Executive Director, ACEND

The Accreditation Council for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are seeking a full-time Executive Director, Accreditation and Education to join our organization in spring 2019. This individual will be responsible for: directing, planning, development and effective implementation of all functions of ACEND®, including standard setting, evaluation and quality improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs; representing ACEND® regionally, nationally and internationally; serving as a resource to other Academy organization units and public stakeholders on nutrition and dietetics education questions and issues; providing oversight of ACEND® and Education Programs team financial and human resources; planning and directing services to address nutrition and dietetics education issues and assisting in the advancement of education programs. This position reports to the ACEND Board for ACEND responsibilities and the Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for Education Program responsibilities and oversees ACEND® and Education Programs staff.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) serves the public by establishing eligibility requirements and accreditation standards that ensure the quality and continuous improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs. Programs meeting these standards are accredited by ACEND® to prepare students for careers in nutrition and dietetics. Currently, ACEND® accredits nearly 600 programs in the United States and internationally. ACEND® is recognized by the US Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs in nutrition and dietetics.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals with more than 100,000 credentialed practitioners — registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN), nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered (NDTR), and other dietetics professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and students — and is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of nutrition and dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Major Responsibilities

For ACEND – 85%

  • Identify, monitor and analyze environmental and programmatic accreditation trends and legislation for impact on nutrition and dietetics education and ACEND® policies, procedures and services
  • Direct implementation of new systems, technologies and procedures to maintain ACEND® data and create efficiencies in processes
  • Direct ongoing evaluation and revision of the accreditation standards based on trends and higher education and public policy, including design of surveys to collect stakeholder input
  • Direct development, implementation and evaluation of procedures to operationalize ACEND® policies
  • Provide support to ACEND committees or work groups appointed by the ACEND® Board
  • Develop and implement strategies and business plans to meet ACEND® strategic plan
  • Direct planning and evaluation of training for program directors and 200+ ACEND® program reviewers/site visitors
  • Direct and provide consultation on entry-level education and accreditation to nearly 600 nutrition and dietetics education programs, including directors, administrators, faculty/staff and students
  • Direct collection and maintenance of student enrollment and graduation statistics
  • Provide consultation to ACEND® review teams on accreditation site visits
  • Provide consultation to national and international universities considering ACEND® recognition
  • Negotiate and maintain contracts to support ACEND®'s work.
  • Maintain ACEND®'s administrative autonomy and recognition by the US Department of Education
  • Maintain strong working relationships with other organizations to advance ACENDS's purpose (e.g., regional accreditors, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors and Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions)
  • Coordinate publication of ACEND® standards, newsletters, handbooks and Website information
  • Develop and maintain accountability for ACEND® and Education Programs budgets (Approximately $2M)

For Education Programs – 15%

  • Oversee staff support for the 1000+ member Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) organizational unit of the Academy
  • Direct coordination and implementation of the NDEP program of work
  • Act as an authority and communication liaison on ACEND® accreditation policy and education issues for internal and external audiences
  • Train staff to answer questions from prospective students and the public about nutrition and dietetics education
  • Develop informational materials for the public about nutrition and dietetics education


  • Doctoral degree
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential
  • At least seven years of increasingly substantive administrative experience in higher education or nonprofit organization, accreditation or quality assurance agency for professional education programs
  • Experience with nutrition and dietetics education and with accreditation process, including knowledge of current issues in nutrition and dietetics education and accreditation
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership to team efforts, including supervision of staff, and to work collaboratively with stakeholders (including administrators, practitioners, educators, students) within and outside of the organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and simultaneously direct multiple projects and budgets
  • Demonstrated ability to think analytically and creatively solve problems
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Experience with and understanding of how organizational boards and committees function
  • Proficiency in technology use and applications
  • Availability for weekend meetings, when needed and approximately 25% travel time for accreditation related activities

Review of applications will begin November 1, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. Applicants are asked to attach the following to the online application: Letter of interest that highlights reason for interest in the position and relevant accreditation and leadership experience, vita and names and contact information for three references.

About Us

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The position, housed in a friendly and professional team-based work environment, offers a salary commensurate with experience as well as an excellent benefit package including medical, dental, LTD, tuition reimbursement and 401k match with IMMEDIATE VESTING! The headquarters office in Chicago is conveniently located near public transportation. Telecommuting option is available.

ACEND® and the Academy are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.