About AGMA

Careers at AGMA

American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) is the labor union of singers, dancers, and staging staff in opera, ballet and concert dance, and concert choral performance in the United States.  A national union with a membership of approximately 6,500 artists, AGMA provides forceful advocacy and defense of its members’ employment and artistic rights.  AGMA has a direct charter from the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO Branch of Associated Actors and Artists of America and the Department for Professional Employees (DPE). AGMA is also a part of the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG).


Position Summary:

This national search is being led by Stanton Chase. See full job description.

Reporting to AGMA’s President Ned Hanlon and Board of Governors and based in New York, the National Executive Director will lead one of the fastest growing entertainment unions in the United States at a vital time in its history. As AGMA continues its transformative work to become an organizing, member-empowered, more inclusive and impactful force in the arts and entertainment industries, and continue its recovery from the pandemic, the next National Executive Director will help shape the future of Union at an inflection point.

The National Executive Director will thus help develop and implement the vision of AGMA’s elected leaders, facilitate strategic planning and manage the day-to-day operations of the Union.

This leader will have a vision that is both wide and deep and will ensure that every AGMA member, regardless of their job category within the industry (e.g., singer, dancer, stage manager) or geographic location (West, South, Midwest or East) feels heard, valued and supported. Together with AGMA’s President, this professional will also be the lead spokesperson with the media, labor, bargaining partners and government officials. This person will stay on top of industry and labor trends and any developments that can affect the artist-worker, develop, maintain and build relationships with other performing arts unions and throughout the labor world and make recommendations regarding policy and contractual issues.

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, empathetic and inspiring leader who has substantial experience in collective bargaining and labor negotiations and is a proactive and superior communicator.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Manages and directs all collective bargaining negotiations, including serving as spokesperson in critical negotiations when needed. Ensures that National Bargaining Priorities are implemented and oversees contract implementation, administration and enforcement.
  • Oversees and manages all staff, including hiring, training, supervising, assigning, and terminating Ensures that the AGMA professional staff is able to fully support all the job categories and work groups under AGMA’s jurisdiction. Oversees development and implementation of HR policies.
  • Works with President, Officers, and Board of Governors to develop and implement long and short-term strategic plans (including bargaining priorities, a strategic organizing plan, IDEA goals, etc.), to update internal processes and procedures (financial, membership, succession planning, IT) as needed, and anticipate emerging opportunities and threats.
  • Together with AGMA’s President, proactively communicates and acts as public spokesperson for the Union, with assistance from the Director of Communications.
  • Manages all strategic internal and external organizing efforts. Works with the Director of Organizing to promote membership growth and retention by developing and implementing a clear and strategic organizing plan. Provide support, resources, and advocacy to engage and empower existing members.
  • Oversees AGMA’s governance functions and ensures legal compliance with all laws and regulations impacting AGMA.
  • Travels throughout the country, when feasible, to regional areas to represent AGMA, meet and work with members at diverse signatory companies, build relationships with arts organizations, facilitate national coordination, and address issues impacting AGMA artists.
  • Collaborates with the President and Board of Governors to support AGMA’s strategic priorities through legislative and policy Forges relationships with and advocates for the interests of members before government agencies, departments, and elected representatives.
  • Oversees development of annual budget in collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary-Treasurer. Makes and implements financial decisions consistent with approved budget. Facilitates budgetary recommendations to Board.
  • Serves as Trustee on AGMA Health Fund & Retirement Plan and oversees the AGMA Relief Fund.

Please review in great detail the full job description from Stanton Chase, which includes other responsibilities like defining culture, and cultivating and expanding impact.

Key Selection Criteria:

  • 7-10 years of leadership and management experience, ideally in a labor union, entertainment- related or other related environment, with a focus on management, leadership and union expertise and labor relations. Demonstrated experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements and serving member organizations is vital.
  • At least 5 years of staff management experience and demonstrated experience creating an environment of equity and inclusion, teamwork, empowerment, staff growth and
  • Demonstrated experience as a proactive and skilled communicator both internally and externally.
  • Prior financial oversight experience, including budget management, proven business acumen, a results-oriented approach, and a track record of delivering results.
  • Prior experience serving and managing a Board and/or governing council, with a range of stakeholders and constituencies is essential.
  • Proven track record of organizational or team leadership, strategic planning, and managing multiple priorities.
  • An undergraduate degree is required and a master’s degree and/or Juris Doctor (J.D.) is preferred. Knowledge of labor law is essential.
  • Passion for arts, musical performers, artist-workers and/or live
  • Commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility and belonging, with a passion for advancing social justice and empowerment.
  • Flexibility to travel and work evenings/weekends as needed.

Please review in great detail the full job description from Stanton Chase to review the desired personal characteristics.

Stanton Chase - Please Contact:

Peter Lawson
Managing Director
Stanton Chase
(M): 561-212-0929

Shayne Lightner
Stanton Chase
(M): 310-936-4916

Jill Leibowitz
Stanton Chase
(M): 847-814-3409

Please copy careers@musicalartists.org too.

As a labor union, AGMA is committed to combatting injustice and inequality in our members’ workplaces, as well as our own workplace. AGMA is committed to building a staff that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills, and we value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We seek to employ staff that reflects the diversity of our membership, and strongly encourage women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, veterans, and other people who identify as members of marginalized communities to apply.  AGMA is an equal opportunity employer, and, as such, does not discriminate against an employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, disability, or any other classification protected from discrimination under applicable law.