The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Association and an ex officio member of the governing Council. The Executive Director reports to the Council and works closely with the President and other SPSA elected officials. The Executive Director provides leadership and vision through strategic planning and oversight of the Association; implements goals, policies and procedures; communicates promptly with members, SPSA officials; manages the staff and budget; oversees and manages the annual conference and other Association events; works closely with the press and editors of the Journal of Politics to ensure its continuing prestige in the discipline; oversees all Association activities and represents the Association in a positive and constructive fashion.
Historically, this has been a half-time position, but terms of employment can be negotiated between the successful candidate, the SPSA, and the candidate’s institution, where necessary.
Major responsibilities include:
Strategic leadership in planning and policy development in the context of a Council-led association; effective communication to constituents, officials and other relevant publics; facilitation, management and oversight of an annual meeting of the SPSA, including negotiating contracts; fostering member engagement and growth; supporting activities in digital and non-digital formats, supervision and coordination of a diverse staff with differing backgrounds and experience levels; preparation and oversight of the annual budget to be approved by the Council and communication to the Council of any adjustments to the proposed budget; effectively managing the Association’s finances to include close attention to sound budgetary procedures and to innovative approaches to securing new sources of revenue; coordinating the management of the scholarly journal to ensure its continuing prestige and impact in the discipline; work closely with Association President to ensure all responsibilities of the President and other officers are completed; and ensuring compliance with the Constitution of the Southern Political Science Association (available at https://spsa.net/resources/spsa-constitution/).
Preferred qualifications include a PhD in political science or related field and/or experience in nonprofit management or academic administration. The best qualified candidates will have many of the following attributes: prior experience with managing budgets and their implementation; negotiating contracts and managing vendors; demonstrated ability to think creatively and communicate effectively; demonstrated ability to deal with change and unexpected challenges; exceptional leadership, management and advocacy skills; the ability to meet multiple deadlines while remaining very responsive to association leaders, staff, and members; ability to work constructively with constituents of diverse interests and backgrounds, promoting a culture of respect; ability to work effectively and productively with office staff, officers, council members in small and large teams; interest in the use of multiple media approaches for public outreach and information services; appreciation of the commitment to excellence and diversity in research and teaching in all fields of political science.
Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest that explains their qualification for the position, a resume or curriculum vita with contact information for three professional references to https://tinyurl.com/SPSAExecDirApp. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2023 and continue until the successful applicant is identified. The expected start date is January 1, 2025. The appointment is for one three-year term and is renewable at the discretion of the SPSA Council. Salary is commensurate with experience. In the event that the successful candidate holds an academic position, the SPSA will negotiate compensation and workload with the candidate and the candidates’ home institution where appropriate. The SPSA is comprised of a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students. We particularly encourage applications from those who contribute to our diversity.
If you have questions about the position or the application, please contact SPSA search committee co-chair David Lewis at email@example.com.