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Career Opportunities at the ESA

Posted: November, 2019

Director of Publishing

Priority given to applications received by December 20, 2019

Society Background

Built on over 100 years of history, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a professional membership association of ecologists, with more than 9,000 scientists, researchers, decision makers, policymakers, and educators dedicated to the science of ecology. We promote diversity in all areas of activity, including staffing, membership, leadership, committees, public engagement, our annual convention and all other meetings. 

Position Overview

Reporting to the Executive Director at ESA Headquarters in Washington, DC, the Director of Publishing serves in a leadership role, working closely with the management team to ensure execution of the society’s strategic goals. The Director of Publishing focuses on establishing and executing the ESA’s publishing strategies. This individual will direct the journals’ publishing functions, serve as the main point person with the Society’s publisher, work with ESA leadership on key publication initiatives, and coordinate the society’s publishing initiatives across programs within the organization.

Specific Activities

  • Publisher Management: Manage the relationship with the ESA’s publisher; maintain continuous contact with the publisher’s staff to ensure fulfillment of the agreement between the ESA and Wiley. Monitor all key functions, including the peer-review process, production, copy editing, publication scheduling, marketing, website development and business management. Ensure sufficient reporting by Wiley on key metrics.
  • Staff Management: Direct the activities of the publications staff, to include monitoring of manuscript submissions, the peer-review process, production times, publication quality and relationships with authors.
  • ESA Membership: Ensure that ESA members have clear guidance on how to access journal content; work with ESA staff to troubleshoot, enhance and publicize the journal program as a benefit of membership.
  • Editorial Leadership: Work with the journals’ Editors-in-Chief to provide support as required, to include reporting on submissions, time to review, acceptance rates, Impact Factor rankings, and other data required to assess the journals’ performance.
  • Publications Committee: Work with the ESA Publications Committee to assess the journal program and recommend changes or improvements to processes and strategy. Work with the Committee to conduct reviews of Editors-in-Chief and searches for new EICs.
  • Thought Leadership: Through interactions with the publisher, outside meetings, consultants, user groups and publishing associations, stay up-to-date on publishing trends; advise editors, staff, committees and other ESA stakeholders on key developments in the publishing world; suggest changes or enhancements to the publishing program based on these trends to keep the ESA current with industry trends.
  • Analytical skills: Conduct regular analysis of publishing data; provide publishing reports to Executive Director, Publications Committee, Editors-in-Chief and ESA leadership, as required.
  • Budgeting: Develop and monitor the publication department’s budget

Supervisory Responsibilities

Direct activities of 5 staff involved in journal peer review and production. Work with publisher’s production, marketing, sales, website and publishing staff.


  • 10 years of experience in society or commercial publishing, ideally in the STEM market; at least 5 years of management experience
  • Strong knowledge of how professional societies work and serve their members; keen ability to work with other program directors to help fulfill the Society’s mission; an appreciation of the contribution that societies make to the publishing landscape is essential
  • Solid understanding of current publishing practices and trends in the industry; ability to maintain networks within the publishing field in order to stay abreast of major events and developments that may impact the ESA’s publishing model
  • Experience in conducting publisher RFPs and negotiating association-publisher agreements; solid knowledge of what these agreements can/should entail, including financial and legal arrangements
  • Knowledge of product launches within the publishing field, including ability to conduct landscape analysis, build a business plan, and determine pricing and marketing strategies for new publications
  • Effective communication and presentation skills; strong written and quantitative skills
  • Marketing expertise required, including membership marketing, public relations, product marketing, advertising, social media, research and analysis, copywriting and design management
  • Ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders: ESA employees and senior staff, publisher’s leadership and employees, committee members, society members, and ESA leadership
  • BA/BS degree required; MBA or other advanced degree a plus
  • Technologically literate with Microsoft Office Suite, social media platforms, databases, manuscript submission platforms, and other publishing tools
  • Travel: approx. 10-20% – meet with remote staff every other month; meet with Wiley staff twice per year; attend the ESA Annual Meeting and other conventions or society meetings as required

Salary commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits. 

To apply send your resume, cover letter to gro.asenull@semuser