Job Post: Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs at ASA

Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs

American Sociological Association

Are you committed to advancing sociology as a science and profession? Would you enjoy conceptualizing and organizing professional development opportunities for sociologists in all sectors, conducting research on the discipline, and supporting sociology departments? Are you good at working collaboratively with teams to develop and implement programmatic initiatives? Are you a detail oriented, effective, and experienced leader who is ready to embark on a new challenge in a dynamic and fast-paced environment? If so, the American Sociological Association (ASA) invites you to apply to become the Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs (RPA).

ASA has a membership of about 10,000 sociologists who are scholars, teachers, and practitioners. Our office is in Washington, D.C., but staff is working 100% remotely at present. The return to office plan (tentatively to begin at the end of June) includes a COVID-19 vaccination policy and flexibility for remote work. A fully remote arrangement may be considered for this position. Additionally, this position could be filled on an ongoing employment basis or as a two-year temporary position.

Essential Functions:

  • Identify innovative opportunities for the association to support the teaching, research, practice, and professional development of sociologists; develop and implement a strategic portfolio of relevant initiatives.
  • Develop and produce ASA’s full complement of virtual professional development programming including webinars, graduate student proseminars, “Ask Me Anything” sessions, and more.
  • Oversee the strategic direction and management of the Department Affiliates Program, the Program Reviewers and Consultants group, the undergraduate honors program, TRAILS (ASA’s online peer-reviewed library of teaching resources), the Howery Teaching Enhancement Fund and the Annual Meeting Travel Fund.
  • Support and facilitate professional and career development of various communities of sociologists including high school teachers, community college faculty, retirees, students, people working in practice settings, and contingent faculty, among others.
  • Oversee the association’s portfolio of research about the discipline and lead organizational research efforts.
  • Liaise with relevant committees and task forces.
  • Manage relevant website content.
  • Work with the Communications Department to develop and distribute information regarding research on the discipline, professional development, and academic affairs through channels such as newsletters and social media.
  • Manage a substantial departmental operating budget.
  • Respond to relevant requests for assistance from members and staff.
  • Serve as a member of the staff leadership team and the staff sociologists team.
  • Manage additional responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.

Reporting Structure: Reports to the Executive Director; Supervises Assistant Director for RPA, Senior Research Associate, and RPA Assistant.

Job Classification: Exempt

Preferred Qualifications: It is important to note that these qualifications are preferred. We recognize that there are several professional profiles that could be well suited to this position. Should your profile vary in some ways from the qualifications listed and you think you can be successful in this endeavor, please do not hesitate to apply.

  • PhD in sociology or closely related discipline.
  • A commitment to serving the discipline by supporting sociologists in teaching and learning, research, practice, and professional development across the broad range of employment sectors and institution types where they are employed.
  • Demonstrated leadership, management, and administrative abilities.
  • Exemplary writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize and move forward on simultaneous initiatives across a broad portfolio.
  • Organizational savvy, ability to work independently and in collaboration with teams, excellent interpersonal skills.

Compensation: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. A full benefits package is provided to all ASA staff members.

To apply: Please submit a substantive cover letter and a resume to Nancy Kidd, ASA Executive Director, at Your letter should indicate if you are applying for an ongoing position or a two-year temporary post. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Preferred start date August 1.

ASA does not tolerate any forms of discrimination based on age, gender, race, socioeconomic status and socioeconomic origins, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, health conditions, political affiliation, marital status, domestic status, parental status, or any other applicable basis proscribed by law. We prioritize cultivating an inclusive workplace where collaboration and creativity are encouraged and employees excel based on merit and job performance. ASA is an equal opportunity employer.

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