American Association for Anatomy

The American Association for Anatomy logo

Executive Director

The Opportunity

The American Association for Anatomy (AAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Rockville, MD, and founded in 1888 to advance anatomical science through research, education, and professional development. The association’s global membership includes scientists and educators who research and study everything from humans to fish. Members turn to AAA to help them grow their careers, advocate for science locally and globally, stay informed, build relationships, and challenge their perceptions.

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors of this professional association with annual revenues between $2M and $3M, the Executive Director (ED) provides professional-level support in organizational management and staff supervision. The ED also exercises considerable initiative, independent judgment, and confidentiality in performing assigned duties and must be knowledgeable about the organization’s Bylaws, policies, and procedures.

About AAA

Formerly known as the American Association of Anatomists, AAA rebranded in 2019 and changed its name to the American Association for Anatomy to better reflect its commitment to and support of all aspects of anatomical sciences in education and scientific research. As elucidated by Phil Brauer,  AAA’s President at the time, the new name emphasizes “the discipline rather than the profession and encourages scientists, educators, students, and the public to recognize anatomy as a foundational science.”

For over 130 years, AAA has worked to advance its mission of advancing anatomical science through research, education, and professional development to make its vision of inspiring scientific curiosity and discovery a reality. AAA is a community of anatomy professionals that offers support and collaboration to fellow members, future members, and health-care and allied professions. International in scope, AAA’s membership community respects differences, acts with professionalism, and upholds the mission, vision, values, and policies of AAA at all times. The association is committed to welcoming, developing, and maintaining scientists and educators by embracing individuals with diverse life experiences.

The Executive Director Role

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensures sound operational performance to accomplish established goals and objectives.
  • Ensures that all funds, physical assets, and other assets are safeguarded and administered.
  • Implements the organization’s plans and objectives.
  • Executes contracts and commitments in accordance with the Bylaws and policies established by the Board.
  • Hires, manages, supervises, and compensates staff.
  • Serves the Board and acts as liaison to the committees specified in Bylaws or as set by policy.
  • Recommends an annual operating budget to the Board and executes the approved budget.
  • Executes decisions of the Board and its established committees in a timely manner.
  • Keeps the Board regularly informed on staff, programs, and activities.
  • Serves as key contact to AAA’s publisher, Wiley, and provides oversight of disbursements to journal editors and editorial offices.
  • Provides guidance and oversight for the planning and execution of AAA’s annual meeting.
  • Oversees ongoing programs and other initiatives as prioritized by the Board and as reflected in the strategic plan.
  • Effectively communicates with members in a timely and professional manner.
  • Represents AAA as necessary in its engagement with Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).


  • Consults and advises the Board of Directors on governance and strategic plan priorities.
  • Serves in an ex officio capacity on committees and task forces.
  • Promotes active and broad participation by volunteers.
  • Provides organizational updates at AAA’s Annual Business Meeting and at meetings of the Board of Directors.
  • Represents AAA for special assignments as requested by the Board of Directors.


  • Represents AAA in its relationship with external organizations, including but not limited to:
    1. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), to include:
      • As full (voting) member on FASEB’s Executive Officers Advisory Committee.
      • As an ad hoc member (i.e., one with voice but without vote) on FASEB’s Board of Directors and all other FASEB committees and any other called meeting at FASEB where AAA interests and input are required.
    2. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
    3. Public policy coalitions.
  • Develops collaborative relationships with other scientific organizations to advance AAA’s strategic goals and priorities.
  • Represents AAA in public affairs by interacting with the legislative and executive branches of federal and state governments and other organizations to promote funding of research, training in the anatomical sciences, and other policy issues of interest to members.

Contribute to Member and Organizational Success

  • Ensures that AAA serves the needs and interests of members pursuant to the strategic plan and Bylaws as directed by the Board of Directors.
  • Serves as liaison between journal publisher and the Board of Directors; has oversight of journal contract negotiations; manages distribution of editorial expenses for journal editors.


  • Manages day-to-day operations of AAA’s National Office and supervises staff as well as makes decisions on personnel actions (employment), promotions, terminations, and establishment of pay scales.
  • Maintains official records and documents to ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local regulation.
  • Advises the Board on legal and insurance matters with full authority to sign contracts on behalf of AAA.
  • Develops an operating budget and oversees accounting functions including oversight of annual audit and preparation of required tax filings.
  • Ensures that the Organization is in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Assists AAA in identifying sources of revenue to support AAA activities.

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • At least five years of experience as executive leader or at senior management level of a society or association, strongly desired.
  • Experience reporting to or working with Boards/volunteers.
  • Established ability to define strategies and drive performance across an organization.
  • Experience managing budgets and overseeing financial management.
  • Proven ability to create constructive partnerships with external organizations and stakeholders to build consensus, collaboration, and effective communication.
  • Experience leading and motivating a staff with a track record of achieving results through staff members who work from home.
  • Experience with scientific journals and working closely with journal publishers and editors, preferred.
  • Experience directing membership and marketing activities, preferred.
  • Track record of success in fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within an organization’s staff and membership.

Personal Qualities and Competencies

  • A visionary leader who can conceptualize long-term goals and translate them into a succinct, understandable, and actionable framework.
  • Innovative leader who can predict trends and develop proactive strategic initiatives that benefit the organization.
  • Mission-driven, passionate, and committed to AAA’s vision.
  • Manager who possesses the flexibility to lead a nimble team of professionals and to roll up sleeves and lend a hand wherever needed.
  • Excellent organization, planning, and administrative skills.
  • Strong demonstrated competencies including: excellent communication, time management, problem-solving, listening, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership.
  • Authentic, transparent, approachable communicator who can build trust and foster open dialogue within an organization and its members.
  • A motivated—and motivational—leader who leads by example.
  • A lifelong learner who demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement in pursuit of operational excellence.
  • Diverse candidates are encouraged to apply.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and current resume (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here. The cover letter should outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

Sterling Martin Associates is committed to providing equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, political affiliation, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.