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WEPAN Executive Director Search

WEPAN Executive Director Search

Women in Engineering ProActive Network



WEPAN, Women in Engineering ProActive Network, is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1990 to be a catalyst for change to enhance the success of women in the engineering professions. WEPAN is the leading champion in North America for leveraging research and promising practices to propel the inclusion of women in the field of engineering. WEPAN’s network connects over 1000 advocates who actively pursue strategies and implement solutions to increase participation, retention, and success of women and other underrepresented groups in engineering from college to executive leadership.


WEPAN is driven by the conviction that engineering must fully embrace diversity and inclusion to meet the demands of today’s knowledge-based economy. Creating academic and workplace cultures that promote inclusion and diversity for students, employees, and faculty in engineering and computing higher education is critical. WEPAN’s committed network of well-informed leaders and advocates are leaders in this cultural change.


The WEPAN Board of Directors is composed of 15 voting members consisting of elected officers, university administrators, corporate executives, academicians and thought leaders. The Board of Directors assist with strategic direction and securing resources, engage in outreach, and provide overall oversight. The Board of Directors has several committees including Finance, Professional Development, Membership, and Awards.


The WEPAN Executive Director is responsible for providing leadership, setting direction and proving guidance of WEPAN’s activities, members, and member organizations. This is accomplished through establishing and executing major goals and objectives for the organization, while recommending and implementing policies established by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will continuously analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of all operations including the funding model, organizational structure, and personnel. Building relationships and resource development are the two responsibilities for this position. The successful candidate coordinates major activities through consultants and member-volunteers. The position requires proactive management, sound fiscal judgment, and a commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The Executive Director acts as a thought leader, works collaboratively, thinks strategically, and is fiscally responsible to ensure long-term success of the organization.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director shall

  • Provide visionary and exemplary leadership for WEPAN and act as the spokesperson and key representative for WEPAN at the national level.

  • Be responsible to and report directly to the Board of Directors through the WEPAN President.

  • Advise and support the Board of Directors in governing the organization; participate fully in deliberations of the Board, Board committees, and other elements of governance; participate in the development of the strategic plan; provide the Board with quarterly reports, thought leadership, data, analysis and recommendations to assist in governance and strategic thinking.

  • Be responsible for WEPAN’s business operations including:

    • managing the organization including executing the annual plan of work and budget as adopted by the Board;

    • resource development.  This includes identifying, maintaining, or advancing relationships with government agencies, industry, philanthropic organizations and private donors to ensure financial resources are available for WEPAN to carry out the organization’s mission; and

    • establishing and maintaining policies and guidelines to ensure the financial health and fiscal viability of the organization, including submitting annual budgets, monthly financial statements and projections.

  • Determine and execute the most effective personnel model to carry out WEPAN’s mission.

  • Establish a staff culture that supports innovation, continuous improvement, career-long learning and professional development within a safe, welcoming, and diverse workplace.

  • Manage WEPAN’s activities in accordance with WEPAN’s governance documents and policies, as well as promote continuous improvement of WEPAN’s governance, consistent with best practices for not-for-profit organizations.


To be successful in this position, an individual is expected to have the following qualifications

Personal Characteristics – A successful Executive Director must be

  • Able to lead, inspire, and motivate others through relationship building, presentations, and representation.

  • Accomplished in strategic thinking, capable of synthesizing emerging events and trends into a perspective relevant to WEPAN and its mission.

  • Accomplished in developing and executing plans to secure financial resources to sustain an organization.

  • Ethical.

  • Able to communicate effectively with and inspire WEPAN’s core audiences of academic leaders, WIE Directors, faculty, corporate leaders, and influencers.

  • Attentive to detail, responsive, and self-directed.

  • Knowledgeable of the history and research pertaining to women in engineering and computing.

  • Proficient in an electronic work environment and able to use available tools for communications, information management, and analysis.


  • Bachelor’s degree, an advanced degree is preferred. Certification in association management welcomed.

Required Qualifications

  • A documented history of progressive leadership and management responsibilities in complex organizations.

  • Proven experience developing resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledgeable of initiatives and stakeholders in the field of women in engineering and computing.

  • Past or current employment at an institution of higher education or non-profit organization.

  • Experience in professional society leadership positions.

  • Demonstrated relevant experience in working with government agencies, industry, philanthropic organizations and private donors to develop funding opportunities.


Work Environment

WEPAN is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization registered as a charitable organization and headquartered in Washington D.C. The Executive Director could work from any location in the United States, but must have regular and consistent presence at the WEPAN headquarters. The Executive Director maintains contact and provides administrative guidance to other WEPAN personnel, officers, and board members. The WEPAN Board meets quarterly in person. Travel is provided to these meetings, as well as to other meetings and/or events where the Executive Director’s presence is considered essential. Other meetings and committees meet remotely. The position is full-time although, under appropriate circumstances, a minimum of a half-time appointment may be considered.



We anticipate conducting interviews with the WEPAN Board of Directors in June 2020.


Application and Nomination Process

The Search Committee is soliciting nominations and applications. Interested candidates should upload their resume and letter of interest in pdf format using the following link. Any questions or concerns may be directed to either P.K. Imbrie (, 765.427.2607) or Shelia Ross (, 312-505-7683). Initial screening begins June 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.

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1/24/2021 » 1/27/2021
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