Chief Policy Officer

26 Dec, 2021


Chief Policy Officer

American Dental Education Association
Washington, DC



The Chief Policy Officer (CPO) at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) leads a policy unit that, like the academic dental institutions it serves, seeks to operate at the intersection of the dental education, health professions education, and higher education communities.  The CPO plays a critical role in advancing ADEA’s overall work as the voice of dental education by conducting and monitoring educational and health professions policy research and conducting studies in areas relevant to the needs of allied, predoctoral, and postdoctoral dental education.

The Policy and Educational Research Unit is one of eight functional units within the ADEA Central Office that also includes Advocacy and Government Relations, Communications and Membership, Finance and Operations, Learning, Educational Pathways, Access, Diversity and Inclusion, and Meetings, Conferences and Educational Technology, each of which is led by a Chief Officer. The position directly reports to the Chief of Staff.

The CPO is responsible for providing strategic leadership for ADEA’s policy research, development, and collaboration efforts throughout all areas of dental education; predoctoral, allied, and advanced dental education. The CPO helps guide and support the work of the policy staff in the pursuit of ADEA’s key strategic initiatives. The CPO has significant responsibilities as ADEA’s policy liaison to external organizations in dentistry, dental education, health professions education, and higher education. The CPO seeks to lead and support ADEA staff in elevating the profile and integration of dental education on the academic campus.  The ADEA CPO focuses on expanding the presence and influence of ADEA in the higher education policy arena through the establishment of strategic partnerships with various higher education organizations and through the representation of ADEA at various higher education policy and research meetings in the U.S. and internationally.


  1. Identify significant issues facing academic dental institutions and health professions educational institutions and recommend policies to ADEA leadership regarding those significant issues affecting the relationship of dental education to health professions education and higher education and to the oral health of the public.
  1. Provide high-quality, timely and useful information to support planning and decision-making within academic dental institutions including educational policy research and studies in areas relevant to the needs of dental education over the next five to ten years.
  1. Build strong collaborative relationships with the leaders of other organizations that focus on health professions education, interprofessional education, higher education policy, and patient care and serve as a visible and engaged spokesperson for the academic dental community.
  2. Pursue external funding to support existing and potential policy-related initiatives.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Lead a staff of skilled professionals including the Senior Vice President for Educational Research and Analysis and their staff.
  2. Works closely with ADEA leadership to formulate organizational policy and positions on matters including, but not limited to accreditation, licensure, credentialing, access to dental care, diversity of the entire dental pipeline, and the inclusion of diverse groups in all aspects of dental education.
  3. Provide leadership in the continued development of ADEA’s efforts to produce and report on relevant research on key issues in dental education.
  4. Develop and implement strategies to collaborate research efforts with other organizations in order to enhance ADEA’s research role and scope in health professions and higher education.
  5. Interacts on a regular basis with external organizations representing dentistry, other health professions, and higher education.
  6. Develops and implements recommendations for the Board of Directors in collaboration with the ADEA Policy and Research Advisory Committee.
  7. Contributes policy studies, association reports, and related communications through the Journal of Dental Education and the Bulletin of Dental Education.
  8. Develops a program of work and a budget for activities under the direction of the ADEA Chief of Staff and the CEO.
  9. Collaborates with other staff to pursue external funding for ADEA programs and projects.
  10. Supervises and evaluates the performance of staff.
  11. Monitors and coordinates response to member and public inquiries and requests received at ADEA seeking information regarding trends and issues in dental education, licensure, practice, and access to oral health care. Reviews and refines public information and education packages for distribution.
  12. Provides input to and content for related programming at the ADEA Annual Session.
  13. Serve as a key member of the ADEA Management Group, collaborating closely with other staff leaders in the best interests of the Association.
  14. Performs other tasks as assigned.


Communicating the strategic goals of ADEA

The CPO will play a major role in communicating information that facilitates the development of policy positions for the Association that will build upon and develop a broad set of contacts throughout academic dental institutions and the higher education community. These alliances will be critical as discussion of the relevance of major issues under consideration in dental education progresses. Policy goals and guidelines will need to be disseminated internally to the dental education community and externally to other stakeholders, including policy makers in health professions education and in higher education. Because changes in dental education will often have an impact on the parent institutions where predoctoral, postdoctoral, and allied dental education programs are located, the ADEA CPO will need to be a proponent of the idea that the value of dental education to the parent institution must be real, visible, and communicated regularly.

Develop new ways to collect and impart information relevant to trends in dental education

The CPO will identify the critical issues in dental education and develops ways of measuring and disseminating information. This includes utilizing the latest technology and collaboration with other organizations that collect relevant data to amass information from members and then translating data into useful formats available over various media types. It will require leading a staff with the ability to organize, analyze, and deliver the material in clear written formats, including print and web-based publications, and through oral communication in meetings on campuses, as well as in meetings with other professional and higher education associations. It will involve convening groups at ADEA both for the dissemination of research and to discuss the diverse ideas around the themes of change that might emerge from the research.

Examples of current key policy issues facing dental education

  1. The role of academic dental institutions* in addressing access to dental care.
  2. Access and inclusion of diverse groups within the dental professions.
  3. Interprofessional education and collaborative care.
  4. Licensure and certification of dental professionals.
  5. Accreditation of academic dental institutions.
  6. New dental workforce models.
  7. New and expanding dental schools and allied programs.
  8. Cost of education and student borrowing.
  9. Enhancing the position of the dental schools and programs within their parent institutions.
  10. Collaboration with other associations in dentistry, higher education and health professions education.

*Academic dental institutions include dental schools and their outreach programs, hospitals that have advanced education and residency programs in dentistry, institutions that have programs in the allied dental professions (dental hygiene, dental assisting, dental therapy and dental laboratory technology), and independent research institutions that support dental education and research.



  • Doctoral level degree in a health profession, higher education, or a related field required. Preference for dental degree or academic dental experience.
  • Fifteen years of policy research experience as well as substantive experience at the management/administrative level required.
  • Effective organizational leader with excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to think strategically and articulate ADEA’s vision, mission and goals internally and externally.
  • A motivated, thoughtful, energetic, talented, and team-oriented individual with a proven record of performance and success.
  • Ability to lead, motivate and coach senior leaders.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse team environment and collaborate well with others from different backgrounds.
  • Must be able to work well with volunteers, members of the ADEA Board of Directors, executives, and staff as well as with counterparts at other organizations.
  • Extensive travel is required both on weekends and evenings.
  • Ability to work at ADEA’s DC office as needed. Currently a hybrid work model is in place; 40% in office and 60% remote.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-12-26