Job Title: Executive Director
Reports To: President of the ASA Board of Directors
Type of Position: Regular Full-Time
Salary: Competitive with Comprehensive Benefits, Commensurate with Experience
Start Date: Flexible, March 2023
Location: Flexible, but able to travel regularly to New Brunswick, NJ


Established in 1957, the African Studies Association is a leading scholarly organization dedicated to the study of Africa. With almost 2,000 individual and institutional members worldwide, the ASA encourages and enables the production and dissemination of knowledge about Africa. The ASA provides scholars, activists, and other public figures with an infrastructure by which to conceive collaborations and develop research agendas. It also acts as a fulcrum for political advocacy, building bridges between scholarship and public life. Our membership is wide and diverse, consisting of university faculty, students, teachers, activists, development professionals, policymakers and donors.


The Executive Director (ED) is a professional employee of the Association who performs services and duties in support of the mission of the Association. The ED manages the day-to-day affairs of the organization as its chief executive. He/she has primary responsibility for working with the ASA President, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors, representing the ASA as its public face, leading fundraising efforts, and overseeing organization budgets and finances. He/she is also responsible for supervising the staff in carrying out the regular activities of the ASA, including organizing the annual meeting, recruiting, maintaining, and communicating with ASA membership, and ASA publications.

The Executive Director should manage the organization in accordance with its Policies and Procedures, bylaws and laws governing the jurisdiction within which the ASA is located. The Executive Director reports to the President of the Association and, through the President and the Executive Committee, is responsible to the elected Board of the Association and the Association’s membership.

The Executive Director is often instrumentally involved in both practical and scholarly initiatives of the association. Opportunities for facilitating and developing ASA scholarly programs (special sessions at meetings, publications, and joint ventures with other associations, for example) occur frequently, and the ED, in consultation with the President and the Board, is empowered to exercise imagination and initiative in this area. The same holds true for more practical matters, such as developing policies and infrastructure to make the association run more efficiently and be more cost-effective. Office staff, structure, and job descriptions, along with issues involving web site, annual meetings, and publications, for example, all fall into this category.

The Executive Director works with the Board of Directors to advance strategic planning and is responsible, under Board direction, to develop and sustain strategic initiatives that support the mission of the Association. These include seeking funding from private and public sources to support those initiatives and the broader goals of the Association. The Executive Director will maintain liaison with key external organizations and with the various constituent organizations of the Association. The Executive Director provides support to the Board and committees of the Board to undertake their work. The ED serves as an ex officio member of the Board and the Board’s Executive Committee, Finance Committee and Annual Meeting Committee. The ED works with other committees of the ASA, including the Local Arrangements Committee, to ensure that they have appropriate Secretariat support and to facilitate their successful operation.


Key Duty 1: Representing the African Studies Association
The Executive Director serves as the public face of the ASA and the ASA’s official spokesperson. Working closely with the ASA President and Board, the Executive Director is responsible for representing the Association at functions that require the input of the Association’s chief administrative officer, including to funding agencies, other professional associations and agencies, and the wider publics to which the Association must relate. The ED is responsible for maintaining the relationship between the ASA and the host university, Rutgers, including maintaining a physical presence at the Secretariat at least once a month. He/she represents the ASA at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and with other professional associations.

Key Duty 2: Human Resources
The Executive Director is responsible for maintaining a productive working environment in the Secretariat, including timely evaluation and supervision of all employees, developing position descriptions and calendars of responsibilities for all employees; and maintaining compliance with all federal, state, local, university, and Association laws and regulations. The Executive Director has responsibility for affirmative action and equal opportunity hiring in all the operations of the Association for all categories of disadvantaged persons. All staff will be subject to a probationary period.

Key Duty 3: Overseeing and Supporting Staff Activities
The Executive Director oversees and supports Secretariat activities that are the primary function of other staff members, including planning the ASA annual meeting, recruiting and supporting ASA membership, managing the ASA’s publications, maintaining the ASA website and communications, and maintaining the Secretariat offices.

Key Duty 4: Fundraising and Finances
The Executive Director is responsible for financial management of the ASA. The ED leads efforts at fundraising, including seeking new sources of funds. He/she develops annual budgets for approval by the Board, manages the organization’s finances in consultation with the Board, and provides reports of organization and financial progress to the Board, membership, funders, and other key constituencies. He/she arranges a regular audit of organizational finances. He/she oversees tax, insurance, and legal matters, selects and contracts with consultants and professional service contractors, and negotiates and executes contracts consistent with the organization’s mission.

Key Duty 5: Coordinating with Executive Committee and Board
The Executive Director is responsible for arranging, facilitating, and setting the agenda for the meetings of the Board and its committees together with the President and the Executive Committee. The ED coordinates the production of suitable minutes of the semi-annual Board meetings, the annual business meetings, and other occasional meetings authorized by the Association. The ED leads the organization’s program and service delivery activities in accordance with established organizational policies. He/she establishes and implements programs consistent with the ASA’s mission and in consultation with the Board.


• Experience with academic associations and with the field of African Studies, African Diasopra Studies, and African Studies centers and programs in the United States;
• Demonstrated experience as a non-profit/association manager, including budgetary, event, and program management;
• Fundraising and development experience;
• Excellent written and oral communications skills required;
• Graduate work in the field of African Studies preferred;
• Knowledge and understanding of association administration, organization, coordination, facilitation, and/or report writing;
• Experience working with and managing a multi-person staff;
• Familiarity with academic journals;
• Strong computer skills and proficiency in the MS Office suite of software;
• Strong organization skills, with the ability to prioritize tasks without supervision;
• Strong communication and problem-solving skills;
• Comfortable with web and CMS systems, technology, blogs, and social media platforms.
• Since the ASA is not a sponsoring organization, the applicant must be a US citizen or Green Card holder.

Equal Employment Opportunity

ASA is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition.

Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise us in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Application Instructions

Applicants should forward a letter outlining interest in the position, qualifications and experience together with a CV or resume and the names and contact information of three references in electronic format to Ousseina Alidou, ASA President ([email protected]) and Timothy Longman, ASA Treasurer ([email protected]). Review of applications will begin immediately, with final interviews to occur during the ASA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in November 2022.