AIAS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOB PROFILE THE OPPORTUNITY The Executive Director of the American Institute of Architecture Students has the unique opportunity to be a leader in an organization with a 65-year legacy of shaping the education and profession of architecture. The ideal candidate can make immediate and impactful changes in the lives of students and emerging professionals, network and establish relationships with professional organizations and their leaders, and mentor and provide resources for tomorrow’s industry leaders. The culture of the AIAS is one of progress, and the family-like network the organization cultivates provides a community dedicated to providing passionate students with the resources they need to create real change. The members of the AIAS are not content with the status quo in education or in design, and they are tirelessly dedicated to changing the culture, policies, and practices of existing institutions - including our own.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has been a turbulent time for many membership-based organizations, and as an organization driven by students, the AIAS was impacted significantly. Rather than struggle to uphold outdated practices and traditions, the AIAS Board of Directors made the decision to use these trials as an opportunity to make the needed changes to our organization.
In the Spring of 2021, a governance consultant was hired to assess our organizational structure and practices, and make recommendations to increase their effectiveness. After the Board crafts a new strategic plan and begins to implement these changes, the Executive Director will lead the staff through a transformative period for the entire organization. The Executive Director’s success in meeting or exceeding revenue goals and fostering new industry relationships will shape the organization for generations to come.
This role is ideal for you if you are passionate about mentorship, education, student development, and social advocacy. Cultivating relationships and an understanding of the needs, landscape, and key stakeholders of the architecture profession is an essential element of this position. The AIAS is a small organization in terms of membership and staff and is therefore agile and can be quick to act, but it is also uniquely positioned as the predominant voice for the future of the profession and education of architecture and design.
Members of this organization run the gambit from detail-oriented strategists to blue-sky visionaries, and each of them believes in the mission and purpose of the AIAS. The individual we are seeking not only fits well in this environment but is dedicated to pushing it forward and aiding students in changing the world around them.
ABOUT THE AIAS The American Institute of Architecture Students is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an approximate budget between $700,000 to $900,000, and located in the heart of downtown Washington, DC. The AIAS is a student-led and professionally-managed organization that provides progressive programs, information, and resources on issues critical to architecture, design, and education. As the premier student-led thought leader of tomorrow in architecture and design, the AIAS represents the voices of architecture and design students across the nation and the globe. The official mission of the AIAS is to advance leadership, design, and service among architecture students.
The regular membership consists of roughly 3,500 students across 200 chapters. Membership numbers have been steadily decreasing since 2012, and in collaboration with AIAS leadership, the incoming Executive Director will play a critical role in working to reclaim members. While the bulk of the membership is undergraduate students, the organization also has many graduate student members and a growing number of high school student members. Members typically gather twice a year for two organization-wide conferences: Grassroots Leadership Conference and FORUM, the annual meeting. Chapters also host regional “Quad Conferences.” Other programs offered by the AIAS are Freedom By Design (FBD), CRIT Journal, CRIT Scholar, design competitions, Honor Awards, and the THRIVE Webinar Series. Our website has full descriptions of these programs.
The President and Vice President are recent graduates who work as full-time staff in the office combining operational tasks in conjunction with their board-related duties. The AIAS organizes its chapters into four domestic Quadrants (Midwest, Northeast, South, and West) overseen by four student Quadrant Directors and two International Regions (Latin America and Middle East) which two student International Ambassadors oversee. The AIAS Board of Directors also includes liaisons to four other “collateral” architectural organizations: The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
ROLE AND SCOPE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Executive Director is responsible for the successful administration of the AIAS. They report to the Board of Directors and will work closely with the Officers on strategic direction. The Executive Director leads the staff, manages the organization’s daily operations, and oversees the budget. Above all, the Executive Director will cultivate a culture of inclusivity, diversity, access, and equity across the association. Strategic Priorities The Executive Director is responsible for addressing the following priorities:
Promote the Mission and Vision.
Identify and secure consistent funding sources and revenue streams for the AIAS, including sponsorship and charitable development activities.
Implement the Strategic Plan by crafting and executing a new operating plan.
Partner with the Board of Directors and the Personnel Committee to implement a streamlined governance and leadership structure transition.
Lead and implement a restructuring of staff roles and responsibilities, and provide guidance and mentorship to Officers.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
In such a role, the Executive Director shall perform such duties as are outlined in the AIAS Bylaws, Rules of the Board, and the Executive Director’s Position Description, and as the Board may reasonably assign to the Executive Director:
Financial & Strategic Leadership + Prepare and manage the organization's budget and strategic resource plan. + Ensure financial sustainability and report organizational performance to the Board . + Review and approve all administrative, legal agreements and policies. Administrative Management + Shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the organization. + Shall be an ex officio and non-voting member of the Board. + Oversee the progress of the operational plan and achieve target programmatic impact. Staff Management + Ensure successful long-term and day-to-day staff operations, resources, and benefits. + Establish an inspired atmosphere of collaboration, accountability, and empowerment. + Collaborate with the President to appoint staff liaisons for all special committees. Officer and Staff Mentorship and Professional Development + Provide professional development and mentorship to the staff and Officers. + Promote a strong, healthy work culture. Partnership Management & Outreach + Cultivates and oversees fundraising and partnership relationships with allied and industry organizations in collaboration with the Development Director. + Research and outreach to relevant partnerships based on member values. Communications and Marketing + Report organization's progress at all Board and Council of Presidents meetings. + Promote a positive organizational image and collaborative culture. + Ensure member benefits are valuable to members.
KEYS TO SUCCESS You will excel at the AIAS and are an ideal candidate if you have the following: Communication Skills Excellent communication, writing and speaking skills, exceptional emotional intelligence, and self-awareness. They will have the ability to communicate with fellow executives, board members, donors, existing and potential partners, student leaders, and the broader AIAS community of architecture students with ease and comfortability. Leadership Skills Thoughtful, collaborative, and empowering leadership through example and direct mentorship. The ideal candidate will also have leadership experience in which they have balanced the demands of team management while also serving as a productive member of the team. They will excel at team building and maintaining a positive work environment. Problem-Solving Skills Experience addressing and successfully implementing solutions for complex organizational challenges, especially within the nonprofit sector and/or within a membership association. They will have deep knowledge of nonprofit governance structures, membership associations, and national student organizations. They are resilient and adaptable and able to stay positive through rapidly changing environments. Professional Experience Experience with small teams and a demonstrated ability to manage a team and lead strategic initiatives simultaneously in their professional experiences. They will have experience managing events, program development, budgeting, forecasting, data analysis, decision-making, monitoring, and reporting. Passion for Architectural Education Passion for aiding in the challenges facing students and young professionals in the architectural profession, as well as the challenges being faced by the architectural and building industry at large. Knowledge of these dynamics could have been gained through experience in the profession of architecture, architecture adjacent experiences, through study and research of the profession, or by other demonstrable means. Regardless of knowledge of the architectural industry, candidates must be passionate about student development and success.
Minimum Requirements + Bachelor’s Degree + 2-5 years of organizational management and development experience + Capacity and willingness to work a flexible schedule with periodic evening and weekend hours to participate in events, committee and AIAS Board meetings, and other functions + Outstanding communication skills + Ability to work out of the Washington, DC office
COMPENSATION AND BENEFIT PACKAGE
The AIAS offers competitive benefits, unlimited paid time off, and options for remote work. The AIAS will provide a competitive compensation package to the outstanding candidate.
APPLYING For consideration, interested candidates must submit both a cover letter and résumé (PDF preferred) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The cover letter should outline how your experience and interests fit the position’s requirements as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.
Interested individuals are encouraged to apply and send outstanding questions via email to email@example.com.
For fullest consideration, candidates are advised to send in their materials prior to December 17th.
VACCINATION All employees of the AIAS are encouraged to receive a vaccination against COVID-19 unless medical or religious restrictions take precedence.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION Leaders of the AIAS should strive to have an unwavering commitment to advancing racial equity and social justice within the profession and education of architecture. The AIAS is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and community that values unique experiences, perspectives, and identities. The AIAS does not discriminate based on race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, marital status, religion, disability, or protected veterans status.
This position description does not imply that these requirements are the position’s exclusive standards. Incumbents will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as may be required. The AIAS has the right to revise this position description at any time. This position description is not to be construed as a contract for employment.