Job Ad: Executive Director of the American Political Science Association


Executive Director

Full Time Position – (OPEN)
Senior Management 
District of Columbia, Washington, DC, US  |   Application link here

The American Political Science Association seeks an Executive Director to serve as the chief executive officer of the Association beginning in or around August 2024. Following more than two successful five-year terms as Executive Director, Steven Rathgeb Smith’s long-planned departure from the role is set to immediately follow the 2024 APSA Annual Meeting in September 2024. We extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Smith for his work on behalf of the association and seek a broad pool of candidates for this exciting and challenging position.

To ensure a successful and diverse pool of candidates, we encourage all qualified applicants to apply. We also encourage members to share this announcement widely and to nominate or recommend colleagues for the position. 

position announcement, including information on how to apply, is available here. Review of applications will begin on March 8, 2024; the position is open until filled. If you have any questions, please email recruiter@apsanet.org.

The Executive Director Position

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the corporation and an ex officio member of the Council.  The executive director reports to the Council and works closely with the President and other APSA officials.  The Executive Director provides leadership and vision; gives strategic advice to the governing officials and committees and implements their goals; communicates with members; manages the staff and budget, oversees all Association activities; and represents the Association to the outside world.  

Major Responsibilities include:

  • Providing leadership and strategic guidance in policy, program, and service development that anticipate and respond to disciplinary needs and broader issues in higher education;
  • Overseeing and supporting program and service delivery including several research grant programs, multiple fellowship programs, and events across a variety of program areas;
  • Working to support and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for the discipline, APSA programming and staff management;  
  • Communicating with and supporting the political science community world- wide, including political scientists who work in all types of educational environments, government, journalism, think tanks, and business;
  • Promoting the use of a variety of types of media, including social media, to reach APSA members and the broader public;  
  • Representing the Association’s interests to outside parties including the U.S. Congress, foundations, funders, and other associations in the U.S. and abroad; and fostering expansion of APSA’s public face and of political scientists’ contributions to political knowledge and discussion outside the discipline;
  • Overseeing the planning and implementation of a large annual conference, along with other virtual and in-person meetings and events, to convene members for exchange of scholarly and disciplinary information, professional development and networking, and conduct of APSA programs and business;
  • Coordinating the management of major scholarly journals, and guiding the Association planning for the future of scholarly publishing;
  • Directly supervising APSA Senior Staff members and overseeing the work of staff of 35 with diverse professional backgrounds who work in a collaborative culture with approximately 25 working in hybrid arrangement in the DMV and 10 fully remote staff working in the US and abroad;  
  • Overseeing the management of the Association’s finances including its substantial investments and the preparation of the $9 million operating budget; 
  • Philanthropic fundraising and continued resource development including new public and private grants.

Further specifications on the duties of the Executive Director are contained in the APSA By-Laws.

Preferred qualifications include a PhD in political science or related field, substantial experience in nonprofit management or academic administration; demonstrated capacity to think creatively and strategically and meet the challenges of a changing environment; outstanding leadership, management, and advocacy skills; sensitivity to and demonstrated experience of constructively working with constituents of diverse interests; a proven track record of resource and program development; a commitment to public engagement  on behalf of the association and the discipline of political science; and a deep appreciation of the Association’s commitment to excellence and diversity in research and teaching in all fields of political science.  
To Apply
Applicants should submit a 1-2 page letter of interest describing why you are interested in the position as well as how your previous experience connects with the job responsibilities and qualifications as well as a resume or curriculum vitae.  Review of applications will begin on March 8, 2024; the position is open until filled.

position announcement, including information on how to apply, is available here. Review of applications will begin on March 8, 2024; the position is open until filled.

The appointment is for one five-year term and is renewable at the discretion of the APSA Council.  Salary is commensurate with experience, and a competitive benefits package is provided. Successful candidate will be expected to complete a background check.  APSA is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and welcomes applications from anyone with the qualifications indicated above.