chosen candidate_stick figures

Executive Director Search

AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly will retire May 2021

Coordinated by Spelman Johnson


March 4, 2021

As you know, we have conducted a thorough search for a new Executive Director that included strong candidates from within higher education, nonprofit management, the private sector, and public service. An executive level search like this is always striving not just to find someone with strong qualifications but to ensure that the candidate is the right person at the right time to move the organization forward.

As the Board of Directors moved forward with discussions, we were not able to find that perfect match for AACRAO and have made the decision to suspend the search.

While we are disappointed with this outcome we want to affirm that the search will recommence in the next fiscal year (hopefully, post-COVID). This pause will allow the Board to assess the search process, make adjustments, and re-open in a more favorable environment.

I am thrilled to announce that Melanie Gottlieb has agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director. In addition, Mike Reilly has agreed to support the organization in a temporary advisory role. This transition will begin on May 1.

AACRAO has advanced under the strong leadership that Mike has provided and the Board wanted to ensure that AACRAO continues to move forward in this critical time for higher education. We are in the final stages of a very successful strategic planning process that resulted in the newly established AACRAO Strategic Goals. We are confident that we have the leadership in place to continue to support you and your institution as we move the association forward in these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating Melanie and thanking Mike for their service to AACRAO.

Jack Miner
President, AACRAO Board of Directors

two people shake hands

Introducing AACRAO’s Interim Executive Director, Melanie Gottlieb

Mar 9, 2021

Gottlieb to serve as Interim Executive Director beginning May 1

group of applicants wearing business attire silently look over a sheet

AACRAO Executive Director search update

Feb 23, 2021

Candidate to be announced before the 2021 (106th) AACRAO Annual Meeting.

magnifying glass on an cut-out red figure surrounded by non-magnified white cut-outs

AACRAO Executive Director search update

Sep 21, 2020

The search firm is accepting applications and nominations.

illustrated laptop with cartoon headshots and graphs extending from the screen

AACRAO Executive Director search update

Jul 8, 2020

Search firm and committee members established.

businesswomen raises her hand, appearing to answer a question

Executive Director search committee: Call for volunteers

Jun 10, 2020

AACRAO's Board of Directors seeks two members to serve on the search committee.

headshot of Jack Miner

Meet new AACRAO President Jack Miner

May 4, 2020

"A challenge we are equal to": COVID, strategic planning, and the search for a new Executive Director.

headshot of Mike Reilly

AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly to retire in 2021

Dec 2, 2019

The AACRAO Board of Directors has established a timeline for the search for the new director.

Search Committee

AACRAO Board Members
Jack Miner (co-chair)| Vice Provost for Enrollment Management | University of Cincinnati
Rhonda Kitch (co-chair) | University Registrar  | Cornell University
Luisa Havens |Vice Provost for Enrollment Management | Virginia Tech
Cassandra Moore  | Director of Enrollment Development & Admissions  | Anne Arundel Community College
Tiffany Robinson  | Assistant Vice Provost & University Registrar  | University of Kansas

External Partner
Rob Shomaker | Vice President and Chief Operating Officer | CUPA-HR

AACRAO General Members
Heather Abbott | Deputy Registrar | Yale Law School
Texas Ruegg | University Registrar | LeTourneau University

Julia Funaki | Associate Director International | AACRAO
Melanie Gottlieb | Deputy Director | AACRAO

Application Window: Sept 9 - Oct 16

The application window is closed.

Search Timeline


Retirement announced to the membership


Listening Session for the membership on desired qualities of an Executive Director

Board releases an RFP to hire a search firm

Jun - Aug 
Leadership Profile development (in conjunction with AACRAO Leadership Meeting)

Sept 9
Application process opens through Spelman Johnson

Oct 16
Deadline for initial review of applications

Oct 23 - Nov 6
Search committee reviews applications and selects first round interview candidates

Nov 9
Search committee conducts confidential first-round interviews and selects candidates for second-round interviews

Nov 30 - Dec 10
Search committee conducts confidential second-round interviews

Dec 16
Search committee submits recommended finalists to the AACRAO Board of Directors



Finalist Interviews

Announcement of new AACRAO Executive Director
Search paused for reassessment