Executive Director

Client Overview

Founded in 1917, the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to helping orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) businesses and professionals navigate the multitude of issues surrounding the delivery of quality patient care. Based in Alexandria, VA, AOPA is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors and a professional staff of 11 whose work is amplified by outside consultants. AOPA’s revenue budget is in the $6 million range. Membership dues, conferences and publications make up the majority of the revenue.

Through advocacy, research, and education, AOPA’s mission is to improve patient access to quality orthotic and prosthetic care. AOPA includes more than 2,000 supplier and provider members and serves the O&P profession with advocacy on Capitol Hill, health economic value-based research initiatives, expert reimbursement guidance, and a full educational and programming platform addressing O&P-specific issues. AOPA provides its members with resources that ensure the highest quality patient care, promotes the education of public policy makers, influencers, and third-party payers about the critical role played by O&P professionals in delivering care, and protects patients and the profession from threats that would impair access to quality care.

AOPA’s membership comprises O&P companies, suppliers, and affiliates. AOPA’s members are located in 10 countries around the world, including the U.S. and Puerto Rico. AOPA also manages AOPA O&P PAC, which works to protect the future of the O&P profession and the services provided to consumers. The O&P PAC offers O&P professionals an opportunity to combine their individual contributions to support candidates who understand the role that O&P plays in the health care system.

AOPA celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 and set into motion several key imperatives designed to have a favorable impact on the profession, including a national Prosthetic Patient Registry, comparative effective research, new projects with Dobson-DaVanzo, and the Prosthetics 2020 and Orthotics 2020 initiatives. These initiatives are partnerships open to interested companies who want to take a strong, proactive role in shaping the drivers of prosthetic and orthotic patient care. AOPA is strong and continues to lead efforts to advocate on behalf of the O&P profession. For more information, please visit www.aopanet.org.

Executive Director

The Executive Director is AOPA’s chief staff executive and also serves as Secretary of the Corporation. Under the broad direction of AOPA’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for guiding AOPA’s vision and mission and maintaining a high performing organization that effectively supports the work of its members. This position is responsible for the overall growth and leadership of AOPA. The Executive Director is responsible for implementation of Board directives and policies, advocacy and government relations, member services, as well as financial governance and personnel management. This is an exciting opportunity for a highly skilled executive who has experience in a leadership role for an organization of AOPA’s size and scope.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the following duties and activities:

  • Collaborate with staff, board, and volunteers, overseeing and managing the development and execution of policy goals and tactics.
  • Focus intently on issues that affect AOPA’s members. Actively engage with and pursue input from the O&P profession, in order to address issues and needs.
  • Champion the O&P profession in ways that clearly advance their professional status. Ensure that the organization’s program delivery and solutions are relevant, of consistently high quality, and member-centered.
  • Lead the active engagement of the AOPA in appropriate coalitions, think-tanks, and other policy groups.
  • In cooperation with relevant AOPA staff and the AOPA Board of Directors, monitor federal and state agencies and policy issues to ensure a proactive role in influencing policy or legislation that could affect the AOPA and its constituents.
  • Ensure oversight of the development of AOPA communications strategies related to advocacy matters.
Strategy & Planning
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to develop, plan, and implement AOPA’s strategic initiatives with appropriate annual metrics in place.
  • Develop a regular process to review the strategic initiatives and report progress to ensure that priorities and resources align. With the Board of Directors’ agreement, correct course as needed based on internal or external factors.
  • Enhance AOPA’s already-strong reputation in the field of orthotics and prosthetics.
  • Continue to grow AOPA’s international focus to provide education and consultation services to the O&P profession worldwide to foster global quality and safe outcomes for patients.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of AOPA to provide for the sustainability and long-term stability of the organization.
Governance | Compliance | Risk Management
  • Ensure the Board of Directors is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and on all the important factors that influence it.
  • Support the Board of Directors and AOPA committees in order to ensure governance efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Ensure excellent communication within the governance and staff structure.
  • Foster and encourage active volunteer leadership, participation, and development across all levels of the organization.
  • Ensure the maintenance of official records and documents consistent with AOPA policies, and ensure that there is effective compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Prepare detailed quarterly reports to the Board and membership and oversee the production of AOPA’s annual reports.
External Relations
  • Serve as a key internal and external spokesperson for AOPA, in conjunction with the Board President, speaking for the organization to the media and public, as appropriate.
  • Lead efforts to enhance organizational visibility and awareness, including further developing relationships with relevant partner organizations.
  • Ensure continued productive partnerships with federal policy makers, regulators and collaborating partners.
  • Ensure regular and ongoing effective communications with all AOPA constituent groups.
  • In conjunction with the senior team, lead public relations efforts as they relate to key regulatory activities, mission-related activities, and AOPA events.
  • In conjunction with the senior team, ensure all communication and public relations materials and plans are in keeping with organization brand guidelines and depict the accurate message regarding AOPA initiatives.
Organizational Culture
  • Champion organizational culture and values. Build effective working relationships with all employees. Contribute to creating a positive work environment that promotes staff satisfaction.
  • Practice servant-leadership internally, ensuring good talent management and adherence to best practices and applicable employment law.
  • Facilitate organizational operating stability by continuing to attract, engage, and retain high caliber staff.
  • Develop and manage an effective staff team to achieve the strategic goals and to conduct the business of the organization successfully.
  • Ensure that human resources are allocated in a manner that promotes and supports a positive results-focused work environment.
Financial Management | Performance
  • Work with staff to propose an annual organizational budget for Board of Directors’ approval based on an assessment of needs, external environmental factors, and AOPA’s strategic initiatives. Assume accountability for financial stability as well as regular reports to the Board of Directors.
  • In conjunction with AOPA staff and volunteer groups, ensure the achievement of the annual operational plan and financial goals with appropriate resource allocation, goals, and performance metrics.
  • Ensure a financial management strategy that promotes good stewardship throughout the organization and makes certain that both systems and strategies are managed well.

Ideal Background & Experience | Qualities & Characteristics

The ideal candidate will have been a senior executive leader, ideally with experience in an association leadership role or in a healthcare-related organization. Specific qualifications include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience as an Executive Director or senior executive having worked in a similar or larger size organization.
  • A minimum of seven years of leadership experience in an association, nonprofit or healthcare-related role.
  • Experience working with a nonprofit governing board on matters involving strategy and vision.
  • Proven track record of strategic leadership and accomplishment of annual goals.
  • Knowledge of the O&P profession a plus.
  • Experience in advocacy with federal, state, and local governments a plus.
  • Ability to build consensus among diverse groups.
  • Ability to blend a variety of interests, both scientific and patient support-oriented, around a common set of goals.
  • A high-level customer/member service orientation, exhibiting both internal hospitality and external customer satisfaction.
  • Strong financial management and strategic insight to deliver on the strategic initiatives through the development of programs and services.
  • Strategic thinker who sees the big picture and motivates staff, volunteers, donors, and key constituents toward a common vision.
Personal and Professional Qualities
  • Act ethically and adhere to the AOPA mission and core values.
  • A unifier, with the ability to assess the organization’s current position and build strategies to advance it rapidly and strategically.
  • Demonstrate empathetic concern and emotional intelligence in interactions with clients, staff, members, volunteers, and key influencers.
  • Ability to foster trust and build a sense of a shared purpose and commitment with the Board, staff, volunteer leaders, and key influencers.
  • Ability to react appropriately and strategically to key external trends, market demands, and regulatory changes.
  • Ability to guide and mentor others in performing effectively and in providing professional development opportunities.
  • Affinity for networking outside and within the organization and the field to build positive strategic relationships to further AOPA and the O&P profession.
  • Ability to address problems and challenges, use critical-thinking in moving beyond the standard methods and solutions, thereby keeping the AOPA at the cutting-edge and ahead of the curve.
  • Practice life-long learning and be willing to implement new concepts, technologies, and methods.


AOPA offers a very attractive compensation to attract the right candidate. AOPA also provides its employees with a wide array of comprehensive benefits to help maintain employee welfare and health.

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) to [email protected]. A well-crafted cover letter outlining how your background and experience relate to the position is considered an important part of the candidate review process. All applications will be acknowledged.

AOPA provides equal opportunity to all employees and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.

For more information, contact:

Sterling Martin Associates

1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW | Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20036 www.smartinsearch.com


David S. Martin | Managing Partner

[email protected]


Leigh Beal | Senior Associate

[email protected]


Tricia Bork-Canavan | Senior Consultant

[email protected]