Executive Director

  • Kansas NEA
  • Apr 15, 2024
Full time Administrative Executive Manager

Job Description

Announcement of opening for the position of
Kansas National Education Association (KNEA)
Position Location: Topeka, Kansas
Candidate must live within 30 Miles of Headquarters

Kansas National Education Association seeks a communicative, highly motivational, collaborative, and influential leader for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director will work in partnership with the Association's governance and staff to provide operational leadership for KNEA to fulfill its vision. The successful candidate for this position must possess the commitment, vision, integrity, skills, and experience to assist and guide KNEA in the pursuit of its mission. KNEA celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


Kansas NEA, founded in 1863, is a professional labor union with a mission to advocate for education professionals and unite our members, Kansans, and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. Our vision is a great public school for every student. Our public school members include PK-12 educators, higher education employees, education support professionals, aspiring educators, and retired educators and is affiliated with the National Education Association.

Position Overview

The Executive Director is the Association’s executive staff administrator and management agent who leads the staff, in coordination with the KNEA President, to ensure the implementation of the full scope of policies, procedures, and programs approved and adopted by the KNEA Board of Directors. In collaboration with the President and Officers, the Executive Director develops and manages an Operational Plan and an annual Operational Budget and is accountable to the Board for the long-term financial and fiscal health and sustainability of the Association.

Candidates should possess high emotional intelligence, excellent judgment, and creativity, with a proven record of strategic leadership, which includes formulating objectives and priorities and implementing the long-term interests of KNEA.


  • Institutional Leadership - lead with vision, adaptability, creativity, and integrity to execute the policies of the KNEA Board of Directors.
  • Corporate Management - advise and facilitate the development of the KNEA Operational Plan, Operational Budget, administer and monitor the budget, ensure the fiscal health of the Association, oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, evaluate and manage risk, and ensure the proper management of all property owned and leased by the Association as KNEA pursues its mission and vision.
  • Public Education Advocacy – champion public education in Kansas, including building collaborative relationships between KNEA and external stakeholders to shape the highest professional standards for education policy.
  • Organizing – foster an organizing culture that grows the Association while advancing the interests of Kansas’s students and educators.
  • Staff Relations – as executive of staff, provide leadership for staff commitment to the Association’s mission, vision, and strategic plan; ensure compliance with KNEA’s policies; prioritize and assign staff resources to programs and projects as necessary; coordinate, direct, and evaluate the work of KNEA’s employees while fostering a collegial relationship; build effective relationships with management and the staff unions; and successfully support management and staff to ensure the highest quality work on behalf of KNEA’s members.

KNEA is at an exciting point in its history as it advances its brand as the leading organization and champion for public education in Kansas. With a broad mandate to lead in these pursuits, the Executive Director must face and embrace several interrelated challenges and opportunities.

  • Creating a culture of member engagement and organizing that mobilizes the membership to articulate, plan, and achieve local objectives and interests which demonstrates the relevance of union participation, as well as the benefit of unified membership at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Providing visionary leadership that demonstrates the relevance, power, and value of KNEA membership to address diverse member needs.
  • Maximizing the potential of its current staff through empowerment, investing in ongoing professional development, and continuing to create a workplace culture that values integrity, transparency, and collaboration throughout the organization.
  • Intentional branding, aimed at increasing the visibility of KNEA as the leading voice in education and its position as the foremost advocate for education in the state of Kansas.
  • Partnering with existing and new education, business, and other public sector partners in support of quality public education and an equitable opportunity for all students.
  • Promoting social and racial justice issues that impact students and educators and ensuring that all educators and students have the tools and supports in place to be successful.
  • Developing strategies and a targeted campaign to attract a new generation of talent to the education profession, while utilizing the skills and expertise of current talent.
  • Leveraging and prioritizing the diversity of a multicultural community and workforce.
  • Cultivating and reinforcing bi-partisan relationships to move pro-education legislation at the Statehouse.



Member Focus

A leader who values public education and is focused on member needs. Someone who believes in member engagement, trust, and loyalty, and who is committed to fostering strong relationships among KNEA and its members. An experienced leader who has successfully demonstrated the ability to implement high quality programs and services that bring value to members. Demonstrated experience in using data to identify additional ways to offer value to members’ professional practice and careers. Ensures that KNEA stays vibrant and relevant as the education landscape and the demographics of the workforce continue to evolve. An influential leader who understands membership and is able to expand market share and effectively lead innovative strategies, programs, initiatives, and policies designed to attract and increase new membership. A leader who fosters open communication and listens for understanding. An established leader with the ability to drive member engagement and increase member retention.

Strategic Planning and Execution

Documented experience in leading organization-wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, innovation, financial management, and building high-performance work teams. A record of executive leadership in strategic planning that required significant organizational change, including experience utilizing reliable methods to ensure accountability and timeliness in the execution of strategic goals and objectives. Strong ability to delegate but resists the urge to micromanage. Specific evidence that reveals past approaches to work that demonstrate personal expertise in assessing benefits and risks toward a goal of creating strategic advantage. An individual who possesses the ability to

manage multiple projects with clear priorities and articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetables.


A passionate public education advocate who understands the central role educators play in leading change in their

profession and conveys this role to others in an impactful way. A proven record of senior organizational leadership marked by a passion for education. A visionary leader who has confidently engaged others to identify and work toward common goals.

Must possess a growth mindset, a collaborative workstyle, and be able to communicate effectively with a broad range of internal and external partners. Must use sound judgment in all aspects of personal and professional life. Must have the confidence to lead courageously and possess resilience in a rapidly changing environment; a courageous leader who has shown organizational savvy and flexibility in confronting and adapting to challenging and changing political and organizational realities. Must be capable and willing to voice respectful and effective dissent when and where appropriate. A proven ability to grow a membership base. An empathetic leader who has a demonstrated, successful record of attracting and empowering a highly talented staff and is skilled at coaching and mentoring. Has success in building and maintaining effective coalition partnerships.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

An effective communicator who has excelled in building successful relationships. An established record of fostering teamwork and consensus, effectively managing conflict, provoking creative problem-solving and necessary risk-taking, as well as being inclusive of diverse individual and cultural perspectives. Has an ability to inspire trust and communicate sound reasoning in an authentic and persuasive manner. Must be a leader who is able to develop networks, leverage diversity, and build internal and external alliances across boundaries to support strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

Desired Experience

  • 3+ years of senior management experience.
  • Experience in advocacy, belief in the central role of unions, and unwavering support for public education.
  • Must be a lifelong learner who supports structures for staff's ongoing professional learning.


Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college is required; a Master's degree is preferred.

TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE: $180,000 to $210,000
Commensurate with experience and qualifications.


To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current resume reflecting your qualifications for this position.
  • A letter of application that specifically addresses how your career accomplishments have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to NEA-KNEA Search Consultant: Unionsearch.org

Patricia Johnson, Business Manager:  patjohnson@unionsearch.org

For confidential inquiries, questions, salary information, or to schedule a call, please

email Patricia Johnson.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 30, 2024, at 5:00 pm (EST.)




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