Chief Executive Officer

Req Number: YK867
Location: Washington, DC
Posted: 7/20/2020
Category: Life Sciences/Healthcare : Consumer Health
Job Type: Permanent

Position -- Chief Executive Officer  
Organization -- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
Location -- Washington, DC
Reporting Relationship --  The Chief Executive Officer reports to the Board of Directors
Website --

Organization Overview

The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), is a 501(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the health of women and newborns and strengthening the nursing profession.  The mission of AWHONN is to empower and support nurses caring for women, newborns and their families through research, education, and advocacy. To achieve this mission, AWHONN supports and conducts research that spans and integrates the behavioral and biological sciences, and that supports the scientific basis for clinical practice. AWHONN’s annual revenue is approximately $13.5 million with nearly 45 staff.

Since 1993, AWHONN has awarded more than $520,000 in research grants aimed at promoting the health of women, newborns, and families. AWHONN is committed to incorporating research and evidence‐based practice (EBP) as a foundation for women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing to provide quality patient care.  The organization represents the interest of 350,000 registered nurses working in women’s health, obstetrics, and neonatal nursing across the United States.  As the largest nursing organization dedicated to the care of women and newborns in the United States, AWHONN is the foremost expert for research, evidence-based practice and education, and clinical resources. 

 AWHONN believes that:

  • Research builds the scientific foundation for clinical practice.
  • Evidence‐based practice integrates the best available evidence to guide nursing care and improve patient outcomes.
  • Quality improvement, the systematic, continuous, contextualized, and interdisciplinary effort to improve health services, is critical to advancing the quality of care and ultimately improves patient outcomes.

AWHONN offers a variety of educational courses and webinars for clinicians in many areas of interest including maternal mortality, patient safety, webinars, evidence-based guidelines, or Diabetes.  AWHONN published standards for the nursing practice in the care of women and newborns which define the roles, functions and competencies of nurses caring for women and newborns and delineate the various roles and behaviors for which the professional nurse is accountable.  AWHONN also works with members of Federal, State, and local governments to advocate for the health of women and newborns.

AWHONN’s Strategic Goals include:

  • Diversity: Promote diversity and inclusion in the organization and profession.
  • Awareness: Advocate for critical issues that impact nursing care to women and newborns while developing collaborations with other communities and organizations.
  • Commitment to Members: Maximize the member experience.
  • Knowledge: Advance AWHONN as the trusted leader in research, education, and evidence-based practice.
  • Infrastructure: Invest in people, technology, and facilities to advance the mission of the organization.

Key Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) works collaboratively with the Board of Directors, staff, and other constituencies to execute a highly strategic vision and facilitates relationships with key stakeholders.  S/he leads the staff in the implementation of the strategic plan's goals and objectives and in the management of all other aspects of the organization. The CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors for the work and outcomes of the association.

Among the CEO’s primary roles and responsibilities are the following:

  • Guides and executes the vision for the future of AWHONN in collaboration with the Board of Directors and members, and implements strategic plans for AWHONN that will achieve its goals and assure its relevancy.
  • Forges and maintains an effective, collaborative, and transparent working relationship with the Board of Directors. S/he engages board members collectively and individually in communicating the key challenges, opportunities, and trends affecting the organization and facilitates consensus among board members on key issues.
  • Leads AWHONN’s operations and staff to assure the development and implementation of successful programs that achieve AWHONN’s broader purpose and board-approved strategic goals, including the recruitment, engagement, and retention of a diverse membership. 
  • Oversees the development and implementation of strategic, operational, financial, and budgetary plans. Monitors, analyzes, and acts on actual budget and financial performance to optimize the association’s program, financial outcomes and to assure continued growth and viability of the association.
  • Serves as a steward of the association’s core values, principles, and mission while leading the organization’s senior management team, inspiring and empowering them in their roles.  Cultivates cross-division collaboration and a culture of integrity, respect, teamwork, innovation, and results. 
  • Provides leadership in fostering and sustaining a values-driven, member/customer-focused organizational culture that attracts, develops, retains, and engages a diverse staff.  Fosters a culture of trust and empowerment, optimizing the use of the association’s talent across the organization. 
  • Oversees the implementation and maintenance of clinical solutions and programs, builds upon current revenue sources, and identifies new value-added services/products and sources of revenue.
  • Oversees the organization’s membership and volunteer development efforts. Interacts regularly with membership to listen to their diverse needs, maximize engagement, and ensure member satisfaction.
  • Advances the organization’s mission and goals by actively seeking and developing relationships with industry partners, other professional organizations, major hospitals/hospital systems, and governmental and non-governmental agencies to increase awareness of the association’s mission and optimize opportunities to broaden its reach and influence.
  • Oversees and supports the solicitation of major donors in conjunction with the leadership team and business development staff.
  • Forges and cultivates partnerships with other key organizations that share a common set of objectives, in conjunction with the Board and staff.
  • Represents AWHONN and the profession to key audiences and stakeholders to build AWHONN’s brand, public image, and that of its membership.
  • Serves as a key spokesperson on day-to-day association wide issues and represents the association and nursing on health care policy issues and development.  

Professional Experience/Qualifications 

The ideal candidate is an executive-level leader with the professional experience and competencies to lead an innovative, complex organization in this dynamic healthcare environment.  S/he is responsible for effectively advancing AWHONN’s mission and implementing its strategic plan to ensure the organization’s relevancy and value to its diverse membership.  They are a charismatic, authentic, collaborative leader with extensive knowledge of healthcare related issues, processes, and policies. 

The Chief Executive Officer should have the following experience, qualifications, and personal traits: 

  • At least ten years of management experience with a minimum of seven years in an executive-level nursing or association leadership role. 
  • Knowledge and passion for making a difference in the lives of women and newborns is strongly preferred.
  • A results-oriented leader who has strong organizational, business, technology, and financial acumen.  Senior leadership and management experience including strategic planning, membership services, financial management, marketing, professional conferences, programs, and publications. 
  • Demonstrates a high degree of emotional intelligence, effective communication and interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively manage and grow relationships with diverse stakeholders including board members, members, partners, funders, staff, and the public. S/he must have the ability to analyze and resolve issues quickly, make good decisions in a collaborative culture, seek, respect, and incorporate diverse views and opinions.
  • Servant leadership qualities, working collaboratively with the President and Board to advance AWHONN’s mission and strategy. Strong diplomatic skills and political savvy.
  • Sound leadership and management skills, communication and listening skills, and experience creating a vision, both internally and externally.  An ability to anticipate emerging issues of importance to the organization and to translate those issues into actions that advance the AWHONN’s mission.
  • Track record building and leading a highly professional, knowledgeable, and diverse staff team in a performance driven and results-oriented environment.  Track record of identifying, developing, and engaging staff and fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, and empowerment. 
  • Exhibits strong business ethics with a high level of confidentiality, tact, diplomacy, and professionalism. Reputation for high integrity and ethical behavior.  Transparency and accountability to cultivate trusting relationships at an organizational and external level.
  • Experience managing public relations and business affairs of an organization, including the ability to navigate crisis. Ability to appraise complex and difficult situations and effectively make decisions.
  • Ability to establish and manage multiple priorities effectively and realistically as well as the ability to delegate effectively and appropriately. 
  • A willingness to travel to conventions, meetings, and related events.
  • Excellent verbal, written, presentation and organizational skills. 
  • Relocation to the DC area is required.


A Bachelor’s Degree is required.  A Master’s Degree in Nursing, Business Management, Healthcare Administration, or related field is required. Certified Association Executive credential and/or Nurse Executive certification is highly desired.


A competitive compensation and benefits package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.