American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)

Chief Executive Officer

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The Opportunity

The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is conducting a search for an experienced executive with a demonstrated record of success to lead this respected association of veterinary medical educational institutions as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Reporting to the AAVMC Board of Directors, the CEO is responsible for leading all activities of the Association in concert with the Board of Directors.


Since its founding in 1966, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has been working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people, and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization based in Washington, DC, AAVMC has 56 institutional members that are accredited veterinary medical colleges, 33 of which are in the US with the balance based in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, Asia, and New Zealand. Members must be accredited by the Council on Education, which is an arms-length council jointly supported by AAVMC and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

AAVMC advocates to advance innovation in veterinary medical education, and it promotes research, celebrates accomplishments, and provides professional development opportunities, including a leadership academy, for faculty of its member institutions. The Association supports its members by encouraging students to pursue careers in the field of veterinary medicine, assisting veterinary programs in recruitment, admission, and student support, and providing information about the field to those considering a career in veterinary medicine.

AAVMC has annual revenues of approximately $8M and net assets of $10M. Its system for applying to veterinary medical schools, the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), currently accounts for about 60 percent of its revenues. The organization is led by a 12-member Board of Directors that includes At-Large Directors representing the regions outside the US. The CEO leads a staff of 25 and is a non-voting member of the Board, as are liaisons representing the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC), the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA), and the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE).

The CEO Role

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Governance

  • Assist AAVMC Board in overseeing and implementing effective governance processes and in conducting all governance-related activities.
  • Lead the Association in the development, implementation, and renewal of its strategic plan.
  • Help ensure inclusion of all AAVMC member institutions; grow and maintain AAVMC’s relevance to its international membership.
  • Uphold AAVMC’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Ensure compliance with Association policies, procedures, and bylaws.


  • Lead and continually strengthen the Association’s legislative agenda.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships and alliances with key contacts and organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, that advance the AAVMC’s mission and strategic initiatives.

Contribute to Member and Organizational Success

  • Identify, develop, and lead key initiatives, programs, and other activities that comprehensively engage the AAVMC constituency.
  • Create multiple and multi-faceted programs for member organizations’ faculty and staff development, responding to the topics and issues of importance and relevance to members.
  • Facilitate AAVMC member engagement in fore sighting, forecasting, and envisioning activities and initiatives that could impact veterinary medical education and the veterinary profession, ensuring its members are prepared for and ready to address such matters.
  • Sustain effective public relations activities to promote AAVMC’s mission, initiatives, and accomplishments to the AAVMC constituency, stakeholders, and public.
  • Encourage, augment, and facilitate the continued success of VMCAS, including the active recruitment of members’ full participation.
  • Encourage and facilitate the continued success of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
  • Oversee development and marketing of national meetings, events, and programs.


  • Maintain a solid and dynamic organizational infrastructure to ensure organizational success and effectiveness.
  • Continually develop a strong team to assist in the execution of AAVMC programs and initiatives.
  • Develop and maintain a work environment and culture to attract and retain a highly qualified staff.
  • Ensure staff has clarity of roles, responsibilities, and key expectations and is supported and held accountable for achieving goals and objectives.
  • Ensure staff members are treated equitably and with fairness by promoting an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and that they belong.
  • Develop staff members’ abilities while looking for and capitalizing on opportunities to motivate, celebrate, and reward performance that achieves objectives.
  • In conjunction with Board input and direction, develop or refine programs, services, resources, and sunset programs as necessary.
  • Provide strong, comprehensive, and transparent oversight of all AAVMC’s financial affairs to ensure 501(c)(3) compliance and the solid financial health of the organization:
    • Prepare budgets, oversee expenditures and the development of financial reports for the Treasurer.
    • Continually develop funding streams to support and expand AAVMC’s initiatives and programs.
    • Assure the preparation of an annual audit and its transmittal to the Board of Directors.
    • Work closely with the Treasurer to oversee all bank accounts and reserve investments, and withdrawals and transfers of reserves.
    • Assess risks and ensure adequate insurance protection.
  • Oversee the necessity, development, accuracy, and clarity of all contracts, agreements, and memoranda of understanding.
  • Sign official documents on behalf of the organization and where appropriate with Board approval.
  • Effectively and efficiently manage AAVMC’s operations and activities in order to consistently achieve annual budgetary and strategic objectives and outcomes.

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Proven leader with 10+ years of experience in an Executive Director, COO, or senior-level position within an organization of comparable complexity.
  • Distinguished record of successful and progressively responsible administrative experience and leadership, preferably in higher education.
  • Experience working with stakeholders based outside of North America.
  • Experience and demonstrated effectiveness in working with nonprofit Boards of Directors in creating and advancing organizational vision and mission.
  • Track record of success in leading new business growth and generating new revenue lines.
  • A persuasive and passionate communicator with strong interpersonal and consensus-building skills who can have difficult conversations while maintaining or strengthening relationships with stakeholders.
  • Authentic leader who builds trusting relationships and has a track record of building, cultivating, and leading high-performing teams; demonstrated ability to achieve results through others.
  • Ability to weave diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion, and belonging throughout an organization’s vision, mission, strategy, culture, operations, and messaging.
  • Demonstrated proactive approach to problem-solving with strong decision-making and critical-thinking capabilities.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience and understanding of the veterinary profession and veterinary academia are desired.
  • Demonstrated leadership in strategic planning and organizational visioning, public policy and advocacy, resource development, fiscal management is highly desirable.
  • High emotional intelligence — the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
  • Candidates from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities 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. Applicants’ candidacy will be kept confidential throughout the interview process.

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.