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News & Press: Leadership

NPA Seeking Executive Officer

Tuesday, January 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
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January 21, 2020

The National Postdoctoral Association’s (NPA) mission is to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting a culture of enhanced professional growth. At the individual, organizational, and national levels, we facilitate connections, raise awareness, and collaborate with stakeholders in the postdoctoral community. We envision an inclusive community where all postdocs are empowered, valued, recognized, and supported in their current and future endeavors.


The Executive Officer is the primary external relations officer for the NPA, providing visionary and innovative leadership to ensure the interests of stakeholders. The Executive Officer provides strategic vision and leadership to enhance, develop, and implement new connections, funding opportunities, creative programming, and resources to effectively support a growing postdoctoral population and the community that serves them. As an experienced and effective leader, they will develop team members, guide Board members, and build alliances with myriad interdisciplinary partners in academic, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. The Executive Officer is ultimately responsible for building and maintaining the reputation of the NPA, ensuring that it is viewed as the primary benchmark for postdoctoral trainee and postdoctoral office education, advocacy, resources, and support.

The Executive Officer must have demonstrated success serving in full-time professional leadership positions, ideally in nonprofit, government, and/or educational settings, with full understanding of processes and expectations of board-led organizations. They must be both the internal and external face of the NPA. Internally, they will oversee a team of two (2) FTE and one (1) PTE, including direct management of one Senior Manager. The Executive Officer must be comfortable working both collaboratively with off-site Board/Advisory Council members and volunteers, and independently influencing the overall vision of the NPA. Externally, they are a public relations emissary to all stakeholders, including postdoctoral scholars, funders, leaders in various industry sectors and of postdoctoral offices, government agencies, political/professional organizations, membership, and all other potential influencers. Further, this person clearly articulates the place and role of postdoctoral training in academic and professional landscapes, both nationally and globally.

Your Responsibilities*

Strategic Management

  • Develop and sustain the strategic mission of the NPA by aligning goals and objectives in relation to the NPA’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Establish and cultivate strong relationships with new and existing stakeholders.
  • Serve as a liaison to partner organizations.
  • Work with Board leadership and Advisory Council to integrate stakeholder interests, national trends, and best practices into strategic planning goals; oversee new educational programs, connections events, and support resources as a result of these initiatives; ensures that offerings represent the needs of the changing and competitive landscape of postdoctoral training.
  • Direct efforts and manage the performance of Senior Manager, Operations; coach, mentor, and develop team; determine staffing needs and make hiring decisions for the entire office; ensure team and organizational growth.

Strategic Fiscal Planning and Development

  • Manage the development and evaluation of short and long-range programs; seek out, create, and maintain opportunities to fund evidence-based educational programming and crucial resources to support the academic and professional development of postdoctoral trainees and the offices that serve them.
  • Provide strategic direction for the NPA budget planning and revenue growth, including raising annual revenue via Annual Conference participation and partnerships, member and industry contributions, identify and support grant writing efforts, and other development activities undertaken through outreach efforts;
  • Exercise fiscal responsibility for the NPA’s financial resources.

Leadership and Advocacy

  • In conjunction with Board membership and Advisory Council, develop and implement strategic plan for the NPA that guides and informs its decision-making.
  • Act confidently and independently as a national and global influencer to inspire and provide direction to a growing, nonprofit organization; encourage a growth mindset among team and board members.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and direction of new programs.
  • Participate, attend, and present at national, regional and local meetings; preside over NPA Annual Conference; represent and communicate postdoctoral interests in public relations and media outreach requests; communicate expectations, goals, and initiatives to internal organization.


To be successful in this position, you must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree and seven years of relevant experience, or a combination of relevant experience and education.
  • History of measurable success in growing organizations (personnel and finances).
  • Strong management skills and ability to effectively work with and lead teams.
  • Experience with complex budgetary/financial management.
  • Outstanding public speaking, writing, presentation, and 1:1 communication skills to effectively convey impact and opportunities at all levels with tact and diplomacy.
  • Ability and passion for the identification, engagement, and stewardship of donors and organizational partners. Demonstrated deep understanding, and continuous exploration, of 1) political, academic, professional, and personal factors, laws, and regulations impacting postdoctoral trainee success; and 2) current trends, best practices, and laws regarding nonprofit management.
  • Cultural acumen and commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion while working with a wide range of partners with diplomacy and tact.
  • Demonstrated, measurable success in developing strategic partnerships, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, and achieving buy-in on high-stakes initiatives.
  • Ability to travel to conferences, trainings, and other events to acquire and maintain proficiency in fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.
  • Ability to define and inspire an evidence-based growth-mindset with clear and tangible ideas for incorporating this perspective into an environment where volunteers, board/advisory council, and staff are dispersed across the country; sees feedback as a gift and is able to give and receive it consistently and professionally.

In addition, the following experiences are strongly preferred:

  • Completion of an advanced or professional degree.
  • Professional leadership positions in higher education, government, and/or nonprofits.
  • Previous experience working with, or influencing in some way, postdoctoral trainees.

*Physical Demands and Accommodations

The Executive Officer position requires regular sitting, standing, walking, speaking, and listening. The position requires extensive computer use. Up to 10% of the Executive Officer's time may be spent traveling to various conferences, connections events, and meetings. They will occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Consistent with its obligations under the law, the National Postdoctoral Association will provide reasonable accommodations to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation(s) to perform the essential functions of their job.

Work Environment and Organizational Structure

NPA is a small, busy office located in Nonprofit Village, just outside of Washington DC. Residency and connections in the DC metro area OR willingness and ability to relocate is required. Some staff and all Board members (11), committee/taskforce leaders (14), volunteers (40+), and advisory council members (14) work remotely, across the country. This position reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors, directly supervises a Senior Manager, Operations, and oversees the overall staff of 2.5.

Salary Range: $125K - $150K, commensurate with experience.

How to Apply: To be considered, please submit your résumé, cover letter detailing both your qualifications and passion for this position, and three (3) professional references.

The National Postdoctoral Association is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.