Director of Advocacy and Organizing Center : Washington

Washington Education Association

Washington Education Association

Executive Director

Based in Federal Way, WA

Scion Executive Search ( has been retained to conduct a search for a new Director of Advocacy and Organizing Center (AOC) for Washington Education Association (WEA), a successful and truly impactful union working to make public education the best it can be for Washington students, staff, and communities. This impactful hands-on leadership career opportunity plays a direct role in advancing the professional interests of statewide educators through strategic advocacy and organizing and leadership. This wonderful career opportunity is for immediate hire and works full-time onsite in WEA’s open and spacious headquarter office in Federal Way, WA.

The Washington Education Association was founded in 1889 and is the largest representative of public school employees in Washington State. The mission of WEA is to advance the professional interests of its members in order to make public education the best it can be for students, staff, and communities statewide.

It is WEA’s goal to build confidence in public education and increase support for Washington’s public school system. WEA is recognized as the voice of public educators in Washington, advocating for quality public education, reasonable class sizes, professional pay, and respect for those responsible for public school children.

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.
  • Forging partnerships with parents, business, other unions, and community groups.
  • 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.

WEA members have been improving education for more than 100 years.

Federal Way is a coastal city within the Seattle metropolitan area that is filled with opportunity, city growth, parks, wetlands, nature, and culture. Being in close proximity to Seattle, a world class city, the region offers many attractions and leads as one of the most diverse cities and communities in Washington State.

Federal Way is known for its wonderful mild, warm (but not hot) summer weather and lower cost of living than many other Seattle neighborhoods and areas. Today, the Federal Way community is residential and commercial with a population employed locally and in neighboring cities such as Sea Tac, Kent, Tacoma, Bellevue and Seattle. In addition, there are also many neighboring cities and neighborhoods a short commute away from Federal Way that offer a wide variety of communities.

The Advocacy & Organizing Director is responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of the AOC within the Washington Education Association, managing and supervising programs and staff in the Center as well as within twenty-one remote field offices. As a key member of the executive leadership team, the AOC Director plays a critical role in partnering with the senior leadership team and Board of Directors in strategic decision making to ensure the successful attainment of WEA’s organizational objectives via the advocacy and organizing function.

This rewarding and impactful leadership position creates, promotes and executes the Union’s strategy for long and short term organizing and advocacy to advance the mission of the Union. This opportunity is well suited for executives skilled and passionate about generating creative and innovative organizing strategies, implementing and driving campaigns, and inspiring focus and who are experienced at managing, training and inspiring team members and field staff.


  • Provide steadfast guidance and leadership in the organizing and advocacy efforts for the Union.
  • Unite and strengthen the union via strategic initiatives that best support membership, union growth, member retention, and engagement.
  • Provide strategic direction for AOC in areas including, but not limited to, bargaining, organizing, contract maintenance, workforce development and training, leadership and organizational development, and political action and coalition building in conjunction with other areas of the organization.
  • Lead, manage, and direct a staff of approximately 150 employees, both centrally and from a distance as it relates to field operations.
  • Identify and seize upon opportunities to strengthen the WEA as a Union, as well as its programs and service delivery on behalf of its members.
  • Assist in planning and developing association programs and training designed to maintain and strengthen locals and councils.
  • Work collaboratively with council and center staff, leaders, other managers, and members to develop and implement local, council, and WEA or NEA programs.
  • Maintain effective communication between and among councils and centers to assure their program and staffing needs are met, and coordinate shared staffing from other centers when appropriate.
  • Regularly visit UniServ Council offices to meet with leaders and staff on site to collaboratively assess programs and assist in determining the direction of programs, including assisting the Councils in building strong locals.
  • Work with staff and affiliates in local bargaining disputes, representational issues and crisis situations.
  • Lead and manage the WEA UniServ Program to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization; this includes the assessment and development of an appropriate management and supervision model within AOC.
  • Develop and effectively manage AOC budget in conjunction with the CFO and other program areas.
  • Build accountability and performance management approaches focused on growth and staff development.
  • Work to integrate key programs areas including work within SWEA, ESP, Higher Education, and Early Learning, and promote cross center collaboration.
  • Identify and assess challenges and opportunities facing the WEA and the development of appropriate options and/or proposals to meet both AOC and WEA goals and objectives.
  • Promote organizational learning by creating an environment and opportunities that enhance individual and group learning for staff and leaders.
  • Develop and implement organizational planning related to workforce development and staffing.
  • Work with the Director of Human Resources in the selection of staff in UniServ offices and act as a WEA Management representative.
  • Conduct performance evaluations of identified Advocacy Center and UniServ staff as required.
  • Facilitate/serve on WEA work teams/committees as appropriate, including as a member of the WEA Labor Management Team.
  • Support and advance the WEA’s mission, goals, core values, and priorities.


  • At least seven years of prior advocacy and organizing leadership experience at a union, educational institution, association, or applicable enterprise.
  • An understanding and appreciation for the societal, civic, and cultural importance of public education.
  • Prior experience working in a union environment, in public education or with public education employees.
  • Ability to effectively lead, develop, and inspire a diverse team of professionals to accomplish WEA goals and objectives.
  • Knowledge of the complexities of and passion for working in a union environment.
  • A strong understanding or broad field experience in internal organizing, external organizing, negotiations (both traditional and interest based), bargaining crises, dispute resolution processes (including mediation and fact-finding), grievance adjudication, representation elections, leadership development, organizational development, education innovations and improvement, public relations, and political organizing.
  • A working knowledge of organizational development concepts and change management strategies, as well as demonstrated ability in designing and implementing training for governance and staff regarding these concepts.
  • Minimally, a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree or advanced study a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead, manage, supervise and direct employees; ability to identify and implement employee training that assists the organization in meeting the needs of its members.
  • Successful experience in facilitating and training small and large groups.
  • Experience in confronting problematic situations, which may generate conflict, as well as the skills to initiate problem solving in seeking resolution and experience in facilitating/mediating difficult and sometimes controversial situations.
  • Ability to effectively implement a high degree of diplomacy within a complex and unique parallel governance and staff structure, to resolve problems.
  • Ability to understand the unique political, cultural, and broad geographical factors contributing to both the strength and challenges within the WEA.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a valid Washington State driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and possess a dependable automobile for Association travel (automobile insurance with liability limits of at least $100,000/$300,000 required.)
  • Initiative, a high degree of self-motivation, and competency in the performance of complex work.
  • A ‘can do’ attitude and the desire to be a change agent in the organization.
  • Ability to bring disparate groups together and build capacity for change.
  • Ability to work with WEA elected leaders, managers, staff, and members including an understanding of sound human relations practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate in both verbal and written form, including the ability to develop appropriate messaging related to AOC operations, and to develop and make presentations and/or proposals to the Executive Committee, the WEA Board, the Management Team, and other entities as required.
  • Frequent travel is expected given the broad geographical statewide area covered by the AOC and its field offices.

This wonderful, full-time onsite opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact on behalf of Washington educators and the state community. This exciting role offers a competitive base salary, 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 organization invests 9% in addition to your base; up to 25 days of vacation and generous paid time off provisions; Short and Long Term disability, employee life, and 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 if possible, via:

Please address applications to:

Isaac Schild, Managing Partner
Aaron Posner, Executive Search Associate
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 organization’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 for 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 about our firm and successes can be found online at

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.

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

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