Ohio Education Association

Ohio Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Columbus, OH


The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is the largest labor union and largest education advocacy organization in the state of Ohio. Since 1847, the OEA has been working to make schools better and improve public education. OEA represents 122,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children. OEA members provide professional services to benefit students, schools and the public in virtually every position needed to run Ohio’s schools.

OEA’s mission is to lead the way for the continuous improvement of public education while advocating for our members and the students we serve. We always have, and always will, work to that end. Throughout OEA’s more than 150-year history OEA members have been involved in every struggle and effort to advance the finest of America’s dreams: a quality public education for every student.


The Executive Director is the Association’s chief administrative officer and management agent who leads the staff, in coordination with the OEA President, to ensure implementation of the full scope of policies, procedures, and programs approved and adopted by the OEA Board of Directors. In collaboration with the President and Officers, the Executive Director develops and manages an annual organizational budget and is accountable to the Board for the long term financial and fiscal health and sustainability of the Association. The Executive Director provides general supervision of the real property owned by the association.

Candidates should possess high emotional intelligence, excellent judgment and creativity, with a proven record of strategic leadership, which includes formulating objectives and priorities and implementing long term interests of the OEA.


A dedicated champion for public education. Demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of working people through collective action. One who believes in and will be a strong advocate for educators owning and directing their profession. Commitment to promoting diversity, equal opportunity and social justice. A leader with an adaptive mindset in order to accommodate a rapidly changing world. Must be able to create, engage and nurture stakeholders to achieve a desired objective. An innovative, nimble leader who can learn while leading and has the flexibility to adjust to political organizational realities.


  • Institutional Leadership – exercise inclusive and decisive leadership to advance the mission and vision of OEA in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Long Range Planning – maintain focus on the strategic goals and priorities established by systematic and strategic planning processes.
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability – implement the policies, services and programs of the OEA and strive for continuous improvement, utilizing data and measurement to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of OEA programs and services.
  • Public Education Advocacy – champion public education in Ohio, including building collaborative relationships between OEA and external stakeholders in order to shape the highest professional standards for education policy.
  • Staff Relations – serve as chief of staff and provide leadership for staff commitment to Association policy; assign staff resources to programs and projects as necessary; coordinate, direct and evaluate the work of OEA employees, delegate supervision to other management employees as appropriate; support high standards for work on behalf of OEA members; and build effective relationships with management and staff unions. Create a culture of transparency and communication throughout the organization and address internal and external challenges to protect business interests. Ensure that programs and services reflect the diversity of the region and the communities served.
  • Corporate Management – advise and facilitate the development of the OEA budget; administer and monitor the budget; oversee compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; evaluate and manage risks; and ensure the proper management of all property owned and leased by the Association.


  • OEA is recognized as the voice of education professionals advocating for high quality public education.
  • OEA has strong leadership and is led by an elected president and board who set organizational direction that is designed to improve public education and the professional lives of OEA members.
  • OEA is committed to building a culture of member engagement and growth in the face of the current COVID-19 crisis.
  • OEA faces attacks from organized anti-union groups; however, OEA has developed effective strategies for recruiting and retaining members.
  • OEA has cultivated bipartisan relationships to move pro-education legislation at the Statehouse.
  • OEA will continue to strengthen its local Associations and worksite leadership in order to improve student outcomes, secure the proper teaching and learning conditions, and achieve educational opportunity and equity for all students.
  • OEA has the opportunity to continue existing and new outreach with education, business and other public and private sector partners and community coalitions in support of quality public education and equitable opportunity for all students.
  • OEA’s fiscal position is stable and strong, therefore the organization possesses the flexibility to leverage resources to meet changing needs.
  • OEA has an opportunity to cultivate a new generation of education leaders and increase organizational relevance, building on several years of effective engagement of early career professionals.

To be considered for this position, the applicant must be prepared to share and validate a record of personal achievements in the following competency areas.

Strategic Planning and Execution
Documented experience in leading organization-wide efforts in planning, implementation, process improvements, innovation, financial management and building high performing work teams. A record of executive leadership in strategic planning that required significant organizational change, including experience utilizing reliable methods to ensure accountability and timeliness in the execution of strategic goals and objectives. Specific evidence that reveals past approaches to work that demonstrate personal prowess in assessing benefits and risks toward a goal of creating strategic advantage. An individual who possesses the ability to juggle multiple projects with clear priorities and to easily articulate the connections between the big picture and specific action plans and timetables. An excellent communicator who is skilled at articulating with motivational clarity, the progression from big picture vision and goals, to responsibility and accountability for specific action plans and timelines. A leader who possesses an adaptive mindset and is able to pivot to establish new direction while ensuring implementation of objectives and priorities.

Proven ability to analyze, comprehend, and articulate the operational goals and strategic plan of the OEA and implement this plan to guide decision making. Must possess the expertise to anticipate outcomes and decide on the best course of action. Uncovers potential opportunities by challenging conventional thinking and assumptions. Demonstrated experience evaluating strategic issues, opportunities and risks and long-term impact. Must be confident articulating the “why” or rationale of decisions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness- Communication
An effective communicator and active listener who has excelled in building successful relationships with diverse groups of people with varying cultural perspectives. A successful record of effective conflict management and an established record of inspiring and fostering teamwork and consensus, provoking creative problem-solving and risk taking.

Member Focus
A leader who values public education and is focused on member needs. Someone who believes in member engagement, trust, and loyalty, and who is committed to fostering strong relationships between OEA and its members. An experienced leader who has successfully demonstrated the ability to implement high quality programs and services that bring value to members. Demonstrated experience using data to identify additional ways to offer value to members’ professional practice and careers. An influential leader who understands membership and is able to expand market share, has effectively led innovative strategies, programs, initiatives, and policies designed to attract and increase new membership. Proven ability to create collaborative relationships and partnerships with local, county and state governments, as well as community groups and organizations.


  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college is required.
  • A minimum of 3 years of middle or senior management experience.
  • Experience working in a member-based organization, reporting to and advising an elected board of directors preferred.
  • Experience in public policy, labor advocacy, collective bargaining and social justice activism, especially as related to public education is desired.

 OEA is prepared to offer a generous and competitive salary (commensurate with experience and qualifications).

SALARY RANGE: $175,000 - $205,000 per year

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: To be considered for this position, please provide the following:

  • A current résumé reflecting qualifications for this position
  • A Letter of Application which specifically addresses how accomplishments in your career have prepared you to meet the challenges and opportunities presented in this position.

All materials must be sent electronically to the following:

Margolies and Potterton, Union Search, LLC.
The OEA Search Consultants


For all questions regarding this search, including confidential inquiries, please contact:

Debra Schwoch-Swoboda                         Ken Margolies
Debra4654@gmail.com                             kam47@cornell.edu
(414) 217-5160 (Eastern time zone)          (831) 332-9324 (Eastern time zone)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm (EST).

Ohio Education Association is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. We are an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.