The American Accounting Association (AAA) is seeking candidates for Executive Director, the association’s chief executive officer. Current Executive Director, Dr. Tracey Sutherland, is retiring after 23 years of dedicated service, and the Board of Directors is keen to find a candidate who is keen to lead a strong organization and community into its next generation.  The AAA celebrated its centennial in 2016. It publishes the broadest and deepest collection of accounting scholarship in the world, and hosts over 50 meetings annually, supporting its members’ education and research efforts.  In addition to continuing and enhancing the world-class delivery of these important activities, the new Executive Director will have the opportunity to make a difference to higher education and the accounting profession; as both experience dramatic transformations. The AAA and its members are poised to contribute meaningfully to the unfolding environment to meet their vision to be “Thought Leaders In Accounting.”

The Executive Director (ED) is a pivotal leadership position for the AAA’s current operations and future success. As a leader of the professional staff the ED will be joining an strong, experienced team. As a member of the Board of Directors executive committee, and key implementor of strategy, the ED participates in both strategic planning and implementation. The Association’s activities have been expanding, and the new ED will have the opportunity and responsibility to study current operations, work with senior leaders to refine staff structures, and attract additional colleagues to support the successful execution of the Association’s programs.

About the American Accounting Association

The American Accounting Association, headquartered 60 miles south of Tampa in Sarasota, Florida, is the leading member-based community of accounting faculty and those interested in furthering the profession through educational and research initiatives. Founded in 1916, the Association has a rich history and global reputation built on leading-edge research and publications, a wide range of education initiatives, and strong networking communities. The diversity of the AAA’s membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Collectively, the Association and its members shape the future of accounting through teaching, research, and a network that fosters thought leadership in accounting.

The Executive Director (ED) will have two distinctive and reinforcing responsibilities. First, to lead the professional staff, partnering with the member-elected President to support the overall goverance of the organanization. In this role, the ED will support the Board of Directors in developing strategy, prioritizing opportunities, and assuring the Association’s financial sustainability.  Second, the ED will have responsibility for executing these strategies, leading the staff as they deliver a variety of key programs and functions, including meetings (of which there are about 50 annually), publications (seventeen including some of the most highly respected journals in the academic accounting profession), and all web and IT programs and services for AAA members.

Metrics for this position will be the successful implementation of AAA’s strategic plan, the financial stability of the Association, and the development of a capable staff actively engaged in supporting member’s work.

American Accounting Association Highlights

Having celebrated its centennial in 2016, the AAA has begun its second century of operation, with a vision to foster thought leadership in accounting around the world.  Working with members, professionals, regulators, students, and those interested in accounting, the AAA:

  • Serves more than 7,000 members in higher education and related fields (approximately 20 percent of AAA members live and work outside the United States);
  • Works with a wide range of constituents to continuously scan the environment and respond to opportunities to strengthen its members and the accounting profession, broadly defined; and
  • Implements the mission of the AAA – to further the discipline and profession of accounting through education, research, and service.

In addition to supporting the accounting community at large, the AAA also supports 17 special interest sections (such as Auditing, Financial Accounting & Reporting, Government & Nonprofit, Public Interest, and Teaching, Learning & Curriculum) and 7 regions across the United States.  Each of these groups achieves its mission and delivers significant member value through a semi-independent structure and volunteer officer teams, working closely with AAA professional staff.  In addition, these groups participate in association-wide governance, insuring that the association’s initiatives reflect the breadth of accounting opportunities and viewpoints.  With these groups, the AAA offers its members a variety of print, Web, and face-to-face forums, publications, and activities in which to share expertise, collaborate with colleagues, and advance the accounting profession.

Each special interest section and region hosts meetings and events throughout the year, and an annual conference for all members takes place each August. The AAA’s journal collection includes three Association-wide journals: The Accounting Review (one of the premier accounting journals in the world), Accounting Horizons, and Issues in Accounting Education, and fourteen journals edited by AAA Section communities.

The Center for Advancing Accounting Education was created recently in response to the dramatic changes underway in higher education and in the accounting profession. Anticipating the impact these changes will have on faculty, and opportunities for the Association to transform itself to support both members and society in this new environment, will be important tasks for the ED and association leadership. Building on the academy’s core competency of scholarship and connecting with relevant partners in the accounting practice community, the Center focuses on the vision of accounting as a learned profession.

In 2016 AAA moved its offices into the newly-designed headquarters in Lakewood Ranch, FL. The new headquarters have provided the association the space necessary to carry out its diverse activities and will allow space for potential strategic changes.

For more information about the AAA, visit

Vision, Mission, and Values

Our Vision 

Our vision is our aspiration for the future. It defines our view of the opportunities and risks we can identify and frames plans to continue evolving our organization to serve members and stakeholders in new ways; building on current strengths and creating new ones. 

Our vision is to be Thought Leaders in Accounting; building on established strengths and developing new tools and approaches that expand our contributions to address key issues for accounting scholarship, education, and practice. Bringing accounting disciplinary perspectives to bear on critical areas of risk and opportunity in today’s economy and society. 

Our Mission 

Our mission defines the purpose of AAA and why we exist as an association. It focuses our plans and serves as the basis for determining what we should and shouldn’t do.

Our Values 


  • We champion the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge for the advancement of accounting and purposefully integrate research, education, practice, and the public interest.


  • We uphold the trust society places in the accounting profession and the academy with accountability, transparency, and the highest ethical standards.


  • We affirm collaboration, inclusiveness, candor, trust, and mutual respect in all our actions.


  • We expect excellence in all we undertake.


  • We continuously improve and transform our organization, practices, and contributions to society.         

Prosperous Society

  • We support a prosperous society by contributing to informed decisions at the individual, firm, local, national, and global levels.

Key Responsibilities

Board Governance

  • Champions sound governance for the AAA and its membership.
  • Follows the Association’s Bylaws and policies.
  • Partners closely with the Board to further the AAA’s mission and vision, and support development of its strategic plan.
  • Performs risk analysis when novel situations emerge.
  • Ensures that the Board is fully informed; provides, in a timely and accurate manner, the information necessary for the Board to perform its responsibilities and make informed decisions.
  • Provides recommendations and guidance to the Board and implements Board decisions.

Member Focus

  • Develops member strategies to support members in their multiple roles and to meet the Association’s mission.
  • Incorproates member perspectives into operational and strategic evaluations.
  • Leads the professional staff in a way that reinforces the member focus.

Programs and Services

  • Collaborates with member leaders and senior staff to identify opportunities to extend (or when necessary, contract) Association programs and services to maximize member value and financial sustainability.
  • Oversees the management and execution of Association activities necessary to deliver member services, publications, and meetings activities.
  • Works with senior staff leadership to evaluate and optimize policies and processes, along with the cross-functional processes needed for successful delivery. 

Staff Leadership and Management

  • Establishes and supports an engaging, motivating, professional staff culture.
  • Provides leadership in the recruitment, selection, and retention of competent, qualified staff.
  • Encourages and supports successful cross-functional efforts required to deliver complex programs.
  • Maintains the supportive staff culture that values commitment to colleagues and members, creativity, diversity, respect, and employee empowerment.

Financial Management

  • Has overall responsibility for the Association’s financial performance.
  • Demonstrates confident understanding of association financial status and performance, using financial and non-financial data, and can communicate effectively about financial matters.
  • Works with the finance team to develop annual budgets, perform quarterly variance analysis, and review Management Disclosure and Analysis reports.
  • Ensures that adequate controls are in place over the Association’s assets and processes.
  • Oversees regular assessments of the financial performance of all AAA programs, develops new approaches for enhancing financial success of the programs, and develops financial strategies to actualize AAA’s strategic plans.


The successful candidate will have at least 10 years of senior management operating experience and a broad and deep understanding of effective implementation of strategy through tactical leadership. The candidate will need to be adept at working in partnership with senior association leadership, leading and managing professional staff, creating a collaborative and positive work environment, building strong relationships with members, member leaders, and key committees, and communicating clearly and persuasively to the AAA’s various constituents.

The new Exectuive Director will be:

  • A visionary who can work with the Board and AAA members, leaders in the accounting profession, and staff to evaluate situations, develop and communicate plans, and execute them successfully.
  • A strategic leader who is driven by quality and a service ethic for the Association’s membership;
  • An excellent oral and written communicator, able to listen to a wide range of stakeholders, integrate key points, and share insights and recommendations.
  • An expert problem-solver who, in partnership with AAA colleagues, can develop processes that address issues, create innovative design solutions, manage resources, and lead change initiatives;          
  • Analytical in approach to financial and other management issues that are significant to the Association; and
  • A highly effective relationship manager with the senior leadership of the AAA (The Board of Directors, and leaders/officiers of the Special Interest groups within AAA, staff, Association members, and other key Association constituents).

Required experience, knowledge, and skills include:

  • Excellent project management, interpersonal and leadership skills;
  • Sense of humor;
  • An earned graduate degree; and
  • Once employed, residence in/near Sarasota, Florida.


The American Accounting Association is working with Parker Executive Search to support this executive search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Parker Executive Search.

The American Accounting Association is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (resume, a cover letter discussing their interest in the position and their accomplishments, and contact information of atleast five references) to the search firm assisting the association.   Confidential review and screening of materials will continue until the position is filled. It is preferred, however that all materials be received by May 11, 2020 to:

Erin Raines, Principal
Mike Pizarek, Research Associate
Parker Executive Search ||
770-804-1996 ext. 117

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