AOS Announces Executive Director Transition

Chicago, IL, February 26, 2021 – After seven years serving as the first executive director of the American Ornithological Society (AOS), the leading international society for professionals dedicated to advancing the science and conservation of birds, Melinda Pruett-Jones has announced her intention to retire at the end of June. The AOS was formed in 2016 from a merger of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society, two of the oldest ornithological organizations in the world.

Under Pruett-Jones’ leadership, the AOS has established a solid, sustainable foundation for the future of the organization. As a result of her efforts AOS is strong and resilient with a membership that is diverse and growing. The organization offers new and expanded professional development programs, awards, and grants; an array of communications outlets to serve its membership and strengthen its outreach; and scientific meetings and events that are steadily increasing in attendance and impact. AOS’s scientific publications program is growing in reach, scope, and influence. The Society uses cloud-based and online systems to perform and support the work of the largely virtual organization. With a greater diversity of members and stakeholders engaged in the Society’s mission, the AOS is poised for a vibrant future and continued success.

The AOS is actively recruiting a new executive leader. This is an exciting opportunity for a skilled executive who will work collaboratively with Society leadership, members, and staff in advancing the mission and vision of the AOS. The Society looks forward to bringing on a new executive director to serve as an integral partner in guiding the priorities of the long-range strategic plan and emerging strategic initiatives to best serve our 3,300+ international Society members, the broader ornithological community, and our valued partners. The full position posting is available on Hire Hive.

About the American Ornithological Society
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is a diverse, global network of empowered professionals, working together to advance the scientific study and conservation of birds. The AOS is the largest international member-based society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds and advancing the discipline of ornithology. The Society publishes two respected international journals, Ornithology and Ornithological Applications; the scientific nomenclature checklists for birds in North, Middle, and South America; and is a partner in the online publication of The Birds of the World with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Entering its 139th year, the Society employs 7 full- and part-time staff members and operates with a $1.5 million annual budget with $2 million in reserves and total net assets of >$26 million. The AOS is headquartered in Chicago, Ill. For more information, see

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