Manager, Member Society Relations

ACLS Mission and Overview

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 80 scholarly organizations.  As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS holds a core belief that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanistic knowledge throughout society. In addition to stewarding and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its endowment and $35 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for the centrality of the humanities in the modern world.

ACLS Learned Societies

The 80 learned societies that are members of ACLS are national or international organizations in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Each society is concerned with a distinct field of study, but all are involved in the promotion of research, scholarly publication, and education. Learned societies have been vitally important in setting standards of excellence in research, writing, and education.

The executive directors of ACLS Member Societies meet as the Conference of Executive Officers (CEO). The CEO comes together semi-annually to address concerns common to all in the community of humanistic scholars, particularly those issues related to maintaining and improving conditions for research, education, and communication among the scholars.

Job Summary

The Manager of Member Society Relations will support ACLS’s 80 member societies’ active and productive CEO, assist ACLS’s programming efforts for the membership, and ACLS’s efforts to recruit and retain additional member societies, whose participation will keep ACLS on a trajectory towards equitable and inclusive representation of humanistic fields.

The manager will provide ongoing support for the CEO and the Societies’ delegates, establish and strengthen linkages between CEO and ACLS program units, and facilitate the implementation of selected joint projects involving society collaborations, including collaborations with ACLS.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Provide ongoing support for the Conference of Executive Officers (CEO):

  • Work with CEO Executive Committee to plan and document CEO convenings and networking activities, including:
    • Spring face-to-face meeting in conjunction with ACLS Annual Meeting
    • Fall meeting
    • Regular online informal meet-ups
  • Work with ACLS’s events team to organize the annual in-person leadership seminar for incoming society board presidents and society directors
  • Provide support for preparation of agendas and materials for meetings and activities; recruitment of expert resource participants; preparation of travel arrangements and reimbursements
  • Provide information and referral resources as needed to Executive Officers on matters such as membership, meetings, publishing, advocacy and outreach, human resources, and fundraising
  • Match new Executive Officers with a more established buddy for peer mentoring support
  • Manage CEO Net (list serv) communications channel and document repository
  • Maintain updated ACLS website content concerning member societies

Provide support, through identifying and convening internal ACLS staff and/or external consultants, for implementation of special ACLS projects in support of the societies:

  • Identifying innovative business models and planning to secure societies’ sustainable financial footing
  • Identifying approaches to recruitment, retention, and engagement of society membership that may involve market research and innovative membership pricing models
  • Support diversity / equity / inclusion / justice work in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, including work to be undertaken by ACLS’s new unit, Intentional Design for an Equitable Academy (IDEA)
  • Advancing discussions with higher education institutions about models for recognition of faculty involvement in member society leadership roles
  • Developing a plan to build and maintain an ongoing census about the member societies
  • Supporting society efforts to help advance careers of independent scholars and humanities practitioners working in government, NGO, and business settings
  • Strengthen linkages between CEO and ACLS program units
  • Expand use of combined purchasing power to achieve discounted professional service rates for legal, financial management, accounting, auditing, fundraising charitable registration services


  • Bachelor’s degree in a humanities, social sciences or related field; MA preferred
  • 5-7 years of related work experience in higher education or non-profit organization; experience working with scholarly organizations or associations a plus
  • Experience planning face-to-face and online convenings, from small groups to groups to involving up to 50-75 participants
  • Familiarity with operations of scholarly organizations or association, including meetings, publishing, outreach/advocacy, and membership management
  • Experience with WordPress or comparable content management system
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to communicate effectively with diverse internal and external audiences
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities while maintaining attention to detail
  • Commitment to supporting initiatives in work related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice
  • A “can-do” attitude and collaborative working style are essential.

Office policy and salary

  • ACLS is operating on a hybrid schedule, 2 days per week in the office. Staff are expected to be available during ACLS’s normal hours of operation, from 9am-5pm ET.
  • Travel outside of the NYC area approximately 2-3x a year
  • Salary range: $90,000 - $120,000, commensurate with experience

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