Executive Director of the American Studies Association

Start Date: April 15, 2022

The American Studies Association (ASA) is a non-profit national organization of researchers, teachers, students, writers, artists, curators, community organizers, and activists from around the world who are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. culture and history in a global context. It is the oldest and largest professional scholarly organization of its kind. The ASA publishes a flagship peer-reviewed journal, American Quarterly; organizes an annual international meeting and facilitates regional events; provides resources relevant to and advocates issues reflective of a sizeable, diverse membership; and collaborates with museums, public institutions, and communities on a variety of projects. The ASA values original research, teaching, critical thinking, public discussion, and collective dissent. Its members share a commitment to viewing U.S. history and culture from multiple perspectives and taking public positions on issues of societal significance and broad consensus.

The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer of the association. Under the direction of the president and Council, the executive director shall have responsibility for the continuing operations of the association, supervise the work of its committees and staff, assist in the formulation of policies and projects for submission to the Council, execute instructions of the Executive Committee and of the Council, and perform other such duties as the Executive Committee and the Council may direct.

The executive director’s term shall be contractual and shall be determined by the Executive Committee. The executive director may be appointed for subsequent consecutive terms as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee. The executive director’s performance shall be reviewed annually by the elected officers in connection with the spring business meeting of the Executive Committee.



1)  Governance: Works with the leadership bodies of the ASA to fulfill the organization mission.

  • Responsible for leading the ASA in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the National Council.
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Executive Committee, National Council, Finance Committee, and ASA committees/caucuses, and membership. Providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for these and other relevant ASA  bodies to function properly and to make informed decisions.

2)   Financial Performance and Viability: Functions as the Treasurer of the organization and develops resources and funding streams sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.

  • Responsible for fundraising and developing other revenues necessary to support the ASA’s mission.
  • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of the ASA, to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Responsible for fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.

3)   Organization Mission and Strategy: Works with elected leadership and other staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through the Annual Meeting, other ASA projects, strategic planning and community outreach.

  • Responsible for implementation of the ASA’s Annual Meeting and other projects that carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Responsible for strategic planning to ensure that the ASA can successfully fulfill its mission into the future.
  • Responsible for the enhancement of the ASA’s public and professional profile by ensuring it is active and visible in the field and develops collaborative relationships with other professional, civic, and private organizations.

4)   Organizational Operations: Collaboratively designs and implements resources to ensure that the operations of the organization are appropriate and sustainable.

  • In collaboration with elected leadership, responsible for the hiring, retention, and management of competent, qualified staff.
  • Responsible for effective administration of ASA operations.
  • Responsible for signing all notes, agreements, and other instruments made and entered into and on behalf of the organization.

Specific Executive Responsibilities

  1. Report to and work closely with the Executive Committee on policy decisions, fundraising and to increase the overall visibility of the organization.
  2. Supervise and collaborate with organization staff, including the Associate Director who reports to the ED, and graduate student workers from affiliated universities.
  3. Strategic planning and implementation.
  4. Planning and operation of the annual budget.
  5. Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations and utilize those relationships to strategically enhance the ASA’s Mission.
  6. Engage in fundraising and developing other revenues.
  7. Lead marketing and other communications efforts.
  8. Assist in the organization of ASA Annual Meeting, national committee meetings, and other relevant or urgent meetings of ASA leadership.
  9. Establishing employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the organization.
  10. Review and approve contracts for services.
  11. Other duties as assigned by the Executive Committee and/or National Council.

Minimum Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Five or more years senior administrative or management experience.
  • Evidence of transparent and high integrity leadership.
  • Experience and skill in working with elected leadership bodies.
  • High level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the elected leadership, staff, volunteers, and donors.
  • Ability to effectively communicate the organization’s mission to donors, volunteers, and the overall community.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff.
  • Knowledge of financial and conferencing software.
  • A history of successfully generating new revenue streams and improving financial results.
  • Active fundraising experience. Excellent grant writing and donor relations skills and understanding of the funding community.
  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence including other scholarly societies, funders, partner agencies, and volunteers.
  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong public speaking ability.
  • Strong work ethic with a high degree of energy.

Preferred Professional Qualifications

  • Advanced (post-baccalaureate) degree in a field relevant to the scholarly mission of the ASA.
  • Workplace experience (faculty or staff) at the college/university level.
  • Current or former membership of the ASA.
  • Experience with legal teams and/or risk management.



The American Studies Association is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

To apply, please send the following materials as one document to searchasa@gmail.com:

  • CV or resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Leadership/Vision Statement
  • List of References

Review of applications will begin February 25, 2022 and will remain open until filled. For inquiries, please contact the three presidents–Dr. Shana L. Redmond (slredmond.asa@gmail.com), Dr. Dylan Rodríguez (dylanrodriguezasa@gmail.com), and Dr. Cathy Schlund-Vials (schlundvials@gmail.com)–with the subject line “ED Search.”