American Society of Human Genetics

Chief Operating Officer

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The Opportunity

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) serves as deputy to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and works collaboratively to contribute executive-level, organization-wide strategic leadership and management consistent with the strategic plan and the direction of the CEO. The COO manages and leads staff and programs in several discrete areas of responsibility, from strategic-level development and direction to day-to-day operations. The COO ensures performance of major revenue lines, helps develop new ones, monitors major contracts, budgets, and financial performance; serves as a partner and strategic thinker with the CEO on all facets of Board relations, governance, and strategy; and helps protect and foster ASHG’s productive, trusting, and positive work environment and culture. The COO makes significant contributions to ensure ASHG maintains a place of leadership to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the genetics and genomics research community. With a headquarters office in Rockville, MD, ASHG has established a flexible work policy for regional (DC-MD-VA) staff, with the option to work from the office or primarily from home with occasional office work as needed. Fully remote employees (outside the region) are hired on a case-by-case basis. The COO is expected to be a regional employee, with periodic commuting access to the headquarters.

About ASHG

 ASHG envisions a future where people everywhere realize the benefits of human genetics and genomics research. The Society works to advance human genetics and genomics in science, health, and society through excellence in research, education, and advocacy. With a staff of about 32 and annual revenues of approximately $8.4M, ASHG is the world’s largest community in human genetics, serving about 8,000 researchers, clinicians, genetic counselors, and others who have a special interest in the field of human genetics and genomics research. This research is a rapidly advancing and transformative area of discovery; has broad scientific, clinical and societal impacts; and engages leaders and issues in public, private and governmental sectors. ASHG’s current strategic plan has identified year-round programming, member engagement, diversity and public awareness as top priorities. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, the Society is poised to build on scientific knowledge and its values to realize an inclusive and impactful future.

The COO Role

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Governance, Board, and Executive Relations

  • Works with and through the CEO to provide senior counsel and recommendations to the Board and committees to achieve established goals and objectives or develop new ones.
  • Participates fully in deliberations of the Board, committees, and other elements of governance; participates actively in the development of the strategic plan; provides the CEO and Board with regular reports, thought leadership, data, analysis, and recommendations in areas of responsibility.
  • Collaborates with and through other senior staff members to set and accomplish organizational goals.

Strategic and Program Leadership

  • In areas of responsibility, works in alignment with and pursuit of strategic plan goals to develop for approval: annual workplan goals, budgets, and new program and service opportunities. Executes the annual work plan, budget, and programs as adopted by the Board.
  • Ensures production of and innovation in the ASHG Annual Meeting, maintaining its stature as the Society’s and field’s premier conference; delivers outstanding attendee and exhibitor experiences; and achieves or exceeds budget targets. This is a $5 million revenue line with expenses of approximately $3 million, and its net revenue is a core driver of investment in other work areas.
  • Ensures production of and innovation in other online or in-person professional education and development events and forums to deliver outstanding attendee experiences and achieve budget targets. Leads development of professional education and certificate programs into a major growth area for the Society.
  • As a partner in Executive Office management, ensures execution of ASHG’s awards program; governance operations; special projects such as strategic planning and maintenance of ASHG’s professional conduct standards; and other initiatives as assigned.

Staff and Financial Leadership

  • Staff management of about 15 personnel, working with and through 3 direct reports. In coordination with CEO and human resources, hires, develops, reviews those professional staff. Supports an innovation-oriented, customer-focused staff culture that supports continuous improvement, career-long learning, and professional development within a safe, welcoming, and diverse workplace. Sets the tone and demonstrates ongoing support of a staff culture in which employees of all levels can discuss and take consistent action to support and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Works with reporting senior directors and other functional budget managers and finance staff to develop organizational and departmental annual budgets; with CEO, monitors performance to organizational and unit budgets and addresses areas that are out of alignment.
  • Selects, engages, and supervises vendors and contractors and other service providers. At levels authorized, evaluates and signs contracts and other agreements.
  • With fundraising staff and volunteers, supports programmatic efforts to build and maintain a strong and growing revenue diversification effort by developing, managing, and growing relationships with philanthropic funders, agencies, sponsors, partners, advertisers, strategic allies, and others.
  • Actively participates in and supports consistent data and technology infrastructure, strategy and implementation. Adheres to policies and procedures to serve members and ensure consistent, high-quality, professional operations.

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree is preferred. Certification in association management preferred.
  • Qualifications: Minimum of 15 years of work experience, including substantial nonprofit environment experience; at least 5 years in a senior staff management position. Previous association experience required, experience with science and health organizations strongly preferred. Experience engaging a diverse, global constituency.
  • Exceptional writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience managing multiple priorities.


Desired Qualities and Competencies

  • A team-oriented leader able to develop and maintain credibility with the membership, staff, board, and stakeholders. Open, receptive, candid management and interpersonal style.
  • Entrepreneurial with a growth mindset; ability to identify and potentially fill needs or leverage opportunities in the field if consistent with strategic plan and financial capacity/need.
  • Strong project management orientation to guide and support staff to set and manage to program goals, timelines, and budgets.
  • Enthusiasm to support human genetics scientific and clinical advances, and ability to develop a lay understanding of key principles. Demonstrated ability to listen to and partner with subject matter experts to develop effective programs.
  • Personable and optimistic; confidence combined with humility and propensity to focus on organizational rather than personal ambitions; self-reflective.
  • Willingness to travel periodically on behalf of ASHG.
  • Trustworthy; uses sound judgment and discretion, embodies highest level of integrity and ethical behavior.
  • Skilled in interpersonal and organizational conflict analysis, management, and resolution.


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

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.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, ASHG is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and encourages applications from candidates of all backgrounds. ASHG has retained Sterling Martin Associates as its search firm. Both organizations are 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.