Deputy Executive Director, Leadership and Professional Development Services

Job Type

Full Time




1307 New York Avenue NW
8th Floor
District of Columbia
United States


Position Summary: The Deputy Executive Director (DED) of Leadership and Professional Development Services (LPDS) provides strategic leadership for the department by leveraging NAFSA’s strategic plan to create innovative, quality and relevant programs, products and services for the international education field. 

The current portfolio includes Professional Learning Services; Education Abroad Services; International Enrollment Management/International Student Scholar Services; and Volunteer Leadership and Regional Affairs. The scope of responsibilities in these areas includes, but is not limited to:

  • Developing the association’s strategy for serving international education professionals in operational, leadership, and policy roles, and promoting professional development opportunities of members and volunteers;
  • Cultivating partnerships with NAFSA volunteers to develop and promote educational and regulatory resources for international education practitioners;
  • Maintaining positive and productive working relationships with volunteer groups, ensuring alignment with NAFSA’s strategic plan and direction, including engagement in promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives; and
  • Ensuring NAFSA maintains a positive and effective regulatory practice relationship with federal agencies that regulate mobility and benefits of international students, scholars, and faculty, and supports the agenda of its members through influencing public policy and regulations.

The DED reports directly to and supports the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. The DED supervises four Senior Directors and provides critical analysis and budgetary oversight for their units. The DED is a member of NAFSA’s Management Team and works collaboratively with team members for oversight of the organization. The DED is the staff partner for the Vice President of Professional Development and Education and provides guidance for maintenance of productive relationships with the member leader groups served by LPDS.

Major Functions and Responsibilities

Lead NAFSA’s effort to create and deliver professional development programs and services to the international education field.

  • Manage the Senior Directors in the development and implementation of the strategic vision for LPDS
  • Guide and critically assess the unit’s vision, performance objectives and budget goals in order to move the department towards excellence.
  • Support Senior Directors with any change management in leader group structure and in staffing.
  • Ensure that all Human Resources processes are accomplished in a consistent, accurate and timely manner.
  • Lead regular meetings of Senior Directors and LPDS to provide transparent, concise and clear communication across the department. The team places a premium on inter-departmental cooperation and collaboration.

Act as a contributing member of the NAFSA Management Team

  • Support CEO’s work on all issues related to LPDS and the mission of the association.
  • Meet regularly with Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer to provide updates on department initiatives and future planning.
  • Work closely with the DED for Knowledge Development to ensure that relevant insights from research inform NAFSA’s products and services.
  • Lead discussion of LPDS topics and issues at the Management Team meetings.
  • Serve as the communication conduit between Management Team and LPDS.
  • Share responsibility for maintaining the overall success of the organization through strategic collaboration on issues that may impact our members and staff.

Partner with Management Team to develop and update products and services for members.

  • Contribute expertise on member needs to discussions on delivering value to members.
  • Encourage innovation among LPDS staff while maintaining excellence in the delivery of professional training.
  • Ensure that planned products and services are developed in a timely manner and with consistently high standards of quality.

Manage accounting and finance activities of the department

  • Develop and monitor annual departmental budget including revenue and expense projections.
  • Guide Senior Directors in the development of the annual vision statement and budget narrative.
  • Review and sign checks as requested by accounting staff.
  • As needed, serve as alternate to the CFO for ACH transfers

Work closely with NAFSA Board of Directors on matters directly related to LPDS

  •  Act as staff partner to the Vice President of Professional Development and Education (PDE) including providing orientation and on-going support during the VP’s term. 
  • Draft Board reports for the Vice President and ensure that communications are completed.
  • Provide staffing support for the Board’s PDE subcommittee.
  • Collaborate with DED of Public Policy in support of the Vice President of Public Policy and Practice on matters related to Regulatory Practice.
  • Manage the National Awards process including all communications and organization of related events at the Annual Conference.


Lead cross-unit planning related to the Vice President of PDE’s management of Leader Groups.

  • Support the President and Chair of the Board related to the Coordinating Council
  • Suggest topics and activities for the Coordinating Council and ensure that all communications are completed in an accurate and timely manner and Coordinating Council events are successful.
  • Develop and update the annual timeline for VP review of committee and team work plans.
  • Propose annual calendar for VP activities related to developing the Chair-Elect cohorts across leader groups. 

Assume other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with substantive work experience in the field of international education.
  • Ten or more years of management and operations experience including strategic planning, supervision of staff, and management of projects and budget.
  • Proven ability in new product development and creating an entrepreneurial spirit in the workplace.
  • Excellent communication skills including writing, editing, oral communication and public presentations.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a related field preferred.
  • Extensive experience with NAFSA or other higher education association, membership or not-for-profit organization.

Scope of Supervision

The Deputy Executive Director provides overall strategic leadership and guidance for a talented team of approximately twenty international education staff professionals in Leadership and Professional Development Services.

Work Relationships

As representatives of a membership organization with a broad and diverse range of activities related to education and training, NAFSA staff possess more than simply specialized capabilities. Each individual is expected to take the initiative to become knowledgeable about the organization as a whole. Association members and other staff expect colleagues to be accessible and responsive, to convey a positive attitude, and to exhibit a high degree of professionalism.

The Deputy Executive Director works collaboratively with all other staff, including the Management Team members, Marketing, Publications, Web Services, Finance, Computer Services, Human Resources and others.

Office Environment

The workday is generally 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The week after Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday.

Travel is required occasionally related to job responsibilities, especially for the annual conference, regional meetings, and other leadership meetings. Participation in the NAFSA annual conference the week of Memorial Day, including the holiday itself, is a job requirement. The annual conference is held in varying cities in the U.S.

About NAFSA: Association of International Educators

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is an organization of people dedicated to building a global community and fostering a more peaceful world through advancing international higher education. With approximately 10,000 members, NAFSA is the world’s largest professional development and advocacy organization committed to international learning and creating a more globally engaged, welcoming, and educated United States.

NAFSA believes that international education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply