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RSA Executive Director Search

Executive Director Search - Rhetoric Society of America

The Rhetoric Society of America seeks an Executive Director with a passion for helping to advance the humanities in research, education, and public scholarship. The Executive Director will work with the Society's President, its Board of Directors, its volunteers, and its vendors to administer RSA's mission, manage its finances, pursue its strategic goals, and attend to the general well-being of the organization and its members. The responsibilities of the Executive Director entail three board categories:

  • Operational Responsibilities - Oversee the regular and ad hoc activities of the Society.
  • Fiduciary Responsibilities - Manage the Society’s financial assets, contracts, expenditures, and budgets.
  • Advocacy Responsibilities - Pursue the Society’s mission and strategic goals with energy and passion.

Founded in 1968, the Rhetoric Society of America is an academic society focused on the study and advancement of rhetoric. Its purposes are to gather from all relevant fields of study, and to disseminate among its members, current knowledge of rhetoric, broadly construed; to identify new areas within the subject of rhetoric in which research is especially needed, and to stimulate such research; to encourage experimentation in the teaching of rhetoric; to facilitate professional cooperation among its members, to organize meetings at which members may exchange findings and ideas; and to sponsor the publication of such materials dealing with rhetoric. Anyone with an interest in rhetorical inquiry is welcome, but its approximately 1,400 student and faculty members come primarily from the disciplines of English and Communication. A member of the American Council of Learned Societies, RSA hosts a major event each year--an academic conference in every even-numbered year and a summer educational workshop in every odd year. In partnership with Taylor & Francis, RSA manages the peer-review journal, Rhetoric Society Quarterly and it oversees a book series with the Pennsylvania State University Press. 

The Rhetoric Society of America is in the final two years of a five-year strategic plan to A) enhance its inclusivity of diverse perspectives, scholarship, and scholars, B) provide greater opportunities for leadership within the Society for its members, C) enhance its mentorship of graduate students and faculty across the trajectory of their careers, and D) increase the public presence of the Society. The next Executive Director will be asked to pursue this plan, assist the Board of Directors in developing a new five-year plan, and help the Society navigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Executive Director will

  • manage and direct the Society's administrative officers and committees as they pursue their unique duties and the goals of the Society;
  • lead RSA’s budget and investment committees in the management of RSA's fiscal services, including accounting, budget, purchasing, banking, investments, and vendor contracts;
  • oversee and manage, at the behest of its Board of Directors, RSA's legal, tax, and insurance activities;
  • track annual expenditures and revenues;
  • advise the RSA Board and President on planning for future financial needs and growth;
  • communicate with the Board of Directors, RSA's elected officers, and its members regarding the ongoing initiatives and activities of the Society;
  • bring to the attention of relevant parties within the Society any internal or external issues that might influence the Society’s mission or activities; and
  • provide data and advice that helps the Society’s elected leadership make decisions that safeguard the Society and promote its short- and long-term goals.


The Executive Director search committee welcomes applications from candidates who have the expertise, skills, experience, and passion to perform this job. Current or former membership in RSA is not a prerequisite for application. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and administrative experience, either within the academy or on behalf of a non-profit organization. An advanced degree, including but not limited to, Ph.D., MBA, MPA, is preferred. Competitive applications will provide evidence of strong organizational and logistical skills, proven operational and management expertise, and familiarity with accounting, auditing, budgeting, and forecasting models. The capacity to think strategically, a personal commitment to diversity and equity, emotional intelligence, and excellent communication skills are also required.

RSA has budgeted between $55,000 and $65,000 for the duties associated with this position but the final compensation package and distribution of those funds will be determined by the skills and needs of the successful candidate in consultation with the Search Committee and upon approval of RSA's Board of Directors. This position involves 20 to 25 hours of labor per week, and the search committee welcomes applications from candidates who can devote 1/2 to 3/4s of their time to RSA. Academic and non-academic administrators, recently retired faculty, faculty who have institutional support for a partial buy-out of their appointment, and executive professionals with non-profit experience are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should provide a cover-letter and resume, along with a list of references, to The review of applications will begin on June 8 and continue until the position is filled. Inquiries may be sent to

The Rhetoric Society of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and foster an inclusive environment for employees and members of the Society.

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