Committee: Board of Directors
Position: Vice President for Development and Engagement
Term Dates: Three Years

The Vice President for Professional Development and Engagement (VP/PDE) provides leadership for NAFSA’s programs in specific areas, supporting professional development, enhancing engagement, delivering of services, manages diversity and inclusion, and fostering collaboration. S/he serves as a member of the Board of Directors and the Board’s Executive Committee, contributing to the governance of the association and the exercise of leadership. Under the purview of the VP/PDE are the Regional Affairs Committee and NAFSA’s Regional Teams, three Knowledge Communities: Education Abroad (EA), International Enrollment Management (IEM), and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), two additional committees: the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) and the Membership Engagement Committee (MEC), and the Training Coordination Subcommittee (TCS) of the Coordinating Council. These leader groups comprise the Vice President’s portfolio. The VP/PDE also advises the NAFSA professional staff on three functions related to his/her portfolio: the Board’s priorities related to Regions, the portfolio and products of the KCs and TCS, and the awards and election functions of the association.

As a member of the Board of Directors, the VP/PDE takes part in setting the strategic direction for the association in all goal areas and chairs the Professional Development and Engagement Committee of the Board. S/he may also be assigned to serve on other committees of the Board. The VP/PDE oversees the work of volunteer leader groups in the areas in his/her purview and works closely with staff partners to support these strategic goals of NAFSA’s 2014-2016 Strategic Plan:

  • Support the integration of global perspectives throughout higher education by furthering comprehensive internationalization (Goal 2)
  • Encourage and support intercultural learning to develop global competencies of students, scholars, and educators. (Goal 3)
  • Identify critical trends and issues, and champion responses that advance international education. (Goal 4)
  • Create and disseminate knowledge and resources and provide professional development opportunities responsive to the ever-changing needs of the field. (Goal 5)
  • Deepen and broaden NAFSA’s engagement with individuals and groups whose work contributes to the success of international education. (Goal 6)
  • Continue to strengthen and diversify the association’s revenue streams and organizational infrastructure to successfully meet the challenges of the future. (Goal 7)*

The VP/PDE participates in the President’s Coordinating Council that fosters knowledge and understanding of the strategic plan and achieves collaboration among member-leader groups with common or overlapping interests. S/he collaborates and coordinates with the Vice President for Scholarship and Institutional Strategy (VP/SIS) and the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice (VP/PPP), to ensure the effective work of all national leaders in the area of professional development programs. In particular, integration of the input from the knowledge community and regulatory committees overseen by the VP/SIS and VP/PPP is critical to the work of TCS, LDC, MEC, and the Regional Affairs Committee (RAC) and Regions. The VP/PDE also oversees contributions to the development of regional conference programs, as requested.

Position updated January 2020

Applications are not currently being accepted.

Major Functions and Responsibilities
  • Serve on NAFSA’s Board of Directors, contributing to the development of policies, priorities, and positions for the association and helping provide direction for the development and stewardship of NAFSA’s resources through the Strategic Plan.
  • Serve on the Board’s Executive Committee.
  • Chair the Professional Development and Engagement Committee of the Board.
  • Represent the Board in various venues such as regional meetings and conferences, as requested.
  • Working with the leader groups in his/her portfolio and staff partners, maintain an overview of member needs in related areas of professional development and assess the portfolio of NAFSA services in meeting those needs.
  • Working with the leader groups in his/her portfolio and staff partners, establish policy and processes in related professional development areas that enhance the ability of the association to remain strong and serve its members and participants in the related domains.
  • Coordinate the input of RAC and other Regional leaders, the knowledge communities EA, IEM, and ISSS, and LDC, MC, and TCS to the refreshing of the Strategic Plan, and communicates the results of the Board’s work and priorities to these leader groups.
  • Working with the VP/SIS and VP/PPP, oversee the development of a consolidated work plan across all national member-leadership groups, ensuring that both the Strategic Plan priorities and service portfolio development are addressed in those plans.
  • Manages, reviews, and provide input to assure the diversity and inclusion action plan for member leaders is fulfilled.
  • Monitor the progress of the leader groups in his/her portfolio in fulfilling their plans, intervene as necessary to ensure objectives are met, and share periodic reports with the board PDE Committee regarding progress.
  • Create opportunities and mechanisms for communication and cooperation among the leader groups in his/her portfolio to ensure that they effectively deliver their designated outcomes.
  • As needed, recruit, select, and appoint members to various teams, committees,
    subcommittees, and task forces of the leader groups in his/her portfolio, according to the
    Standing Rules, working with the Leadership Development Committee.
  • Working with the Deputy Executive Directors or Executive Director, resolve any issues arising where staff performance impacts volunteer leader teams’ ability to achieve their objectives.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is a professional association driven by its Strategic Plan as established by the Board of Directors.  The success of the association depends on the productive engagement of three key constituencies: the Board, member-leaders, and staff.  Member-leaders are advocates for the association’s mission, vision, values, diversity and inclusion, and ethical principles. They align their work closely with the Board through its vice presidents and with staff to carry out the Strategic Plan. Member-leader roles are guided by objectives assigned by the Strategic Plan, by outcome accountabilities outlined in the Standing Rules, and by position descriptions for specific roles.

Diversity and Inclusion

Champion resources and hold the association accountable to our on-going commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • Engage board committees to identify and implement strategies for increased personal outreach, recruitment, onboarding, and engagement toward diversity-focused and underrepresented groups.
  • Avoid unconscious bias in decision-making.
  • Lead the assessment of relevant practices, policies and procedures of the board.
  • Foster an inclusive environment by increasing accessibility and participation from underrepresented groups, individuals, and institutions.
  • Seek to learn and understand the multicultural perspectives of member leaders, our constituents, and stakeholders to align with the NAFSA Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

Relationships with Other Members
The VP/PDE works most closely with his/her colleagues on the Executive Committee and the
chair streams of the three knowledge communities EA, IEM, and ISSS, and the chairs of RAC, LDC, MC, and TCS. S/he serves as manager and coach for the leaders in his/her purview and holds them accountable for meeting the objectives set in their annual work plans. The VP/PDE also has representative duties with other leadership groups, such as regional teams, and with the broader membership, participating in meetings at the annual conference, the Washington Leadership Meeting (WLM), regional conferences and if requested, regional team meetings.

Relations with the Staff
The VP/PDE works most closely with the Deputy Executive Director for Leadership and
Professional Development, but may also work with other members of NAFSA’s senior
management team in the fulfillment of his/her duties as a member of the Executive Committee. The VP/PDE’s relationship with the senior staff is that of partner.


The term of the Vice Presidency is three years. Upon election, the in-coming VP/PDE shadows the sitting VP/PDE in the fall prior to assuming the position in January, and attends the December meeting of the Board of Directors – including a Board orientation session – as a guest (with no vote).

In each year of tenure, the VP/PDE is expected to attend all Board meetings (March, September, and December), any Board conference calls, and the annual conference in May. S/he is also expected to prepare for and attend the Washington Leadership Meetings (WLM) in late January. The VP/PDE represents the Board at regional meetings and serves on Board task forces, as requested. NAFSA funds his/her participation in all such meetings.

The VP/SIS will plan and lead meetings of coordinating groups across the sphere in his/her
portfolio, including virtual meetings, occasional conference calls, new leader orientation and
training, and face-to-face meetings at the annual conference and Washington Leadership

The VP/PDE is expected to review email daily and respond promptly to leaders and members of the association and to report critical issues to the full Board or the President and Chair in a timely fashion. On-going work in coaching and managing the chairs in his/her purview and in reporting and answering questions should be expected.

At an operational level, the VP/PDE can expect to have periodic calls with staff partners,
spending an hour approximately every two weeks in such calls (varies by time of year). Such
calls, along with ongoing e-mail, conference calls, and other communication with volunteer
leaders and members as noted above, average 5-10 hours per week (in addition to travel to

  • 10 or more years as an international educator and member of NAFSA
  • Previous experience on an educational or non-profit board of directors
  • Substantial experience in other NAFSA leadership positions, including two or more national positions
  • Prior experience in a management position that required strategic and operational planning
  • Significant experience in managing volunteers
  • Excellent communication strategies and skills
  • Access to and skill in email communication
  • Willingness and availability to travel

Desired Qualifications

  • Familiarity with non-profit finance and audit reporting
  • Additional years experience as an international educator and member of NAFSA
  • Additional experience in national leadership
  • Experience in NAFSA Regional leadership