Maine Education Association

Maine Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Augusta, ME


The Maine Education Association (MEA) seeks an energetic, highly motivational, collaborative and influential leader for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director will work in partnership with the Association's governance and staff to provide operational leadership for MEA to fulfill their vision of “great public schools for every Maine student.” The successful candidate for this position must possess the commitment, vision, integrity, skills, and experience to assist and guide MEA in the pursuit of its mission: “to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the people of Maine to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed.”

The Maine Education Association is an affiliate of the National Education Association. First established in 1859 as the Maine Teachers Association, the MEA represents nearly 24,000 public school educators in 278 locals. The MEA President is the only full-time release officer; the Vice President, the Treasurer, and the NEA Director are in the classroom full time. The Board of Directors consists of 13 educators representing the various geographic regions of the state, two directors representing state university and community college faculty and staff along with Maine Public Broadcasting staff, one director representing education support professionals statewide, and one director representing the MEA-Retired Association. The MEA Representative Assembly meets annually and is the highest governing body of the Association.

The MEA employs 41 staff in various positions: managers, program directors, UniServ directors, assistants and information technology. MEA headquarters is located in Augusta; there are four additional field offices in South Portland, Auburn, Bangor and Caribou.

The Executive Director is the Association’s chief administrative officer and management agent who leads a staff in coordination with the MEA President to ensure implementation of the full scope of policies, procedures, and programs approved and adopted by the MEA Board of Directors. In collaboration with the President and Officers, the Executive Director develops and manages an annual organizational budget and is accountable to the Board for the long term financial and fiscal health and sustainability of the Association.


  • Institutional Leadership – exercise inclusive and decisive leadership to advance the mission and vision of MEA 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.
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability – implement the policies, services and programs of the MEA and drive for continuous improvement utilizing data and measurement to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of MEA program and services.
  • Public Education Advocacy – champion public education in Maine, including building collaborative relationships between MEA and external stakeholders in order to shape the highest professional standards for education policy.
  • Staff Relations – serve as chief of staff and provide leadership for staff commitment to Association policy; assign staff resources to programs and projects as necessary; coordinate, direct and evaluate the work of MEA employees, delegating supervision to other management employees as appropriate; support high standards for work on behalf of MEA members; and build effective relationships with management and staff unions.
  • Corporate Management – advise and facilitate the development of the MEA budget in conjunction with the President and the Strategic Budget Committee, which is designed to achieve the MEA’s Strategic Priorities; oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; evaluate and manage risk; and ensure the proper management of all property owned and leased by the Association. Safeguard the financial status of the MEA; maintain and review all MEA corporate records; prepare the Annual Implementation Report to the MEA Representative Assembly.

The Maine Education Association is at an exciting point in its history as it expands its recognition as the preeminent advocate for, and champion of, public education in Maine. Within a broad mandate to lead in this transformation, the Executive Director must face and embrace several interrelated challenges and opportunities:

  • Providing visionary leadership that demonstrates the relevance, power and value of union membership to address diverse member needs.
  • Increasing clarity about how local, state and national politics impact public education.
  • Maintaining awareness of current issues and challenges in public education such as the increasing global implications of education reform, privatization efforts and the necessity of adequate funding for Maine’s public schools.
  • Encouraging greater political action in a predominantly conservative political environment.
  • Continuing to strengthen external relationships to influence legislation that results in pro-public education policies and proper implementation.
  • Supporting and helping prioritize the needs of educators and students as they face the challenges of COVID-19.
  • Promoting social and racial justice issues that impact students and educators, and ensuring that all educators and students have the tools and supports in place to be successful.
  • Building member capacity and engaging them as empowered activists to grow and strengthen the union in support of their professional interests.
  • Ensuring that the necessary resources are available so that MEA members are capable of claiming their place at the table and supported in defining true partnerships with school, district, and state leaders.
  • Capitalizing and strengthening the MEA brand by building partnerships with external organizations who support the MEA’s mission and values.
  • Supporting member involvement in Campaign 2020 initiatives.
  • Prioritizing diversity and developing strategies or targeted campaign to attract new talent to the education profession.
  • Unifying and empowering members to develop strong and effective local affiliates, to provide resources and leadership for professional growth, and to advocate for public education and public education employee.

To be considered for this position, the applicant must be prepared to share and validate a record of personal achievements in the following competency areas.

  • Strategic Planning and Execution. Documented successful experience in leading organizational wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, innovation, building high performance work teams. A specialized knowledge of best practice financial management. 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. An ability to manage and direct multiple projects simultaneously with clear priorities and to easily articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetable.
  • Leadership. A passionate public education advocate who understands the central role educators play in leading change in their profession. Proven record of senior organizational leadership marked by a passion for education. A visionary leader who has confidently engaged others to identify and work toward common goals. Capable and willing to voice respectful and effective dissent when and where appropriate.
  • Must possess a growth mindset, a collaborative workstyle and be able to communicate effectively with a broad range of internal and external partners. Must have the confidence to lead courageously and possess resilience in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Evidence of success in achieving desired outcomes when leading organizational innovation and change; a courageous leader who has shown organizational savvy and flexibility in confronting and adapting to challenging and changing political/organizational realities. Capable and willing to voice respectful and effective dissent when and where appropriate.
  • A knowledgeable leader who preferably has experience managing effectively in a unionized environment. An organizer with a solid grasp of the appropriate role that staff play in building member power. A proven ability to grow a membership base. An empathetic leader who has a demonstrated, successful record of attracting and motivating highly talented staff and is highly skilled at coaching and mentoring others. Has success in building and maintaining effective coalition partnerships.
  • Communication. An engaging and influential public speaker with strong oral and written communication skills. Must be an active listener and effective communicator who has excelled in building successful internal/external relationships. Must have an established record of fostering teamwork and consensus, effectively managing conflict, provoking creative problem-solving, necessary risk taking, and is inclusive of diverse individual and cultural perspectives.


  • A minimum of 3-5- years of middle or senior management experience in positions of increasing responsibility, in the field of education, labor/union advocacy, public policy, not-for-profit leadership or other related field.
  • Experience working in a member-based organization, reporting to and advising an elected board of directors.
  • Experience in public policy, labor advocacy, collective bargaining and social justice activism, especially as related to public education is desired.
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university required. Master’s degree preferred.

MEA is prepared to offer a generous and competitive salary and benefits package consistent with experience, skills and demonstrated abilities.

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 and Potterton, MEA Search Consultants: kam47@cornell.edu

For all questions regarding this search including confidential inquiries please contact: Ken Margolies – (845) 499-6636.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 30, 2020.

MEA is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. We are an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

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