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Senior Director, Leadership and Organizational Development

Senior Director, Leadership and Organizational Development

Association of Research Libraries Job Location: District of Columbia Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 05-12-2020

Last Updated: May 12, 2020

During a time of societal upheaval such as the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership is even more critical to meeting the moment and to emerging even stronger. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a community of leading research libraries and archives in Canada and the United States. We have a new opportunity for a passionate and experienced professional with a proven track record in developing emerging and senior leaders through online and in-person programs, and working with leaders to create innovative, healthy, diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.

The incumbent will create a vision and then design, develop, and implement a strategy for leadership and organizational development at a time when research library leaders are making significant shifts given changes in research, teaching, and learning. The future leadership portfolio will build on the strong reputation of ARL’s leadership development, member-to-member, and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and will take the Association forward with a digital-first strategy. This is a unique role for someone looking to make a difference in leading research and archive institutions, and in shaping the profession.

ARL is an institutional membership organization of 124 libraries and archives in major public and private universities, federal government agencies, and large public institutions in Canada and the United States. We advocate on behalf of research libraries, advance the research and learning mission with our research and higher education partners, share intelligence on current issues, and develop the next generation of diverse library leaders. The Association and its members engage nationally and internationally to advance an equitable and enduring research information environment.

Research libraries are evolving quickly within the context of dramatic digital adoption in research and learning, constant flux in higher education, and policy developments in Canada, the United States, and beyond. As an association of leaders, ARL adopted the 2019–2021 Action Plan outlining its priorities for the next three years, and the contributions it intends to make as a collaborative partner in a complex ecosystem. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association is reviewing its strategic priorities. This is an optimal time for the new senior director of leadership and organizational development to join the ARL team.

Job title

Senior Director, Leadership and Organizational Development



Reports to

Executive Director

Date of last review

May 12, 2020

Job summary

This leadership position is responsible for leading, developing, and implementing a program on leadership and organizational development for the Association of Research Libraries. The senior director works as a partner in developing a vision and strategy with the Association committees, and with experts and colleagues in the broader community.

This position is responsible for the portfolio of work that reflects the interdependency between leadership and organizations, primarily through online and some in-person formats, inclusive of all ARL institutes; the Leadership Fellows program; the diversity, equity, and inclusion fellows and scholars programs; and supporting Association Meeting program planning. In summary, the position is responsible for:

  • establishing leadership learning pathways through ARL programs;
  • establishing, meeting, and evaluating learning outcomes;
  • attracting content experts;
  • attracting fellows, scholars, and program participants;
  • working with research library and archive leaders as they lead and shape organizations, particularly during a time of significant change;
  • informing and, as appropriate, shaping peer learning through the design and delivery of member-driven programming; and
  • developing and implementing a digital-first program.

Essential functions

Leads, develops, and implements the leadership and organizational development strategy for the Association of Research Libraries.

  • In consultation with the ARL Academy Advisory Committee; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee; and the Member Engagement and Outreach Committee, this position develops and recommends a leadership and organizational development program vision and strategy to the executive director and, as appropriate, to the Board.
  • Working with the associate executive director of finance and administration, the position is responsible for developing and managing the budget and other resources needed to deliver on the strategy.
  • Once approved, the position is responsible for implementing the strategy, monitoring and adjusting it as appropriate, serving as a staff lead to the Association committees, and reporting on progress to the executive director and Association committees noted above.
  • This position oversees the standards and practices of ARL’s leadership and organizational development portfolio to ensure the programs meet member expectations and deliver an exceptional experience.
  • The position recruits content experts, fellows, scholars, and partners with other professional organizations and institutions.
  • The position leads the recruitment for participation in the programs.
  • The position advances ARL’s work to increase the diversity of the workforce and the policy and practice of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in research libraries and archives.


The position has one direct report, works with the program coordination team to deliver the leadership development programs, and oversees contract and grant-funded work.

Work environment

This is a remote-working and/or office work environment at the ARL office in Washington, DC.

Position type & expected hours of work

Exempt, full-time position. Typical work hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some work outside these hours.


Travel within the United States and Canada.

Required education and experience

The incumbent for this position will have a combination of education and experience in leadership and organizational development, demonstrating both theoretical and practical knowledge.

A master’s degree is required, preferably with an emphasis on coursework or research in leadership or organizational development from an accredited college or university.

A minimum of 7 years of experience leading a leadership and/or organizational development program is required. Preference will be given to those with experience in a higher education, nonprofit, or research library setting, with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additional requirements include the following:

  • Demonstrable success in engaging internal and external stakeholders in establishing a vision, evaluating, and successfully meeting expectations in leadership development or organizational change
  • Demonstrated success in online learning strategies and program delivery
  • Passionate, forward-thinking, and detail-oriented leader who is collaborative and motivational
  • Team player who creates trust, exudes credibility, and can elevate enthusiasm across the organization
  • Proven demonstration of awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations
  • Excellent oral and written communication and public speaking skills

ARL is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the professional workplace. We are firmly committed to providing opportunities for outstanding persons of every race/ethnicity, gender, creed, and background. We encourage candidates to apply who thrive in an environment that embraces diversity and inclusivity.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. ARL offers standard benefits including sick leave, 22 days of vacation, TIAA. Screening of applications will begin immediately.

To apply

The qualified applicants should submit a letter outlining interest and relevant experience, including a statement that addresses past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; a résumé; and a list of three references using this application form. For more information please check our website at https://www.arl.org/

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