National Art Education Association 2019 NAEA National Convention Team on Tour 2019 Conference Schedule

National Art Education Association

Executive Director


The National Art Education Association (NAEA) advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, NAEA was founded in 1947 and is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Its members number more than 17,000 visual arts and design educators in the pre-K through high school grades, college and university professors, researchers and scholars, supervisors and administrators, teaching artists, art therapists, media artists, museum educators, and preservice visual arts teachers in training. NAEA represents members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, United States possessions and international military bases, most Canadian provinces, and 25 foreign countries.

NAEA board, staff, and members seek to support a vibrant professional community that nurtures growth, change, and leadership to advance the field and the profession. These efforts occur through mentoring, networking, and collaboration as members participate in arts education conferences, contribute to a vibrant professional community, value diversity, and commit to equity. NAEA members engage in events such as the national convention, state and regional conferences, summer programs, and international delegations. Members also serve as volunteer leaders on NAEA’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Research Commission, Professional Materials Committee, 20 Interest Groups, Distinguished Fellows, and editorial boards, including Art Education and Studies in Art Education, among others. NAEA offers its members state and national advocacy resources, academic research, and practical tools for art education implementation. Additionally, NAEA began the National Art Honor Society in 1978 and the National Junior Art Honor Society in 1989 to inspire and recognize students who have shown an outstanding ability and interest in art as they progress to high school and beyond. Today, more than 58,000 students receive national recognition, scholarships, and networking opportunities as members of these dynamic societies. Additional programs include the School for Art Leaders, National and Regional Leadership Conferences, SummerStudio, SummerVision, and webinars, among others.

NAEA’s vision is that learners of all ages benefit from comprehensive, balanced, and sequential learning in the visual arts and design, led and taught by qualified professional art educators. Art educators meet ethical and rigorous standards of excellence in preservice preparation, ongoing professional development, pedagogy, and inquiry in the field. School-based visual arts instruction surpasses national, state, and local standards and is enhanced through access to art museums and other community resources. The power of the visual arts and design to enrich human experience and society is recognized and celebrated throughout the world.

The 2015-2020 NAEA Strategic Vision identifies five strategic goals and priorities as a framework to advance NAEA’s mission:

  • Community – NAEA is a dynamic, inclusive, and diverse professional community that shares a commitment to NAEA’s mission and vision.
  • Advocacy – NAEA influences stakeholders and decision makers to support visual arts education.
  • Learning – NAEA provides exemplary learning opportunities that help members become more effective educators, artists, leaders, and advocates for visual arts education.
  • Research & Knowledge – NAEA conducts research and generates knowledge that enriches and expands visual arts education and widely shares that research and knowledge.
  • Organizational Vibrancy – NAEA’s culture, systems, structures, and resources facilitate its mission of advancing visual arts education.

The NAEA Board of Directors serves as the governing authority to advance NAEA’s mission, determine its goals and priorities, and provide strategic direction and fiduciary oversight. The 15-member board of directors is composed of the President, President-Elect, Past President, four Regional Vice Presidents, and seven Division Directors—all elected by NAEA members. The Executive Director is appointed by the board and serves as an ex-officio, nonvoting member.

NAEA’s Executive Director serves as both the Secretary/Treasurer and a voting member of the National Art Education Foundation (NAEF). As the sister organization to NAEA, NAEF invests in innovative initiatives to support instructional practice, research, and leadership in visual arts education. As an independent philanthropic organization, NAEF supports a wide variety of professional activities. This includes funding for visual art educators to participate in professional development programs and the promotion of visual arts education as an integral part of the curriculum. NAEF also supports the exploration of new visual arts instruction models in public and private K-16 schools and the promotion of the teaching of art and design through activities related to the instructional process, curriculum, student learning, student assessment, management, or discipline. The purchase of equipment and/or instructional resources and conducting of research in visual arts education is also assisted by NAEF. NAEF supports NAEA membership by investing in innovative initiatives to enhance instructional practice, research, and leadership in the visual arts.

The NAEA Executive Director leads a staff of 13 full- and part-time employees. The association’s current operating revenue is $3.9 million. Earned revenues are comprised of 42 percent from its annual convention, 36 percent from membership dues, 16 percent from publication sales, and 6 percent from federal or foundation grants, special programs, and miscellaneous revenue. NAEF has current assets of $2.5 million and has supported 316 member grant projects since its inception in 1985. It has also provided support for key NAEA initiatives, including the Research Commission Preconference and the School for Art Leaders.


Alexandria, Virginia, is an internationally recognized destination with a rich history and exquisitely preserved eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings. Located on the Potomac River adjacent to Washington, DC, Alexandria was named by Money magazine as the best place to go in 2018. In 2018 it also ranked among the South’s prettiest cities by Southern Living and the top five best small cities in the United States by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. With more than 160,000 residents, Alexandria retains a charming atmosphere and a walkable lifestyle. The neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria has more than 200 restaurants and boutiques complemented by historic museums and activities on the waterfront.


Position Summary

The Executive Director will champion visual arts educators and the value of visual arts and design education. The Executive Director will also lead a strategic vision that further strengthens NAEA, supports its members, and assures the long-term growth and impacts of a diverse professional association. Advancing strategic partnerships and collaborations with other arts and education associations, the Executive Director will serve as an ambassador who heightens NAEA’s national and international visibility and influence while cultivating relationships and support for NAEF. Reporting to the NAEA Board of Directors, the Executive Director will mobilize human, financial, and technological resources to effectively achieve NAEA goals, increase its membership, support NAEF philanthropic funding, and enhance interorganizational capacity building and performance.

Roles and Responsibilities

Visibility, Advocacy, and Strategy

  • Identify and articulate critical issues in the art and design education field, serve as a champion, and proactively advocate for the value of art education with public policymakers, funders, the media, and others.
  • Transform NAEA’s strategic goals into specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and timely action plans to enrich visual arts education and related fields.
  • Develop strong policy and advocacy collaborations with the Arts Education Partnership, Americans for the Arts, National Association for Music Education, National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, and many other national, state, and provincial chapters and associations that advocate for the value of art education.
  • Foster alliances with other organizations in the arts, education, art education, and related areas that fortify the NAEA and the states, districts, provinces, and regions that it serves.
  • Demonstrate best practices in national arts education advocacy.
  • Embrace other visibility, advocacy, and strategy roles and responsibilities as needed.

Member Learning, Knowledge, and Support

  • Oversee integrated, insightful, and relevant multiyear convention programming and planning.
  • Provide orientation, education, and engagement of board members to maximize their leadership abilities and overall effectiveness.
  • Communicate with NAEA members and foster high levels of collaborative participation, satisfaction, and retention.
  • Energize, engage, and support volunteer leaders in addressing goals and priorities.
  • Encourage innovative membership services and growth in publications, research, and emerging technologies.
  • Invite and apply industry research that adds knowledge to and information for art education and related fields.
  • Stay abreast of issues and trends impacting the arts and education sectors and serve as a thought leader, more specifically as it relates to visual arts education.
  • Welcome and engage culturally diverse perspectives and communities as part of NAEA’s mission.
  • Embrace other member learning, knowledge, and support roles and responsibilities as needed.

Resource Identification, Cultivation, and Activation

  • Ensure a collaborative relationship with government agencies and advocacy organizations that support arts education funding, particularly those whose purpose are in alignment with NAEA’s mission.
  • Diversify philanthropic resources that enhance NAEA’s strategic vision and support its growth and sustainability.
  • Oversee efforts to increase memberships and emerging leadership from diverse individual, educational, institutional, and business constituencies.
  • Promote the advantages of the investment in and value of NAEA as well as the planned giving legacy opportunities for NAEF.
  • Develop strategies that enhance funding opportunities and options that broaden and deepen the impacts of NAEA members in the communities they serve.
  • Embrace other resource identification, cultivation, and activation roles and responsibilities as needed.

Organizational Planning, Development, and Vibrancy

  • Effectively plan with and facilitate the policy and governance roles of the NAEA and NAEF boards.
  • Determine organizational resources that are needed to ensure short-term effectiveness and long-term sustainability.
  • Oversee NAEA's organizational operations, personnel, financial planning, and reporting.
  • Serve as an effective steward of public and private resources, exemplify accountability and transparency, and comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Maintain an organization with the highest ethical standards and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements for the smooth operation of NAEA.
  • Guide, mentor, and supervise a senior leadership team that demonstrates a diverse, inclusive, productive, and collaborative work environment.
  • Ensure that NAEA's personnel policies, procedures, and performance standards support employee empowerment and retention.
  • Embrace other organizational planning, development, and vibrancy roles and responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The Executive Director will be a knowledgeable and passionate advocate for art education. As a persuasive and dynamic leader, the Executive Director will be driven by new ideas and opportunities to set and achieve collective goals. With a focus on NAEA’s role in service to its members, the Executive Director will have a collaborative and inclusive leadership approach in advancing strategic initiatives that achieve positive impacts for the multi-faceted art education field. Driven by altruism and deeply appreciative of subjective viewpoints, the Executive Director will recognize, respect, and promote diversity and inclusion in all its forms. An experienced leader with a commitment to public policy and advocacy, the Executive Director will demonstrate exceptional team building capabilities, adapt to various situations with ease, and interact frequently with an array of stakeholders.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership – The ability to communicate persuasively and effectively in public presentations, small group discussions, and written and verbal communications.
  • Member Focus and Diplomacy – The capacity to exemplify best practices in member satisfaction with a high value on multiple stakeholder needs, the tenacity to build authentic rapport, and the dexterity to relate well to a variety of people and experiential perspectives regardless of cultural background.
  • Planning and Priority Management – The adeptness to develop goals and objectives, identify and resolve issues, determine realistic timelines, and establish top priorities that result in significant and positive outcomes.
  • Teamwork – The capability to organize and motivate others while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among board, staff, and other national leaders to achieve collective goals.
  • Self-Starting and Personal Accountability – The vitality to demonstrate initiative, inspire others to action, and model integrity, fairness, and objectivity in personal and professional interactions.


A master’s degree in education, the arts, business, or a related field from an accredited college or university and a minimum of 10 years of senior management experience at a national association, cultural organization, educational institution, government agency, or similar nonprofit entity are required. Possession of the Certified Association Executive credential, or other licenses and certifications, is preferred. Experience in advocacy, public relations, and media with extraordinary interpersonal and written skills are needed. Leading candidates will have a proven track record in working with a diverse group of individuals who come from a range of cultural backgrounds, ideological approaches, professional experiences, and geographic areas.

Compensation and Benefits

NAEA offers competitive compensation, benchmarked annually with organizations of similar budget size located in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. NAEA employees receive a number of employer provided benefits, including healthcare, vision, and dental insurance; short- and long-term disability and life insurance; up to five weeks of accrued vacation leave; up to five weeks of accrued sick leave; and reimbursement of parking expenses.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:

Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President

ACG Contact Logo

292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201


NAEA follows an equal opportunity employment policy and employs personnel without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status. It is the policy of NAEA to select, place, train, and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude, and experience so as to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.



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