Assistant Director, Strategic Planning

Date: Nov 17, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20036

Company: American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is one of the world’s largest scientific membership associations. Its mission is “advancing the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people.”


The Office of the CEO is responsible, along with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), for the day-to-day operations of all units of the Society, as well as implementation of a comprehensive and coherent strategy for the Society. Within the Office of the CEO, the Strategic Planning function works in concert with the ACS Board Standing Committee on Strategic Planning to develop the Society’s strategy at the highest level, as well as developing supporting strategies, implementation plans, and contingencies. In addition, the Assistant Director works with the SVP of Strategic Initiatives to play a vital role in formulating communications of the Society’s strategic direction for internal and external audiences as well as ensures that the operational plans across the organization are in alignment with the Strategic Plan.


Position Description:

This position is responsible for informing the development of the strategic direction of the Society through strategic planning, contingency planning, and execution of governance review processes. This position ensures the implementation of governance policies and decisions in these areas.


The position works with the SVP of Strategic Initiatives to assist business units in the translation of high-level strategy into operational plans comprised of medium- and near-term strategies and objectives.  The position develops processes related to strategy development and facilitates decisions involving complex and contradictory alternatives requiring organizational support leading to strategic execution.


The position reports to the SVP of Strategic Initiatives/Chief of Staff to the CEO and has one direct report. The position works closely with the ACS Board of Directors and other governance members on the development of strategy at the highest level.  Works with the CEO, ELT and other staff unit leaders to ensure strategic integration across all the units in the Society.



This position supports two main areas: the ACS Strategic Plan (includes ACS strategic initiatives) and ACS business functions operational plans.

  • Works with the CEO and the SVP of Strategic Initiatives to assist the Board of Directors in developing, implementing, and monitoring a coherent strategic plan for the Society, ensuring that all aspects of the Society are taken into account.
  • Serves as the staff liaison to the Board Standing Committee on Strategic Planning and other task forces as appropriate.
  • Leads execution of the 5-year Strategic Plan Process Roadmap for the Board Standing Committee on Strategic Planning. Ensures the Strategic Plan is communicated in multiple ways and is understood by governance and staff.
  • Oversees the Strategic Planning process and works with associated staff for component groups and other units of the Society.
  • Identifies and works with external consultants every five years to conduct in-depth research on trends in the global chemistry enterprise and identify change drivers to guide the near-term strategic and operational planning activities of the Society.  Ensures change drivers are communicated and understood by governance and staff.
  • In collaboration with the SVP of Strategic Initiatives, works with the ELT to develop and update a multi-year operational plan for the Society that incorporates the business and operating needs of the various divisions as well as the implications for financial, human, and physical resources. Ensures translation of agreed strategies into execution plans within the units and assist with monitoring and reporting on resulting efforts.
  • Supports the understanding and ability of the Society’s divisions/units to strategically develop operational plans that align with the ACS Strategic Plan. Develop processes and resources to enable a standardized approach to such planning.
  • Gathers information in collaboration with the SVP of Strategic Initiatives on key performance indicators, strategic initiatives, and other key efforts to assess the state of the organization. 
  • In collaboration with the SVP of Strategic Initiatives, leads coordination and report preparation of M&A activity biannually.
  • Performs other duties as necessary, particularly in assisting with governance-related projects.


Relevant Skills & Experience:

  • This position requires extensive knowledge of the organization and industry practices, methods, and procedures relevant to strategic planning.
  • A bachelor’s degree in science, business or related area is required; an advanced degree in science, business or related area or equivalent experience is a plus.
  • Minimum 8 years of relevant experience and 4 years of management experience required.
  • Experience with strategic planning or program management is required.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with individuals at all levels, with strength in partnership building.
  • Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information.
  • Ability to be self-motivated, work productively a dynamic environment and have attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of the operation of not-for-profit organizations is highly desired.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).



  • Reports to SVP Strategic Initiatives/Chief of Staff.
  • Travel up to 10% of time may be required for this position.


Position Location:

The role will be based in the ACS Headquarters in Washington, DC.  ACS employees work a hybrid work schedule, consisting of working onsite, three days per week. ACS employees are in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday with the third in-office day scheduled in consultation with the manager. While always welcome to work in the office, employees may work the other two days of the week from a location of their choice.




Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

Job Segment: Research