Executive Director/CEO

Posted 2 weeks ago


AACE International (“AACE”) is the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering. Established in 1956, AACE is a 501(c)3 with 9,000 members in over 100 countries and is renowned for its technical content. Cost Engineering is a field of study and its practitioners, AACE members, are a community of professionals from various practice areas including project controls, cost & commercial management, change management, planning & scheduling, estimating, decision & risk management, asset management, and dispute resolution. Members include owners, contractors, and consultants from many industries, such as construction, manufacturing, engineering, infrastructure, natural resources, power generation & utilities, and government. AACE is governed by a board of eleven directors.

The AACE International Certification Institute (“the Institute”) is an affiliate 501(c)6 incorporated in 2022 and is governed by its own board with six members. The Institute oversees nine certifications, most of which are accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB). The certification program was launched in 1976 and currently, 3,800 professionals hold at least one certification; 1,400 of those individuals are from outside North America.

AACE and the Institute have a combined $3 million annual operating budget and healthy investment reserves at 100% of operating revenue. Operations are strong with 15 full time, all of whom work virtually (the physical headquarters closed in 2020). The organization has realized consistent growth in the last few years and that trend is projected to continue in 2024. The board has made impactful investments in technology and membership development; and has dedicated time to updating governing documents, implementing a new strategic plan, and improving board practices.


The Executive Director / CEO (“ED”) is the chief staff officer to both AACE International and the AACE International Certification Institute. The ED’s primary role is to ensure that each organization fulfills its mission to be the recognized authority in Total Cost Management. The ED partners with staff and the Board of Directors for each organization to develop and execute strategies and implement policies and procedures to achieve the objectives that support AACE’s goals. In addition, the ED fosters a strong and transparent working relationship with each Board, promoting open communication about financial, programmatic, and impact performance against milestones. The ED is also responsible for establishing and maintaining an organizational structure that fosters a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for staff and membership.

This is a remote position with occasional travel required.


Strategy and Policy

  • Assures that each organization has a long-range strategy that achieves its mission and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  • Conducts a review of the strategic plan and offers appropriate recommendations to each Board on an annual basis.
  • Provides leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans with the Boards of Directors and staff.
  • Assures implementation of plans and policies authorized by each Board.


  • Establishes staff structure. Ensures that job descriptions are developed, regular performance evaluations are held, and sound human resource practices are in place.
  • Encourages staff and volunteer development and education, and assists staff in relating their specialized work to the total programs of AACE International and the Certification Institute.
  • Maintains a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse, qualified staff.
  • Maintains membership and certification records and provides related services.
  • Oversees the processes concerning new members and certification applications.
  • Serves as publisher of all AACE International publications.
  • Maintains Organization Manuals, ensures they are accessible by membership, and distributes notification of changes to staff.
  • Maintains and safeguards appropriate corporate and legal files and contracts and protects the property rights of AACE International and the Certification Institute therein.
  • Promotes businesslike, efficient, and ethical procedures in the administration of business affairs.
  • Maintains ongoing and appropriate communications with the Boards of Directors and members.

Board of Directors Liaison

  • Cultivates a strong and transparent working relationship with AACE International’s and the Certification Institute’s Boards of Directors and ensures open communication about the measurement of financial, programmatic, and impact performance against stated milestones and goals.
  • Assists in developing Board of Directors meeting agendas.
  • Sees that each Board is kept fully informed on the condition of AACE International and the Certification Institute and important factors influencing each. Refers matters requiring executive action or policy decision to the attention of the respective Board of Directors. Participates in Board of Directors discussions, as appropriate.
  • Attends all Board of Directors meetings.


  • Creates and implements programs to market AACE International and the Certification Institute to potential corporate sponsors, governmental agencies, and individual and students to meet annual goals.
  • Creates and implements programs designed to retain existing members.
  • Develops beneficial liaisons with other professional groups and societies.
  • Obtains the maximum public exposure practicable of the aims, objectives, and advantages of membership and participation in AACE International and the Certification Institute through appearances and presentations.
  • Creates and implements programs designed to increase membership.
  • Creates and implements programs designed to increase AACE certifications.


  • Develops and maintains sound financial practices.
  • Oversees the financial processes and operations of AACE International and the Certification Institute.
  • Supervises maintenance of appropriate budget and cost records.
  • Supervises the preparation and issuance of monthly accounting statements.
  • Oversees preparation and issuance of quarterly financial reports.
  • Manages operations to result in compliance with the approved budgets.


  • Participates in and oversees the evaluation of AACE International Conference & Expo locations and sites and makes recommendations as appropriate.


  • Experienced executive with business and financial acumen, who can identify new revenue opportunities, monitor and control expenditures, and lead a staff team to success.
  • At least five (5) years’ experience as an executive director or association senior leader with a non-profit association.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management, business, or a related field
  • Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation highly desirable
  • Experience working with boards of directors, committees, and task forces.
  • A compassionate leader with a strong ethical compass that can maintain a positive culture that attracts and retains highly motivated staff.
  • Strong change management skills and a commitment to being proactive and building trust among stakeholders.
  • Prompt in decision-making, including managing performance and addressing difficult situations.
  • Experience in a global or international organization
  • Demonstrated understanding of governance issues, including board management and dynamics.
  • Ability to analyze opportunities and risks to move the business forward and form effective plans.
  • Experience developing membership acquisition and retention strategies.
  • Social media savvy; actively participates on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Understanding of certification program operations and strategies.
  • Significant experience developing and monitoring operating budgets and forecasts and maintaining sound financial practices.
  • Experience with a virtual office environment is highly desirable.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong volunteer relations.
  • A commitment to developing an understanding of the cost engineering industry in order to develop marketing initiatives for AACE’s business units and to develop new product lines that are timely and relevant to the profession.
  • Ability to set priorities, delegate responsibilities, and mentor, motivate, and develop staff.
  • A charismatic personality that is approachable, fun, and curious.


The search for the Executive Director/CEO is being conducted by Tuft & Associates.
Nominations or referrals may be directed to:
Jill Christie, President
Tuft & Associates, Inc.

To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter electronically, using one of these options:

  • Complete the resume submission form below, and include your resume and cover letter.
  • Email a cover letter and resume to Tuft & Associates, Inc., cbabjak@tuftassoc.com

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