeholders involved. This includes the executive’s direct reports, the HR department, and other key team members. By keeping everyone informed, it fosters a sense of collaboration and support for the new executive.

Monitor Progress and Provide Feedback

Once the onboarding plan is in motion, it is essential to monitor the new executive’s progress and provide constructive feedback. Regular check-ins and performance evaluations allow for open communication and enable the organization to address any challenges or concerns promptly. This feedback loop helps the executive adjust their approach and ensures they are on track to meet their goals.

Celebrate Milestones

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate milestones during the onboarding process. Recognizing achievements, whether big or small, helps create a positive and motivating environment for the new executive. This can include acknowledging successful projects, hitting targets, or simply marking their one-month anniversary with the organization. It’s a great way to boost morale and show appreciation for their contribution.

In conclusion, a comprehensive new executive onboarding plan is vital for a smooth transition and successful integration. By setting expectations, assigning a buddy, providing resources and training, communicating the plan, monitoring progress, and celebrating milestones, organizations can ensure their new executives hit the ground running and make a positive impact from the start.

Nonprofit Onboarding Checklist

onboarding a new executive director


Bringing a new executive director on board is a crucial step in the growth and success of any nonprofit organization. It’s essential to have a solid onboarding process in place to ensure a smooth transition and set the new director up for success. In this subsection, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the nonprofit onboarding process.

1. Alignment with the Organization’s Mission and Values

Before diving into the day-to-day tasks, it’s important to spend time aligning the new executive director’s vision with the organization’s mission and values. This will help ensure a shared understanding and commitment to the nonprofit’s goals.

2. Familiarization with Key Stakeholders

Introduce the new executive director to key stakeholders, such as board members, staff, volunteers, and major donors. Encourage informal meet and greets to create a sense of connection and establish relationships right from the start.

3. Immersion in the Nonprofit’s Culture

Immersing the new director in the nonprofit’s culture is crucial. Provide them with information about the organization’s history, achievements, and challenges. Share stories that highlight the impact of the nonprofit’s work and introduce them to the day-to-day operations.

4. Review of Strategic Plans and Goals

Review the nonprofit’s strategic plans and goals with the new executive director. Walk them through current initiatives and upcoming projects. This will provide a clear understanding of the organization’s priorities and allow the director to contribute effectively.

5. Understanding of Financial Aspects

Give the new executive director a thorough overview of the nonprofit’s financial aspects. Share financial reports, budgets, and funding sources. This understanding will empower them to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation and financial sustainability.

6. Introduction to Staff and Volunteers

Introduce the new director to all staff and volunteers. Foster an environment that encourages open communication and collaboration. Schedule team meetings and provide opportunities for the director to get to know everyone individually.

7. Orientation to Technology and Systems

Familiarize the new director with the nonprofit’s technology systems, such as project management tools, donor management software, and communication platforms. Offer training and support to ensure they can effectively use these tools to streamline operations.

8. Ongoing Support and Mentorship

Establish a mentorship program or assign a mentor to provide ongoing support to the new executive director. This will help them navigate any challenges, seek guidance, and fully integrate into their role.

By following this comprehensive nonprofit onboarding checklist, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition for your new executive director. Remember, providing them with the necessary resources, knowledge, and support is key to their long-term success and the growth of your nonprofit organization.

Onboarding a New Nonprofit CEO

Setting the Stage for Success

Congratulations! Your nonprofit organization has hired a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the way towards achieving your mission and making a difference in the world. Now comes the important step of onboarding the new nonprofit CEO effectively. By providing a smooth, engaging, and comprehensive onboarding experience, you’ll set them up for success right from the start.

Aligning Expectations

During the onboarding process, it’s crucial to align expectations between the organization and the new CEO. Take the time to clearly communicate the strategic goals, values, and culture of the nonprofit. This will help the CEO understand the organization’s mission and how their role fits into the bigger picture. It’s like setting the stage for a grand performance!

Connecting with Key Stakeholders

Introduce the new CEO to key stakeholders within your organization, such as board members, department heads, and long-serving employees. This will help them build relationships and gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s dynamics. Trust us, this isn’t a networking event with awkward small talk – it’s an opportunity to build meaningful connections and foster collaboration.

Immersion in the Nonprofit World

As a new nonprofit CEO, your hire may need time to become acquainted with the unique challenges and opportunities of the nonprofit sector. Provide resources and opportunities for them to immerse themselves in the nonprofit world. From attending conferences to participating in industry-specific training, encourage them to dive headfirst into this fantastic realm of social impact.

Learning from the Past

Encourage the new CEO to review past strategies, successes, and challenges the nonprofit has faced. Learning from history provides valuable insights. Plus, it’s like reading an exciting story with plot twists and a valuable lesson at the end. Understanding what has worked before and what hasn’t will guide the CEO towards making informed decisions and avoiding pitfalls.

Crafting a Personalized Onboarding Plan

Every nonprofit CEO is unique, just like a snowflake in a snowstorm. Create a personalized onboarding plan specifically tailored to the CEO’s needs and goals. This may include mentoring, professional development opportunities, or specific projects to set them up for success. Remember, a well-crafted plan makes all the difference. Let’s call it the CEO’s personal treasure map for navigating the nonprofit world.

Wrapping it Up

The onboarding process is a critical time that sets the stage for the new nonprofit CEO’s success. By aligning expectations, facilitating connections, and immersing them in the nonprofit world, you’ll ensure a strong foundation. Learning from the past and providing a personalized onboarding plan will further support their journey. So gear up for an enthralling adventure with your new nonprofit CEO and prepare to make a lasting impact together!

New Executive Director Checklist


So, you’ve hired a new executive director! Congratulations! Now comes the exciting part—onboarding your new leader. To make this process easier for both you and the new executive, we’ve created a handy checklist to guide you through the essentials. Let’s dive in!

Initial Orientation

First impressions matter, so start off on the right foot with a warm welcome. Schedule a meeting to introduce your new executive director to the team and provide them with an overview of the organization’s background, mission, and goals. This will help them understand the big picture and get them excited about their new role.

Familiarize with Key Stakeholders

One crucial step in onboarding a new executive director is ensuring they develop strong relationships with key stakeholders. Set up meetings with board members, donors, and other important individuals to allow for introductions and open lines of communication. Encourage your new director to ask questions and learn about their expectations.

Review Organizational Structure

To help your new executive director hit the ground running, provide them with a comprehensive overview of the organizational structure. Explain reporting lines, department roles, and the existing leadership team. This will give them a clear understanding of who they’ll be working with and how to navigate the organization.

Establish Priorities and Objectives

Collaborate with your new executive director to establish priorities and objectives for their first few months. This will help them focus their efforts and set achievable goals. Be sure to support them in prioritizing tasks and allocate resources accordingly.

Assess Training Needs

Every executive director has their own set of skills and areas for growth. Conduct an assessment to identify any training or development needs your new director may have. This could include management skills, industry-specific knowledge, or any other areas that will empower them to succeed in their new role.

Set Expectations and Communicate Clearly

Open and honest communication is key to a successful onboarding process. Clearly outline your expectations for the new executive director and make yourself available to address any concerns or questions they may have. Establish regular check-ins to provide feedback and ensure they feel supported.

With this comprehensive checklist, you’re well-equipped to onboard your new executive director smoothly. Remember, a successful onboarding process sets the stage for a strong and productive relationship. So, take the time to invest in your new director’s success, and watch your organization thrive under their leadership!

Onboarding Executive Job Description

Writing the Perfect Job Description

Congratulations! You’ve finally made the decision to bring onboard a new executive director. But before you start browsing through a sea of resumes and scheduling endless interviews, it’s important to create a captivating job description that will attract top-tier talent.

Highlight The Big Picture

When crafting your executive job description, it’s crucial to start by outlining the big picture. Paint a compelling vision of what your organization is all about, its mission, and the impact it seeks to make in the world. By clearly communicating your organization’s purpose, you’ll ensure that prospective candidates understand the broader scope of their role and can envision themselves as a pivotal part of your team.

What’s in a Title?

Now, let’s talk about titles. Don’t you think “Chief Wizard of Everything” would be cool? Well, it might seem tempting, but it won’t help with attracting the right candidates. Choose a title that conveys both the seniority and responsibilities of the position, such as “Executive Director” or “Head of Operations.” Keep it professional and avoid any fruit-themed titles unless you’re running a smoothie shop.

Expand Knowledge, Not Waistlines

Moving on to the job requirements. Rather than listing an endless array of qualifications, focus on the key skills and experience needed for success in the role. Highlight the necessary expertise and qualifications, but don’t get carried away. You don’t want your candidates to feel like they need to be an alien from another planet with five degrees and a black belt in ninja skills. Balance is key!

Responsibilities That Sizzle

When it comes to outlining responsibilities, think about what will make candidates’ eyes light up with excitement (not just the effect of a tub of cheesy popcorn). Be clear about what they’ll be responsible for, but don’t be afraid to inject a little creativity and enthusiasm. For instance, instead of saying, “Oversee financial operations,” you could shake things up with, “Rocking the numbers game like a finance superhero.” It’s all about making your job description stand out from the crowd.

Perks that Make Them Sing

Lastly, highlight any perks or benefits that make your organization an irresistible place to work. Whether it’s flexible working hours, a generous vacation policy, or a delicious office snack bar stocked with goodies, make sure to entice potential candidates with the perks that set your organization apart. Trust me, a well-stocked candy jar can work wonders!

Wrapping Up

Creating an enticing executive job description is a critical step in finding the perfect candidate to lead your organization. By crafting a description that captures the essence of your organization, outlines key responsibilities with a touch of flair, and highlights the benefits of working with your team, you’ll be well on your way to attracting the best talent out there. So, put on your writing hat and get ready to land the executive director of your dreams!

Onboarding a New Executive Director: How to Make the Transition a Smooth Sailing

Welcome Aboard!

So, you’ve just hired a new executive director to join your organization. Congratulations! The next step is to onboard them effectively to ensure a seamless transition. But how do you do that? Fear not, we’ve got you covered. In this section, we will explore the key steps to successfully onboard a new executive director, making their journey with your organization a smooth sailing experience.

Set the Stage for Success

To start off on the right foot, it’s crucial to create an environment that sets the new executive director up for success. Prepare a warm and inviting workspace, complete with a welcome package that includes essentials like stationery, company swag, and perhaps a nice potted plant to spruce up the office. Remember, small gestures can go a long way in making someone feel valued and welcome.

Introduce Them to the Crew

Once your new executive director is settled in, it’s time for introductions. Arrange a welcome meeting with the entire team, facilitating an open and friendly environment. This not only allows your team members to get acquainted with their new leader but also encourages open communication from the start. Icebreakers, like sharing fun facts, can add a touch of humor and help break the ice.

Share the Vision

Now that everyone knows each other, it’s important to align your new executive director with the organization’s vision. Schedule a meeting to discuss the mission, values, goals, and strategic direction. Be sure to provide them with any relevant documents or materials to help them understand the bigger picture. Remember, a shared vision is the key to a unified team.

Dive into the Deep End (but Provide a Life Jacket)

Once the formalities are out of the way, it’s time to dive into the work at hand. Assign the new executive director with some initial tasks or projects to get their feet wet. These tasks should be challenging enough to engage their expertise but not overwhelming. Remember, a little challenge can be stimulating, but too much at once can lead to drowning.

Foster Mentoring and Support

To help your new executive director navigate the seas of their new role, assign them a mentor or a buddy within the organization. This mentor can act as a guide, offering insights, answering questions, and providing ongoing support. Pairing them up with someone who is well-versed in the organizational culture can be highly beneficial.

Celebrate Milestones

As your new executive director reaches key milestones, whether it’s completing their first project or hitting a major goal, take the time to celebrate their achievements. Public recognition, a shout-out during team meetings, or a small token of appreciation can go a long way in boosting morale and making them feel valued.

The Ripple Effect

Remember, onboarding a new executive director is not just a process for their benefit alone. It creates a ripple effect throughout the organization. By setting the stage for their success, encouraging a positive team dynamic, and fostering open communication, you’re cultivating an environment that will benefit everyone involved.

Now that you have the key steps to successfully onboard a new executive director, it’s time to put them into action. Remember, a well-executed onboarding process will help your new executive director hit the ground running and set the stage for a successful journey with your organization. So go ahead, welcome your new leader with open arms and smooth sailing ahead!

What Are the Pillars of Executive Onboarding

Setting the Foundation with Clear Expectations

One of the essential pillars of executive onboarding is setting clear expectations from the beginning. It’s crucial for both the new executive director and the organization to have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. This clarity ensures a smooth transition and sets the stage for a successful onboarding process. Whether it’s outlining specific goals, defining key performance indicators, or establishing communication protocols, having clear expectations helps everyone stay on the same page.

Building Strong Relationships and Networks

Another crucial pillar of executive onboarding is building strong relationships and networks. A new executive director needs to connect with various stakeholders, team members, and peers within the organization. By establishing these connections early on, the executive can gain valuable insights, build trust, and facilitate effective collaboration. Networking events, team-building activities, and one-on-one meetings are great opportunities to forge these relationships and create a strong support system.

Developing a Deep Understanding of the Organization

For an executive director to lead successfully, they must have a deep understanding of the organization’s vision, mission, values, and culture. This pillar of executive onboarding involves immersing oneself in the organization’s history, strategies, and operations. It requires taking the time to explore the different departments, meeting with key personnel, and learning about the organization’s unique challenges and opportunities. This enables the executive to make informed decisions and align their leadership style with the organization’s overarching goals.

Crafting a Strategic Plan and Setting Priorities

A solid strategic plan is vital for any organization’s success, and it’s no different when it comes to executive onboarding. This pillar involves working closely with the board and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that aligns with the organization’s goals. Additionally, the new executive director must set priorities based on their assessment of the organization and the current market landscape. By focusing on key areas that require immediate attention, the executive can drive positive change and achieve early wins.

Continuous Learning and Growth

Last but not least, continuous learning and growth form an essential pillar of executive onboarding. The journey of a new executive director is not about knowing everything from day one, but rather about embracing a growth mindset and seeking opportunities for personal and professional development. Attending conferences, participating in workshops, and engaging in coaching or mentorship programs can all contribute to ongoing learning. By staying curious, adaptable, and open to feedback, an executive director can continuously enhance their leadership skills and make a lasting impact.

In summary, the pillars of executive onboarding involve setting clear expectations, building strong relationships and networks, developing a deep understanding of the organization, crafting a strategic plan, and embracing continuous learning and growth. By focusing on these pillars, a new executive director can lay a solid foundation for their leadership journey and drive success for both themselves and the organization they serve.

Who is Responsible for Onboarding New Board Members


When it comes to onboarding new board members, many organizations may find themselves wondering who should take charge of this important process. After all, a smooth onboarding experience sets the foundation for a successful tenure and ensures that new board members are set up for success. In this subsection, we’ll explore the different parties involved in the onboarding process and their responsibilities, so you can navigate this crucial task with ease.

The Existing Board of Directors

As the guardians of the organization’s vision and values, the existing board of directors plays a pivotal role in onboarding new board members. They are primarily responsible for ensuring a smooth transition and integration for the newcomers. This includes providing a warm welcome, introducing the new member to the rest of the board, and acquainting them with the organization’s history, culture, and strategic priorities.

Assigning a Mentor

One effective way for the existing board to support new members is by assigning them a mentor. The mentor can act as a guide, answering questions as they arise, helping the new member navigate the organization’s dynamics, and providing insights and advice based on their own experience. This mentorship relationship facilitates a quicker adjustment and fosters a sense of belonging within the board.

The Executive Director

While the existing board members play a crucial role in onboarding new members, the executive director also has responsibilities in this process. As the head of the organization, the executive director should actively participate in the onboarding to ensure a seamless transition into the board’s operations.

Providing an Orientation

The executive director can provide an orientation to familiarize new members with the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic goals. This can include sharing key documents, such as the organization’s bylaws, strategic plan, and recent financial reports. Additionally, the executive director can offer insights into the board’s role in governance and decision-making, helping new members understand their responsibilities.

The Nominating or Governance Committee

In many organizations, the nominating or governance committee takes charge of recruiting and selecting new board members. Therefore, it is natural for them to be involved in the onboarding process as well. The nominating committee can be responsible for organizing the logistics of onboarding, such as arranging meetings, providing necessary information, and ensuring that all relevant paperwork is completed.

Conducting an Onboarding Session

To kickstart the onboarding process, the nominating committee can organize an onboarding session. This session serves as an opportunity to welcome new members, introduce them to existing board members, and provide them with an overview of the board’s structure and operations. It can also be a chance for new members to ask questions and gain clarity on their role and expectations.

When it comes to onboarding new board members, it truly takes a team effort. The existing board members, executive director, and the nominating or governance committee all play important roles in ensuring a smooth transition and integration for the newcomers. By working together, they can provide the support, guidance, and resources necessary for new board members to thrive and make meaningful contributions to the organization’s mission. So, next time you’re faced with the task of onboarding a new board member, remember that it’s a collective effort that sets the stage for future success.

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