Arizona Education Association

Arizona Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Phoenix, AZ


The Arizona Education Association (AEA) seeks an experienced, dynamic, senior-level executive who has demonstrated success in leading staff and directing resources. Our next Executive Director will leverage the energy and member engagement from the grassroots RedforEd movement through the successful passage of the Invest in Education Act to continue building AEA’s organizational power. The ideal candidate would possess strong, collaborative management skills with a background in education, public policy, organizing, and labor relations.

AEA’s mission is Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education. AEA is committed to cultivating and sustaining a culture of organizing in pursuit of our mission and organizational goals. AEA is a growing state affiliate of the National Education Association with over 180 local affiliates and 20,000 members.

You are the Association’s Chief Staff Officer and Executive Administrative Officer
You are responsible for adeptly managing and skillfully executing the long-term vision and strategies of the Association as outlined in its Constitution, Bylaws, Resolution Statements, and Strategic Plan as directed by the Delegate Assembly and the Board of Directors. The Executive Director must have the vision, integrity, energy, and experience to lead the staff and guide AEA in pursuit of this mission. You are responsible for overseeing an annual budget exceeding $7 million and leading 31 full-time, union employees and the program resources to achieve the organization’s goals, objectives and priorities.

You are the Key Advisor to the Association’s Officers and Governing Bodies
You report directly to the 25-member Board of Directors, supervised by the State President. You will anticipate issues, consult with and advise Association-elected leaders on how their policy decisions affect the Association’s operation, effectiveness, and image. You will work closely with the Association’s President, Vice President and Treasurer, and its Board of Directors. You are decisive and model relational leadership. You are skilled in thinking strategically, analyzing issues, assessing risks and benefits, establishing plans, and you use sound judgment to implement those plans. You lead the management team in operational review and strategic planning.

You Lead the Association in sustaining a Culture of Organizing
You foster a culture of organizing and facilitate our learning of the principles of organizing. You encourage the use of organizing to continue growing membership, increasing leadership capacity, and developing local association power.

You Oversee the Development and Implementation of Programs for the Association
You create strategic advantage for action and results; use sound judgment in establishing and monitoring plans; manage and improve processes; and drive effective implementation. You promote a global perspective and champion meaningful innovation.

You are experienced in leading and managing large, complex organizations
You model a collaborative leadership style that supports diversity and professional growth. You create a climate where governance, management and staff are empowered to achieve the organization’s goals. You foster positive working conditions that are committed to the concepts of equal opportunity, human rights, and workplace diversity. You embrace diversity in all aspects of the organization including membership type, experience, local structure, ethnicity, and geography. You provide strong leadership in managing a complex environment with multiple priorities and effectively balance those demands with the need to take decisive action. You adeptly assign and monitor the utilization of limited human, financial, and material resources to achieve the maximum results.

You have successful experiences in fostering a culture of organizing
You embrace and value organizing as a cultural approach to implementing organizational goals. You have demonstrated results of growing membership, capacity, and power using organizing principles. You engage staff and leaders to appropriately balance a service model and organizing model approach to the organization’s work.

You are politically astute and fully support labor union and public education values
You model political activism by cultivating external relationships to influence legislation that result in pro-public education and pro-labor policies. You establish and maintain effective relationships and partnerships between the Association and other education, labor and business organizations. You establish effective relationships between the governor, state legislature, and other government officials and their staff. You exhibit a clear understanding of how local, state and national politics affect public education. You maintain awareness of current issues and challenges in public education and the increasing global implications of education reform and privatization efforts.

You are an excellent communicator who builds strong relationships within and outside the organization
You are an effective spokesperson for the Association. You promote quality communication among all levels of the organization by openly sharing ideas and information with the Board of Directors, Leaders, and Staff. You will continue the culture of working collaboratively with the staff union to jointly achieve the organization's purpose. You build and cultivate strong relationships with other education stakeholders, allied progressive groups, and labor organizations to effectively pursue the Association’s mission. You foster collaboration and teamwork, build consensus, and are able to engage and inspire all stakeholders to achieve collective results.

You are a skilled financial manager who can provide high-level oversight to the fiscal and budgetary management of the Association
You are well-versed in financial and operational controls as well as fostering creative solutions for membership growth and revenue enhancement. You work closely with the Business Manager and the Finance and Revenue Committee to prepare and manage the Association’s multi-million-dollar budget.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Public Policy, Management, or related field is required. Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, Management, Administration, Organizational Development, Finance or other graduate or professional studies in a related field is preferred.
  • A minimum of 3 years successful experience in the management of professional staff is required, with a preference toward experience in the education or labor field, or in a membership-based association.
  • Demonstrated oversight of financial and budgetary matters is required.
  • Experience reporting to a Board of Directors or governing body is required.
  • Experience in the public education system and/or in an advocacy organization such as a national association, state association, labor organization, or community organization is required.
  • Background in labor relations and collective bargaining is preferred.


  • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications
  • Attractive benefits package
  • Significant statewide travel and occasional national travel are required

Candidates interested in the position should submit a résumé or professional vitae; a letter of interest which specifically addresses how your career accomplishments have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position; and three (3) professional references in confidence to:

Patricia Johnson
Margolies, Potterton & Associates, LLC

For questions about the position, or if you would like to schedule a confidential discussion, please email to schedule a call. (Central Time Zone)

The job posting will remain active until the position is filled. AEA will review applications as they are submitted and reach out to selected applicants with information about the interview process.

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