Chief Executive Officer

Date: Sep 22, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20036

Company: American Chemical Society


The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a not-for-profit scientific and educational organization and is the world’s largest scientific society. Founded in 1876, the Society numbers more than 151,000 members, publishes seventy-five journals and periodicals and produces the largest and most widely used chemical databases in the world. The Society cooperates with comparable scientific organizations in Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and other major industrial nations, linking computer systems and providing global access to scientific information. The Society’s two national meetings and up to ten regional meetings attract more than 33,000 participants and result in the presentation of more than 20,000 scientific/technical papers each year. There are two major operating locations with approximately 1,850 employees—ACS Washington Operations with approximately 749 employees (located in Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio) and Chemical Abstracts Service in Columbus, Ohio, with approximately 1,105 employees. In addition, the ACS has a representative foreign office in China and several field representatives throughout Europe and Asia who promote the use of ACS and CAS programs, products, and services. A dozen field offices in the United States and abroad also serve as news gathering centers for Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly ACS magazine. Global operations are managed through ACSI, Ltd. The Society’s annual operating revenue is approximately $632M.


The Society’s membership is composed of individuals of widely diversified interests and objectives, ranging from new college graduates in chemistry and chemical engineering to the highly experienced chemical professional in industry, academia, government and elsewhere. 


Equally varied are the concerns of members in the disciplines of, or related to, chemistry whose interests may lie in maintaining current awareness in scientific, technological, and business developments, education at all levels, or in professional or government relations. The need to provide a voice for, and to respond to, these wide-ranging member needs has resulted in unusually complex Society governance and management structures. The CEO must be qualified to coordinate these activities.




Reporting to the ACS Board of Directors (represented by the Chair of the Board), the CEO is the principal executive/administrative officer of the Society. This role leads the operational activities of the Society, builds organizational culture, is accountable for the policies and programs promulgated by the Board of Directors and/or the Council (~ 500-member popular deliberative assembly of the Society that is part of governance), and provides continuity to the elected Board of Directors through contacts with appropriate members of the scientific enterprise.


The CEO is an officer of the Society and serves as a non-voting ex officio member of the Board of Directors and as a voting member of the Council. This is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and appoints or delegates authority for the appointment of all salaried employees, except officers, of the Society. The incumbent must be committed to the Mission, Vision, Core Values, and associated Goals of ACS. This role facilitates long-term planning, executes official society policies, creates management policies, and represents the Society as appropriate to academia, government, industry, the nonprofit world, and the public. This position is Chair of the ACS Governing Board for Publishing and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Governing Board.


The CEO serves as a voting member on the Board Committee on Strategic Planning, the Board Committee on Pensions & Investments, and the Council Policy Committee, and as a nonvoting member of the Special Committee on Executive Compensation and the Board Executive Committee.


In addition, the CEO attends meetings of the Audit Committee and other committees and task forces, such as the Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees of the Member Insurance Program, etc. The CEO also serves on the Founders Committee of the Science History Institute.


Among the specific accountabilities are the following:


  • In conjunction with the Board of Directors, articulates and leads a clear vision and mission for the future of ACS. Recommends and implements long-range strategic plans for the Society based on data-driven analytics, projections, and financials that achieve the goals of the organization and assure the future of the Society.
  • Effectively leads the Society’s activities and staff to assure the development and implementation of programs that achieve the Society’s broader purpose and strategic goals, including the recruitment and retention of a diverse membership. Maintains a high performing Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and plays an active role in attracting, retaining, and developing a best-in-class staff. Guides their professional development and programmatic activities and ensures effective succession planning.
  • Assures the Board’s financial objectives are achieved and that adequate financial resources are available to meet the Society’s objectives. Makes sound financial decisions and recommendations based on a thorough understanding of the organization’s overall financial picture. Allocates financial and human resources to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. Ensures that ACS is compliant with relevant state and federal laws, regulations and with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Implements appropriate internal controls to protect the organization from fraud and abuse.
  • Maintains an effective working relationship with the Board of Directors. Works with the Board Chair to help focus Board meetings on topics of highest priority and provides Board members with appropriate information in a timely fashion. Engages Board members collectively and individually in understanding and making sense of the organization’s environment, challenges, and potential.
  • Provides continuity to the elected Board of Directors on issues in the wider scientific enterprise by maintaining positive relationships with key officials in academia, industry, government, and the nonprofit world.
  • Supports governance activities of the Board and its committees to assure effective management of the Society.
  • Assures the dissemination of scientific information through publications and other information services to assist the professional work of chemists and other scientists. Cultivates excellent relationships with news media; provides oversight for ACS's presence in the social media.
  • With the Chair of the Board, President, and other ACS leaders, represents ACS, chemistry, and related professions to the public to build ACS’s public image and the public image of chemistry.
  • With the Chair of the Board, President, and other ACS leaders, represents the Society to the government, the scientific community, and the public to promote the importance and achievements of chemistry. Sponsors and/or co-sponsors special events designed to promote ACS's mission.
  • Ensures that ACS develops appropriate fundraising strategies and policies and supports the Society’s fund-raising goals. Participates in identifying and cultivating corporate, individual and foundation sponsors. Motivates prospective donors by making a compelling case about the importance of the organization’s work.
  • Fosters a positive and ethical work climate that is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating top-quality employees at all levels, while promoting excellence to maximize individual potential, in overseeing 1,854 full time employees, with ten direct reports.





  • 10-15 years of experience in senior management of a complex organization with P&L responsibility for multiple product lines or diverse organizational units.
  • A commitment to and respect for science is essential. Because of the large involvement of the Society in primary and secondary publishing activities, experience in these areas is also desirable. Knowledge of the programs and activities of the ACS and an understanding of the governance of the ACS is preferred. Knowledge of membership organizations and membership in the ACS is preferred.
  • Financial acumen; experience with the development of new businesses or enterprises (globally); strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation; fundraising; change leadership and change management; and partnership development at the organizational level preferred.
  • A commitment to results, with exceptional leadership, management, communications, and interpersonal skills. An effective problem-solver, with a sense of innovation and creativity.  A sense of humor, impeccable integrity, strong work ethic, a willingness to ask difficult questions and challenge organizational assumptions, strong judgment, ability to forge trusting relationships and hold others accountable, and the ability to motivate and engage others are required.



Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Sciences, Engineering or related sciences is preferred. Advanced degree in the chemically related sciences or engineering or other advanced degree is desirable.



A competitive compensation package will be provided to attractive outstanding candidates.


How to apply: Chief Executive Officer job, Washington, D.C. (

This position will be based in the DC office. ACS offers relocation assistance, if applicable.



Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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