NEA-NM - National Education Association of New Mexico

National Education Association of New Mexico

Executive Director

Based in Santa Fe, NM


The history of the National Education Association of New Mexico (NEA-NM) covers more than twelve decades of pride and accomplishment. Since our active participation in the creation of the state’s public schools, the efforts of NEA-NM have continued to shape and improve public education in New Mexico.

In 1880, more than 60% of New Mexico’s population over the age of 10 could not read or write. In those days, there were only 162 private and church-run schools, with a student attendance of 3,150. There was no public-school system in 1880. Attempts to establish a public-school system failed to pass the territorial legislature in 1876, 1878, and again in 1880. In 1878, the legislature passed a statute authorizing the Jesuits to own unlimited land for educational institutions without taxation. The U.S. Congress unanimously annulled the act.

In the fall of 1886 a group of educators got together to call for the formation of an education association of New Mexico. On November 26, 1886, during the Thanksgiving break, a group of mostly Santa Fe educators met and adopted a resolution calling for a convention to establish the “Territorial Education Association” (TEA). The first convention of the TEA assembled on December 28, 1886. After statehood, the TEA became the New Mexico Education Association (NMEA) which later changed its name to the National Education Association of New Mexico (NEA-New Mexico). Share our story with your colleagues.

The Executive Director is the NEA- New Mexico’s chief executive officer, is directly responsible to the Board of Directors who set Association policy, and serves as a non-voting member of the Board. The Executive Director is charged with adeptly working with the President, advising the Board, managing and skillfully representing the long-term vision and strategic direction of the Association guided by the NEA - New Mexico Constitution and Bylaws, NEA - New Mexico governing body and local, state and federal laws and regulations.


  • Institutional Leadership – exercise inclusive and decisive leadership to advance the mission and vision of the NEA – New Mexico in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations
  • Long Range Planning – maintain focus on the strategic goals and priorities established by systematic and strategic planning processes
  • Stewardship of Financial Resources – provide oversight and necessary due diligence to ensure the financial health of the Association
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability – drive for continuous improvement utilizing data and measurement to insure effectiveness and efficiency of NEA - New Mexico programs and services.
    • Cultivate a culture that encourages reciprocal accountability by developing a team of staff and stakeholders that upholds the integrity of NEA-New Mexico’s mission and core values. Encourage employee creativity, innovation, and independent decision making, while establishing performance and success metrics to ensure that all team members successfully meet organizational goals. Lead with honesty and transparency.
  • Public Education Advocacy – champion public education in New Mexico, including building collaborative relationships between NEA – New Mexico and external stakeholders in order to shape the highest professional standards for state and federal education policy
  • Staff Relations – support high standards for work on behalf of NEA – New Mexico members and build effective relationships with management and staff unions in accordance with local, state and federal laws and regulations


  • NEA - New Mexico is recognized in every corner of the state as the voice of education professionals advocating for high quality public education.
  • It is led by an elected president and elected board (of directors) who recognize the need to make strategic changes that are designed to better public education and the professional lives of its members.
  • NEA – New Mexico is developing systems and strategies to ensure the stability of strong fiscal health of the Association in a challenging economic climate.
  • NEA – New Mexico is committed to a culture of organizing in which members are engaged and mobilized to grow and strengthen their local associations in order to improve student outcomes, secure the proper teaching and learning conditions, and achieve educational opportunity and equity for all students.
  • A new generation of educators provide NEA-New Mexico with the opportunity for new professional relationships and increased relevance.
  • NEA – New Mexico desires to create an intentional branding campaign to bring more visibility to the association as the leading expert on education in its community.
  • NEA – New Mexico has a veteran staff with wide ranging experience, knowledge and skills.
  • NEA - New Mexico is fiscally smart and will continue to shore up resources that can be deployed strategically
  • NEA - New Mexico is committed to leveraging diversity of a multicultural community and workforce.
  • There is ongoing opportunity to continue existing and new outreach with education, business and other public sector partners and community coalitions in support of quality education and equitable/adequate opportunity for all students.

Member Focus

A leader who values public education and is focused on member needs. Someone who believes in member engagement, trust, and loyalty, and who is committed to fostering strong relationships among NEA – New Mexico and its members. An experienced leader who has successfully demonstrated the ability to implement high quality programs and services that brings value to members. Demonstrated experience in using data to identify additional ways to offer value to members’ professional practice and careers. Ensures that the NEA – New Mexico stays vibrant and relevant as the education landscape and the demographics of the workforce continue to evolve.

An influential leader who understands membership and is able to expand market share, has effectively led innovative strategies, programs, initiatives, and policies designed to attract and increase new membership. Established leader with the ability to drive member engagement and to increase member retention.

Strategic Planning and Execution
Documented experience in leading organization-wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, innovation, financial management and building high performance work teams. A record of executive leadership in strategic planning that required significant organizational change, including experience utilizing reliable methods to ensure accountability and timeliness in the execution of strategic goals and objectives. Strong ability to delegate but resists the urge to micro-manage. Specific evidence that reveals past approaches to work that demonstrate personal prowess in assessing benefits and risks toward a goal of creating strategic advantage. An individual who possesses the ability to juggle multiple projects with clear priorities and to easily articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetables.

Interpersonal Effectiveness/Communication
An effective communicator who has excelled in building successful relationships. An established record of fostering teamwork and consensus, effectively managing conflict, provoking creative problem-solving, and necessary risk taking, and is inclusive of diverse individual and cultural perspectives. An influential leader who has the ability to deepen and refine all aspects of communication, from internal to external relationships with the goal of creating a strong brand for the NEA - New Mexico.

Motivation and Courage
Empowers others through personal actions and integrity; has the ability to lead courageously when faced with adversity or challenges. Fosters an environment of open communications, motivation and engagement among management team and employees that deliver exceptional results. Has proven success building strategic partnerships that increase efforts to expand membership and advance organization to the next level of growth.


  • A record of 5 – 7 years of senior level leadership experience in positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Background in public policy and/or labor advocacy and collective bargaining desired
  • Experience in public education advocacy preferred.
  • Experience reporting to and advising an elected board of directors.
  • A record of life-long learning, including recent professional development work


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college is required; Advance degree preferred.
  • Bilingual candidate preferred

$126,000- $145,000 per year, commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current résumé reflecting qualifications for this position
  • A Letter of Application which specifically addresses how accomplishments in your career have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to the following:

Margolies Potterton and Associates, Union Search LLC
NEA - NEW MEXICO Search Consultants

For all questions regarding this search, including confidential inquiries, please contact:

Debra Schwoch-Swoboda (East Coast)       |     Jim Potterton (West Coast)
                                    Debra4654@gmail.com        |      jpotterton@sbcglobal.net         
                       (414) 217-5160 (Eastern time zone)     |     (831) 332-9324 (Pacific time zone)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm (EST).

NEA – New Mexico is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. We are an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.