• 17-May-2017 to 16-Jul-2017 (EST)
  • Washington D.C., DC, USA
  • Full Time

Organizational Profile

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. NAEYC advances a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and supports all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. NAEYC is a fast-paced, innovative and risk-taking environment, deeply focused on our mission, values and beliefs. The organization is metrics and results driven.


Position Description

NAEYC is seeking a General Counsel and Assistant Secretary to join our executive team. This position leads corporate legal initiatives'strategic and tactical'and provides the NAEYC governing board, executive leadership, and staff with effective advice on legal strategies and their implementation.

This role oversees our legal department and outside counsel support, when warranted. The General Counsel and Assistant Secretary is directly involved in complex and critical association matters and transactions. Scope of work includes, but is not limited to: two accreditation systems; governance and Board support; regulatory compliance; contract management; intellectual property and publishing; and entering international markets.


Primary Responsibilities and Key Objectives

  • Serve as member of Executive Team and manage all legal matters of the Association. Provide practical, ethical and effective legal advice to further NAEYC's mission, help staff fulfill their goals and protect NAEYC's legal, ethical, reputational and financial integrity. May serve as Assistant Secretary to the Board.
  • Research, identify, analyze and articulate the law and legal ramifications of proposed courses of action. Identify risks and propose alternatives to mitigate risks. Advise the NAEYC staff by providing timely legal opinions that are accurate, clear, based on all relevant facts, the law and understanding of organizational objectives and concerns. Communicate effectively orally and in writing. Oversee outside counsel requirements. Handle all external legal inquiries. Manage annual legal budget and approve legal invoices as appropriate.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, oversee governance and fiduciary matters relating to the Governing Board and its delegated committees and volunteer bodies and advise on general governance matters. Work closely with the Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Board Administrator to staff Governing Board meetings and ensure the effective and appropriate operations of the Board and its related committees and volunteer bodies.
  • In collaboration with executive team members, define and develop Association policies, procedures and programs. Provide continuing advice and counsel on the legal implications of all matters, including tax and compliance matters.
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Executive Director for Early Learning Systems, define and develop Accreditation policies, procedures and programs. Provide continuing advice and counsel on the legal implications of all accreditation matters, including tax and compliance matters.
  • Manage the Association's compliance function to ensure compliance with Governing Board and staff policies and procedures, working in coordination with the Deputy Executive Officer for Finance and Operations and the Legal and Compliance Administrator.
  • Review, analyze, negotiate and draft contracts to which NAEYC is a party. Develop and administer contract review policies and procedures; train staff accordingly. Determine most favorable contract terms and appropriate legal protections for NAEYC. Recommend contract revisions to internal clients to reduce NAEYC's exposure to legal liability.
  • Work closely with NAEYC staff to develop and execute well-crafted legal and business strategies across a wide range of areas.
  • Effectively supervise staff members in the Office of General Counsel.
  • Keep abreast of legal trends and developments pertaining to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations and other matters pertaining to the Association.



  • JurisDoctor from an ABA-accredited law school.
  • Minimum of 10 years of legal experience in the practice of law, with a combination of in-house and law firm experience preferred, and expertise in one of more of the following areas: tax-exempt organizations; corporate, tax and fiduciary matters; vendor and technical contracts; intellectual property and publications; accreditation; employment.


Licenses/Special Requirement

  • Active license to practice law in a U.S. State and member in good standing.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Proven track record of success in facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing organization.
  • Exceptional negotiation and influencing skills.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills including conflict resolution skills.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, NAEYC's National Governing Board and staff. 
  • Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise.
  • Collaborative and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives. 
  • Entrepreneurial team player who can multitask.
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical and strategic thinker. 


Physical Demands 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to move throughout the building; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; and talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY - NAEYC is dedicated to providing equal opportunities to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, matriculation, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran's status, or any other factor that is a prohibited consideration under applicable law.

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