The Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) is seeking a motivated leader to serve as Executive Director to continue to guide the organization’s efforts in being the voice for Greater Minnesota education and advocating for what puts learners first.

The successful leader will begin work on or around July 1, 2020 and receive compensation for services commensurate with experience and in accordance with other like organizations. Applications for either a long-term contractor relationship or direct employment will be considered.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 2.

Position Requirements

The prospective leader must have held a significant leadership role in a school district or a like organization to MREA. Professional licensure in related fields is desired. Successful experience in organizational leadership, membership services, and advocacy is preferred.

Desired Qualifications of Contractors/Applicants

  • Exceptional organizational skills with attention to detail and direction of the MREA team.
  • Ability to manage the MREA budget and a good grasp of school district funding and finances.
  • Strong communication skills including writing, speaking, and listening as well as evidence of a high emotional intelligence quotient and empathy.
  • Evidence of interest in advocacy (with the public and legislature) that will lead the Board to feel that these skills can be developed both in Minnesota and nationally.
  • Strong leadership skills with the MREA Board, the greater MREA membership, and among other advocacy organizations.
  • An orientation toward understanding rural education needs and embracing a rural ethic.

Major Responsibilities for the Position

  • Provide executive leadership for MREA Board Of Directors, chair, and committees.
  • Provide executive leadership for MREA Management Team in a virtual environment.
  • Represent MREA effectively statewide.
  • Coordinate advocacy work of the MREA team.
  • Lead and manage effective member services.

About MREA

  • MREA strives to be the voice for Greater Minnesota education through effective legislative advocacy and member engagement. It is a 501(c)4 nonprofit membership association, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2020.
  • MREA is funded primarily by annual membership dues from 230 Greater Minnesota public school districts and by dues from 92 education-associated businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational entities.
  • MREA’s 21-member Board of Directors is comprised of elected and appointed members representing geographic membership zones across the state. Directors include school district superintendents, board members, teachers, and other educational administrators, with 0 to 10+ years of experience on the MREA Board. The board meets 4 times per year in various locations throughout Minnesota and also meets prior to its Annual Conference.
  • MREA has one office in St. Cloud with two employees: a full-time administrative coordinator and a casual part-time office assistant. MREA contracts with the Executive Director, a legislative director, a communications director, and an accountant for year-round services and contracts with other professionals for services as needed. The Executive Director and other contracted professionals currently provide their own offices elsewhere.
  • The present Executive Director has led MREA since 2011. The organization has experienced tremendous growth during this time and needs to remain focused on its growth to continue funding its advocacy and membership efforts. View recent advocacy results.   View current legislative platform.
  • Additional information is available at the organization’s website: Learn more about MREA.

Proposal/Application Process

Interested parties should submit the following electronic files, in PDF format, to Greg Vandal at

  • cover letter outlining either a proposal for contracted services offered or an application for direct employment
  • Detailed resume including a list of references
  • Four current letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of licensure and/or academic accomplishment

Additional materials may be requested as the process moves forward.

Inquiries regarding this posting can be directed to Search Consultants Greg Vandal at 320-247-3739 ( or Charlie Kyte at 651-247-6505 (