The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists


Executive Director

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The Opportunity 

The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (the Academy) is conducting a search for its next Executive Director. Established in 1970, the Academy is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and research for the orthotic and prosthetic profession, providing professional resources, continuing education, and advocacy to enhance the skill level and awareness of orthotic and prosthetic professionals. The core of the Academy’s mission is advancing the field of orthotics and prosthetics through educating practitioners. The Academy supports individual clinicians and practitioners as they improve their skills and develop their practices.

Looking ahead, the Academy is seeking a visionary leader with proven personnel, financial, and program management experience. Exceptional leadership skills and a passion for AAOP’s mission will be crucial to the new Executive Director’s success. The role requires a strategic, collaborative leader who is deeply committed to building positive and productive team relationships and possesses an enthusiasm for the organization and profession.

The Executive Director will play a lead role in raising the visibility of the Academy and advocating for issues that impact the mission and its membership, in addition to overseeing administrative, financial, and operational functions of the society. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and work with the Board to help formulate and execute the Academy’s mission, goals, and policies.

While this position is virtually based, there will be regular travel to the Washington, DC, area to meet with staff and for other meetings. The Executive Director will represent the Academy at events and will attend Board meetings. Some travel is required.

About the Academy 

The Academy, founded in 1970, is the professional organization representing certified and state-licensed practitioners, assistants, technicians, fitters, and others affiliated with the profession of orthotics and prosthetics (O&P). The Academy is dedicated to promoting professionalism and advancing the standards of patient care through education, literature, research, advocacy, and collaboration.

A 501(c)(6) organization with a $2.2M budget, and an 11-member Board of Directors, the Academy has around $5.5M in investments. Three volunteer-leadership councils operate under the direction of the Board of Directors: the Education Development Council, Membership Advocacy Council, and Research Council. Each council has its own committees that report to their respective council.

The Academy is the only professional society for certified O&P professionals, and its goal is to enhance the professional profile of its membership. The organization provides education programs to its membership through online offerings, in-person trainings, and a national conference each spring. It offers its membership access to an extensive research database, publications, and professional development opportunities. The Academy advocates for its members’ interests, provides networking opportunities, and mentors students and diversity groups in the profession.

The Executive Director Role 

The Executive Director serves as the chief staff executive and administrative officer of the organization and is responsible to the Board of Directors to effectively conduct the organization’s affairs. The Executive Director assists the Board in its formulation of the association mission, goals, objectives, and related policies. Within this framework established by the Board and with the resources allocated, the Executive Director manages the staff, systems, resources, and infrastructure to carry out those activities required to fulfill the Academy’s mission.

Within the limits of the bylaws of the association and policies established by the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is an ex-officio member of the Board, the Executive Committee, and all standing committees and task forces, without the right to vote. The Executive Director leads strategic initiatives and builds relationships that will assure the association’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Operations and Financial Management

The Executive Director is responsible for the Academy’s finances, day-to-day operations, staff supervision, and programmatic activities by:

  • Evaluating and melding past financial history and organization activities with projected financial standing and activities to produce and recommend an annual budget.
  • Developing financial strategies to support the Academy’s mission and diversify revenue streams.
  • Ensuring that appropriate fiscal controls and procedures are in place for transparency and accountability.
  • Providing the Board of Directors with appropriate financial reports and analyses.
  • Supervising and approving the appropriate expenditures, in keeping with the budget, for
    association activities; ensuring all funds and assets are appropriately stewarded and accounted for.
  • Providing direct assistance to the organization’s officers and directors, including devising improved alternatives to current procedures, drafting reports, researching and recommending policies, serving in an advisory capacity on all organization matters, and implementing approved policy relating to all programs.
  • Supervising the work of the Academy staff in all areas to ensure the appropriate delivery of services and programs.
  • Communicating with interested parties on behalf of the Board of Directors.
  • Providing direction to all consultants, including but not limited to legal and accounting specialists, for the purpose of ensuring the best interests of the organization are served.
  • Accounting for the safekeeping and confidentiality of records.
  • Providing recommendations and counsel to the Board regarding strategic planning.
  • Evaluating past precedent, current methods, and future requirements for the purpose of providing for the continuity and consistency of association programs.
  • Ensuring that the Academy complies with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Staffing Leadership and Support

The Executive Director is responsible for the Academy’s overall staffing and provides leadership by:

  • Developing and upholding a work environment that is collaborative, supportive, and respectful.
  • Establishing the staffing structure and administrative policies and procedures for the office.
  • Recruiting, hiring, and employing staff, assigning duties, training and supervising work, and within the framework of the approved budget and the personnel policies and procedures manual, establishing the terms of their employment.
  • Directing, coordinating, and providing guidance for the efforts of the Academy staff to ensure that organization objectives are met.
  • Evaluating current and future organizational staffing requirements.
  • Evaluating the performance and compensation of staff as they relate to the furthering of organizational goals and objectives.
  • Directly supervising the Chief Communications & Strategy Officer, Director of Finance, Associate Director of Education, Learning & Technical Operations Manager, Membership & Marketing Manager, and the Education & Membership Coordinator.
  • Maintaining general oversight and supervision of all Academy staff members and consultants, providing strategic direction to staff working in revenue centers such as membership development, retention, and the production and delivery of the Annual Meeting and education.

Board Relations

The Executive Director supports the Board of Directors and acts as a link between the Board and the Academy’s operations by:

  • Providing the Board with background information for effective decision making.
  • Maintaining continuity and consistency in programming, operations, and functions under a constantly evolving Board of Directors and annual change in officers.
  • Providing support and guidance to the Board on the feasibility of its actions, plans, and initiatives within the resources of the Academy.
  • Overseeing the provision of logistical arrangements as required to conduct Board business.
  • Ensuring accurate minutes of Board business are recorded, made available, and archived.
  • Guiding the election process, overseeing preparation, mailing, and counting of the ballots in accordance with the bylaws.
  • Advising the Nominating Committee regarding vacancies on the Board of Directors and other appointed or elected positions.

Partnerships, Relationship Building and Maintenance

The Executive Director establishes and maintains cooperative working relationships by:

  • Partnering with allied organizations such as the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC), the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE), National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics (NAAOP), Board of Certification and Accreditation, (BOC) and the Amputee Coalition (AC).
  • Continually building and maintaining a leading, active, and participatory role on the O&P Alliance, the O&P cooperative group for governmental and legislative affairs.
  • Fostering relationships with other industry, government, and public service organizations and vendors to enhance the image of the association and attain its objectives.
  • Administering and overseeing the Academy’s professional education and research foundation and adaptive recreation public charity.
  • Serving as spokesperson in conjunction with Board representatives.

Advocacy/Government Relations

The Executive Director focuses on the development, implementation, and promotion of advocacy and government relations efforts by:

  • Serving as a representative of the Academy to Congress, government agencies and other organizations involved in advocacy for O&P.
  • Representing the Academy as one of the members of the O&P Alliance.
  • Working directly with the Academy’s Public Policy Committee to ensure all advocacy efforts are pursued and reported to Academy members and the public.

Candidate Profile

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • At least five years of executive-level association management experience.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred.
  • Senior-level executive experience in a membership organization, government position, or consulting firm.
  • Experience in meeting planning, online education content development, and clinical programming.
  • Strong financial acumen and budgeting skills.
  • Experience leading technical and professional staff and working with Board members.
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to handle complex decision-making.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Personal Qualities and Competencies

  • Ability to develop creative solutions and new approaches to programming and revenue development.
  • Inspirational leader who models integrity in word and deed.
  • A collaborative leadership style with strong relationship-building skills.
  • Effective interpersonal communication with, and responsiveness to, all constituents including medical professionals, educators, and students.
  • High emotional quotient — the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
  • Follows through and is accountable for results but shares credit for successes with the team.
  • Ability to meet and exceed deadlines.
  • Commitment to delivering a high-quality and accurate work product with attention to detail.
  • High level of discretion and diplomacy.
  • 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.

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.