Washington Education Association

Washington Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Federal Way, WA


Scion Executive Search (www.scionexecutivesearch.com) has been retained to conduct the search for Washington Education Association’s incoming Executive Director. The Washington Education Association is an incredible and impactful union dedicated to the optimization of public education state-wide through the advancement of educator professional interests to benefit the students, staff, and communities of Washington State. This tremendous opportunity is full-time and located onsite in the Association’s headquarter offices in Federal Way, Washington.

The Washington Education Association (WEA) is a union of public education professionals. Founded in 1889, the Association is the largest representative of public-school employees in Washington State. It is WEA’s goal to build confidence in public education and increase support for Washington’s public-school system. As a union, WEA is highly regarded and recognized as the inclusive and powerful voice of public educators in Washington State, advocating for quality public education, reasonable class sizes, professional pay, and respect for those responsible for public education. While many of WEA’s 90,000 members are K-12 classroom teachers and K-12 certified staff, membership also includes educational support professionals, higher education faculty members, students enrolled in teacher education programs, as well as retired educators.

The WEA is a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Association includes 21 regional offices and 375 locally affiliated associations

WEA’s organizational objectives include:

  • Increasing WEA members’ and employees’ professional status and job satisfaction.
  • Improving the quality of and access to public education for all students.
  • Promoting a just and inclusive society with respect for the worth, dignity, and equality of every individual.
  • Ending institutionalized racism and bias in public education.
  • Increasing the participation of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in all aspects of WEA activities.
  • Forging partnerships with parents, business, other unions, and community groups.

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, The Executive Director is a proactive, highly motivational leader who publicly embraces and represents the mission, values and goals of the Washington Education Association and its various stakeholders. Overseeing 175 staff members and an annual budget of $40M, the Executive Director adeptly represents the Association to internal and external partners while continuously cultivating and championing the execution of strategic planning to ensure the WEA maintains a progressive vision of the state-wide landscape and remains effective (and conservative) with resource deployment. The Executive Director is also responsible for fostering the scope and impact of the Association by proactively identifying new opportunities and avenues to support organizational growth.

As a highly-communicative, relatable, and inspirational leader, the Executive Director anticipates both internal and external issues and consults with/advises Association-elected leaders and groups on policy decisions; increasing understanding for how these decisions will impact the Association’s operations, effectiveness, and public image. Working closely with the Association’s President, Vice President, its Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, as well as the Budget and Finance Committee, the Executive Director provides leadership expertise to strategically guide the WEA and enable achievement of defined goals and objectives.



  • Foster development of a team-centered culture; emphasizing collaboration, critical thinking, analysis, and positive, solution-oriented actions.
  • Review the organizational structures and staff responsibilities, identify capabilities, reporting relationships, and opportunities to enhance the Association’s reach; thus, maximizing impact in communities across Washington State.
  • Convey strategic vision with clarity to inspire management, staff, the Board, volunteers, and partners. Work as a true partner to leverage the experience, knowledge, abilities, and connections of internal and external partners to guide the Association.
  • Plan, direct, manage, and review the Association’s strategic plan. Execute modifications while also establishing, implementing, and monitoring administrative and operating policies and procedures.
  • Direct and manage the development, implementation, and analysis of the Association’s goals, objectives, policies, and priorities; establish appropriate service and staffing levels; allocate resources appropriately.
  • Act as one of the Association’s spokespersons - effectively engage with news media/press, local businesses, community leaders and with elected officials at various levels of state and local government whenever the opportunity is presented.
  • Creatively develop new programs for the Association and provide general oversight of programs, methods, and activities which support the goals and objectives of the Association to ensure the achievement of improvements and enhanced efficiencies (internally and externally).
  • Stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public education, public policy, union, and non-profit administration.


  • Attend all Board meetings and provide reports to inform/update the Board on current work, project timelines, staff, as well as overall organizational progress.
  • Build consensus amongst Board members, volunteers, committees, and staff for needed projects, strategic plans, and/or organizational changes.
  • Maintain regular and ongoing communication and positive, respectful relationships with WEA Board Officers.
  • Analyze operations and program development to evaluate performance through assessments and communicate strategic vision for identified evolution opportunities to the Board.
  • Implement Board policies and procedures; proactively build support for Board decisions amongst staff.
  • Promote a congenial, communicative atmosphere amongst Board members to foster approval on projects, strategic plans, and/or organizational changes.
  • Support and advise the Board members on their work and Committee assignments, identifying the organization's needs and making strategic recommendations to further the growth and mission of the organization.


  • Provide inspirational and thought-provoking leadership while consistently building and enhancing opportunities for team development/camaraderie amongst the staff and management teams.
  • Meet with the management team as well as staff to identify and resolve problems; assign projects, further define areas of responsibility.
  • Oversee strategic hiring/staff selection, training program development and execution, motivation, evaluation, and mentorship of all organization personnel; provide and coordinate staff training and professional development opportunities; implement performance improvement plans and/or termination procedures as needed.
  • Continually cultivate the positive environment (culture) of the WEA with the staff, Board, and external partners.
  • Create, refine, and ensure effective programs are in place to best train and empower WEA managers to mentor and grow supporting staff.
  • Monitor and assess staff workload, administrative and support systems, as well as internal reporting relationships.


  • Lead the organization with a progressive, informed outlook while balancing the need to make sustainable, fiscally responsible business decisions.
  • Develop and execute strategy within the context of the city, state, and national landscape.
  • Foster new ideas and initiatives while championing evaluation and accountability to encourage/support organizational change.
  • Inspire and gain Board approval, participation, and support of strategic plans; establishing goals and objectives as well as developing metrics to measure progress.
  • Lead productive and well-informed discussions to secure approval and propose refined, actionable items (plans) to be voted on, adopted, and supported/embraced by the Board.


  • Supervise the build and administration of the annual budget, with Board approval, to ensure maximum utilization of resources and optimum financial positioning for the organization.
  • Prudently assist in managing all financials and other resources within established budget guidelines (and in accordance with current laws and regulations).
  • Provide data, analysis, and background information for the Board to use in its review and approval process for the annual budget.
  • Analyze and prepare recommendations on special contract requests, monitor contract budgets, and effectively allocate resources.


  • Bachelor’s degree in organizational development, business, or related field such as legal studies, finance, etc.
  • 5-10+ years of executive leadership with proven experience supporting a large, geographically expansive, politically diverse organization which has both remote and onsite employees.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead, develop, and inspire a large (150+), diverse staff to accomplish defined goals and objectives.
  • Pro-union values w/strong working knowledge of labor unions, labor history, trends, and developments within the labor movement.
  • Firm understanding of labor advocacy and the collective bargaining process.
  • Experience reporting to a large Board of Directors or governing body.
  • Open leadership style with firm commitment to the concepts of equal opportunity, racial and social justice, human rights, and workplace diversity. This role requires maintained respect for diversity and full inclusion in employment and governance.
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally, and in writing, to large and small groups in formal and informal settings.
  • Passion for public education as well as an understanding and appreciation for the societal, civic, and cultural importance of public education.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain positive professional relationships internally and externally. This role requires the proven ability to harness collaboration to build consensus as well as identify potential for conflict and create resolutions to conflict proactively.
  • Financial and budgetary expertise; proven history with fostering the development and deployment of creative solutions for revenue enhancement and cost controls to ensure financial sustainability.
  • Highly organized with the ability to navigate competing priorities effectively while maintaining a positive sense of humor and approachability.
  • Strong working knowledge of organizational development.
  • Up to 10% travel (nationally and locally).

This wonderful, full-time onsite opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact on behalf of Washington educators as well as the statewide community. This exciting role offers a base salary of $230,000 - $245,000, in addition to an exceptional full benefits and retirement package. Benefits include a comprehensive group health insurance package paid for individual and family (medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, and life insurance); 401(k) plan in which the Association invests 9% in addition to your contributions; generous vacation, sick, and holiday pay; Short and Long Term Disability, employee life insurance, AD&D insurance; and other perks! This is an opportunity, position, and mission that will inspire you daily!

WEA has retained the services of Scion Executive Search, a national executive search firm specializing in mission-driven organization recruitment, to assist in conducting this important search. For immediate consideration please apply with your résumé and cover letter, in Microsoft Word format, via: https://www.scionstaffing.com/jobportal/#/jobs/6378.

Please address applications to:

Elissa Dumiak, Senior Executive Search Principal
Scion Executive Search
(888) 487-8850

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

WEA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity and equity in all facets of the Association’s work. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.

Scion Executive Search is a retained executive search firm connecting executive nonprofit leadership to nonprofit organizations and foundations across the country. Born out of the nonprofit sector, we provide expert search strategies and leadership to benefit your organization. Our executive candidates are true agents for change, and we are experts at matching their talents, motivations, and passions to your organization’s mission! Scion Executive Search has led hundreds of successful executive searches; information on our firm is available online for review via: http://www.scionexecutivesearch.com.

Scion is an equal opportunity employer and service provider committed to not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or belief, or any other protected class. We are committed to the principals of Equal Opportunity Employment and are dedicated to making employment decisions based on merit and value, for ourselves, our client companies, and for the candidates we represent.

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