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Chief Operating Officer - American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

Chief Operating Officer - American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

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Chief Operating Officer - ASTMH



As Chief Operating Officer for the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), you will take the lead as the organization moves to become a fully independent organization by February 1, 2019. (ASTMH is currently supported by an association management company.) You will rethink many elements of ASTMH’s existing infrastructure and processes to create an organization that is more flexible, more efficient, and better designed for growth. Working with a talented staff of 10 based in Washington D.C. and Chicago, IL, and annual revenue of $4.5 million, you will have the capacity and significant opportunity to expand ASTMH’s footprint in the global health landscape.


Working closely with the CEO, you will have wide latitude to review and revamp internal policies and practices for every operational need, so that ASTMH is better positioned for growth. You will decide which functions are best served by vendor relationships and which software and processes best meet the current and future needs of the organization. You will have an entrepreneurial approach and be analytical and metrics-driven – with every decision made, you will be able to point to the impact of your decision, weigh and make trade-offs, and justify costs. Your decisions will have a clear logic, ensuring further buy-in from the ASTMH staff.


Your successful management of this transition will remain largely invisible to ASTMH members. But your decisions will ultimately allow the organization to move in new strategic directions, increasing its responsiveness to member needs and impact on the future of global health.



Founded in 1903, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) is the largest international scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health. We accomplish this through generating and sharing scientific evidence, informing health policies and practices, fostering career development, recognizing excellence, and advocating for investment in tropical medicine and global health research.


Responsibilities of the Chief Operating Officer 

  • Oversee the successful IT, finance/accounting and membership data transition from the association management company to new vendors. Discuss and facilitate the process with the management company and the vendors to ensure data integrity and process continuity.
  • Build or review multiple organization processes to ensure ASTMH will operate independently and to better position ASTMH for growth. Determine a framework for organizational transition, including project timelines and priorities.
  • Determine all vendor needs, managing all aspects of new and existing vendor relationships, including contracts (Note: some vendors will remain with ASTMH, others have been solicited and are interested in being selected. It is expected that the COO will also bring his/her own vendor experiences for consideration.)
  • Oversee and review finance and accounting needs, including revamping of outsourced vendor relationships and software needs. Manage staff policies regarding in-house finance and accounting work. Prevent crises through regular review of financial reporting. Work closely with the secretary-treasurer regarding organizational finances. Ensure all organizational compliance needs are met.
  • Review existing budgeting process for improvements with the independence to implement. Select appropriate software, create appropriate spreadsheets, and determine organizational best practices for budgeting.
  • Oversee organizational IT needs, including vendor selection and oversight.
  • Create and staff a new Audit Committee in coordination with the secretary-treasurer.
  • Determine all HR procedures and policies, including employee handbook, organizational benefits, and external HR vendor needs. Oversee employee performance review process.
  • Train and support existing ASTMH staff on all changes to policy and processes. Ensure buy-in and successful transition to the new organizational structure.
  • Determine and implement appropriate telework policies for remote staff, ensuring strong communication and connection.
  • Represent ASTMH at appropriate events and venues, including society’s Council (aka Board) meetings as needed.
  • Prepare presentations to ASTMH Council regarding projected costs, timelines, and the overall status of the transition


Qualifications of the Chief Operating Officer 

  • 10-20 years of experience, including managing operations needs in an association or nonprofit. Experience working with scientific, medical, or public health community is preferred.
  • Extensive, deep knowledge of multiple operations functional areas, including finance, revenue and budgeting, IT, HR, AMS software (IMIS preferred), organization website, insurance, outsourced vendor arrangements, and contracts.
  • Experience managing all aspects of vendor relationships, including vendor selection, negotiation of contract terms, contract compliance, vendor integration within organization practices, and ensuring smooth contract renewal processes as needed.
  • Proven experience leading a major organizational revamp of policy or infrastructure, such as transitioning to a new association management system, new accounting system, major website overhaul, forming new outsourced vendor relationships, etc.
  • Mission-focused, with an internationalist perspective that understands the unique needs and challenges inherent in working with low-income members.


Attributes of the Chief Operating Officer 

  • Highly flexible. You can operate effectively in situations with little or no structure. You smoothly manage through ambiguity and you easily shift gears, reprioritize, and stay focused on key priorities. You can shape answers to questions when no template exists.
  • Clear, inclusive communicator. You have an exceptional ability to communicate with people at all levels (internal and external). You understand the nuances of appropriate communication for international audiences.
  • Consensus builder. You have a collaborative and inclusive work style; you can build a team with a remote workforce and outsourced vendors. Colleagues respect you for your knowledge and your ability to communicate in a clear and defined manner. You are sensible, sensitive to the needs and goals of others, realistic, and matter-of-fact.
  • Servant-leader and trusted steward. You recognize that the best service is often invisible. People know you have their best interests in mind and you are sincere in your communications. You earn trust by your actions and faithfully keep your promises. You are seen as an “honest broker.”
  • Good judgment. You exercise strong, independent judgment. You typically operate autonomously but also know when to stop and ask questions, seek clarity, or consider the benefits of a different approach.
  • Problem solver. You can adapt to an environment that can change on a daily basis. You think ahead, anticipate challenges, and course-correct prior to errors occurring. You go beyond knowing what needs to be done and understand why it needs to be done.


What’s Attractive to the Right Chief Operating Officer Candidate?

  • ASTMH has an excellent reputation in the global scientific community. You will join a long-standing organization with a peer-reviewed journal and a well-regarded Annual Meeting.
  • You will be taking an existing global organization and rethinking every element of its infrastructure. You will create more flexibility, more growth possibility, and more value to ASTMH members.
  • You will join a team that is mission-focused and excited about this new strategic direction for ASTMH.
  • You will have wide latitude to find the most flexible, efficient, intelligent solutions to association challenges. You will decide when to outsource functions to vendors and select which software and processes best fit the association’s needs.
  • This is an interesting opportunity to rethink an existing association model (served by an association management company for 25 years) and rethink its operations so that can focus resources to further and better pursue its mission. The needs and available resources of ASTMH members vary wildly depending on their location in the world. Your decisions will determine how flexible the organization can be to meet our members’ highly disparate needs.
  • You are driven by the same passion for human rights and global well-being as the health researchers we serve. ASTMH members do research that helps cure, end, prevent, and treat diseases that disproportionately impact the most disenfranchised people in the world – people who often have no home, no voice, no vote, and sometimes even no legal personhood. Your success in this role will enable the Society and its members to further their efforts in the research, prevention, treatment and hopefully cures of diseases like Ebola, malaria, ZIKA, cholera, yellow fever, guinea worm, and chikungunya.
  • Once you have made ASTMH a successful and sustainable independent organization, you will have the flexibility and creativity to pursue new opportunities that expand the organization’s impact, providing more value to members. You will play a key role in deciding where ASTMH can provide the greatest support in solving global health challenges.


To Apply for the Chief Operating Officer position with ASTMH:

You can use the "Apply" button on this page or simply email your resume to Gina Schurman at with “ASTMH - COO / 2018-2307 SA  as the subject of the email. 

Alternative Titles:  CEO, VP of Operations, CAE, Chief Administrative Officer

Staffing Advisors has been engaged to find the right candidate and is committed to helping create a diverse work environment for our client. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.