Collaborative Strategies Inc.

  • Director of Education Programs

    # of Openings
    American Optometric Association
    US-MO-St Louis
  • Overview

    AOA - Logo resized


    Director of Education Programs

    Position Announcement


    Now seeking a visionary change agent to transform our Education Center to meet  

    the 21st century education & training needs of our membership base!


    At the American Optometric Association (“AOA”), you’ll be part of an organization dedicated to driving the success and serving as a voice for over 44,000 optometric professionals, including the doctors (O.D.) and students of optometry and paraoptometric team members who deliver more than two-thirds of primary eye care in the United States. Since 1898, the American Optometric Association (“AOA”) has set standards for quality vision care, served as a positive and unifying force for the doctors of optometry and advocated for our nation’s health. 


    As a nationally-recognized leader in our field, the AOA is advancing the profession of optometry in the most constructive and far-reaching ways, including innovative educational opportunities, tools and practice resources, and related advocacy. Our growing team of employees, based in St. Louis, Missouri, provide oversight for all operations, educational opportunities and programs, technology, marketing, finance and member events. Together with a committed House of Delegates and an 11-member National Board of Trustees, along with dedicated community and corporate industry partners, the AOA is well-poised for even greater success ahead. To learn more about us, please visit us at


    In alignment with strategic goals, the AOA is seeking a dynamic and innovative Director of Education Programs to lead the organization’s effort to provide clinically-driven, cutting-edge tools, resources, and educational opportunities. This leadership role will require a strong vision to transform our existing educational programs into an innovative Education Center ready to meet 21st Century educational and training needs for our members. 


    Reporting directly to our Associate Executive Director in Saint Louis, Missouri, AOA’s new Director of Education Programs will:


    • PROVIDE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP – Partner with the Associate Executive Director to define and execute the vision and strategic plan supporting AOA’s educational mission. Inform and engage committee members through transparent communication regarding financial, programmatic and impact performance measures while providing oversight in the development of education programs and other strategic initiatives. Establish and maintain strong working relationships with speakers, AOA Affiliates (states), school of optometry, and continuing education entities.
    • TRANSFORM OUR EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS – Lead the transformation of AOA’s Education Center to deliver high-quality, innovative training and continuing education for optometrists and paraoptometric staff. Ensure that AOA is developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based programs to support its mission. Oversee offerings for AOA’s Annual Optometry Meeting and other educational events. Create and implement a member-centric strategy for EyeLearn.
    • LEAD AN INNOVATIVE TEAM Provide oversight for a team of 5 employees. Direct the full lifecycle of staff development including recruitment, hiring, training, managing, motivating, and terminating as appropriate. Provide supervision and ongoing guidance. Develop a culture that promotes employee engagement, teamwork and accountability, and, coach and enable program staff to effectively and productively interact with other departments.   
    • MANAGE BUDGET & STEWARD THE ASSETS – Prudently manage the organization’s key assets, including financial, technology, and human resources. Coach and empower a talented and capable staff to be accountable for the impact their roles have on the organization’s success. Monitor annual budget and ensure sound financial controls. In cooperation with IT leadership, manage and develop budget related to the IT components of Education Center. Set financial priorities and make prudent recommendations to leadership and board committee volunteers.
    • FOSTER CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & TRACK OUTCOMES – Regularly assess educational service offerings and the effectiveness of educational content, events, and related offerings. Develop metrics, track results, analyze internal data, and develop a formalized system to communicate success and to solicit feedback to ensure a high level of member satisfaction.
    • SERVE AS AOA’S AMBASSADOR Represent AOA as a well-respected thought leader in state and national efforts advocating for lifelong learning in optometric education. Maintain relationships and further collaboration with AOA volunteers, state organizations, and corporate and community partners to design innovative content and programs. Serve as the face and voice of AOA, consistently and positively presenting the organization and its mission to stakeholders. Develop, enhance, and maintain productive relationships with AOA affiliates, schools, volunteers, accreditation entities, and all related stakeholders.




    • Minimum of 8-12+ years professional experience with at least 3+ years at a senior leadership  level with responsibility for a team of direct reports.
    • Proven experience in identifying, building, and marketing core programs, service offerings, and/or products. Experience within optometry, healthcare, and/or member-based organizations a plus but not required.
    • Prior experience with web-based education programs, systems, database management, and Learning Management Software (LMS) also a strong plus.
    • Knowledge of licensing, certification, and/or maintenance of certification requirements a plus
    • Commitment to sustaining strong and productive partnerships and high level of customer service with staff, board, volunteers, consultants and physicians.
    • Four-year degree required; MBA or Master’s degree in Instructional Design or equivalent preferred.
    • Passion for AOA’s mission, including its role as an advocate and a resource for all practitioners, students and related staff and its commitment to life-long learning in the field of optometry.
    • Must offer strong relationship-building skills, executive presence, and ability to influence.
    • Experience managing a team and actively developing talent; an ability to inspire and motivate others as well as manage conflict.  Ability to foster a healthy organizational culture through teamwork and collaboration.
    • Big picture thinker with a strong business acumen. Must offer proven experience in designing and delivering innovative programming
    • Ability to assess program outcomes and data.
    • Superior problem solving and critical thinking capabilities.
    • Eloquent and compelling written and verbal communication skills.
    • An ability to work at a fast pace while staying focused and attuned to details.



    This position must be based in AOA’s corporate headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri. Relocation assistance may be available and relocation would be expected upon hire.


    Compensation Package:


    AOA offers a competitive compensation package with a base salary and a discretionary bonus opportunity. AOA’s employee benefits package includes health benefits (dental, medical and vision), life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, healthcare flex spending account, 401k, vacation and holidays, adoption assistance, educational assistance, and more.



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