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Board announces Executive Director Search

Wednesday, January 8, 2020  
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The AATG Board of Directors has initiated the search for a new Executive Director. The search committee includes the following members: Doug Philipp, AATG President (2020-2021), Priscilla Layne, Vice President (2020-2021), Tony Jannotta, treasurer (2019-2021), members at large Kathy Fegely, Charlotte Melin, JC Morales, and Karl Otto, and John Capasso, AATG Finance Manager. Susanne Rinner will serve as the chair of the search committee.

Position Description, AATG Executive Director

The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director of the Association. The AATG represents nearly 4,000 German teachers from pre-K through the postgraduate level. The Executive Director is the key spokesperson for the organization, and a visible representative promoting the study of and teaching of the German language and the literatures and cultures of the German-speaking countries. The AATG is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The planned start date for the position is June 1, 2020.

Interested applicants should submit a detailed cover letter with resume, salary requirements, and contact information for five professional references to Review of applications will begin on January 27, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.


Scope of Position

AATG is seeking an inspirational leader who is passionate about the teaching and learning of German to build on the successful legacy of the retiring Executive Director (ED).

The Executive Director of AATG is responsible for growing the reputation, influence, and membership of this professional association, as well as overseeing the implementation of all policies and actions approved by the AATG Board of Directors. Serving as AATG’s staff leader, the ED is also responsible for the execution and administration of services, programs, products, and operations of the association.

The ED reports to the Board of Directors and serves as an ex-officio, non-voting Board member. AATG, representing 4,000 German educators, both in the US and abroad, has a $1 million budget and a staff of 4. 

Key Responsibilities


  • Responsible for leading AATG in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by its Board of Directors.
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
  • Broadly engages members as volunteers in the organization.

Strategy & Planning

  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors, develops, plans, and implements the Strategic Plan, which includes strategies, objectives, programs, and initiatives that deliver on AATG’s mission, goals, priorities, and national and international outreach.
  • Regularly reviews and reports progress on the Strategic Plan, in order to ensure that priorities and resources align.


  • Develops and oversees membership and engagement models that respond to the needs of a diverse and multi-generational profession, including pre-K, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educators in the US and internationally in order to promote K-16 collaboration and articulation across all levels.
  • Develops member recruitment and retention initiatives.

Communications, Public Relations & Partnerships

  • Serves as a key internal and external spokesperson for AATG, speaking for the association to the media and the public about the benefits and critical importance of proficiency in more than one language.
  • Internally, is responsible for regular and ongoing communications with the Board and membership.
  • Externally, leads efforts to enhance organizational visibility and awareness, including further developing relationships with relevant partner organizations.
  • Empowers volunteers at regional and national levels to promote initiatives.


  • Actively seeks resources to ensure the financial health of the organization.
  • Works with staff to develop and propose an annual organizational budget for Board of Directors' approval.
  • Ensures fiscal management and financial stability, including reporting to the Board quarterly with financial statements that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Develops, implements, and monitors appropriate internal controls consistent with best practices for nonprofit accounting, including annual audits.
  • Ensures maximum resource utilization and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.
  • Oversees and manages external grants and contracts.


  • Effectively administers AATG’s operations.
  • Hires and retains competent, qualified staff.
  • Signs all notes, agreements, and other contracts made and entered into on behalf of the association.


  • Promotes AATG’s efforts to raise public awareness on the benefits of and critical need for language learning to influence the direction of US education.
  • Supports the key recommendations of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) as the foundation of a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Experience & Qualifications

  • A minimum of a master’s degree or equivalent is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in upper level management leadership.
  • A passion for, and commitment to, the work of the association and the profession it serves.
  • Familiarity with the German and US education system.
  • Solid, hands-on budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Native/near native fluency in both English and German
  • Skills to collaborate with Board members, members of the community, and other volunteers.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with staff.
  • Strong public speaking ability.
  • Experience managing staff.

Personal and Professional Qualities

  • Possesses a reputation as a respected and trusted leader.
  • Is committed to diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrates a collaborative approach, including effective and collegial interpersonal skills.
  • Possesses the ability to engage in fair and impartial interactions with Board, members, and staff.
  • Is a consensus builder and listener.
  • Demonstrates strong emotional intelligence, including active listening skills and compassion.
  • Is an honest, transparent, intercultural, and intergenerational communicator with integrity and relationship-building abilities.

Measures of Success

Within two years, the Executive Director will have achieved the following, with metrics determined in collaboration with the Board of Directors:

  • Developed effective and trusted relationships, including regular communications, with the Board of Directors, volunteer leaders, staff, and membership.
  • Demonstrated continued growth in understanding of the profession, legacy, and current status of teaching German in pre-K, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education in the US and internationally.
  • Taken concrete steps to support and expand the AATG’s initiatives regarding diversity and inclusion.
  • Effectively represented the association to internal and external stakeholders and the general public.
  • Taken steps to sustain the financial stability of the association.
  • Established connections with relevant professional organizations and assessed further potential partnership opportunities.


Candidates will be evaluated on the following minimum qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in German or teaching-related field
  • Teaching experience at any level K-16
  • Experience with advocacy for an organization within the educational, legislative and community spheres
  • Demonstrated record of administrative leadership experience including personnel management, budget management, and strategic planning
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, also via electronic media, with constituents, members, staff, professional organizations and government entities
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in leadership and in working with constituents, members, staff, professional organizations and government entities
  • Demonstrated understanding of American and German educational, state, and political systems
  • Experience with fundraising, as well as writing and directing grants
  • Native/near native fluency in both English and German


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