Washington Network Group

Diversity Is Our Strength

Chairman's Forum

Emerging Leaders Forum

Women's Leadership Forum

International Roundtable

Government Roundtable

Communications Roundtable

Entrepreneur Roundtable

Technology Roundtable

Career Development Roundtable

  • Job - View All

Job Announcements - View Job Details

Job ID : 171005.1
Job Title : Chief Operating Officer
Organization : American Foreign Service Association (AFSA)
Job Location : Washington, D.C.
Company URL : http://www.AFSA.org
Salary Range :
Job Description :

The American Foreign Service Association has retained Slesinger Management Services to recruit an experienced manager with strong skills in finance, administration, and member services to serve as Chief Operating Officer.

Applications will be accepted until this search is completed. To see if the search is still active, please see http://www.SlesingerManagement... |

The Organization

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), created in 1924, is the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service. AFSA’s 16,500 members include active and retired Foreign Service officers and specialists primarily at the Department of State as well as at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Foreign Commercial Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

AFSA publishes the monthly Foreign Service Journal, provides a college scholarship program for Foreign Service children, and offers a variety of specialized programs to its members. AFSA's advocacy and government affairs department coordinates efforts to keep Congress aware of the concerns of the Foreign Service and of active and retired Foreign Service members.

AFSA is also a labor union, serving as the exclusive representative of members of the Foreign Service. AFSA negotiates with the management of the principal U.S. Government foreign affairs agencies on personnel policies and practices affecting members' working conditions, and represents members in formal grievance proceedings, office of security and inspector general investigations, and EEO cases.

AFSA currently has a staff of 30, all based in Washington, DC, and a budget of $5 million. Revenue comes primarily from member dues and donations. It is governed by a board of directors made up of current and retired Foreign Service members elected by the membership.

One distinctive feature of the board is that the head of the board serves as the organization’s full-time president and CEO (for a two-year term, sometimes renewable for a second two-year term). In addition, four other board members serve as full-time vice presidents, seconded to AFSA by the four primary federal agencies that employ Foreign Service members (Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Commerce) to work primarily on constituency issues.

For more information about AFSA, please go to http://www.AFSA.org |

The Position and its Principal Responsibilities

Reporting to president and CEO, and working with the seven other members of the board’s management committee, which meets monthly, the chief operating officer is responsible for the day-to-day management of AFSA, with a focus on overseeing finance, human resources, member services, IT, and facilities. (Until now, AFSA has had an executive director, who has overseen a broader range of AFSA’s work. The board has decided to eliminate this position, and replace it with the new job of COO. The current executive director will be leaving AFSA later this year.)

Key responsibilities of the chief operating officer include:

1. Serving as a strategic business partner to the president and CEO and the board, assessing the financial and operational implications of key opportunities and decisions the organization is considering.
2. Providing financial leadership, including developing and managing the organization’s annual budget, and then tracking throughout the year actual results compared to projections and recommending any necessary adjustments to insure the fiscal health of the organization.
3. Overseeing human resources, including strengthening the way AFSA administers employee benefits, handles staff recruitment and retention, and manages employee performance.
4. Overseeing member services. Since most of AFSA’s revenue comes from member dues, the organization must provide members with products and services that clearly justify member dues, from both active and retired Foreign Service officers and specialists.
5. Overseeing IT and facility management (AFSA owns its headquarters), both of which are primarily carried out by contractors.
6. Serving as the key link between the constantly rotating board of directors, which includes five active duty members of the Foreign Service who are seconded to AFSA for a two-year period (including one who serves as president and CEO), and the professional staff, some of whom have worked at AFSA for 10 or more years.

Desired Skills and Characteristics

As the person overseeing AFSA’s internal operations, the COO should be:

1. Highly experienced in financial management at professional membership associations or other nonprofit organizations.
2. Able to lead a diverse set of functions that include finance, human resources, member services, IT, and facility management.
3. A superb communicator, orally and in writing, including presenting and explaining financial and other quantitative data to staff and board.
4. Collegial, open, and able to manage change. The COO must have a personality and work style that ensures that the internal atmosphere will remain collaborative and open while also having demonstrated ability to manage change when necessary and to hold staff to account for high performance.
5. Experienced as a highly effective manager, a hard worker, flexible and creative in accomplishing assignments, and a person of the highest personal integrity.
6. Able to work effectively with a new president and CEO every two to four years, plus the similarly rotating agency vice presidents.
7. Interested in and highly supportive of the mission of AFSA. A demonstrated interest in foreign affairs and diplomacy is desirable, but not essential. Experience in the Foreign Service itself is not necessary but is helpful. Given the nature of this COO job, nonprofit and association management experience is paramount.


Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. AFSA offers a generous benefits package.

How to Apply :

Please e-mail: 1) cover letter that explains why you are interested and qualified, 2) resume, and 3) three-year salary history (which will be held in strict confidence) to:

Larry Slesinger, Founder and CEO
Slesinger Management Services

(Please include “AFSA” in subject line; attached files in Microsoft Word or PDF only.)

AFSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Users section

You are not yet logged in
  © 2009 Washington Network Group
email the WNG Office - Diagnose site trouble
Portal Solution powered by Ovidentia