Executive Director

Posted: Feb 24, 2012
American Academy of Periodontology

Chicago, Illinois

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) was founded in 1914 with 18 charter members under the name American Academy of Oral Prophylaxis and Periodontology. It includes more than 8,000 periodontists and general dentists from all 50 states as well as around the world. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. AAP has a budget of $10 million and a staff of 37.5 FTE. The American Academy of Periodontology Foundation (AAPF) is housed in the AAP offices and has a staff of 2.5 FTE.

The Academy's purpose is to advance the periodontal and general health of the public and promote excellence in the practice of periodontics. The mission is to provide members the expertise and resources to enhance the evaluation and diagnosis of oral conditions, assessment of risk for future disease, and delivery of specialty periodontal non-surgical, surgical and medical care for our patients. This is accomplished by promoting advocacy, awareness, collaboration, education, leadership, outreach and science.

The Academy is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of five officers and district trustees from seven geographical districts and the federal services. The trustees and officers are elected by the membership.

Membership provides important benefits and services including a print and online subscription to the monthly Journal of Periodontology, a new online journal, Clinical Advances in Periodontics, a quarterly printed magazine, Periospectives, and a monthly e-newsletter focusing on activities in the periodontal community. AAP also offers discounts on meeting registration fees and items from the Academy's product catalog, an online and print Membership Directory, and 24/7 access to insurance coding information and practice resources through the AAP website. It also includes discounts on member affinity programs and listings in the Academy's Patient Referral Service, as well as the ability to network with colleagues worldwide.

The American Academy of Periodontology Foundation (AAPF) is a separate entity and has a full time executive director. The AAP provides office space and additional staff support and services for the Foundation.

The Executive Director is responsible for administrative and staff management, governance guidance and direction, communications and public relations, meetings and education programs, membership services, and advocacy. The Executive Director will spearhead the implementation of the strategic plan and achieving growth for the organization.

Responsibilities of the Executive Director include administration and financial management of all Academy activities and programs in keeping with the policies and directives of the AAP Board of Trustees. They include the following areas:

Administration and Staff Management:

  • Maximizes staff performance by clearly defining their duties and establishing personnel policies and performance standards; conducts periodic performance reviews and maintains a competitive salary and benefit structure.
  • In cooperation with the Finance Committee, Secretary/Treasurer and the Controller, develops, recommends and manages the annual budget.
  • Ensures that all funds, physical assets and other property of the Academy are appropriately safeguarded and administered.
  • Coordinates the annual audit by a certified public accounting firm.
  • Authorizes or executes contracts/letters of agreement.
  • Facilitates AAP personnel to work with the AAPF in support of Foundation policies, programs and services.

Governance Guidance and Direction:

  • Staffs all meetings of the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and General Assembly.
  • Fully informs officers and governing bodies of the conditions and operations of the Academy and of all important factors influencing them.
  • Serves as a resource to the Board, bringing pertinent information to its attention to assist in the effective development and implementation of programs, policies and liaison relationships.
  • Executes all decisions of the governing bodies, as directed by the Board.
  • Facilitates the Board’s strategic planning process and oversees implementation of the Board approved strategic plan.
  • Provides the necessary liaison and staff support to committee chairs and committees to enable them to properly perform their functions; ensures timely submission of recommendations and ongoing communications between committees and the Board.

Communications and Public Relations:

  • Works with the Board and appropriate committees and staff to raise general dentist awareness of the benefit and value of working with periodontists, and to help AAP members strengthen the one-on-one relationship with their referring colleagues.
  • Pursues communications, opportunities to educate the public about periodontology, including leveraging social media.
  • Assists and guides officers to be effective spokespersons for periodontology and AAP.
  • Oversees staff responsible for all communications and public relations activities and initiatives.
  • Directs research and related projects, prepares reports and publishes the results on subjects deemed important to the membership.
  • Assures the Perio.org website is up-to-date, relevant, and user-friendly for the membership and general public.

Membership Services:

  • Oversees membership recruitment and retention and the development and review of membership services/activities.
  • Monitors and provides business management and non-scientific editorial services for all communications to the general membership, including the production of Periospectives magazine, Journal of Periodontology, the new online journal Clinical Advances in Periodontics, This Week in Perio, and Perio.org News.
  • Manages member affinity programs and revenue.

Meetings and Continuing Education:

  • Provides coordination and oversight for meetings and continuing education. Provides guidance, support and fiscal oversight for the annual meeting, spring conference and other continuing educational programs. Monitors and assists staff in development and presentation of educational programs through educational portals and the website. Develops international interest and participation in the AAP annual meeting.

Academic Education

  • Provides oversight in monitoring and updating the Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Periodontics to reflect the full scope of the specialty.
  • Maintains ongoing relationships with predoctoral and postdoctoral training directors, including planning annual workshops.
  • Provides support in developing annual in-service exam used by residency programs and members.

Liaison Relationships:

  • Supports leadership development in academics, organized dentistry, legislative and regulatory issues.
  • Develops, maintains and strengthens internal and external relationships with the leadership and staff of other national dental and healthcare organizations (ADA, ABP, AAPF, AGD, AADS, AAO, AAOMR, etc.). Appraise AAP leadership of key information gleaned from these ongoing relationships.
  • Fosters effective working relationships with state and regional periodontal organizations.
  • Develops relationships with international leaders in dentistry and periodontics.
  • Develops, maintains and keeps the Board informed of corporate relationships and funding opportunities with commercial companies.
  • Serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the AAP Foundation (AAPF).
  • Maintains liaison with the American Board of Periodontology

Political Advocacy:

  • Networks with state dental organizations, the American Dental Association, and other national dental specialty organizations to keep abreast of key state and federal legislative and regulatory issues impacting dentistry. (State and regional organizations, ADA, ADPAC, ODC, DSG, etc.).
  • Monitors and keeps the Board of Trustees and membership appraised of the ADA legislative and regulatory efforts on issues impacting periodontology.
  • Facilitates, but does not take the lead in, state and local regulatory issues and efforts impacting periodontology in the 50 state legislatures.

Vision and Strategic Planning:

  • Assists the Board in the review, update and implementation of the strategic plan.
  • Identifies and analyzes trends that will impact the profession and the Academy on a domestic and global level. Knowledgeable about environmental scans and survey instruments to provide strong factual data to the process.
  • Provides the technology tools that will be needed in the future to communicate with the membership.

Proven leader with 10+ years’ experience in an Executive Director, COO or senior level position. An understanding of association business preferred. Experience cultivating strong working relationship with a board. Excellent strategic, operational planning and implementation skills. Significant staff leadership experience. Track record for attracting, motivating, and developing a high performing team. Strong financial acumen and experience in budget planning and management. Demonstrated ability to motivate and unify people around strategies, including a proven record of creating, directing and implementing plans. Experience building online and in-person educational programs, i.e., distance learning and continuing education programs. A familiarity with how to leverage technology to enhance services and communications with members and other key audiences. Highly collaborative and customer service-oriented executive, capable of relating to individuals at all levels of the organization. Strong communications and public speaking experience, with excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills. Impeccable integrity and ethics. Servant leadership style; low ego needs A global perspective and diplomatic skills. Approachable; accepts and acts on feedback. Certified Association Executive (CAE) a plus.


Bachelor’s degree required. Relevant Master’s degree and/or professional certification preferred.


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