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EdTA Launches Search for Executive Director

Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

The EdTA board has launched a national search for its next executive director to lead day-to-day operations and fulfill the organization’s vision and mission of shaping lives through theatre education.

Julie Cohen Theobald, who led EdTA and ITS for the past decade — and launched ETF as the organization’s fundraising arm for students and teachers — will move on to a new career opportunity at the end of August. At their July meeting, the board endorsed the process for hiring Theobald’s replacement.

The next step is selecting an executive search firm to assist the board in recruiting and hiring the executive director. A request for proposals was issued to prospective firms with a September 3 deadline to submit bids, and a target to select a partner before the end of September. The board is seeking firms with a track record of successfully supporting arts nonprofits and/or associations and placing diverse candidates.

“Selecting an executive director to advance our mission is the board’s most important job,” said EdTA Board Vice President Krista Carson Elhai, who is leading the search committee with ETF Board of Trustees Chair Matt Conover. “We’re eager to identify a partner with the right experience to help us hire the right candidate.”

Once selected, the search firm will begin formal recruitment and publicize the job nationwide, including posting the role on EdTA’s website.

In addition to Elhai and Conover, the search committee will include roughly 10 people who will serve as the voices of the membership and public during the process. These participants are being selected from a board-approved pool who represent the varied perspectives of EdTA, ITS, and ETF’s many constituencies, including chapter directors, past EdTA board members, K-12 teachers, higher education and industry professionals, teaching artists, and students, with geographic and racial diversity.

“Our goal is to identify an executive director who will lead all our members and constituents well,” said Elhai. “The best way to do that is by including a variety of voices and perspectives in the process.”

While the executive director search is ongoing, the association’s operations will be jointly managed by Chief Operating Officer Brian Monk, Chief Membership Officer Hans Weichhart, and Chief Content Officer Allison Dolan, who are committed to ensuring continuity of programs and services for teachers and students.

Members who have search-related questions, ideas, or referrals are invited to join Elhai’s office hours at the EdTA National Conference September 24-26. Details will be released when available.


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