NACCHO - Search for Executive Director

Executive Director

Client Overview

The National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) has retained Sterling Martin Associates to search for its next Executive Director.

NACCHO’s mission is to serve as a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice of the nation’s ~3,000 Local Health Departments (LDHs) to protect and improve the health of all people and all communities; it is the only national association that advocates solely for the issues and federal programs that are priorities for local health departments. NACCHO is a dynamic and forward-thinking 501(c)(3) national membership association that advocates for health, equity, and security for all people.  NACCHO provides technical assistance, networking, and membership opportunities for the leadership and staff of local health departments, and NACCHO also advocates on behalf of local health departments and informs Federal legislation and executive branch staff and policymakers about means to effectively address the myriad of health challenges facing communities.

NACCHO’s budget is in the $25M range, derived primarily from Federal and foundation grants and contracts. NACCHO has established a robust network of partners that work with the Association and its members through collaboration and financial support, all with a goal of advancing local public health. NACCHO is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, comprised of health officials from around the country, a representative for Tribal health departments, and ex officio members representing the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The day-by-day operations of NACCHO are conducted by a 125-member professional staff located in NACCHO’s headquarters. NACCHO’s Foundation for the Public Health supports the public’s health by creating a culture of giving, raising awareness about the value of public health, and forging partnerships to meet the nation’s public health needs.

The position is located in Washington, DC. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org. 

Executive Director

The Executive Director is NACCHO’s chief executive. Under the general direction of the Board of Directors, and guided by NACCHO’s strategic plan, the Executive Director is responsible for guiding NACCHO’s vision and mission and for maintaining a high performing association that effectively supports the work of LHDs.  This position is responsible for the overall management and operation of the association, implementation of Board directives and policies, and financial and personnel management.

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly skilled professional who has experience managing an association of NACCHO’s size and scope.  The Executive Director will be a strategic visionary and an experienced leader and executive with appropriate leadership and/or practice experience.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

This is a highly responsible position with accountability for NACCHO’s overall management.  S/he serves at the will of the NACCHO Board of Directors and is responsible for the following specific duties and responsibilities:

National Leadership

  • In partnership with other stakeholders, play an active and effective role in advocating for federal/national resources and laws that support the needs of local public health and health department practice.
  • Represent NACCHO at meetings, conferences, and in other external settings as may be necessary to promote the Association’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives.
  • Play an active role in the community of related national and federal organizations, representing the strategic interests of NACCHO and local public health.
  • Represent the interests and needs of local public health departments and serve as an external spokesperson for the Association.

Board Accountability & Support

  • Provide staff resources in support of the organizational needs of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, President, committees, and other governance and support units of the membership.
  • Maintain appropriate and timely communication with, including regular submissions of reports and recommendations concerning the affairs of the Association, to the President, Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
  • Assure that NACCHO’s vision, mission, values, and strategic objectives are regularly reviewed and, as appropriate, revised by the Board.
  • Assure the preparation and submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget with detailed estimates of revenues and expenditures.

Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Manage the affairs of NACCHO within the policy guidelines and directives of the NACCHO Board.
  • Assure that the NACCHO’s work is consistent with the strategic map adopted by the Board of Directors; establish and maintain internal processes needed to attract resources to support the work of the strategic plan.
  • Provide internal leadership for the NACCHO staff, assuring that the Association’s mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities are understood and provide a foundation for all NACCHO activities.
  • Ensure that efforts are made to enhance, develop, implement, and/or enforce policies and procedures that will improve NACCHO’s overall business operations.
  • Promote a work environment that embraces workforce development, creativity, ingenuity, and continuous quality improvement.
  • Identify and secure new resources from governmental agencies and private foundations to support NACCHO’s strategic initiatives.
  • Monitor expenses and revenues after adoption of the budget annually by the Board, and provide the Board with regular financial updates; take immediate actions to correct budget deficiencies and report such action to the Board.
  • Assure adequate organizational policies and systems for recruiting, hiring, and assessing performance of NACCHO staff in a way that is consistent with personnel policies; assure adequate internal systems for appropriate compensation of staff within guidelines established by NACCHO’s Executive Committee.

Ideal Background & Experience | Qualities & Characteristics

Qualified candidates for the position will be strategic and visionary leaders who have familiarity with, or passion for, the issues surrounding public health and an abiding interest in NACCHO’s mission and vision. In addition, candidates will be expected to present the following:

  • Master’s Degree in Public Health, Business Administration, Public Administration, or suitably related field preferred.
  • Minimum of five years in a senior leadership role with a membership association or in a public health practice. Evidence of exceptional leadership ability.
  • Track record of success in working successfully with a volunteer board of directors.
  • Broad knowledge of association management principles and techniques.
  • Successful track record in resource development.
  • Broad knowledge of the federal legislative system.
  • Strong understanding of organizational financial systems, preferably in an association setting.
  • Experience building and maintaining relationships and partnerships with external organizations in an effort to strengthen organizational visibility and impact.
  • Experience conducting organizational needs assessments and developing and implementing programs, policies and procedures to address those needs.
  • Ability to effectively manage professional staff.
  • Ability to make independent decisions with little oversight.
  • Ability to establish effective working relationships with diverse groups, including interacting effectively with members, volunteer leaders, funders, partners, etc.
  • Strong ability to promote organizational mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives, both internally and externally.
  • Experience implementing organizational change.
  • Understanding of grant application procedures and grant management a plus.
  • Superior communications skills, including the ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and to multi-task.
  • Ability to work independently as necessary to achieve high performance in the position.

Qualified candidates will have excellent leadership, analytical, and problem-solving skills and will be able to demonstrate strong individual accountability experience. Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills will be considered priorities as well excellent verbal and written communication skills, including meeting facilitation and presentation experience and strong agenda development and meeting coordination.


NACCHO offers a very attractive compensation and benefits package to attract the right candidate. The position is available immediately.

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) to naccho@smartinsearch.com. A well-crafted cover letter outlining how your background and experience relate to the position is considered an important part of the candidate review process. All applications will be acknowledged.

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at NACCHO are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. It is the policy and practice of NACCHO to prohibit all forms of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex, veteran status, disability, genetic information, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, and child birth or related conditions, or other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. 

For more information, contact:

Sterling Martin Associates
1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW | Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.327.5485

David S. Martin | Managing Partner
p. 202.257.1627 | naccho@smartinsearch.com

Kathi Motley | Senior Associate
p. 703.622.2632 | naccho@smartinsearch.com