AIAA Launches Search For New Executive Director Written 1 June 2017

CONTACT: John Blacksten

Will Partner With Heidrick & Struggles For Recruitment

June 1, 2017 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest and most influential aerospace technical society, today announced its search for its next executive director. Current Executive Director Sandra H. Magnus will step down in early 2018 after more than five years of service to the Institute. To conduct the search, AIAA has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a premier provider of senior-level executive search and leadership consulting services. The search is expected to be completed by December 2017.

“I confidently speak for my fellow past presidents when I say that Sandy was the right executive director for AIAA at the right time. Arriving at a challenging period for both the Institute and the industry, Sandy had the energy, courage, and determination to evaluate, plan, and execute strategic changes to AIAA’s events and governance structures,” said AIAA President James Maser. “These changes were critical to the continued growth and relevance of the Institute. Sandy will leave to her successor an Institute that is not only financially stable, but well positioned for the future.

In a successor, AIAA is seeking a dynamic, visionary leader who will bring strong management skills and critical thinking abilities to the position. The successful candidate will lead a major effort to grow, diversify, and engage the membership and greater aerospace community through new and innovative initiatives, technical activities, publications and educational programs. She or he must be comfortable in an environment of continuous improvement and experimentation as AIAA evolves and enhances its brand and relevance to the community. In addition, the executive director will be responsible for spearheading business development and ensuring the financial stability and growth of the Institute. Critical to the success of AIAA will be the new executive director’s focus on continuing to guide the Institute through its governance evolution as well as successfully executing the next iteration of the strategic plan, which will entail programmatic and philosophical changes to its business and operational models.

The executive director will serve as the primary interface with AIAA’s president and member leaders including: the Board of Trustees and Council of Directors of AIAA and the Board of Trustees of the AIAA Foundation. As a key leader of the Institute, the executive director will be responsible for the effective management and operational oversight of AIAA and the AIAA Foundation and provide strategic leadership, fiscal responsibility, and program administration under the guidance and directives of the elected members of the Institute and the Institute’s strategic plan.

Interested parties should visit for additional information and to apply.

About AIAA  

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists, and 95 corporate members, from 85 countries who are dedicated to advancing the global aerospace profession. The world’s largest aerospace technical society, the Institute convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551